A great local spot in the Heritage Landing Building is truly the Toast of the town.
And when it comes to wine bars, the married tag team of Scott Davis and Erin Tomczyk know how to keep the fun flowing with a wide selection of offerings and the best tasty morsels for pairing.
From Sake to robust reds, the selection of wine is sure to match anyone’s palate. From the best of Hastings’ harvest to the posh blends of Napa Valley, there are more than enough choices to keep vino lovers coming back for more.
Tucked away in an underground corner of the building, the quaint location is almost easily missed if you’re not looking for it. (Truth be told, on my first visit, my friend and I walked by it several times before we finally looked down and saw it in all its glory.)
The narrow outdoor patio is definitely the way to go at Toast, with café lights twinkling and a perfect view of Target Field. Even on cool fall evenings, the quasi-underground location is ideal to get away from the street traffic and enjoy a cozy evening with friends.
Inside the wine bar, the décor is both modern and awesomely artsy with local creations and inspired murals. With open ceilings and exposed beams and pipes, it’s also a trendy spot where the crowd is as diverse as the interior design.
It’s quite common to see Erin and Scott roaming around the restaurant, which is always refreshing. Whether they’re picking up empty plates, talking to new guests about their experiences or chatting it up with the local regulars, it’s easy to see the passion that lies both within their service and their food.
It’s not too often that I can look at a menu and actually consider saying “I’ll take one of everything” but at Toast, it’s seriously that tough to decide. (OK, that’s probably a lie, with an endless budget and a through-the-roof metabolism, I’m sure I could do this on a frequent basis, but I digress.)
Point being, between the combinations of crostini, the thin crust pizzas and cheese selection that goes for miles, I truly wanted to try it all. My friend and I truly struggled to make decisions, having to send our waiter away for “just two more minutes” several times. Which as a former server I know is just peachy on a Saturday night. Sorry bout that, sir.
But I felt like a kid in a candy store — having a boyfriend at home that gags at the mere mention of a great hunk of cheddar and now having endless options for cheese overdosing. We finally decided to at least start off with the antipasti plate of cheese, cured meats, olives, nuts and fruit. A true treat and perfect beginning to a meal — especially when dining with a vegetarian, which means all cured meats go straight to moi.
The selection was delicious and the cured meats were beyond what I imagined. A piece of spicy, smoky thinly sliced chorizo here, a tangy piece of Vermont cheddar there and to top it all off, a soft, chewy slice of French bread. I’m drooling just remembering it now.
Though the antipasti plate was surprisingly filling, we had to move on to one of the super thin, super crunchy crust pizzas — all, which again, took some time to hone in on a final decision. We decided on the black olives, artichokes, red peppers, goat cheese, spinach and provolone pizza, after seeing the table next to us order the same thing and becoming intoxicated by the garlicy, cheesy wafting scent.
Though I’m sure you can’t go wrong, for this particular evening, both selections were truly satisfying and highly delish. On another visit, I’d also recommend indulging in the wine selections and heading straight for the crotini’s, which are a la carte for around $2 or can be purchased as an “I’ll take one of each” for just $25. The roasted butternut squash with blue cheese sounds off-putting at first but the combinations meld into a rich, creamy and nutty heaven beyond imagination. And the roasted mushrooms with truffle oil combines simplicity with big flavors in a wonderful light bite.
Sadly, after our feasting there was simply no room for dessert but I’ve heard the desserts are simply incredible. (If you’ve had more willpower to stop eating, unlike myself, and have tried one of these sweet endings, feel free to comment and let us know what we’re missing.)
Between the location, the food and the abundance of grapey goodness, Toast was truly a treat — one I’d gladly raise my glass to any night of the week.
Sara Boyd is a web producer and columnist for WCCO.COM.