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Marilyn Hagerty: Authentic fare with excellent service at Toscana

My trip south took me with friends to Fargo on a cold January day. Give me a long, relaxed lunch any time. I would prefer it to a late dinner. So authentic Italian fare combined with excellent service made this outing a memorable event.

I was spending the day with Lillian Elsinga (LE) and Susie Shaft (SS). Our destination was Toscana, and we settled into comfortable chairs at a table in this strictly Italian restaurant with seating for 85.

The menu here is extensive and straightforward, easy to read. There are mussels and calamari listed as appetizers along with frog legs. From the list of soup and salad, I chose lobster and shrimp bisque ($6.99).

Sun-dried tomatoes are the winter option for Chef Mirco Morganti, who came from Italy 14 years ago with his wife, Charlene. He said he has stuck to his mission of providing unique, trustworthy fare.

Along with his gluten free sauces, the menu offers four versions of chicken breast along with Canadian walleye and fresh Atlantic salmon.

Many restaurants are open in downtown Fargo with what the chef calls "weird hours."

"We are not a bar. We do not live on drinks. We close on holidays," he said.

Prices are in the $10 range for lunch and $14 to $30 for dinner.

Toscana

202 Broadway, Fargo

Owner and chef: Mirco Morganti

Hours: 11 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. Monday through Thursday with 8:30 p.m. closing Friday. Open 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sundays and holidays.

Reservations: (701) 235-9100

Report card: With seating for 85 and an Italian chef as owner, Toscana is a restaurant where patrons find authentic fare along with fine service.

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