IT’S CIAO TIME!
Faro’s Tuscan Kitchen serves up authentic Italian fare in Seaport
Stroll past the bold imported marble that tops a 100-seat bar on reclaimed wood floors, by the homemade gelato bar, to the open kitchen and mozzarella bar, where they hand stretch the cheese to order, and settle in next to the open fireplace encased with Italian limestone.
Tuscan Kitchen owner Joe Faro is serving up Old World ambience along with authentic Italian cuisine at his latest restaurant, opening Monday, in the heart of the Innovation
District. The 14,000-squarefoot, 350-seat restaurant is in Seaport Square and Faro is excited to be a part of the neighborhood. “I've never seen
Boston so vibrant and so innovative and so impressive as it is right now,” he said.
This joins other Tuscan Kitchen locations in Portsmouth and Salem, N.H., and Burlington. “This location is no different,” Faro said. “What this space has though is a little bit of edge to it and the dining room is going to have a little more of an upscale approach,” with white linens and select dishes finished at tables.
Of the roughly 3,500 wheels of parmigiano-reggiano that the company imports each year, the Seaport Square location will gradually make a substantial dent in the supply by tossing tagliatelle with flaming brandy, truffles and cream for a luxurious tableside event.
Faro has fostered relationships with artisan producers over the years, including procuring olive oil made by a family friend in Sicily and serving wine that is crafted for the company by Castello di Querceto vineyard in Tuscany.
“We import a 50,000-pound container of double zero flour
every other month,” Faro said. This finely ground flour with a low bran content is used in Tuscan Kitchen's rich pasta recipe, comprised of the flour, egg yolks, salt and olive oil for a silky smooth texture and chewy bite.
“I have all these contacts from my last life as a pasta maker,” Faro said, referring to the $70 million-a-year pasta and sauce business that he sold to Nestle in 2006, before he was 40 years old. “I'd always find reasons to have to create relationships and go to Italy because that's the inspiration that always fueled the innovation of my business.”
The son of Italian immigrants who owned a neighborhood bakery, Faro joked that he was “born in a mixer. Artisan Italian production is all I've ever done, so for me to do this it's a natural synergy. My passion is creating these products and sharing them with the guests.”
Faro's team now crafts bread, pasta, gelato, 21 types of salume and other culinary delights in a 27,000-squarefoot production facility in Salem, N.H. All the products are served in Tuscan Kitchen restaurants or sold in the Tuscan Markets around New England.
“People always ask me, `Why don't you open one in Vegas? Why don't you open one in Florida?' and I always say if I can't deliver fresh bread to it, I don't want it.”
Tuscan Kitchen (64Seaport Blvd., at Thomson Place), opens for lunch and dinner on Monday. For more information, go to tuscanbrands.com, or try making executive chef Nimesh Maharjan's recipe for Zuppa di Zucca at home.
Zuppa di Zucca 5 lbs. Long Island cheese pumpkin, peeled and seeds scooped out, cut into 1-inch cubes (substitute butternut squash if not available)
D c. olive oil
1 small Spanish onion, cut
into medium dice
1 T. minced garlic
2 T. grated ginger
8 c. water
1 t. salt
1 qt. heavy cream (or replace with water for a vegan diet)
2 T. sherry vinegar
A c. maple syrup
2 t. Sriracha sauce
D c. toasted almonds 2 slices prosciutto, cut into strips and fried for garnish, optional
3 leaves fresh sage, cut into
Place the cubed pumpkin on a sheet pan and roast at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until golden brown.
Heat oil in a 10-quart stock pot over medium heat, then sweat the onions, garlic and ginger until the onions are translucent. Add the roasted pumpkin, water, cinnamon and salt, and bring to a simmer. Add the heavy cream (or water) and bring this mixture to a boil.
Carefully transfer half of the soup to a blender and puree until smooth, then transfer to another pot or large bowl. Repeat this process with the remaining soup.
Finish the soup by stirring in the maple syrup, sherry vinegar and Sriracha.
Top each portion with toasted almonds, optional crispy prosciutto strips and a sprinkling of sage.
TOP CHEF: Executive chef Nimesh Maharjan presents a roasted pumpkin soup at the new Tuscan Kitchen in the Seaport District.
FEEdiNG iNNOVaTiON: Owner Joe Faro will open a new Tuscan Kitchen restaurant, serving upscale italian dishes, in Boston's innovation district.