Tuscan July

Miami Spice has proven such a successful promotion tool that each year we see more and more restaurants stretch it out by creating their own similarly priced specials for the month of July. Like Miami Spice, the deal’s worthiness is wholly dependent upon what kind of menu is being offered -- and let’s be honest, many of the Spice deals are hardly deals at all. We’ll ignore those, but during the next month will make mention of some specials that really are special.

Like Tuscan Steak’s Tuscan Summer Nights. What makes this noteworthy is that there are four courses (the usual number is three) being offered for the Spice price of $39, as well as a glass of decent wine (Sauvignon Blanc, Red Cliffe, New Zealand, 2006; Pinot Grigio, Caposaldo, Veneto, 2006; Neprica, Tormaresca, Puglia, 2006; Piedirosso, Lacryma Chrisi del Vesuvio, Campania, 2004; or Cabernet Sauvignon, Jekel, Central Coast 2005). Choice of first course is salad Caprese or fried rock shrimp with calamari, olives and zucchini preserved in lemon aioli. Spaghetti carbonara, gnocchi, or penne Bolognese comes next, followed by either grouper, roasted half chicken, or a ten-ounce char-grilled flat iron steak. (plus accompaniments). Dessert is chocolate and vanilla bread pudding with Balvenie single malt scotch-infused caramel sauce.

Another appealing part of this promotion is that it’s available every night (Sunday through Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 6 to 11 p.m.). Other July specials I’ve seen, with three courses and no wine, are restricted to non-weekend nights. Cheapskates!

- Lee Klein

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