Featured Restaurant: Tuscany il Ristorante

Written by Scott Squires

October 12, 2016

tuscany-restaurant-aboutThe Tuscan theme is clearly a favorite architectural style in Westlake Village. Many homes feature natural stones, wrought iron, and terra cotta floor and roof tiles, capturing the classic beauty of traditional Mediterranean homes.

Westlake Village residents’ love for things Tuscan does not end in architecture, however. It also extends to their preferred cuisine. One restaurant, in particular, has caught the fancy of many Westlake Village residents and guests that it has become a must-visit place for anyone in the vicinity.

The restaurant, aptly named Tuscany il Ristorante, has earned a reputation beyond the Westlake Village borders, not only for the exquisite food on its menu, but also for its excellent service.

Located at 968 Westlake Boulevard, Tuscany il Restorante is right in the middle of a bustling commercial district, along with other popular establishments.

Meet the chef

Tuscany il Restorante is owned by its head chef Tommaso Barletta, a native of the village of Monopoli on the southeast coast of Italy.

As a child, Tommaso was inspired by his aunt Rita and uncle Giovanni, who had a farm in their hometown. When he was 15, Tommaso enrolled in an Italian Culinary Institute, and went on to become an apprentice of Charles Vigny, who was the head chef at the Les Flot Bleu in Provence, France, and Lake Maggiore near Milan, Italy.

To expand his culinary learnings, Tommaso traveled to England, Spain, and finally, to Los Angeles, where he co-owned and started a few restaurants and cafes.

In 1987, he opened Tuscany il Restorante in Westlake to much success, which it continues to enjoy to this day.

In 2001, Tommaso opened the casual-concept Rustico Restaurant in Oak Park, and, just like Tuscany il Restorante, it has been embraced by the neighborhood and frequented by visitors.

Praise and accolades

Tuscany il Restorante has received considerable praise and recognition from its many discriminating customers. Here are some of the accolades the restaurant has gained:

  • Voted one of the 50 Best Restaurants in LA by Zagat subscribers, getting high ratings for food, décor and service
  • Voted one of the top 12 LA restaurants with the best service by Zagat subscribers
  • OpenTable Diner’s Choice Winner for 2015  
  • Rated 4.5/5 by Trip Advisor reviewers

On the menu

Tuscany il Ristorante serves upscale Italian cuisine, as has been envisioned by Tommaso. Favorites here include prime charcoal broiled “aged” New York steaks, pastas served the Tuscan way, seafood cocktails, and many more.

Reviewers have described the menu as creative and balanced, using fresh ingredients from vegetables to seafood.

The restaurant also has an impressive wines list, featuring award-winning wines from around the world.

About Rustico Ristorante Italiano

Chef Tommaso opened Rustico Ristorante Italiano in 2001 at 1125 Lindero Canyon Road, Westlake Village.

As with Tuscany il Ristorante, Rustico also offers excellent Italian dishes and award-winning wines. But while Tuscany has a classy, formal vibe, Rustico has adopted a casual and relaxed atmosphere. The mountain views add to the easy-going feel of the restaurant, evoking the serenity of the Italian countryside.

Rustico offers a changing menu as it makes use of the freshest ingredients in season. It also serves thin crust pizza baked in a wood burning oven – something you won’t find in its upscale cousin, Tuscany.

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