Successful New York City based duo April Bloomfield and business partner Ken Friedman revived Tosca Cafe, an iconic North Beach Italian restaurant and bar that dates to 1919. Chef Josh Even is leading efforts in the kitchen of this classic spot, printing the menu daily. His crew gets a workout, making pasta, large format proteins, and seasonal sides. Tosca’s tagline is “innovative and fresh Italian cuisine,” which gets expressed starting with Antipasti.
In pretty much any Sichuan appetizer cold case, you’ll find pig ears sliced, tossed with chile oil and touting tongue tingling ma la. At Tosca Cafe, you’ll find Pressed Pig Ears ($6) seasoned and dressed with olive oil. You still get the pig part’s signature cartilage crunch, minus the palate rattling spice. That could either be positive or negative, depending on your preference, but considering Tosca Cafe piles on bold flavors later in the meal, I didn’t mind early restraint.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.