Well, I had friends in town and I had wanted to go to Via Allegro for some time. Top ten in Toronto according to Mr. Chatto at Toronto Life. Stopped in early to scan the menu, which looked very exciting (they have pigs head!).
It goes down hill from here.
First let me state that when mains are pushing $40 I expect a certain level of service.
We are whisked to a table quickly (not warmly), our coats are not offered to be stashed.
Waiter brings menus and the ridiculous wine list which is the size of the Toronto Yellow Pages. I ask the waited to reccomend somethign interesting and reasonably inexpensive. he refers me to the aforementioned wine list.He comes back in ten minutes and seems surprised I am only half way through the list (and I am flipping quickly!)He comes back after another ten and I ask for him again for a reccomendation. He says Shiraz Ok??? $65??? I say give me a few more minutes. Finally picking something I try to catch up with the food menu.
I order the calamari to start and the rabbit triplets for a main.
Apps arrive and look and taste very nice, though the fried julienne veg decorating my plate is greasy...but tasty.
Long wait for mains but the place was busy and we were having a good time.
Plates finally heading our way and the first guy there states "Who ordered the clams?" Not very cool for a high end spot. Also we had to steal cutlery off another table as they neglected to replace what they cleared after apps. Even had trouble getting water glasses refilled.
Main dishes were OK, though overly starchy. My rabbit 3 ways was served on a heap of polenta which I did not finish (very rare for me). Veg was a lame mix of properly cooked though not very exciting red pepper and green beans.
Ok, so we were not high rollers showing off by ordering $3000 bottles of wine, but we do love food, wine and great service and only got decent food and poor service. It was our first visit and our last visit...there are too many great spots to spend my hard earned money. Canoe would have been cheaper and the service there is outstanding. They know who ordered what when they deliver your food and they have never served sauteed red pepper with any main costing $40!!! I am sure my experience would have been better had I been dining with Mr. Chatto, which if the offer was out there, I would accept!