In South African slang, “Tolani” means “too good,” and that is exactly what this Upper West Side gem is – an unpretentious spot of which you simply can’t get enough.
Drawing from the very best flavors, techniques and ingredients from each corner of the world, Tolani Wine Restaurant’s menu brings a culinary adventure to your backyard, marrying authenticity with ingenuity.
Filled with small to medium sized plates meant to be shared, the menu is best experienced as a journey around the world. Start in Greece with a grilled octopus salad, hop over to the West Indies with goat curry and mango, shoot over to Spain for a Paella for Two Tolani Style, enjoy a house made Mint Pappardelle with Lamb Ragout or perhaps a Thai Green Papaya and cucumber salad with crisp rice peanut sauce.
The menu’s inventiveness is representative of the eclectic group of people who dreamt and built Tolani into existence. Managing partner Stanton DuToit hails from South Africa and co-partner Turgut Balikci comes from Turkey, respectively. Raquel DuToit, wife of Stanton, (who adorns the walls of the restaurant with her art work), hails from Mexico. Executive consulting chef Craig Hopson was born and raised in Australia. By drawing on family dishes from their childhood, food from their travels and various individual experiences, their combined perspective translates into what makes Tolani so unique and appealing.
As the name would suggest, Tolani Wine Restaurant offers an extensive, varietal based wine list, with bottles priced from $30-$80. Twenty wines are also offered by the glass, priced from $9-$18.
The space at Tolani was imagined and created into two distinct divides – the upstairs is a semi-casual bar meets lounge, while the downstairs lends itself to the fine-dining experience. Both on and off-site premises’ catering is available.