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Good Eats: Visit Salem, NH’s Tuscan Kitchen to enjoy hand crafted pastas, sauces and more!

By on October 28, 2014

tuscan-kitchen-1I can’t believe that there was ever a time that I thought, “is there really that much of a taste difference in homemade pasta?” While this point of view may be shared by many people, it only takes one visit to Tuscan Kitchen in Salem, NH to open your eyes to the benefits of hand crafted pastas and sauces and house made breads. Tuscan Kitchen has become an incredibly popular restaurant since it opened in 2010. It’s first expansion was to include the Tuscan Market on the other side of the parking lot. The market has a cafe – style restaurant with an area that includes their house made gelato. Next to that is their bakery with many assorted and delicious Italian pastries as well as a full service deli with imported cold cuts. The market includes everything you would hope for by the name including ready made versions of some of the sauces and meats found on their menu. There are many imported items filling the display tables with everything from nuts to flour to pasta and even a room showcasing their wine selections. They often offer everything from chef demos to wine tastings. All in all it is a great visit before or after your meal.

tuscan-kitchen-4Rudy and I frequent Tuscan Kitchen and always have a wonderful experience. Bread is the first thing that is delivered to the table, one being a deliciously crusty bread and the other a buttery, moist ciabatta along with olive oil for dipping. For our appetizer on this visit we ordered the Prosciutto Di Parma. This appetizer comes out on a piece of parchment paper layered over a wooden cutting board to illustrate the dish’s rustic charm. The fritto that came with it was warm with a croissant-like consistency and taste but with a slight crunch on the exterior. On one edge it had a seam that would easily open up to layer in the fig jam and prosciutto. The fig jam was sweetened to perfection and paired impeccably with the cured saltiness of the prosciutto inside the warm fritto. It was a perfect appetizer, and yet I could picture having it every morning for breakfast, too!

tuscan-kitchen-5I ordered the Sweet Pea and Mascarpone Agnolotti as my entree. Agnolotti is very similar to a ravioli and their version is a thin sheet of their house made pasta folded over a sweet pea and mascarpone filling. It was sitting in what is called a Burro Fuso which is a thin sauce made of melted butter and fontina cheese. The light flavor of the peas mixed with the rich mascarpone inside the agnolotti created a velvety, pillowy texture. The small bits of slightly browned onions on top of the dish pulled all of the flavors together in a roasted, salty way.

My boyfriend, Rudy, ortuscan-kitchen-6dered the Canneloni Di Vitello. This hearty dish came to our table still steaming hot and smelling like perfectly braised veal. The rosemary pasta was the perfect accent to the delectable taste and the fall apart in your mouth texture of the veal. Atop these long veal-filled sheets of house made pasta was a white bean mista that pulled all of the flavors together. A mista is traditionally a mixed salad of the ingredients of your choosing and their version with white beans and small cubes of mouthwatering pancetta was the perfect accent to this exquisite dish.

The ambiance of this three floor restaurant is perfect with fireplaces and a bar on each of the top two floors as well as the availability to section off parts of the restaurant for private parties. The lower level includes a wine cellar which can also be used for private parties and for functions that the restaurant holds. Tuscan Kitchen is the premier dining spot in New Hampshire and the North Shore for Italian cuisine and has now expanded to a new location in Burlington, MA.

Team Dettore and Trull are REALTORS with Berkshire Hathaway Verani Realty, serving the greater New Hampshire Seacoast area.  Rudy and Hannah enjoy trying new restaurants and frequently re-visiting their favorites.

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