For reliable and consistently good 'down to earth' Italian/Continental food north of the city, Tutto Bene had been my go to place for years! However, with so many interesting places opening around town and so little time to try them out, I have not visited Tutto Bene for quite a while. Tonight, after a hard day's work, I decided to pay it a long overdue visit.
The place was PACKED on a Wednesday night! Fortunately, they managed to seat me at a quite table in the newly expanded cozy wing.
For appetizer, I had the ' Grilled seafood medley of King Prawn, Diver Scallop and Calamari on a bed of Napa Cabbage, Mushrooms and Tomato Ragout in a Bouillabaisse sauce'. This used to be my favorite appetizer in town, First taste of the intensely flavored Lobster essence Bouillabaisse used to make me utter a silent 'wow' each time! Unfortunately, tonight's version was a total disappointment!! It was flat, bland and greasy!! The prawn and scallop was cooked perfectly. Calamari however was rubbery. Again, the once aromatic smokey grilled flavor was totally missing?! What was going on??!!
For mains, I had the 'Grilled Ontario Pickerel with Capers, Garlic and Olive Oil on a bed of String Beans, Cauliflower and Ratatouille'. First off, the portion was HUGE!!! Almost twice the size of say a 'Starfish' offering. Taste wise, this dish fare much, much better. Both the veggies and the fish was cooked flawlessly and the sauce delicate and delicious. Seems like it came out of a different kitchen??!!
Lastly, a word about the service. The 'Oriental'? waitress who served me was borderline 'rude and grouchy'! Her description of the specials was barely comprehensible. My request for the wine list was 'thrown' onto my table setting! Thank goodness the wine list was not a 'thick album' like Via Allegro's??!! Ha!
With the food batting a mere 50% and service rough with an edge, Doubt I will return soon!!
BTW, I swear there must be at least 80% 'Chinese' patrons in the restaurant whilst I was there! Interesting!!!!