Cafe Society

Panzano adds Toscano, a private dining area/bar space

Panzano, the restaurant at the Hotel Monaco, has always had a great bar and dining room complete with chef's counter, but it never had many private dining options, beyond a small room in back where it could seat up to fourteen guests.

So when the boutique next door to Panzano moved out, the restaurant decided to add the 415 square-foot space as a private dining/bar spot. "The ability to use this space in kind of a variety of ways came up, so we jumped at that chance," says John Imbergamo, spokesman for Panzano.

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The new room, named Toscana, is located adjacent to the bar. Unlike the current private dining room, which has no windows, Toscana has big sindows along Champa Street, opposite the wine wall that holds 450 wines. "It's got its own exit and entrance," Imbergamo points out, "and provides the same ambiance as the rest of the restaurant."

The space can seat up to twenty guests for dining, and up to forty guests for cocktails and appetizers "reception style." It's equipped with a 52-inch television and black-out curtains for professional presentations; Panzano chef Elise Wiggins can also create custom menu items.

When not reserved for private parties, Toscana will be used as extra space for dining and Panzano's popular happy hour. That deal runs from 2:30 to 6 p.m. seven days a week, and includes $3 draft beers, $4 glasses of wine and $5 cocktails, as well as a selection of Wiggins's signature dishes -- such as fried calamari -- for $4, $5 and $6.

Toscana opened on Saturday, and can be reserved for private events through the Panzano website or by calling 303-294-3057.