Villa Toscana, 179 Brockley Road

Having spent the last few weeks getting the restaurant up to speed, and earning some decent reviews from BCers in the process, Villa Toscana's manager Susan Caroleo has spoken to us about the new Brockley Road venue.

Having been through a few recent incarnations in recent years, the new place has prompted more reader questions than most places in the area, so she's taken the opportunity to address them and tell us more about the restaurant:

How would you describe Villa Toscana to someone who'd never been?

Villa Toscana Restaurant is a modern Italian restaurant, serving fresh and authentic dishes.  Our speciality dishes include

- Bocconcini di pescatrice in umido con pancetta affumicata, salsa al limone e fagiolini  (Medallions of monkfish wrapped in smoked pancetta, lemon sauce and steamed french beans) and also
- Costolette d’ agnello alla piastra con rattatuia al profumo di menta (Grilled lamb cutlet with minted ratatouille)

At the same time we have a fantastic choice on our a la carte menu, with also weekly specials available.

What are your opening hours?

We are open at present from Wednesday – Saturday 5.30pm – 11.30pm, and Sunday 12Noon – 6.00pm, with Monday and Tuesday closed.  We are available for hire, for any type of function or party.  We will also be opening this year Christmas Day & Boxing Day.

What are your contact details?

Our website is www.restaurantvillatoscana.co.uk, you can email us at info@restaurantvillatoscana.co.uk, and of course we can be found on Twitter and Facebook.

Who's in the team?

Our Head Waiter Alexandro, is in charge of the floor, and Head Chef Mauro in charge of the kitchen, who between the both have extensive experience in Italian restaurants at the highest level, and which will ensure that our customers will have the best in food and service.  This is a completely different team from when it was run as La Lanterna, although the owners are the same.

What happened with 'Alby's Place'?

When Lanterna closed down, and refurbishment work started on the building we unfortunately found out that the building was unsafe and therefore the amount of work and money that was need to rectify the problem was immense, which is why unfortunately has taken so long to re-open.

We had on completion agreed to rent the premises out to a company that was going to run the business as a private club, but as soon as we found out that there were issues surrounding this, we immediately cancelled their contract and they left.  We therefore decided that the premises needed to go back to being an Italian restaurant, which is what we feel the area needed, and at the same time we decided that going forward we should change the name to give a new fresh start.

We are extremely happy with the outcome and the positive feedback from all our new customers, and hope that those who have doubts about our business come and visit us to experience the restaurant themselves.

Why have you done this now?

The area has changed such a lot in the last couple of years and very much for the best, with various restaurants opening up that can only improve the area even more.

Is there a hotel above the restaurant?

The upper parts of our building will be run similar to a hotel, but is primarily for those people that may want to rent a room for a long period of time, or whether locals have visiting family or friends that they cannot accommodate and need to put them up a room, or even business clients.

What happened to the Lanterna model chef?

Unfortunately the model chef that used to sit on the roof at Lanterna, has gone into retirement back to Italy, as the English weather got to him!

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

I hope some items off the Alby's menu find their way into Toscana. The chicken and chips was sublime.

BreakspearsEagle said...

We went last saturday and can confirm that the food, wine (house red and white) and service were excellent.

We had:

Trenette with tiger prawns, garlic, olive oil, chilli and baby spinach

Grilled calves liver served with pancetta, crispy onion.

Anonymous said...

Excellent!

That clarifies a lot of things that confused everyone about the site.

It sounds like a restaurant of a similar level to the The Orchard and The Gantry. Can't wait to try it.

More choice for Brockley.

I wish them well.

Fattyfattybumbum said...

Good luck to them - really looking forward to trying it!

Glad its finally been confirmed that Albys was what we all already knew, a 'private club'. Hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Sounds great to me. One request - it would be fantastic if they did gourmet pizza as well - would be awesome to have a swanky pizza restaurant to pop into from time to time ....

Anonymous said...

We already have Dominics, anon.

Anonymous said...

Why do you mean by Gourmet pizzas? do you mean the type you never get in Italy?

Anonymous said...

i'm always put off italian restaurants which base their menus around pizzas and pastas, so very much looking forward to trying vila toscana. and i love the statues outside!

BreakspearsEagle said...

I agree with the anti-pizza sentiment.

Why would you order pizza when there are so many more exciting things on the menu?

If I want pizza I'll get takeaway from Dominics.

VillaToscana said...

Thank you everyone for your positive comments. We look forward to seeing you in the near future in the restaurant. And may I just confirm that we are definetely not a chicken and chips restaurant!

Brockley Ben said...

Look forward to giving this a go and it's great to hear from the management.

Interesting that the parma ham is marked as vegetarian. Not sure my OH will fall for that trick though ;)

WInnersDinners said...

I've already tasted the Costolette d’ agnello alla piastra con rattatuia al profumo di menta - and it was superb. (Sounds much better in Italian too.)

The house wine is also a terrific.

Will be going for my third time in December as economics prevent a weekly visit.

The one proviso is Susan and Biaggio get rid of those chintzy statues!

Mezzer said...

This really does look interesting. Like the menu.

VillaToscana said...

I will certainly pass the message onto Biagio about the statues, he loves his statues!!!

Anonymous said...

I know this is old news now but I AM curious as to how one would have become a 'member' at Alby's Private Members club and what would have been the benefits should I have become one?

Anonymous said...

I became a 'member' by walking in and being sat at a table like any other restaurant.

Looks like I'm taking my chicken and chip custom elsewhere :-(

Brockley Nick said...

@ChickenfantasistAnon1226 We have the facts from the owner now, so you can shhhhh...

VillaToscana said...

Maybe we can convert you from your chicken and chips to some really good Italian Food. I'm sure we can cater for you!

Anonymous said...

The statues were hilarious but I won't miss them.

Anonymous said...

I remember seeing the old chef from la lanterna hanging out at Aladdin's Cave.

Mungbean said...

I wouldn't trust to get a vegetarian dish in a place that labels parma ham as suitable for vegetarians!

I hope they know parmesan isn't vegetarian, too...

Anonymous said...

I hope they know parmesan isn't vegetarian, too..

Do you go to restaurants much? Or does your neurosis prevent you from climbing out of your own a*se to do so.

Mezzer said...

Anon 14.39: A completely unnecessary insult.
Some people are vegetarian (& Mungbean may not be for all we know). Get over it. And yes, Parmesan is not vegetarian.

Anonymous said...

Parmesan is just cheese, innit? How can that not be vegetarian?

Anonymous said...

In order to be called Parmesan, it is produced using calf rennet - made out of the stomach of a slaughtered newly-born calf.

Anonymous said...

Ah OK. Well it's only a little bit of cow - it all goes to good use.

Aricana said...

We went to Villa Toscana last Saturday and really enjoyed the meal and atmosphere.

Eye Talian said...

will they have : pollo e patate fritte con salsa di pomodoro, sale e aceto ?

Anonymous said...

Pat on the back for the above comment.

Obviously Parmesan is delicious specifically because it includes baby cow tummy, but looking at it from the vegetarian POV, menu labelling is important. I'd be furious if my food turned up with no meat in it.

Anonymous said...

I found it expensive

Bea said...

Just had a delicious meal at Villa Toscana. The service was very attentive and friendly from the moment we entered. The ambiance was relaxed, comfortable and pleasant. The tables were cover in white table clothes with flowers and a candle. The best bit was the food cooked to a high standard. We had the veal and the lamb cutlets. Both were tender and full of flavour. The kitchen was visible from where we were siting which looked clean, professional and inspired confidence. Not the cheapest meal out but was reasonable for the quality of the authentic food. Maybe the interior was not as "on trend" as Babur but the food was definitely on a par. Will be visiting again for sure!

Anonymous said...

Whenever I walk past, I seldom see anyone in there.

Restaurants like that should be heaving in the run up to Christmas.

Anonymous said...

We went in there last night as Top Chef had run out of tables. It was excellent.

Anonymous said...

Despite all the wonderful things said about the Villa Toscana, the residents at Harefield Mews are far from happy with the illegally built raised staircase at the back of the restaurant, where random eastern Europeans hang out, smoking strange cigarettes, and shout abusive comments to residents. Never a judge a book by its cover.

Anonymous said...

My dog's ears just pricked up

I said...

Once again, you're very quick to refer to the term 'dog whistle' while clearly not understanding it.
It's about hidden meaning - there is nothing coded about the comment you are referring to.

Dog Whistlers Mother said...

Let him have his fun. He lives for his conspiracy theories.

I said...

You want to make sure he does his homework in future! He'll never pass his GCSEs like this...

Lou Pavey said...

Great restaurant, fresh & tasty food at a decent price. Also super friendly guy running the show that night. I would really recommended this place. Delicious! 5/5*

luna said...

Yes the new people are very friendly

123uba said...

I usually avoid this sort of restaurant as I have problems eating wheat. The gluten free pasta and pizza taste exactly the same as wheat versions and are the same price. Normally at pizza express they would use a bought in smaller wheat free biscuit-like version, but these guys make the dough and it's the same size and taste as a normal wheat pizza. The quality of toppings is very good, with fantastic service.

HOPMAN said...

We had a table for 2 booked and confirmed on new years eve. Just received an email cancelling our reservation. We were so looking good forward to this evening. Have tried calling but the Line is dead.

Brockley Nick said...

A few posters on another thread have pointed out that the place is currently closed due to the death of the manager.

Anon said...

I've been in there to get takeaway pizzas, which are excellent. The staff are very friendly.

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