Romagna Mia opp St Lawrence Mkt
Dined in Toronto last weekend and had dinner at Romagna Mia, opposite the St Lawrence mkt. My absolute favourite food is rustic italian, non pretentious, reasonably priced, flavoursome and fresh. All I can say is that Romagnia Mia was truly excellent. Service was flawless and the portions were perfectly sized. Good to note a bunch of italians dining there as well who seemed to know all the waiters (Vincenzo was a star). We ate the most amazing air dried proscuitto, a parmesan (or was it pecorino) timbolo, gnocci and a shrimp and calamari dish. Washed down with a very decent, server recommended, bottle of red and finished with some parmesan, fresh fruit and a glass of moscato d'asti. So good we tried to go back the next night but they were closed :-(
Had some other reasonable food experiences but none so memorable or excellent. Thanks for the recommendations Chowhounds on food (and the shopping tips) - really enjoyed your city and can't wait to get back.
I had been to Romagna many times until about a year ago. My friend and I were downtown late afternoon ~5:30pm and decided to have an early dinner and we were in the area and so decided to try Romagna again. We went into the restaurant and met the maitre di and asked for a table for 2. He quite rudely said there are none but they could squeeze us in but we had to leave in about an hour.
I've been there about 5 times previous and this place has never been full once so we looked around the near empty restaurant and wondered how that could be. So I looked at him with an "are you sure" look and he rudely ignored me. So we left and went to nearby JKWB instead and had a fabulous meal.
After we left JKWB, we decided to go back to Romagna again to see if it was full, and lo and behold, it was not near full. We wouldn't have been so pissed if the maitre di wasn't so rude and arrogant. Neither of us has been back to Romagna since. There are to many good restaurants in Toronto and I don't need that pompous attitude from any restaurant matre di.
Just back from dinner at Romagna Mia.
When we arrived, we received very poor service. After the waiter at the front desk greeted us, he turned around, giving us his back and proceeded to work on something else, totally ignoring us. If I had not heard about how good the food was at this place was, I would have left and gone somewhere else for dinner. After a while, a second waiter came to talk to us and ask about our reservation; at this point, the waiter who was ignoring us decided to take over and yelled at somebody to show us our table. Extremely poor serivce in my humble opinion.
The waiter who server us for the evening was much more pleasant. We received a basket with three varieties of bread served warm; the best one was a tasty and soft foccacia-style bread with black olives.
We started with the "Insalata Romagna Mia con Verdure alla Griglia" and "Bresaola con Terrina di Stracchino , Noci e Fichi". The radicchio, arugula, carrots and mesclun salad was simple but satisfying. The flavour of the thinly sliced air-dried cured beef topped with arugula salad was very good with the cooked grape must and olive oil dressing; a little bit more arugula would had been nice; the terrine of stracchino cheese was too fatty, and I didn't taste any figs or walnuts in it.
For our main course we had "Risotto con Fagiano e Tartufo in Cialda di Parmigiano" and "Lasagne degli Appennini con Ragu ai Porcini Freschi". The risotto was good, but not as fantastic as I expected, since it was the winner of the "Golden Spoon" for best risotto in Canada; it was a rich risotto, cooked to perfection, but its flavour became boring after a while. At first I thought the lasagna would be a dish too ordinary to order at this restaurant; I was so wrong... the lasagna was delicious and not too heavy, despite the rich bechamel sauce. It was much better than the risotto.
With the exception of how we were treated when we arrived, it was a nice meal. The wine our waiter suggested was exactly what I was expecting. Dinner for two with tea, a glass of wine, tax and tip (no dessert) came to exactly $100. I found it expensive, not exactly what I would define as "reasonable prices", especially when you look at the prices for the meat dishes - $25 for chicken? That is even more expensive than Mildred Pierce, and getting pretty close to the prices charge at Avalon! However, we do plan to return to Romagna Mia for their pasta dishes, since the food was so good.
I just had my third Romagnia Mia experience. I must say there is one waiter there Thom who I sympathize with you. He gives the rest of the place a bad name. A short older grouchy rude SOB. He actually ruined a family birthday dinner. He was arguing with my father and so disgustingly mean. The manager agreed with me and in confidence told me the owner should really fire a couple of the older waiters as their time is up as far as food service goes. The rest of the guys are pretty sweet and the next time I went the manager brought me and my partner desert gratis due to the horrible waiter experience we had the previous time.
I gotta say. That place with the Big Ragu has the absolute best Italian in the city. The gnocci melts in the mouth and is home-made. The calimari was also tender and scrumptious. The molton chocolate cake was very well presented and oozed with warm rich goodness. Romagnia Me baby...Romagnia me.
re: food face
Yup, there is some staff there that absolutely should be fired. Not only are they unknowledgeable servers but they are genuinely mean. I cannot believe they are allowed to work in a position of service and hospitality. Too bad, as the food is exceptional. But, there are other damn good Italian restaurants in the city. Think I’ll give those ones first dibs on my patronage. Choice is a good thing.