Best Tapas-Small Plates, 2014:
We love to share the chicken-Gorgonzola polpette with Kennett mushroom demi-glace at Piccolina Toscana. The fried calamari is exceptional. The roasted pork belly with ragout of white beans and prosciutto is plenty rich. The Toscana portion is just enough.
One thing that qualifies the excellent Piccolina Toscana as a “neighborhood” place is the Sunday buffet. Another is the convivial bar. The clincher is authentic Italian food like salt-cod croquettes with horseradish aioli, and fried olives stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes and Gorgonzola. Finally, some iteration of Toscana has anchored Trolley Square for more than 20 years.
Wilmingtonians have an appetite for upscale pizza, as evidenced by the popularity of the brick oven gourmet pies at Toscana Bar + Grill. Chef and owner Dan Butler, known to legions of Facebook fans as Big Chef Guy, is the mix-and-match king. He understands the happiness he imparts when he marries roasted chicken, caramelized onions and Gorgonzola on a perfectly textured crust. He has other tricks: figs with Gorgonzola and truffle honey, as well as prosciutto with goat cheese and arugula.