DRINK OF THE WEEK: Toma Restaurant & Bar’s Tuscan pear

Tuscan pear

When Emilio’s closed last year (at first for a rumored remodel) its fate seemed uncertain. But now it has reopened as Toma Restaurant & Bar, and regulars can breath easy: the restaurant has continued the Italian cuisine and widened out the restaurant a bit. This is all thanks to Tom Dolan, who spent many years working here and didn’t want to change too much. (Toma is Tom’s nickname.) The owners handed it off to Tom and his wife, Vicki, without too much of a fuss. And the nice thing? He kept Raul Alarcon as bartender, who has been making cocktails here for some time now.

So what about the cocktail menu? Well, there are plenty of old favorites here and some new ones. The ingredients are top notch and feature new brands of spirits that we’ve been groovin’ on elsewhere. The Limoncello Drop uses Ventura Limoncello and Hangar One Buddha’s Hand vodka to make a drink not too sweet and not too sour. And who will prefer the drink called The Local, locals or tourists? It has Square One cucumber vodka mixed with strawberries and basil, and with a drizzle of balsamic reduction around the inside of the glass. This was pretty tasty, but we liked the Tuscan Pear even better, with Grey Goose’s pear vodka, more of that limoncello, and King’s Ginger liqueur creating a complex mix of flavors. We’re glad the bar has reopened, and that last cocktail is our Drink of the Week!

Dash of agave nectar
1/2 ounce lime juice
Sprig of mint
2 ounces Grey Goose La Poire
1/2 ounce Ventura Limoncello
Dash of King’s Ginger liqueur
Splash of orange juice

Muddle agave, lime juice and mint in shaker. Add other liquids and ice and shake. Strain into cocktail glass and garnish with lime.

Yield: 1 drink

Toma Restaurant & Bar
324 West Cabrillo Blvd.

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