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-square-foot, 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…