Bread, bruschetta, pickled peppers, caesar salad/ (house) salad "nostra", mushroom rigatonix2, tiramisu/spumoni, house Chianti
A wasted opportunity and wasted calories. It is not that the meal wasn't worth $10. After all what can you get in Toronto for $10? (I'll tell you what we got at Senses on our first and last visit for $11.50 (memory)). An intricately folded piece of paper with a 1.5inch cube of characterless semi-freddo accompanied by a dribble of potz-yu.) However lunch was a loser.
The bread was classic Toronto Italian crap. As if made from cellulose and tasteless.
The bruschetta (complimentary) were good and a palate tingler. However the mix was on top of the aforementioned crappy bread.
The peppers (complimentary) were so hot that they were impossible to eat, and I picked out the seeds. Obviously some people can manage.
The salad nostra was a mesculun base and just some stuff put together. No talent manifested.
The caesar was a disaster. Soggy from water with a completely insipid dressing. As if part of a happy meal at the Golden Arches. (Quote one of our children: Daddy do we have to eat? Can we just play?)
The Rigatoni with mushrooms sounded so good that both of us had it. What a disappointment. Heavy tubes of pasta with smears of mushroom paste. About five tubes ( together with as much mushroom as in the whole plate) would have been OK as a little pasta plate before a main course, or as a side, but the whole plate was a chore. And it is not that there was a whole lot of it. The thought of a dinner sized portion is frightening. Nicely cooked pasta though.
The tiramisu was a loser. We are are not Italian , so all we can say was that the tiramisu was unpleasant to us. Heavily coffeed, chocolate taste from choco syrup reminiscent of the worst institutional, some sort of dairy layers (like a custard ?) whose only characteristic was that they were unctious. And we chose this dessert because it was the only one house made!
The spumoni was OK and bit of a palate cleanser. We particularly enjoyed the maraschino cherries.
The house Chianti was enjoyable, $5.50/27.
The antithesis of our $10 meal at Boulevard Cafe in both food and chef/owner's mentality: but it can always be worse.
If we were to go again, which we won't, we would order differently and some of the problem could be that we did not order defensively. (But we don't select a place so as to order defensively). The mussels probaly are a better bet as an appetizer, may be followed by the arabiata, or a creamed pasta . Dessert is a blind guess and not promising.