Hubs and I were craving some Italian one evening and decided to tick off Tuscany Courtyard from our must eat places list. It had been there far too long and this was a great opportunity to do. Being firm believers in green parenting, we have majorly cut down on eating out; not only due to the lack of healthy options but also to instill good eating habits in our children. However, we do allow rare cheat days for Baby G and even on those occasions, we make sure she has a filling meal before heading out so her appetite for junk is limited which is mostly what she asks for.
Tuscany Courtyard is easy to spot and stands out due to its unique exteriors despite being located in the food hub of Lahore. Tuscany, as we know, is where the Renaissance Movement kicked off and the owners have done a good job in emulating the whole Italian villa vibe with the interiors and the use of cool earthen colors. You’re immediately hit by tasteful elegance when you enter the eatery. From the frescos, dim lighting, decor to the bricked archways , the interiors mimic an Italian villa closely. It was close to 10pm when we arrived, not too busy at all and the weather was perfect for outdoors.
The menu is varied and includes everything from soups to steaks, Italian entrees, Pizzas, Pastas, Panini and claims to offer the authentic Italian taste. We were served the complimentary Salsa Bread with Tomato Sauce until we decided what to order and it was absolutely delish! The sauce complimented the bread perfectly and set us in the right mood for the food we were about to order.
Baby G was quick to order fries for herself which the waiter promptly got for her. We asked the waiter for their top menu choices and following his advice, Mr. G ordered the very special Fettuccine Alfredo and Pollo Jalapeno Pizza while I ordered the Southwest Steak and Cheese Panini.
The fries were perfect and Baby G loved and devoured all of them – with the help of Mr. G of course who just cannot resist fries. The pasta was perfectly creamy and the portion size was good. Mr. G ordered the pizza just in case he didn’t find his pasta filling enough LOL but he agreed that the portion was generous and asked me to help him finish it off which I’m glad I did because my order never arrived. The pizza was thin crust and good too- not the best we’d had but pretty good.
Oh well ! – here we go. It was a cool November night with just the right dose of chilliness; absolutely perfect for some warm, steamy Italian food. We requested to be seated outside since the courtyard was almost empty and there was no one smoking around. We had just been seated indoors, had not been served and so only had to move ourselves. However, we were informed that it was a smoking zone and on pointing out that there was no one smoking there; the manager just shook his head apologetically and informed us that the area was closed. Well, we could’ve brushed that off had we not faced other service mishaps.
We placed our order which arrived much quicker than expected. But then, quite shockingly, the waiter disappeared. We had to ask someone else for water and when we enquired about my order (we were almost done by then); another waiter came to inform us that they had “forgotten” to serve the Panini and we could now order dessert if we wished. This was quite appalling because:
A) I would’ve expected much better service from a restaurant that claims to be one of the best in town.
B) It wasn’t very busy at all, in fact there were just two other families besides us at the time so “forgetting” really was a poor excuse.
C) They should’ve had the courtesy to inform us that certain dishes could not be ordered, on time.
D) At the very least, the guy serving us should’ve come to inform us of it and certainly not when we were finished.
So, yes the experience was atrocious and the service- pretty poor. We really wanted to try the skillet brownie but decided against it and left after having coffee.
Baby G was perfectly happy with her fries but there are other fairly healthy kid-friendly options on the menu. But I guess they don’t offer kids’ sized portions. A high chair was available for my toddler and the server was friendly and kind enough to listen to her requests before he pulled off the disappearing act.
Yes the food is good, not the very best but not quite average too. The ambience is great, however, if you’re paying as much as you are at Tuscany, you expect top-notch service. They are a service provider and if they lack poorly in this department, then they make the whole experience worthless. I really was looking forward to eating here but I’m not sure if I’d even care to visit again.
PS: I wasn’t planning to write a review when I visited the restaurant so unfortunately, I didn’t take any pics. Besides, I really like to enjoy my food and the entire experience without the distractions of music and cameras. why do I bring up the music? The music was anything but Italian- ranging from Arabic to English to Spanish – not that it bothered me but I’m glad it was turned down low because I don’t like music blasting in my ears while I eat.