William Perbellini is not only Italian; he nearly shares a name with one of 
his home country's most famous cocktails. Perbellini is the perfect person 
to school you in the Italianate tradition of mixed drinks, which he'll 
gladly do at Brentwood's new Bar Toscana, where he's the bar manager. Bar 
Toscana has a refreshingly different cocktail list; its drinks follow the 
Italian ethos of fresh, high-quality ingredients treated simply. In the 
Speziato ($14), for example, Aperol and pisco turn toward the savory, 
thanks to the addition of red pepper and basil (click here to download the 
recipe http://tastingtable.com/recipe/TTLA_speziato_bartoscana.pdf ). 
Perbellini would prefer not to make Bellinis until he has fresh white 
peaches on hand, so he's offering a pear-driven drink, the Pearbellini, as 
a distraction. It's an apples-and-oranges comparison, but one that works 
surprisingly well when pear and vodka are spun around bracing lime and the 
floral kick of St-Germain. You'll gladly wait for peach season after a sip. 
Snack-wise, we kept circling back to the delicately vanilla-scented fennel 
that accompanied pale pink slices of prosciutto ($11; pictured), while the 
thin sheets of music paper--a delightfully named Sardinian bread--made 
effective scoops for a cold lobster salad ($14). To ignore the stuzzichini 
menu is to forego one of the best bar menus in town. Bar Toscana, 11633 San 
Vicente Blvd., Brentwood; 310-826-0028 or bartoscana.com 
http://www.bartoscana.com
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TastingTable
 
 
Fri. 21 Jan '11
Drinks | LOS ANGELES
 
The Italian Job
Learn a new cocktail tradition at Bar Toscana
 
Bar Toscana
 
William Perbellini is not only Italian; he nearly shares a name with one of his home country's most famous cocktails.

Perbellini is the perfect person to school you in the Italianate tradition of mixed drinks, which he'll gladly do at Brentwood's new Bar Toscana, where he's the bar manager.

Bar Toscana has a refreshingly different cocktail list; its drinks follow the Italian ethos of fresh, high-quality ingredients treated simply. In the Speziato ($14), for example, Aperol and pisco turn toward the savory, thanks to the addition of red pepper and basil (click here to download the recipe).

Perbellini would prefer not to make Bellinis until he has fresh white peaches on hand, so he's offering a pear-driven drink, the Pearbellini, as a distraction. It's an apples-and-oranges comparison, but one that works surprisingly well when pear and vodka are spun around bracing lime and the floral kick of St-Germain. You'll gladly wait for peach season after a sip.

Snack-wise, we kept circling back to the delicately vanilla-scented fennel that accompanied pale pink slices of prosciutto ($11; pictured), while the thin sheets of music paper--a delightfully named Sardinian bread--made effective scoops for a cold lobster salad ($14).

To ignore the stuzzichini menu is to forego one of the best bar menus in town.

Bar Toscana, 11633 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood; 310-826-0028 or bartoscana.com

CHECKOUT The Dinner Menu at Toscana
 
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