I dined at via allegro on Wed May 25/04 for a third time. In anticipation of dining excellence especially in the wine department. It was a big let down: wine service and food preparation.
When a restaurant sets itself so high up it should be ready to deliver.
Simply put it takes more than great ingredients to make an outstanding meal. It's all about the execution.
The thing that leaves me nodding my head is the wine service....arrogance ++ leveraged on a little bit of knowledge by "quasi" sommeliers. (a 13 week course does not make a master sommelier) It would not hurt to be user friendly rather than intimidate or feign superiority. Yes, yes a great big cellar, wine spectator accolades...big wow! but delivering the experience to the guest should be the ultimate goal not be a tax shelter for another part of a family business.
The food is pretty but does does not rise above any Italian joint within 5 miles radius. At the price and hyperbole in the menu I should be leaving the restaurant savouring the experience. (Not the case) Any true foodie will agree. The flavours should honestly ooze out from the simplest of selections. In a very simple example, I left wanting for the real deal of a true to goodness european thin crust pizza. Amongst the audience out there I am sure you all could cite a number of places in TO without too much effort. I refer to other postings that talk about "platinum" beef. Undelivered hyperbole.
Enough said. You can buy all the awards you want but if you cannot deliver the promise you become exposed and true foodies will move on. Of course Via Allegro will continue on as a result of location and expense accounts. That's business!!! not a gastronomical experience
Just one foodies genuine opinion on an overrated lacklustre star of TO.