Via Toscana’s Excellent Happy Hour Cuisine

Chef-made fare, fine ambiance & moderate prices in Louisville

P1020002Via Toscana is located in a standard suburban strip mall on Louisville’s busy McCaslin Boulevard, but other than the storefront, there’s nothing sandard about it. Enter through the heavy doors, and find  what was once a casual place mainly popular with the lunch crowd from nearby office buildings that is now an atmospheric Italian restaurant with reasonable prices and excellent food. At happy hour, Via Toscana is a real bargain for excellent Italian dishes rather than regular old pub fare that prevails elsewhere early in the evening. Happy hour is served in the bar — meaning at the bar, at high-top tables and cozy booths.

Low lights, lots of wood, white tablecloths and such other trappings of a serious restaurant were admirably created on what seems to have been a budget with economical plywood and off-the-shelf moldings, all stained an attractive walnut. A lot of exotic wood was spared with no sacrifice of appearance. This is a moderately priced restaurant with very good food. Little wonder, for chef Eric Johnson, captain of the kitchen, spent eight years at the Flagstaff House, ending his stint there as chef de cuisine — and there’s no better Colorado culinary credential than the Flagstaff House.

Lightly dressed Casear salald, ample for one and shareable by two.
Lightly dressed Casear salald, ample for one and shareable by two.
Rich and creamy risotto topped with a trio of grilled shrimp.
Rich and creamy risotto topped with a trio of grilled shrimp.
Hoouse-made gnocchi with marinara, fresh mozzarella and a bit of pesto.
House-made gnocchi with marinara, fresh mozzarella and a bit of pesto.
A scoop of deeply flavored gelato, whatever the flavor, is a perfrect cap to a happy hour selection or a full dinner.
A simple scoop of deeply flavored gelato, whatever the flavor, is a perfect end to a happy hour selection or a full dinner.

Price check: At happy hour, small plates are $1-$5. Happy hour gelato is $1 per scoop.

Via Toscana on Urbanspoon

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