Submitted Monday, April 6, 2009 - 1:51pm [Dine in]
My old favourite restaurant, Chianti Cafe, used to be in the building. I was somewhat skeptical about trying its replacement while still mourning it's closure. Totally blown away by the food. I've been twice so far and both times ordered the Strozzapreti pasta. My friend the first time ordered the Spaghetti with Kobe meatballs, and the second time my date had Linguini with tiger prawns. Amazing, as were both bruschettas I tried, the tomato one and the chickpea. I'm not a big wine drinker, so I regret not being able to review their list, but I tried the raspberry mojito (not bad, not fantastic) and the Sangria Blanc pitcher (unbelievable). All in all totally worth it for the food. Reasonably priced, but drinks were a little pricey which is where I'm sure most of their profits come from.
I was put off both times by the matre'd coming over to our table and trying to promote their "sister restaurants". He handed us out little flyers and coupons wile he unfolded our napkins and asked us about our meals. I was blown away from the service and food but would have tipped much more if this ploy for business had been skipped. I walked in feeling like a "guest" and the blatant advertising turned me into a "target audience".
I also resent the refusal to take reservations for dinner. We waited about 25 minutes around 530 on a Friday, and 20 minutes around 7 on a Tuesday. The staff were fantastic about taking care of those waiting, though, offering appy samplers and serving drinks.
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Submitted Monday, April 6, 2009 - 1:30pm [Dine in]
I suggested a couple friends and I check the place out since it was in our hood and I had heard some decent reviews from friends. We were seated (this took five minutes or so, even though the place wasn't full on a Sunday night) in the lower dining area at a long table with another party at the other end. I immediately got the impression that our server was not trying very hard with us. Maybe we didn't look like big tippers, but my friend and I both work in restaurants and were put off by the amount of time she spent at other tables, while only checking up on us once or twice.
My drink ("Envy" martini) was quite good. The chips in the nachos were made in-house which added a nice touch to what would otherwise be bland bar food. I felt pretty gross after leaving and still suspect it was food-related, but no complaints from my companions. Our server was incredibly unhelpful when it came to ordering food and the menu. We asked what was in the "Duo Dip" and she just read off the description in the menu. (It turned out to be a bowl of decent hummous and a bowl of some pretty gross cheesey stuff with not enough chips or bread, which somehow took a half hour).
Most everyone was around our age (early 20's), with hardly anyone over 30. Kind of a hipster crowd with some good music and overall a nice looking building. I'm disappointed that everything was so crappy just because it would be a nice spot tot go back to. Oh well.
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