Almost a year after relocating to Charleston from New York City, celebrated chef Michael Toscano has announced plans to open a restaurant in the space currently occupied by Leaf.
Le Farfalle will feature “regional Italian food,” with an emphasis on housemade pasta, vegetables and seafood, according to publicist Nicole Albano. The menu may include dishes such as “agnolotti al sugo d’arrosto with roasted chicken and fungi misti; a non-traditional porchetta with pickled cherry-pepper glassato; and couscous alla trapanese with saffron, lobster, crab and swordfish.”
Toscano’s wife, Caitlin, will oversee Le Farfalle’s dining room. Her work resume includes positions at Per Se, Craft and Del Posto.
While the restaurant hasn’t zeroed in on a precise opening date, it’s aiming for a spring debut. Albano says the couple will make a few changes to the space, but no major construction is scheduled.
Leaf Café + Bar in 2011 opened in the former Vickery’s at the corner of Market and Beaufain streets. Ross Webb of R Kitchen served as the restaurant’s first executive chef; it’s lately attracted middling reviews from citizen critics, scoring three stars on Yelp.
Prior to leaving New York, Toscano served as executive chef of Happy Cooking Hospitality properties Montmartre, Jeffrey’s Grocery and Perla, which earned two stars from the New York Times during his tenure. In 2012, Esquire named Perla to its list of best new restaurants in the U.S.
Since arriving in Charleston, Toscano has stayed busy with various special events. He most recently prepared ramen for Short Grain Food Truck’s pop-up at The Daily: His Saturday night dish featured alkaline spaghetti alla chitarra with mushroom miso brodo, bitter greens, smoked pork jowl and a soft-boiled egg.