There is nothing like trying a new restaurant on a night when a massive thunderstorm has knocked out power in the neighborhood and the place is slammed. Bocca Toscana met the challenge. Though the dining room was still full at 9 p.m., everything came out hot, fresh and tasty.
This is a tastefully decorated, medium-sized, family-owned Italian restaurant with really good food — no pretense and great service. Dishes range from lobster ravioli with pink cream sauce to a very classic veal parmigiana. We started with a spicy calamari, which was hot and tender, with just the right bite. I opted for a nightly special of veal, artichokes and mushrooms. The sauce was subtle, the artichokes had no lingering taste of can and the mushrooms were fresh. The side of pasta was a nice size, with a tangy tomato sauce. The bread was hot and fresh, and olive oil can be had just for the asking. My charming husband opted for the veal parmigiana, and it was tender — not ground veal, but thin fillets highlighted with a lovely sauce and just the right amount of cheese. He didn't leave a bite behind.
On another visit, I tried the calamari-and-white-bean salad, with tender baby calamari that had never been frozen and big, creamy cannellini beans. A light Italian vinaigrette and fresh greens made it the perfect Indian summer meal. The sauces are all different and all fresh. This time, my husband tried veal piazzola, which had a super sauce (I sopped up a little with the bread). The house-made lentil soup was equally spot on. And the pizza is perfectly seasoned.
Bocca Toscana is a fun, tasty find in the University of Richmond area, and well worth the try. I know we will be back
7021 Three Chopt Road, 288-7773
Prices: Appetizers $2.25 to $9.50 ; lunch entrées $8 to $10; dinner entrées $13.50 to $24; desserts $4.75.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.