After reading a couple of decent reviews, my SO and I decided to head over to Veritas for lunch today. We were quickly seated and water came quickly and our waitress took our order. This was at around 12:30pm. Also in the dining room were two parties of 10, 2 tables of 3 and 3 tables of 2s including us, so in total, about 30 or so diners. Right when our orders were taken, none of the 30 diners had any food on the table. Let me repeat that, not a single diner had food, not even bread which seemed strange to us and it stayed more or less that way for the next 10 minutes.
15 minutes go by and we finally saw signs of food coming out of the kitchen, and it was for the table of 10, the appetizers were either a Corn Crusted Perch/Salad/Soup and most got the Perch, which looked pretty good. By this time, my SO and I realized that there are another 20 diners that need to be served before us and we start to worry. 10 more minutes go by and still no food, but the other table of 10 still haven't gotten theirs yet, so we really can't complain. That's when we got a glimpse of a small basket of bread that one table of 3 had and wondered why are we not at the very least be given bread to nipple on while waiting for half and hour for our apps. Once again, we look around, and other than that one table, no one else has bread, can't really complain once again. 1:00pm, our waitress comes over to apologize the wait and explains that their oven is broken and the apps should be coming very soon and finally drops off the basket of bread with some red bean paste. Hmmm...that's a first, oven happens to break on the first day of Winterlicious. Table of 10 finally get their apps and we're next. 1:05pm finally our apps come and it's decent at best which we polished off in less than a minute. Once again, for the next 20 minutes, the entire restaurant were without food and were all just sitting there waiting for the mains. One party of 10 decides to whip out a Toronto Star to read amongst themselves, the other group of 10 contemplated on whether they should take care of the bill first and pack desserts to go as there are clearly late from returning back to work. The table of 3 got out a couple of toonies to put more money for street parking. My SO and I were simply shaking our heads and glad we were not in a rush.
After another 10 minutes, our mains finally came Aged Cheddar Cheese Stuffed with Braised Berkshire Pork Shoulder and Seared Kyoquot Sound Sablefish on Herbed Red Quinoa Salad with Baco Noir Vinaigrette.
I enjoy fatty food and anything deep fried, but the grilled cheese seemed like it was two slices of toast dipped in oil, then deep fried, it was literally soaked in oil. The cheese was barely noticeable and there were no more than 3 little pieces of pork in between. I tried to pick around the bread but unfortunately there's nothing else in between for me to eat. My SO's fish was bland in my opinion but she didn't mind it and the herbed red quinoa salad tasted awful as it added nothing to the plate at all.
Another 15 mins before our desserts of cheesecake and creme brulee came. My SO and I are huge sweets fans and we have never not finished a dessert in any restaurant until today. The cheesecake was obviously sitting around for a while as we can see a film of 'oldness' on the surface while the creme brulee had a doughy texture. The brulee seemed like it contained flour and it was by far the worst thing we've ever encountered and we left both desserts unfinished despite the fact that I barely ate anything.
We quickly took care of the bill and got the hell out of there and let's say the entire room were on the same page as us.
To be fair, we understand that it's the first day of Winterlicious and I don't believe they've done it in the past. I also understand the wait time and being overloaded at the same time. I also understand that it's only $15 for a 3 course meal and all and I shouldn't be expecting too much. Nonetheless, there were so many things that they could have done to make the experience less painful and show a little respect to us paying customers despite its difficulties. I just don't understand the point of joining Winterlicious if you can't live up to a passable standard in terms of the food it's turning out. With tax and tip it came out to be $40 and it's not a small chump of change and I just hope that the restaurant understands that.
Let's hope that those of you that have Veritas booked have a different experience in a good way, but I must say that what we experience was the worst ever.