Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Mar 14, 2006 11:45 AM

Restaurant Makeover

  • m

I hope this message won't be off-topic - I enjoy watching "Restaurant Makeover" on the Food Network but was wondering how successful the new menu items introduced on the show really are.

As an example, I've been to the Old York Bar & Grill and out of curiousity, tried a shepherd's pie dish that had been shown in that bar's episode. Sad to say, it was awful. To begin with, it had obviously been warmed up in a microwave, with unbalanced effects, but to add to that, it seemed to be composed almost entirely of onions, and very little of anything else. The mashed potatoes on the top had little flavour. Service was nice, but that's not a place I'll return to in the future.

If anyone else has tried other restaurants featured on the show, have you had better experiences?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Only one I've been to is Via Oliveto, which I thought was great... wonderful meal, service, and quite reasonable! I think its a great neighbourhood restaurant.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jayseeca

      I'll second the Via Oliveto rec.

      Nice simple Italian food done without pretension.

      THe gnocchi's I had one night were pretty good.

      1. re: doctorandchef

        Via Oliveto is closed. There was a thread just a couple of days ago.

        Whoa, sorry, just noticed this thread is from last year. Not sure why it has been revived, as I don't see any other new posts.

    2. I've been to Old York prior to their makeover. I thought the food was ok, but it was missing something.

      I watched the makeover and was less than impressed with what I saw in terms of food and prep (especially the tenandcy to overcook the chicken.... chicken is not that hard to prepare moist). I have been hesitant to return, but I will give it a try sooner or later. I'll avoid the sheppards pie... thanks for the tip;)

      1 Reply
      1. re: Derksen

        It's all about the Jerk there. Didn't you see the Jamaican chef on the show? They make fantastic wings, jerk chicken sandwich and the pork sandwich is good too. But results are inconsistent prolly having to do with who's in the kitchen (always an issue in bars I find). Decent local wine and beer selection and v. friendly service.

      2. I've also wondered about Bravi on Wellington Street. It's an Italian bistro spot, near the Flatiron building in the St. Lawrence market neighbourhood. They were on the receiving end of a makeover in season two and the restaurant now looks fantastic from a decor perspective.

        But... can anyone recommend the food there?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Gary

          I went to Bravi last week for dinner. The food was good. The martinis were really expensive!

          Within our group we had the gorgonzola gnocci, butternut squash ravoli, fish special. The fish was exceptionally good! In terms of the apps, the beef carpaccio was great. The grilled calamari (from what I recall use to bet he best in the city) was overdone but still had a nice grilled flavour.

          I hadn't been in a while before the makeover but I don't recall the menu being much different from the pre-makeover menu.

        2. I wanted to try the Monkey Bar, but when I looked at the menu in the window it was exactly the same as the old menu, before the makeover. Didn't seem like any new dishes had been incorporated. Has anyone been there?

          1. I went to the Rosedale Diner nearly a year ago, after the makeover and only one or two items from the show were on the menu. Now, I understand that if the restaurant has a chef or a mission of changing the menu from season to season or at a whim, the Restaurant Makeover items will eventually be phased out (as I'm sure most of the guest chefs on that show would do too), so I'm not particularly surprised at the prospect of not finding their items on the menu. However, to the food, the Rosedale Diner was ok, I specifically recall having a short rib poutine, and although the fries and gravy were fine, the meat resting on top was dried out somewhat.