Friday, July 19, 2013

Poor Italian Ristorante

My friend has always wanted to come here and their parking lot is always full! I decided fine, I can use my OpenTable account and have dinner here. Every time I use my OpenTable account, I ask for the window seat or the most quiet place because I hate having dinner right in the middle of everyone (spotlight effect). If my request cannot happen, I ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS GET A PHONE CALL SAYING THEY CANNOT MAKE IT HAPPEN. Anyways, I read reviews on Urbanspoon and thought this restaurant would be good so I ignored all the people who did not like the restaurant, reading only the good reviews. One of the things that caught my attention is that a blogger says something like your pasta will ALWAYS be al dente, which is good for me to know.

When we went in, I thought it was kind of nice with the door there, I guess I was kind of expecting a sort of run down restaurant. My reservations were for 8:15 and we waited 15 minutes for them to get a table ready for us (it was just not ready... not because they were waiting for someone to leave, it was not set up, weird). Well, we were placed RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RESTAURANT. What? Every restaurant has always called me if a certain seat was not available and I would just change my reservation time. So I was pretty pissed this place did not call.

We were then moved to the 2nd crappiest seat, which had no light and was along the side of a pillar like thing. The owner said "there is no private seat, it is impossible" (WHY DID NO ONE CALL? By the way, I did not want a private seat, I just wanted the privatEST which is anything but right in the middle). At the end, he said there is a table leaving and we can have their table, well we waited... and we did not end up getting that table and we got stuck at the stupid seat beside a huge pillar like thing. What made it worse was that my friend said a table by the window was leaving and we could have went there. If I knew I would have asked, so was kind of mad at her for not saying anything. She did mention the owner probably did not offer that table since she was wearing flip flops. Everyone was pretty much dressed up here or for a special occasion? Thursday night? Dressed better than Coast? Gotham? This restaurant must be good then I thought.

Onto the food.. I used a photo brightening app since we had no light at our table, meh added HD to make it nicer too cause you could not see anything with original photos. Fine, I only did it because Pangcouver suggested it.

The complimentary bread, linguine al pesto (changed to penne), steamed local mussels, braised beef shoulder, and veal limone. I wanted to order 2 more dishes but my mood was already off.

The complimentary bread, focaccia, baguette and a couple of breadsticks. I was so glad they had this, because it is all I literally ate. So to me, a pretty expensive dinner for just the bread. I enjoyed the focaccia, the baguette is a bit way too hard and kind of stale, bread sticks are what it is, and the butter is pretty good. It is whipped butter but a bit more solid than usual whipped butter.

The appetizer is the steamed local mussels with shallots, garlic, aromatic tomato and white wine broth with fresh herbs off the Seafood fest menu ($16.00). The mussels did not taste fresh and the sauce is light but nothing special (nice to try tomato and white wine, never really see the combination like that). I only had three mussels since I did not enjoy them at all. If there are no mussels touching the sauce, they taste small and dry.

My entree is the veal limone, milk fed prepared with a flavourful lemon ($34.00). Trust me, the photo looks better than it is and more "saucy." I was very looking forward to this because I overheard the table behind me say that their veal is amazing (there are 3 different kinds). So clearly I ordered the wrong one, my luck.  My veal is very dry, chewy and the texture is off. The veal has a boiled meat texture. This is the most driest thing I have ever ate at a restaurant, including chicken which can easily get overcooked. For sour fans, you will enjoy the sauce because it is very lemony and sour, which can sometimes be nice since it is never usually sour when a dish says "with lemon" or "lemon sauce". This dish is not even worth $18.00, I hate Hong Kong Cafes and I am pretty sure I would enjoy veal more at HK Cafes.  Price is not an issue as long as it is worth it, I would much rather spend $44.00 on this dish and have it be amazing.

Her entree is the brasto di manzo, braised beef shoulder prepared with roasted garlic and cherry tomatoes, gorgonzolia risotto, seasonal vegetables ($25.00). The photo editing app really makes the food look so good. The beef is tender, shreds apart, but is very chewy. The beef is not braised, tastes like it is high boiled to cook and that is why it is chewy. The sauce is okay and the risotto is average.

The pasta is the linguine al pesto ($15.00) which has been changed to penne. The penne is undercooked by a minute, which is a very long time if you are talking about pasta. How can an Italian restaurant have undercooked pasta? I can understand overcooked.. but not undercooked. The penne is hard, chewy and we cannot eat it (I usually make pasta on the bit "harder" side and I still find this to be too undercooked). If our entrees did not taste bad, I would have told them it is undercooked. But what is the point? I wanted to get out of here and go eat.

Overall this dinner was horrible. The only thing I ate was the bread. What a waste of food, seriously. I hate wasting food. The veal is the worst dish you can order (I hope) and I do not recommend it. For the same price, I could have went to Forage or Coast. I was a bit disappointed because on Urbanspoon it showed mostly diners who did not enjoy their meals, and bloggers who enjoyed it (which makes it more reliable for me).

Service wise, our servers are pretty attentive so we did leave 17%. I can understand if this is just my bad experience, but I was pretty disappointed. 

We ended up getting frozen yogurt at Yogen Fruz and went to Cactus Club for dinner after.

Food: 1/5
Service: 4/5

Poor Italian Ristorante on Urbanspoon

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