Michael Toscano, Le Farfalle
I still write extensively, and thus, I still receive a lot of food news, usually in the form of emails from PR reps. I can read beyond the hype, but when hotshot New York City chef Michael Toscano decided to come to Charleston, SC, my town, to open a restaurant in one of my former favorite downtown watering holes, well, the buzz machine seemed to hit a new level. I had the reaction that I have a lot to incessant chatter before a restaurant opens, which is usually turning away with a wait and see approach. Give us a minute. Let’s let that new single drop before the musician accepts the grammy, right? But Michael, who has worked for Thomas Keller and helmed kitchens for Mario Batali and been one of Bon App’s Best New Restaurants with Perla and a Zagat 30 Under 30, and a James Beard Rising Star Chef nominee … whew, behind all of that, Michael is not the hype. He’s a man who is obsessed with cooking. It took me a while, but I started spending more and more time in his restaurant, Le Farfalle, and then we started spending a little time chatting and sipping amaro at the beautiful bar there as the night breeze blew in through open doors and the sound of traffic gave way to the sound of cicadas in the trees. I’m happy he and Caitlin decided to live here and raise their family, and I am happy that he sprinkles mustard seed and dehydrated cantaloupe on Proscuitto de Parma. So, as we all spend the last of summer this weekend, I invite you to sit with us, and then get ready for fall with a discussion of pasta that will have you craving it.