Rarely have I seen Portland’s rabble of dining denizens run so fast and so furiously to a brand-new restaurant as they have to the Tuscan Table in South Portland at the Maine Mall.  The Mall?  Yes, you read right—smack dab in the anonymous canyons of retail melancholia with throngs of perambulating polyester-clad regulars hugging the promenades of this far-flung haven for shopaholics.  In fact, on a recent evening late in the dinner hour I witnessed the crowd still cramming the entry way as though the adjacent chain restaurants were all forsaken to be seduced by this newcomer.

The Tuscan Table

To explain this phenomenon, you just must take in this gorgeous place, which moved into the former Pizza Hut space next to Books a Million and Macy’s.  It wasn’t merely renovated but went through a makeover so extreme as to make a sow’s ear into the proverbial silk purse wrapped in ermine.

Read more…