Noticed a new restaurant that is opening on Main St- Toscana. Anyone know anything about it? Hoping it really is an Italian restaurant, and not some pizzeria.
It would be nice if they had a good Gluten Free menu since Mama's is terrible!!
agree about Mama's - tried 3 x - didn't have one good meal - one time food was cold - bread was stale - so A good Italian restaurant would be great
Ugh! Is Mama's still that bad? I was hoping it had gotten better. I haven't eaten there in over 15 years. I actually have to go to a party there this month. Should I eat before I go?
Speaking of cheese delicacies, drive to Philly.
And just like that, off topic. ;-)
Toscana will be a find dining REAL Italian restaurant, its coming along slow, and will be open soon, today they finished the awning around the entrance, the inside is looking good.
And just where will this REAL Italian restaurant be???
BTW, Enzo's Pasta Grill (on Rt 57) is very good. Far superior to Mama;s and any other Italian restaurant in the area. Their pizza is great and the eggplant parm is delicious.
he did not really give me a date, but its looking good inside, ill ask him next week when I see him
EVV, I agree about Enzo's Pasta Grill on 57, their Pasta Fagioli soup is wonderful too!
...and Toscana will be in the spot where Milena’s was, right? That was a Mexican restaurant prior and an Indian restaurant before that.
Looking forward to Toscana opening!
Dana, if you and the hubby like Philly- we can go eat at sooo many good places.
I wouldn't mind having a nice weekend loft apt there, something industrial themed. Just don't want to pay for it of course. :)
The Italian place is http://www.ilmonellonj.com/
Try it out. My sis/bro in laws like the other Italian place right next door called Cafe Azzurro which has outdoor seating. I've only ate there once, but I liked il Monello better.
And there are other, some even better rated Italian places if you drive another 1o minutes.. but the round trip, and cost go up...getting into Bernardsville area.
I moved to the area and have tried Mamas to say it’s terriable is over the top. You may not like their style, or a certain dish is one thing. Their atmosphere, customer service has always been great especially with my girls who always like to walk around and ask for a ballon. My family is a fan of Mamas as are my friends. I hope this new place is to your liking and meet your expectations!
I'd say Enzo's is good for one great thing. Fried calamari with the tentacles. You can ask at Mama's but they don't get it right. On straight Italian food both are mediocre. Mama's pizza only wins on their yearly 4x cent slices.
Mama's is only busy in hackettstown because most people in h-town think its real italian food. If you put this place in Morristown or Montclair it would be closed in a month. NYC, wouldnt make a week.
Funny, plenty of crappy Italian joints have survived in Motown, Montclair and NYC for decades.
Opinions, opinions, opinions, and that's what they are be it Restaurants or almost anything else. I always enjoy a smile reading what the HL experts have to say.
I personally LOVE Mamas. Their food IS REAL ITALIAN FOOD. Their family is from Italy. They’ve catered many of my parties and everyone loved their food. I don’t understand why people find the need to trash talk a very good busienss.
al & MomOf....
I had the same exact thought. The OP was about Toscano and turned into a Mama’s bashing thread. We enjoy Mama’s very much and as evidenced by their parking lot nearly every night of the week many others do as well. If you don’t enjoy it, don’t go and if you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing. Wishing Mama’s many more successful years and looking forward to Toscana’s opening.
Well, since Toscana is not open yet there’s not much else to say.
And I will continue to bash Mama’s if I want. No one says you have to read my opinion. Their sauce is a step up from noodles and ketchup. So you can eat there all you wish. I’ll choose to go elsewhere and have a better meal.
Most restaurants out this way are not that great when compared with towns east of Denville.
Well they have been open since 1970 so they must be doing something right...
Also they do so much for the community, they are a true staple in this area.
That being said I look forward to the opening of Toscana and wish them the best of luck!
I talked to the owner of Toscana it is going to be a fine italian resturant not a pizzera. He is going to have a gluten free menu. He is going to open soon and We can't wait for it.
I've always loved Mama's. They have the best calamari around. Any entrée I've eaten has been good. The pizza is too greasy though.
It would be nice to have a good Italian (non-pizzeria) restaurant in H'town again. We will definitely try it when it opens.
I remember when before TOPO was around - wasn't there an nice Italian place called Cara Mia's or something like that? Why did they close - move to another location or didn't make it in Hackettstown due to how expensive they were?
Yes, Cara Mia. I loved that place. The calamari there was fantastic among other things. It was pricey, but always packed, so I don't think that was an issue. There are other pricey places in the area that are doing just fine. Mattar's, James on Main, the Rodizio....
I found Enzo's to be a plate of congealed grease they called chicken parmesan. I find Mama's passable but their wait is always ridiculous, I've been in there for two hours waiting for my lunch. If I'm looking for good Italian food I'll go to New York.
We loved Cara Mia too! They moved up the hill to where Blackstones is now at one point back in the 90s. Then from there I guess they closed down or moved out of the area.
Best of luck Toscana, looking forward to the opening! Toscana means Tuscany right? So the food should be amazing.
AFAIK Cara Mia never moved to where Blackstones is. Before it was Blackstones, It was Stumpy's for years.
Cara Mia closed because the landlord raised the rent.
The woman who owned it told us herself- as she waited on us at a different restaurant about a year or so after they closed.
If I remember correctly, her husband who was the cook went to a different restaurant as well, I just don't remember which.
Cara Mia was awesome!!
His wife if I remember correctly was at the tavern in gladstone when we were there.
Given how turnover is in restaurants- they both very easily could be elsewhere now.
Ok- lets find them and use our collective connections to help find them a place to reopen and flourish!
I know my wife would be ecstatic. :)
Just make sure if you have bellas gifts cards bring them in is the same owner the rip a lot people off and left with let his customers know and make sure not to buy gifts cards he may leave again
From their Facebook page:
Coming soon to Main Street, Hackettstown! Toscana Ristorante Italiano will feature homemade pastas, brick oven pizza, house-baked bread, delicious desserts, and more! Toscana will also use locally grown ingredients to create authentic Italian flavor. Gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian dishes will also be included on the menu. Toscana is BYOB. Please like and share our page! Stay tuned for a preview of our menu, and opening date!
Link to page:
I spoke with the owner yesterday and he hopes to open next week. The place looked great inside. Wish them the best of luck for much success.
I was introduced to and spoke to the owner, Sal, and his wife a couple of days ago. Sal is Italian from NYC. The Pastas will all be homemade which I was happy to hear. It sounds like it will be a great dining destination as is James on Main, Pandan, etc. Sal said the entire inside has been redone which sounds good. The long counter (which never made any sense when it was Emma's) is gone. I "think" Toscana may be opening next week.
Not cool to sell gift cards knowing you are closing. Gutsy to come back to same town where you stole from people before.
Cafe Azzurro in Peapack is very good. We go all the time. Great outdoor seating. Have never tried Il Monello because it never looks like anyone is there.
Another place that has very good Italian is Focacceria in Basking Ridge. Homemade pasta. Great shrimp fra diavolo, which is one of my favorites.
"Not cool to sell gift cards knowing you are closing." Timmy please tell me what you mean by this. I do not understand - the owners were open under another restaurant name?
I think Timmy is saying that they sold gift cards at Bella's and then closed down without giving people that bought them their money back.
It appears so, qwtwqueenie.
If i had one of the Bella gift cards I would most certainly speak to the owner of Toscana to see if he would be willing to at least honor a portion of the old gift cards. His reply would definitely help me determine his moral compass as well as his business practices. I'd bet a nickle his response would be along the lines of I'm not alone in this endeavor therefore I can't help you.". I'm sure he thinks that no one kept gift cards from a defunct restaurant. But who knows maybe he will do the decent thing.
"AFAIK Cara Mia never moved to where Blackstones is. Before it was Blackstones, It was Stumpy's for years."
It was "Smokehouse BBQ" for years between the Stumpy's and Blackstone's incarnations...
Facebook page. The place looks great inside.
Is that the storefront that used to be Hackettstown Sandwich Shoppe? What a difference in decor. It looks fantastic. They've got big shoes to fill from a delicious food standpoint though. I loved that place... ten years later, my wife still raves about their croutons of all things, lol.
Yes, the old Sandwich Shoppe. Seeing the picture, I'm sure some will be complaining about the tables being too close together. It's like that at James on Main and was like that at Cara Mia.
Looking forward to trying it when they open.
The inside looks similar to Benitos in Chester.
Tommy from Cara Mia is at Caffe Navona in Rockaway :). We go there often and love it! Owner there Marco is great. Just far for us to go all the time.
Now Open per their Facebook page:
NOW OPEN: Starting today, Toscana’s will be open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner! From irresistible Gnocchi, Eggplant, Chicken Parmesan - to Pappardelle Bolognese, Toscana’s is serving delicious homemade pasta dishes, seasonal specials, soups, salads and more. Their authentic Italian flavor is brought out by their use of locally grown ingredients, and amazing family recipes. During Lunch Toscana’s will also be serving Thin Crust Brick Oven Pizza. They also have great desserts, likeTiramisu! Visit Toscana’s located at 223 Main Street Hackettstown, NJ (right across from Hometown Hardware.) Please note Toscana’s is BYOB, and offers vegan, vegetarian, and whole wheat options! Enjoy!
Looking forward to trying this place. Decent Italian food in Hackettstown has been a horror show. Not a fan of Mama's at all, Cara Mia was great but no longer.
Any menu available yet?
I couldn't find a link on Facebook but the pictures they showed on there looked amazing! The eggplant looked yummy as well as a mixed seafood over pasta entree. Excited for a new Italian BYO place!
Tried it today. Didn't have time to sit down so called and ask if they do take out, which obviously now they do. Said it would be done in 20 and it was. Owner was very polite and nice to deal with. I ordered a large margarita pizza and my SO order some veal dish I can't remember the name of. It was wrapped in proscuitto and came with mash and veggies in a brown sauce. It came with a salad and bread as well.Both were delicious and at 22 dollars it was very reasonably priced. Will be back to hopefully sit down and enjoy some other dishes.
Yesimpc ---- That's great. Did they have printed take-out menus ready yet?
No take out menu yet. The menu they had available wasn't the full menu either. He said they were being printed. I think maybe Monday?
I had lunch at Toscana today. It was delicious. We had a personal pizza and homemade gnocchi, both were amazing. I'm looking forward to returning for a nice dinner. This will be an awesome addition to our town restaurants.
Take out order for Pasta Fagioli.... absolutely delicious... very authentic!!!!! Already made reservations for December when my son visits from Oregon for Christmas... Sal the owner - Extremely polite -
Does anyone have the phone number for Toscana? I called the number on their Facebook page, (908) 269-8489, and it said that the number was no longer in service. Odd.
Called from my SOs phone when we ordered. When she's off work I'll see what the number was unless it's been answered by then.
I was just there today ay 1:30 and they were closed. They're not open on Saturday for lunch?
Yesimpc - If you can get that number, that would be great.
I tried messaging them through Facebook and they have not responded. This is a post from their page from earlier this week.
November 19 at 12:16 PM · Hackettstown, NJ
NOW OPEN: Starting today, Toscana’s will be open 7 days a week for lunch and dinner!
Looking forward to seeing a menu and trying this new spot!
That number is now working, Calico. He said they had an answering machine issue earlier.
They open at 11:00 for lunch.
Thanks Greg. I just called and was able to get a reservation for later tonight. Review tomorrow.
calico -- make sure to take home a take-out menu so we can all grill you tomorrow!
Can't wait for your review Calico! I plan to go next week & if I like it, will make a reservation for NYE! So far, all the reviews have been positive.
Looking forward to this new place to try but just wanted to say how much my family and I love Mama’s! I have friends who love it for the gluten free options and I have friends who love it for having vegan options! A little pricy but great food!
Went there last night, did have to make a reservation as they were crowded. Very nice family working together, making us feel very welcome. Nice decor including tablecloths. We started out with the fried calamari which always tells us if it is a good restaurant or not and it didn’t disappoint as it was excellent. The home made bread with pesto sauce was delicious as well. I had Pappardelle Bolognese which was excellent. My wife had veal saltimbocca which was terrible.It consisted of one dried out piece of veal. Portions are small(no take home bag needed). I noticed someone’s chicken dish next to us which also looked very small and dried out looking. I would go back for the pasta dishes only at this point. Bill including tip was $60 which is very reasonable of course being a byob helps.
Marisa, everyone attending many community activities sponsored by Mama's has a 5% discount fob; takes a bit off.
Thanks for the review Hadenough. I find that a lot of places are cutting back on the quantity & quality of the veal. It must be very expensive. I guess in terms of dried out food, they are still in their first week of opening so we'll have to cut them some slack.
I actually love everything about Mama's... except the food. I love that it's been here forever, I love that they have a dog friendly patio, that they're family-owned, that they close for a week in the summer so they can go on vacation, that they are well loved in the community, that they have gluten free choices...
I just prefer other Italian (and pizza) to theirs. I don't dislike the place, it's just my last choice for Italian in town. Not everyplace is for everyone, no criticism coming from me.
Actually, the wife & I went a few times to Cafe Baci for live jazz and dinner, it was nice.
Went last night as well. It was very good. We had a chicken dish and one of the specials and both were wonderful. Also, split a salad and that too was good. We will definitely go back. Also, I did bring left overs home.
+1 JeffersonRepub. I feel the exact same way about Mama’s.
Looking forward to trying Toscana.
We had an enjoyable meal there last night. The place looks great and the whole family was working the place. Mom, Dad and sons could not be more pleasant and accommodating. The service was fantastic.
We shared the calamari, for the same reason Hadenough, mentioned above. We can really judge a place on that. It was excellent. It was cooked perfectly and the sauce was delicious with a spicy zing to it. The homemade bread with pesto/oil sauce for dipping was delicious. I had the ricotta gnocchi, hold the prosciutto, and it was good. It was a little heavier than I'm accustomed too for being made with ricotta. The consistency was somewhere between ricotta and potato gnocchi. The pink sauce was very good. My husband had the sea bass special which was cooked perfectly. With tax, before tip, it was just under $56.
We will definitely be back to try some other dishes. I wish them much success.
Awesome reviews Sport & Calico! So glad the place is doing well & serving good food - can't wait to try it!
Tried Mamas twice. Never again. First time cold food. Second time a nice long hair in the pasta. I do like the Enzos in Budd Lake. Reasonably priced with a full bar.
I forgot to add one more point in my review. It would be nice if they could turn the lighting down just a little bit lower. It was somewhat on the brighter side.
My husband & I enjoyed a nice meal tonight at Toscana's. We were greeted with a warm welcome from the owners & we loved the decor & how the tables were spaced out. The bread with the pesto dipping sauce was delish! We shared a meatball app & the burrata app - both were excellent.
The owners were busy as they were working the front of house - they are trying to hire wait staff so if anyone is looking for a job - check them out!
Entree's: My husband got the chicken franchaise which was pounded thin & served with homemade mashed potatoes & veggies. He enjoyed his. I created my own dish - angel hair with the vodka sauce from the gnocchi & I added shrimp. Oh the shrimp - they were so very very small - I've never got such small shrimp in a dish before. While I enjoyed the pasta & sauce I was disappointed in the size of the shrimp. I would have talked to the owners but they were so busy & it's not something I want to discuss in front of a crowded restaurant. If they could only serve normal size shrimp then it'd be fine.
I will definitely go back & try other things as this place is good but I just won't get anything with shrimp.
Really wish there was a menu online, loving all the great reviews but would like to see a menu to know what to order for take out, prices would help too. Has anyone ordered pizza at night or is that just a lunchtime choice?
Bessie- if you google search toscana hackettstown a yelp website will come up and there is reviews on yelp and I seen pictures of their menu that someone uploaded! :) hope that helps you
Also on the Hackettstown Community group page on Facebook there are photos of the menu.
I didn't see any take out menus at all and they really aren't set up for take out IMO. There is no hostess station or anything. Which is a little odd.
Anyway, here are the pics of the menu posted on Yelp.
There are 2 posts that mentioned take out, perhaps you’re right, maybe take out is not part of their plan. Hopefully the owners will post what their plan is as far as take out is concerned. For now, I guess I will have to wait. I will call later to confirm if they offer it or not.
$18 is NOT unreasonable for Chicken Parm if the portion is sized correctly. I've definitely been to Italian restaurants that had Chicken Parm >$18 and <$18. The <$18 restaurants had small portions that came with choice of 1 side only. I actually see nothing wrong with those prices at all.
"$18 for chicken parm?!"
It's a fine dining Italian restaurant, like Cara Mia was, not a pizzeria.
I can't believe that pizzerias are charging that much for chicken parm. It's $14.25 at Little Italy pizzeria near me.
Is the price of chicken and pasta lower for people who run pizzerias? Also, you have to look at the portion sizes when making a price comparison.
I didn’t think $18 was bad for the chicken parm, especially if it’s as good as the reviews I’m seeing.
A few of us went to Toscana lastnight. It was very good! The owners were very accommodating and friendly. table was ready, ice bucket was ready.. I had the chicken francese (best I ever had!) sampled some calamari, homemade meatballs, eggplant parm. lets see what else.. oh... dessert! the bread and pesto dipping oil - delicious. I will go back.. Welcome Toscana!
Re: the great chicken parmigiana pricing debate. It is possible that higher end restaurants procure better quality chicken. They may also have more highly skilled chefs compared to the typical pizzeria. It’s also possible they use better quality cheese, marinara sauce, fresh herbs and breadcrumbs in their preparation.
That said, there are some non chain pizza joints, that don’t look like much, that make killer veal, chicken, seafood and pasta dishes.
I didn't see eggplant parm on the menu ..... was it a special?
So it’s okay for Toscana to charge $18 because it’s fine dining but $2 more at Mama’s makes it obscene? LOL. Okay.
HG - it may have been a special...a friend ordered it... IAni: I was looking at the stuffed eggplant as an appy but I went for the chicken. :) next time I will get that stuffed eggplant item..
They have Stuffed Eggplant on the menu. I don't think anyone mentioned Eggplant Parm... the Facebook post said "... Gnocchi, Eggplant, Chicken Parmesan..." Did you understand that to mean Eggplant Parmesan and Chicken Parmesan? Maybe that's not what they meant.
Edit... sorry, missed darlugh's post above yours. n/m...
Yeahright, I mentioned Mama’s price because it’s comparable, I don’t find either ridiculous as long as it’s good.
"So it’s okay for Toscana to charge $18 because it’s fine dining but $2 more at Mama’s makes it obscene? LOL. Okay."
Mama's or any pizza place should be at least $2 less than an actual restaurant IMO.
Glad to hear the chicken francese is good. Will try that next time. However, it's hard to find a place that makes it better than my husband does.
Amazing!!! We were there tonight with 4 other couples wonderful people who own hard workers food amazing!!!
Sounds like they're gonna need a bigger building eventually with all the good reviews.
Bessie, wasn’t concerned about your posting. Was commenting on/laughing about Calico’s opinion apparently setting the market pricing standards for Italian cuisine in Hackettstown.
We went there again tonight and when we walked in there were 3 tables being occupied and the hostess asked us if we had reservations when we said no she made it like we did something wrong and that we weren’t going to be able to have a table! She said let me see what I can do and we were able to sit. As we were there about 2 more tables came in. In total there were 6 tables being occupied. The food was good again but the experience was a little weird.
"It's $20 at Mama's" ...,ianimal
(for the Chicken Parmesian)
Really? I don't even see Chicken Parmisian on Mama's online menu.
Also, everything is 10% off at Mama's with their loyalty card.
So even if there was a Chicken Parm for $20, it would really cost $18.
OK --- thanks Bessie, somehow I missed that category.
So, it's $18 with the discount.
Weird that calico nit-picks about $2.
Guess she needs it for her beer.
"Prices on Mama’s menus above seem a little steep No?"
Yup, even more so because the food tastes like crap.
calico --- what did you eat at Mamas when you went to the party in October?
I ate at Toscana's on Friday and it was delicious. It started off a little a rough because they didn't have the reservation that I made the previous day. They were able to seat us within 30 minutes though. The owners were super nice, but desperately need to hire some more staff. We were there for over two hours which just seems crazy. I'm sure they could seat more people if they could get to them more quickly. They do have a hiring sign up on their door, so hopefully they can find some good people to help them out.
We ordered the octopus and meatballs as an appetizer. The octopus wasn't bad but the meatballs were fantastic! I had the lasagna, which was one of the specials. I hope it becomes a regular item because it's probably the best I've ever had. Two others in our party got the gnocci which they loved. There was a 4th dish that was ordered, but I can't recall what it was, but I know he loved it too!
Excellent food! You will not be disappointed!
Ate at Tuscana on Main St tonight. Had delicious tender chicken. The sides were good too. Nice atmosphere; owners pleasant. Need reservations. 908 269 8489.
Wondering about takeout and an online menu as well.
Tried Toscana's again last night - amazing!!!!!!! We were a table of 4 & everyone loved their meals - Ceasar salad was awesome- they split 2 salads so that the 4 of us could enjoy. My husband loved his veal. They are taking reservations for NYE - 2 seatings - 6:30 & 8:30. They were slammed last night. They really need additional help. They have been trying to hire wait staff but can't seem to get people to apply. The poor owners were running around all night but when they were at your table, they never showed that they were stressed. A professional operation. Food takes a little time to come out so bring your patience & enjoy a drink while you wait.
I think you can definitely get take out. However, if you order it during the dinner time, note that the food takes some time to come out when dining there so I can imagine it would be the same for takeout. When I was there I did not see any paper menu's & I don't think their menu is online but I know that further up this posting, there are pics of the menu.
Entree's do not come with salad. The chicken & veal dishes come with mashed potatoes & veggies but I am sure you can change it to pasta if you like.
Food is excellent - enjoy!
Company party at Toscana Sunday evening. Everything was great! Very nice people too. I had the gnocchi . . . it was delicious . Definitely gonna go back.
Dinner there last evening... Eggplant parm - fantastico special of lobster and shrimp with linguini - superb - talipia - to die for... Authentic Italian --- does not get any better than this...This place is SPECIAL!!!!!
Went today to have lunch and place was closed. Is it open for lunch?
It is supposed to be open for lunch but I am not sure if they are open every day for lunch.
Lol @Calico, Mama’s is much more than a “pizza place”. If they’re so terrible, how come they’ve been operating for close to 50 years? Sounds like sour grapes to me for someone to bring them up on a post regarding a different restaurant...
BusinessGuy - I wasn't the one who brought them up. If you are going to make a comment toward me at least have your facts straight.
My wife and I, and our two close friends enjoyed a wonderful dining experience at Toscana's last night! The food, service, ambiance all were better than expected. I personally couldn't find one thing to criticize.
Hard to believe, but delighted, that a nice restaurant like Toscana has landed on Main Street in Hackettstown.
Went there tonight for dinner with another couple.
THE DINNER WAS DELICIOUS !!!!!!!!
The prices were reasonable, purchased an appetizer we shared and each had a salad. All four of us had a dinner of different menus.
The food was great, the servers were friendly and the owner came from table to table.
This owner had a restaurant in Califon area, Chester and now here in town.
Recommend this with 5 stars. Try it.
We also went there tonight for dinner and it was delicious!! I wish them the best and know they will do great! Very family oriented everyone was so welcoming!
I also would recommend this at 5 stars. Had the special sea bass. Cooked to perfection, not that expensive for fish of this caliper. Place is decorated well, wait staff is excellent and the owner Sal, comes to each table. Also regarding an earlier post, there was not that long a wait for cooked to order food. Will definitely return
My wife and I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to try out Toscana for dinner last night, figuring a reservation would not be necessary on a Wednesday night. Although we did get in relatively quickly, we were quite surprised to see how crowded it was mid-week.Very, very few empty seats. (Good for them!)
We split one of their salads and a mozzarella en carozza special, both of which were very good. My wife had the Parpadella Bolognese, which was excellent, and I had the Capelli D'Angelo Toscana, which was perfectly prepared, if a bit bland for my personal taste. (That is to say, the fault lies with my palate, not the dish.) Neither of us had room for dessert, but the ones we saw going to other tables looked wonderful.
Service was perfect, and as others have said, the staff was exceptionally friendly and fun. We were very impressed, and will definitely be returning.
A little late in reporting, but we went there New Years Eve with two other couples. The food, service, atmosphere and were outstanding. This is not a typical Italian place, it is a step up and quite honestly comparable to James on Main in quality. The BYOB for our group is actually a big plus as I like bringing local beer (Had a growler from Manskirt and Czig) and we had wine from Italy and France as well as a port for dessert.
We all had different meals and everyone enjoyed it. I personally had the seafood over pasta and it was extraordinary, they also brought me extra bread to soak up the sauce which was too good to eave behind.
If you have not gone, you should. Prices were very fair for the quality of the food, but the quality is very high. We will be back.
Anyone know if the lunch menu is the same or different from the dinner menu?
They have a separate lunch menu, I believe pizzas and sandwich type things are only available lunch time.
Ate there with several others over the weekend - place is attractive and hospitable. The food is fair, nothing to rave about. The Pasta Grill on Rt 57 has superior food, is more reasonable and has a license. Oh well, to each his or her own!
They've been open a long time. I remember going there for the first time in 2008. Entrée I got there one time was mediocre at best. the sandwiches I've gotten there are decent.
Pasta Grill is the first restaurant we dined in when we moved to Hackettstown. (We were staying across the street at the Quality Inn between closings on our houses.) It was perfectly OK, but IMO it's not even in the same ballpark as Toscana. Or even the same ballpark as Mama's, for that matter. But all three places are distinct enough to serve different niches, I think.
“ but all three places are distinct enough to serve different nitches, I think”
I like that Monty
We have been to Toscana twice both in 2019. We had made reservations. They were busy but the service was excellent! Food was delicious! We will return!
We ate at Toscana - with reservations - food was excellent - service friendly and efficient - It's the only Italian restaurant in the area I'll go back to -
I'm hoping we enjoy it as much as we did the first time 3wb.
Jessie - There is no menu online that I have ever seen. They do not have a website. There are a couple pics on Yelp. I believe they are the same photos posted in this thread.
I went with a couple of friends on Sunday and it was fantastic. It was packed for a Sunday night and I think some people without reservations were turned away. The family that runs the place is so lovely and accommodating.
Everything we had was delicious. Fettuccine bolognese, gnocci, eggplant parm. The tiramisu is a homemade specialty.
Was the eggplant parm a special? I don't see it on their regular menu unless what I'm looking at is not current.
It was on the regular menu, happiest girl. I think they've made some changes to their menu since those photos posted up thread.
Guess business is booming. Tried to make a reservation on Friday and they are booked.
Husband and I and another couple enjoyed Toscana. We each had a different meal and all were excellent+. The atmosphere is good, the owners are very nice as are the efficient servers one of which is Sal's Son. The 4 dinners were: eggplant parm, gnocci, raviolis, and a shrimp dish. Two of us had salads (salads are not included with the dinner) and both salads were excellent. The bread was great also. Reservations are definitely recommended. Toscana is now one of our go to Italian Restaurants.
Good thing I made reservations for this Saturday, called Monday for them and most time slots were taken. Really looking forward to trying this place out.
I have no idea where to even begin. After the second time dining there, Toscana has become our favorite restaurant in Warren County, even surpassing James on Main. The atmosphere and service are beyond words and the food is nothing short of fabulous. The family is so welcoming and gracious it's amazing.
My husband ordered the beef carpaccio and the branzino, I ordered a Caesar salad and the eggplant parmigiana. All were superb.
The carpaccio was sliced super thin and cooked perfectly and greatly complemented by an arugula salad. The Caesar salad was extra fresh and had delicious slices of shaved parmesan cheese. The branzino was expertly cooked and served over spinach and artichokes. The eggplant was sliced so very thin and was cooked to perfection. It came with a side of angel hair pasta tossed with a pomodoro sauce. Fantastic!
We ordered a slice of the pistachio ricotta cake to split for dessert. Heaven! So light and not super sweet. Direct quote from my husband to the owner, "This may have been the best piece of cake I have ever eaten in my life!"
We are so fortunate that this restaurant has chosen Hackettstown to set up their business. I am already looking forward to dining there again. The prices are very reasonable for the quality of the food you are served. It was more than just a meal, it was a true dining experience. The intervals of service were perfect.
If you have been on the fence about trying it, get off that fence right now and make a reservation. You won't be disappointed.
Cara who? ;-)
I really can’t wait to take my fiancé there! I’m happy to read all of the wonderful reviews of this restaurant in our little town!!
"The carpaccio was sliced super thin and cooked perfectly..."
Meaning, not at all? (-;
Great review, though... we'll have to make the trek up there soon. Thanks, Calico. Happy V-Day...
ianimal - That should have said prepared. :-)
Happy V-Day to you and Sheanimal as well.
Went this Saturday for first time. Place was packed with line out the door. Nothing much to say other than The food was fantastic. It's a diamond in the rough and you will not find Italian food like this anywhere close by. Very affordable and a great family owned business.
Your body needs salt to function properly. But the right kind of salt. Hopefully as this restaurant seems to be such high quality, they use good salt .... such as celtic or pink himalayan.
@ Happiestgirl: The most important aspect of salt is whether it is iodized! Be it Himalayan, pink, Celtic or Morton’s, Iodine supplementation is crucial in order to avoid thyroid goiter.
Salt yes, but not too much, as not only does it figure highly in hypertension (high blood pressure). Also too much salt can throw off your Sodium/Potassium balance which can lead to major and immediate health issues. Some people actually just add salt before even tasting their food, which is extremely counterproductive. This is all not a factor of what "kind" of salt, nor whether or not it's iodized or not. The iodine is needed for proper thyroid function, but too much sodium can kill you - literally.
I'm surprised that if using "regular" salt, places don't use "light salt" which is a combination of Na & K salts. Yes, it's likely slightly more expensive and has a bit more "bite" to it than regular salt, but it's healthier. By the way, most sports drinks suck in this respect. I would like to see an analysis of the "Celtic". "Himalayan", "Sea" or other boutique salts to see exactly what their Na/K ratio is as well as trace element/mineral profile is. THAT will tell you what their real value (if any) is.
Well, too much, as well as too little salt is detrimental to health.
Sea salts contain many trace minerals including potassium.
Table salt is processed and contains no minerals. It's pure sodium chloride with some man-made chemicals so it doesn't clump.
Iodine is in common foods like milk & yogurt, eggs, fish, seaweeds, etc.
One could also obtain iodine via supplements if one doesn't eat iodine-containing foods.
Had dinner there this evening. Was impressed how nice the place looked (last time I was there it was the Indian restaurant). Food was excellent, the servers were all very nice and professional.
Both my wife and I think it is better than James on Main when considering ambiance, price, and food. I still like the Churrsascaria (sp?) place for best I town but my wife prefers Toscana. Will definitely be back again.
Anyone see this on NJ.com? Toscana is on their list of new restaurants to try. Nice to see a Warren County restaurant on a list. https://expo.nj.com/life-and-culture/g66l-2019/03/51c5c84cfb5603/the-29-new-nj-restaurants-you-need-to-try-this-spring.html
That's awesome Bessie. Thanks for posting the article. I just hope people don't start flocking into town in droves to try it. It's better to keep these great little places to ourselves. ;-)
Just wanted to share my experience at Toscana's tonight because I think that it could be helpful to others and possibly save someone who has allergies from a very bad situation. I would love to give this place a great review because I think the owner is so nice and the food is very good BUT they DO NOT take food allergies seriously. Two of my children are highly allergic to nuts. I over emphasized this multiple times. We ordered ice cream for dessert. To be safe we asked not once, not twice but FIVE times to double check and make sure that it was safe. They told us over and over that it was fine. When my daughter got to the center of the ice cream it was filled with crushed nuts! Thank goodness we had our EPI pen and are close to a hospital. They did not seem overly concerned and they compensated us by not charging us for the nut infested desert that could have killed our young child. So glad that I saved the $4. Wonder what the hospital bill is going to be. If you have food allergies do not go here as they do not take it seriously enough. How could you be so unaware of what you are serving your guests? Very disappointed as we planned on this being our new family favorite restaurant in town.
Concerned, thanks for the head’s up as I, too, have a food allergy. I hope your daughter is okay!
There are plenty of foods I just won’t order because of the potential risk of exposure. So many times I have asked about ingredients only to find out people have no idea what is in the food being served. And I’m not talking about an obscure ingredient either. I have a common allergy, or at least to the FDA it is...
Restaurants really need to do a better job describing their dishes and educating their staff on whether key allergens may be present.
@concerned I’m sorry for your little ones. I hope they are feeling better :)
@concerned - sorry you had that experience. I have no allergies but if I did (or any of the company I was with did) I would appreciate your feedback.
I went last night for the 1st time - What GREAT/FANTASTIC service we experienced. They made me feel quite special and so glad we went..Wishing them all the best!
NO Bessie, jeans are NOT appropriate !!
This is an "upscale" place. If you go there, then dress "upscale".
^ While a nice place, I believe jeans with a nice dress shirt is appropriate attire (and is what I wore when I went there).
wear whatever you like - I have not observed any dress code there.................
Just got back from a wonderful birthday dinner with Clyde and jeans were seen in an abundance, even saw a Wolfpack sweatshirt. The owner told me they wanted to make it feel homey and they succeeded. I had Chicken Milanese, Clyde had Fettuccine Bolognese, both delicious. We shared appetizers, and had to have Pasta Fagioli, one of the best I’ve ever had. So wear those jeans and give this local place a try if you haven’t already.
Happy Birthday again, Clyde! I'm so glad you both enjoyed. My husband and I wear jeans there, with decent shoes and shirts.
I was looking forward to your review, Bessie. Glad you enjoyed it. Happy Birthday, Clyde!
Agreed this is the best Italian joint you will find in atleast a 20mile radius. Lucky they landed in hackettstown
Delicious food, nice ambiance, everyone attentive and goes out of their way to make you feel welcome.
We were a party of 4 and everything we had, from our appetizers, entrees and desserts were top notch. Their homemade pasta's are phenomenal. One in our party had a pasta special with shrimp and the shrimp were gigantic and there were so many he was sharing them with us. We all agreed we will definately be eating here often.
Tip: Get the meatball appetizer and the tiramisu for dessert, you will thank me.
Laurel, we had the meatball appetizer and I had the tiramisu. Both were excellent!
My fiancé and i are going here for our two year anniversary April 30th . Is it byob?
Thanks for posting the menu picks.
Get a website, not a bad facebook or yelp photo menus, takeout, you have a great loading zone.....
Can’t wait to get there.......now that I found a menu....
Yes, it's BYOB. Enjoy your anniversary dinner and be sure to give your thoughts afterward.
We went to Toscana twice last week. Best to make reservation. The atmosphere is charming. The family who owns it are great, very friendly and accommodating. The food is excellent. Appetizers we had were eggplant rollatini - fantastic. And mussels marinara really fresh & good sauce. Both times food was excellent. They have had several prior restaurants in Peapack, then Chester all successful. I am happy to have a fine dining restaurant here in Hackettstown. It’s BYOB. The prices are good for what is served. Good cappuccino and owner Shakira makes the best Tiramisu. Enjoy! We need more of these type restaurants in town!!
So we went tonight and had an amazing experience. I got the chicken francaise and my fiancé got Chicken Parm . We split the meatball appetizer special which was delicious too. We are definitely going back . Everything was fresh . Portions were good and weren’t small . Owners are really nice and overall good atmosphere
Finally got to try out tonight. This place was great. Food was fresh and delicious. Service was spot in. We will be back for sure. So awesome to have establishments like this on mainstreet. Much like James on main the keep it small with great food and service is the way to go.
Went yesterday. A little pricey but very, very good. Stands out good!
I believe we have quite the restaurant district; take that big box America!
I respect your opinion But you are in the minority Check out the Parking Lot for Dinner at Mama's Café Baci especially Thursday Friday and Saturday. It is Packed !
I enjoy both Toscana and Mama's Café Baci
+1 Lion...not only that but often they have a parking lot attendant to handle the heavy traffic. We love to split a Duet and the triple-ap for a nice variety, smaller portions, meal. Saves some $$$ too.
Well said Lion. We as a community need to respect our town and business not disrespect :)
“Well said Lion. We as a community need to respect our town and business not disrespect :)”
What does that have to do with giving an opinion?
Lefty likes Toscana better than Mama’s..I don’t see any disrespect with his opinion.
I never mentioned disrespect from Lefty But is a minority opinion
Mama's Café Baci is one of the longest continuous operating restaurant/pizzerias in the area Opened in the early 1970's !! I will go to Toscana this weekend and enjoy and soon to Café Baci
I had lunch here today. Wow... Some good chicken parm! Best I've had in a long time.
Still need to try Toscana. No respecting Italian likes Mama's. It's overpriced junk. But to each their own. I've been there too many times to give it another try. It's a tick better than Olive Garden. It's no Eccola, La Strada, or even Café Fiori or Forte. It's not even close. It may be packed but so is Olive Garden. Means nothing.
That's true Don. Applebees is usually packed for dinner too. Doesn't make it great food.
Agree with both of you. Mama's definitely fails to deliver good Italian food. MAybe there pizza is ok.
had another yummy dinner with friends at Toscana - never had a yummy meal at Mamas
First time at Toscana last night for dinner, food and service both excellent! The sea bass special was delicious, also the meatballs, asparagus appetizer and homemade ravioli. Looking forward to the next time.
The food and service is excellent ... my family of 4 highly recommends ... sea bass was amazing ...
Toscana, Mama's, similar but different. Like apples n oranges, both fruit.....
One man's honey is another's poison. Different strokes for different folks. My Mother used to blow her nose with two bricks.
Mama's parking lot says either you're wrong or lots or people, and I mean a big lots, lots of people have no taste ---- IYO, not mine.
And I like both --- for different reasons --- for different times. I mean the pear/gorgonzola pillows with the cream sauce ---- come on, that's always a winner. The duets, perfect for smaller portions and sharing --- evolutionary! Mama's has much going for it.
As does Toscana ---- but different.
Well said... Lion and StrangerDanger
Honestly, for my family and many of our friends Mamas has been our go to place . Professional service ,great atmosphere and quality food with so many selections . We had a friend recently visit from out of town
that is vegan. She could not stop raving about the food and extensive menu. . Our family especially loves it there when there is live entertainment .
Hope you have your 5% off key fob. All the townies supporting local orgs. have them. ;-)
The Mama's discount card gives 10% off (not 5%). The card is free.
There is also the Hackettstown Baseball card that you can get from a HS student ..... that also gives 10% off at Mamas, as well as various other discounts from other pizzerias ... Davila's, Franks, Pronto, Pasta Grill. Other places on the card as well, like Philly Pretzel, Kilhaney's Pickles, Hackettstown Pet Supply, etc.
The card costs $15 and is good thru March 2020.
3 weeks ago
We had another wonderful meal at Toscana last night. I had the chicken parm and my husband had the chicken milanese. We each had a Caesar salad as well. The service couldn't have been better, warm and inviting as usual. The food was delicious. There is nothing like fresh, prepared to order food. This is the best Italian restaurant in Warren County for sure.
There's very few REAL Italian restaurants in the USA, period. Most are Sicilian. REAL Italian, Northern Italian, is the real deal. Not tomato sauce slopped on pasta, or sausages baked in an over with sauce and cheese. lmao
So Sicily isn't part of Italy? Italy, just like many other countries, has regional differences in cuisine. That doesn't negate the fact that they're ALL Italian. I could understand you stating that people don't understand the complexity and nuances of the true variety of Italian regional cuisines, because they haven't had the opportunity to try them, but to just talk smack about Sicily and go on to state that Northern Italian cooking is "the real deal" discounts Sicilian and all the other regional cuisines of Italy.
I'm not going to make any assumptions beyond that, but I've known people from Northern Italy who stated the same type thing and mentioned they were more like the Austrians, etc. and looked down upon those from Southern Italy, especially Sicily, including saying some prime rude derogatory comments that don't belong in polite conversation. I hope you're proud of the cuisine from that area, perhaps because your ancestors are from there (?) but not of that ilk that would have to denigrate others food, etc.
More to my point that people have no idea what Italian is. So they go to Olive garden and Mama's and get chicken parm with linguini. Nothing against chicken parm, I just don't consider it a true Italian dish, although it may be. It's something I can make at home so I wouldn't order it out. Unfortunately in this area, there are lots of restaurants claiming to be Italian, most are average at best.
IMHO: excellent posts by SD and Phil D. There are times when I look at and comment on an HL thread; not often do I comment but once-in-awhile, and this is my once-in-awhile. Toscana's, Mama's, Branda's, Benitos, etc, etc, all Italian Restaurants (and there are others in the general area.) ALL of these restaurants gravies, sauces etc. are Italian cookery, but may have originated from different areas of Italy. I've had family who've come from Calabria, Sicily, Naples - all with some cookery/recipe/how to make a gravy/sauce, etc., and they are Different from one another. I, personally, never go by a recommendation to eat at or stay away from a restaurant based on somebody else's opinion whether it be HL or a friend or my family. I wonder how many (if any) folks have stayed away from a restaurant based on "somebody's else's opinion." I always like to form my own personal opinion, and not be influenced by somebody else because I may like the place somebody else disparages. Anyhow, Happy Eating at whatever restaurant You enjoy.
My wife and I consider ourselves foodies in the broadest possible sense, Which is to say we enjoy dining across the entire gamut, whether cooking at home or dining out, from a $10 diner meal to a $350 meal at Morimoto, and everything in between. Never once have I sat down to a meal, anywhere at home or abroad, and thought to myself, "Hmmm. This is not authentic." I only care if it's good or not. Everything else is secondary.
"I wonder how many (if any) folks have stayed away from a restaurant based on "somebody's else's opinion." "
For me, it depends on whose opinion. I wouldn't stay away from a place because of a few random people's opinions. If it was the opinion of a friend or family member that I know shared my same tastes, I would heed the warning and not waste my time. Additionally, if it was someone I knew who raved about places that I have tried and hated, I would not go anywhere they raved about in the future.
My wife and I ate at Toscana on Saturday night. Veal saltibbuco and gnocchi were top notch dishes. Tiramisu for dessert was delectable. We found the family/staff to be absolutely pleasant. They really seem like they enjoy what they do. I believe I consumed about 3/4 loaf of their delicious homemade bread. We will be back soon. This is definitely our new place to go.
Leave a Reply
To comment on this topic, fill out the form below. If you would like to comment directly to one person, you may click on the envelope next to the posters name if they provided their email.