On The Front Burner

On the front burner

NEW DIGS La Tosca manager/owner Jane DiCostanzo and her four partners are greeting guests at the new location of Lane Plaza in Lakewood Ranch

(at the intersection of State Road 64 and Lakewood Ranch Boulevard). The move has generated enthusiastic buzz among their loyal Sarasota/Manatee diners just as happy not to travel to Osprey anymore for their braised lamb shank over house-made risotto ($24.99) or the Tosca signature dish of pasta with Italian sausage, porcini mushroom, truffle oil and shaved Parmesan cheese, all in a light cream sauce ($15.99). Additionally, the new 80-seat restaurant came with a wood-burning pizza oven, which means that Chef Nicola Chiappino can now turn out eight different individual 12-inch pizzas as well as those diners create themselves ($12 to $15). La Tosca is open daily for dinner from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Reservations are recommended. Call 714-0120. — Marsha Fottler TEA TIME When Tampa resident Paulette Callander wandered into The Spice and Tea Exchange in John’s Pass, St. Petersburg, she was so attracted to the concept of a fragrant boutique devoted entirely to exotic teas and custom-blended spices that she decided to walk away from corporate life and step into the culinary world. She and her husband are now renting in Sarasota while attending to their very own Spice and Tea Exchange on St. Armands Circle. The store features about 150 spices from around the world, custom blends of both savory and sweet herbs, spices and dry rubs for seafood and meat, 25 exotic loose tea selections, eight different rice varieties and more than two dozen specialty sea salts. Guests are encouraged to sniff and savor at leisure and make decisions slowly amid the heady garden of leaves, seeds, grains and petals. Gift baskets are available as well as high-end tea accessories, spice containers and racks. Spices are sold by the ounce ranging from 99 cents up to about $5. Teas are $4.29 per ounce. Find The Spice and Tea Exchange at 345 St. Armands Circle or call 388-1411. — Marsha Fottler THEY’RE HERE!

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