La Bruschetta (no website)
1317 St. Clair Avenue West
Menu Chosen: I chose the mussels in marinara sauce with angel hair pasta with shrimp topped with gorgonzolla cheese in bruschetta sauce and tiramisu; my SO chose the tomato and fresh mozzarella with cheese-filled ravioli and tartufo
Price: $15/person, drinks, taxes, tips extra
Comments: Everything was great, really. The atmosphere was very Italian (the restaurant was situated in Corso Italia), the food very Italian, the staff spoke Italian. The owner himself came to take our order, and explained to us that he created the angel hair entree, and commended me on ordering that. Food was good.
We were served a basket of regular, plain bread and a plate of bruschetta. However, it had 3 pieces for 2 people. I dont know how they wanted us to work that out. I wonder if they would still serve 3 pieces for 4 people, or 5? We were given yummy butter (unlike the butter we got at Matignon, my other Winterlicious experience), and as hungry hippos, we had lots of bread.
However, we had to wait a long time to get our salads. But once we got our hands on them, they were gone in 3 minutes. Well, my SO had it done in 2. His salad was REALLy yummy. The mozzarella was totally different from anything out there. This is the first time for me, having a really soft and chewy mozzarella with a really fresh slice of tomato with it. It certainly is very different. It must be nice olive oil too, 'coz all the flavourings are different; its much more fragrant than the regular stuff I use at home.
My mussels were good, but overcooked--it was a bit chewy instead of just cooked. But the sauce was very nice for dipping bread into though. Portion was quite big! The menu stated "Lunch Portions" and I expected them to just serve like perhaps 5-8 mussels, but instead, I must have got about 20. I was quite surprised.
Angel hair pasta with shrimp was not what I expected though. Pasta was very fresh, very bouncy and not soggy. But shrimps were soooo tiny I could fit 100 of them in the palm of my hand. Oh, and DO WARN PEOPLE ABOUT THE GORGONZOLA! Geez, it was REALLY strong, and REALLY pungent! I totally left that portion of the pasta untouched after I tried it. Size-wise, it was very filling. Enough pasta to last you for the whole day. The sauce itself was heaven--you can taste that the tomatoes are just the freshest.
My SO's ravioli seemed to be very small, but once getting into it, he said that it was quite satisfying since its all cheesy and pasta-y. He liked it. Notice there's no meat in his entrees (he's a vegetarian). But in the end he was quite full, he says.
And the tiramisu, I thought, was very sweet. The sauce made it very sweet, but the cake itself was yummy. Now, I've never really had a good tiramisu to compare with, but this one is by far the best I've had.
The tartufo, what can I say, its always good. But only half a ball was given in a martini tin glass.
Service: There were 2 wait staff that serviced the whole restaurant of about 10 tables. Like I said, the owner comes to take the order and talks to his clients. Service was great, except for one thing. After ordering our dessert, the male wait staff goes to the kitchen and I distinctly hear him yelling, "The Chinese girl wants the tiramisu!" Okay, I wouldnt have a beef with him saying that if he said it quietly, and without me hearing, 'coz I do that too--everyone does that, we all know. But in a restaurant environment, where your client hears you??? Geez, he must not know that service and amount of tips are correlated, apparently. HOWEVER, when we got the bill, we noticed that our wine was not on it!!! I dont know if that was intentional or not, but we paid and left really quickly as there was still a wine glass on the table.