The goods: Maison d’Azur restaurateur Stephan Fortier brings Tosca to the former Eden space on South Beach.
Ambience: Tosca skews romantic with an outdoor ficus tree “tunnel,” a garden screening black and white Italian movies and a desk in the ladies’ powder room inviting women to write letters based on the film Letters to Juliet. The 70-seat indoor/outdoor dining room features low-slung toffee-colored leather chairs and a tinkling outdoor fountain.
The grub: High-end Italian. Prices are high: starters (excluding caviar service and seafood towers) are $15-$70, mains climb to $120 and white truffles and sides are $12-$20.
Begin with bread made in-house and fruity Italian olive oil or caviar service with mother-of-pearl spoons, blini and traditional fixings. Starters include the “Tosca” salad with scallops, truffle and foie gras; cured toro; homemade burrata with heirloom tomatoes; and Kobe beef tartare with caviar. Turbot and branzino are filleted tableside, a 36-ounce Cote du Boeuf is sliced and served on a wooden slab and fettuccini prepared in a wheel of Parmesan with fresh noodles, mascarpone and shaved white truffles. Deserts include tiramisu, chocolate mousse and a “Norwegian omelet” flaming soufflé.
Verdict: The art of elegant tableside service resurfaces in South Beach at this Italian restaurant.