June 19, 2013
Written by Fran Sikorski
Thursday, 27 May 2010 14:42
Jeff Toska has had lifelong family training to become a chef and restaurant owner. His father, Aris Toska, and uncle, Rui Toska, were co-owners of the prestigious L’Europe Restaurant in Vista/South Salem for 22 years, building a loyal clientele, and Jeff worked in the kitchen and out front, preparing for his own culinary career. When the Toska brothers retired recently, it was Jeff’s turn to become a full-time restaurateur.In addition to working at L’Europe, he was a chef in several area restaurants, including Portofino in Wilton and Barca in Danbury. In February, he opened a new restaurant, One Twenty Three Restaurant & Bar, at the site of the former L’Europe.
Changes in the restaurant interior include an enlarged bar area and other touches to give the dining room a refreshed cozy ambience.
Executive chef is Eloy Huerta, previously with Mirabella in Ridgefield and Barca in Danbury. He brings his own interpretations of simple foods, with such starters ($6 to $12) as tuna tartar with pickled ginger, wasabi aioli, soy glaze, and Thai dressing; Maryland crab cake over baby field greens with lemon aioli; fried calamari with spicy tomato sauce; and Prince Edward Island mussels with white wine, garlic and cream. Tuscan bread is made daily by Jeff Toska’s wife, Zimi.
Classic Caesar salad ($6 to $19) is always popular; patrons may add grilled chicken, salmon, shrimp, or pan-seared tuna. Another top-of-the-list salad is baby arugula, endive, apple, and goat cheese, with house vinaigrette dressing.
Signature lunch entrees ($12 to $21) are a One Twenty Three 10-oz. burger with jalapeno jack cheese and french fries; steak sandwich served with onions, mushrooms and melted jack cheese; mushroom ravioli with spinach, porcini juice, white wine and herbs; and seafood fettucine with shrimp, scallops, and lobster meat served in a lobster sauce.
New entrees are tilapia with mango salsa; grilled swordfish with basmati rice, spinach and tomato-feta relish; veal parmigiana; and breast of chicken prosciutto with mozzarella, spinach and demi glace.
Requests for more pastas on the menu ($13 to $24) brought forth capellini with proscuitto, peas and a light cream sauce: and shrimp scampi served over angel hair, with tomato, capers and feta cheese.
Meat eaters will also be happy with grilled Black Angus New York sirloin or filet mignon with mushroom sauce; roasted rack of lamb with rosemary sauce; and veal parmigiana ($21-$26).
The restaurant offers a happy choice of desserts ($5 to $9) including chocolate velvet cake, flan with fresh berries, lava cake, chocolate mousse. and seasonal fruit tarts.
The restaurant space, including the patio, is ideal for private parties.
407 Smith Ridge Road (Route 123)
Vista/South Salem, N.Y. 914-533-2570
Open every day, serving lunch 12 to 3; dinner 4:30 to 10, Monday to Thursday; 4:30 to 10:30, Friday and Saturday; a la carte Sunday brunch from 12 to 3; Sunday dinner 3 to 9.
Reservations accepted; handicap accessible; major credit cards accepted; children accommodated; full bar; global wines; $7 to $14 by the glass; $28 to $300 by the bottle; Mediterranean menu, traditional Italian food; take-out; casual dress; private functions; wine dinners; seasonal outdoor dining; parking adjacent to restaurant.
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