Following the recent panning of SweetWood Grill here, I thought I should rapidly post a review of our favourite local(ish) restaurant up here in Albany. One of the concerns on moving here 6 months ago was that we'd be missing out on good restaurants, and there's *some* truth to that. However, there's a very strong local foodie scene - I should note in particular the restaurant review column of the local paper, Table Hopping - and we were very, very lucky to have one of our first restaurant visits be Tosca. It's one of a group of adjacent efforts from the same chef and staff, I believe: a gourmet market (with amazingly limited choices, honestly, even if they do carry Ribena!), a sandwich place that is *fabulous*, and the flagship restaurant.
It's possible to find mixed reviews of Tosca online; in general, they praise the food unreservedly but have qualms with regard to price, noise, or occasionally service. We've only been twice, but I've never seen any flaws in those areas (indeed, on our first trip we had one of the very best servers we've ever met). I would guess that a full meal with wine is going to cost ~$80 all-in, and that's certainly at the top end for the market; but it's worth it. From a sublime chilled peach soup, through an intensely earthy chargrilled wild mushroom side dish, to an exquisite rack of lamb, *everything* we've eaten there has been either very good or exceptional. As in, honestly, often better than our one trip to per se (sacrilege, I know!).
Anyway: very glad that Tosca exists locally. The 30 min trip is a bummer, but we'll continue to make it.