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Restaurant Makeover

m
mede Mar 14, 2006 11:45 AM

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. j
    Jbenn Mar 11, 2009 01:39 PM

    I had the pizza from peroni's in mississauga, and it was great. A perfect thincrust pizza. i picked up once and it was very nice inside. for delivery there fast, it may have something to do with the fact i live 10 min away, but within 20 mins. Great!

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jbenn
      j
      juliewong Mar 11, 2009 06:28 PM

      I had ordered from peroni's about 6 months ago and while I don't live far - I ordered the fresh mozzarella and basil pizza - and it wasn't very good. I think they got lost and the pizza became cold. Would try it there again - maybe take out rather than delivery.

    2. oishiBear Dec 2, 2007 10:50 PM

      Passed by Citron on Yonge over the weekend. Found that it closed down already. Another RM curse?

      2 Replies
      1. re: oishiBear
        JamieK Dec 3, 2007 03:02 AM

        I was told by a staffer in the neighbouring hair product store that the owner had taken ill.

        1. re: JamieK
          oishiBear Dec 3, 2007 04:04 PM

          It's pretty sad to hear that. The business must be rough for him. I see he has been struggling with it before and after the makeover.

      2. y
        Yongeman Jun 6, 2007 03:13 AM

        From what I can gather, Bagel World's RM was tastefully done--not too extreme--maintaining the integrity of the original bakery/breakfast joint. I think that the 'menu' is pretty much the same, although I always just pick up twisters, bagels etc. for takeout.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Yongeman
          e
          estragon Jun 6, 2007 06:45 AM

          Bagel World on Wilson?!? On RM? Say it ain't so!!

          1. re: estragon
            y
            Yongeman Jun 6, 2007 11:32 AM

            It's true. It freaked me out when faijay posted about it. I went for a nostalgic visit the day before the RM team went in, because I wanted to see it and have a buttered twister. I've been back, and it's not too different...AND the bagels are unchanged, thankfully.

            1. re: Yongeman
              e
              estragon Jun 6, 2007 12:08 PM

              I wonder what menu "improvements" Chef Adjey suggested.

              1. re: estragon
                e
                embee Jun 6, 2007 12:12 PM

                A trio of mini-bagels with braised pork belly, lobster ceviche, and frogs legs meuniere?

                1. re: embee
                  f
                  faijay Jun 6, 2007 01:15 PM

                  lox and bagels three ways on a coulis of herring.

                  1. re: faijay
                    Brain of J Sep 28, 2007 09:20 AM

                    Anyone been to Grappa since its RM? I saw the episode last night. Just curious.

        2. h
          hungryabbey May 22, 2007 05:08 PM

          I was walking by Omonia on the danforth, and the renovation looks AMAZING so far (they have a fireplace on the patio).. and I overheard someone talking as they walked by, saying it was done by RM.. anyone know about this?

          12 Replies
          1. re: hungryabbey
            m
            millygirl May 24, 2007 06:21 AM

            I agree, the place looks great. They must have spent a whack of $$, totally brand new.
            I don't think it was RM though. The sign did say Restaurant Makeover but it wasn't the RM sign. It was my fav spot for greek on the Danny, so we plan to visit real soon.

            1. re: millygirl
              h
              hungryabbey May 24, 2007 03:22 PM

              I actually havent been before the makeover, so I tried to look for a website and had no luck. Anyone have a website? I woudlnt mind peeking at their menu..

              1. re: hungryabbey
                h
                hungryabbey May 24, 2007 04:45 PM

                oh wait, after trial and error I found it, but they dont have their menu posted yet.. I walked back today and it seems open and the patio is very busy it seems. I am so excied to try it out!

                1. re: hungryabbey
                  c
                  czthemmnt Jun 5, 2007 01:03 PM

                  I went to LUB Bistro & Lounge (Church Street) following RM. While we looked at the menu outside, an employee came out (I don't know what to call him, but he was trying to solicit business) asked what he could do to entice us to have dinner there. He offered $5 off an entree or a free drink from the bar. We took him up on his offer for a free drink, and I must admit their Will & Grace martini was excellent.

                  My friends had the strip loin and thought it was very good, I had the duck and it was wonderful- very moist and lean. It was an interesting dish- it came with boy choy, grilled veggies, rice, a dollop of tzatziki sauce on one corner and a dollop of apple sauce on the other. Strange, but tasty.

                  It would have been a lovely dinner, but, halfway through our eyes started burning, and we realized we were sitting in a cloud of smoke. Apparently LUB doesn't have appropriate ventilation, so when the kitchen really gets going, the place fills up with smoke. All they could do is open the door, I don't believe the windows open at all. It was incredibly uncomfortable and we hustled out of there quickly (scarfing down the rest of our meal) because we just couldn't take it.

                  1. re: czthemmnt
                    a
                    abigllama Sep 20, 2007 03:56 AM

                    LUB is now closed ..

                    1. re: abigllama
                      Brain of J Sep 20, 2007 10:19 AM

                      What other RM projects have closed?

                      1. re: Brain of J
                        OnDaGo Sep 20, 2007 10:36 AM

                        Gerimiah Bullfrogs on queen, KiWe on king ( is in the spot where the previous restaurant was madeover and closed but I cant remember the name), I know there are more but brain not working..

                        1. re: OnDaGo
                          b
                          betsy Sep 28, 2007 11:10 AM

                          Innocenti was in the location now occupied by KiWe.

                          1. re: OnDaGo
                            Googs Nov 11, 2007 09:07 AM

                            Jeremiah Bullfrog's ability to stay open was never based on its quality. Were that true it might have closed retroactively.

              2. re: hungryabbey
                e
                estragon Jun 5, 2007 06:47 PM

                Omonia is a longtime fixture on the Danforth -- relatively inexpensive, with utterly predictable, mediocre food. I did happen in there a few months back, and the owner said she was considering doing an RM show, or perhaps just hiring the designer. Apparently the Kokkino Lounge next door got the RM treatment and is doing well -- hence her interest. But whatever the reno looks like, I don't imagine the food is any better than before.

                1. re: estragon
                  e
                  embee Jun 5, 2007 07:10 PM

                  The Omonia reno is fabulous, and even includes a fireplace on one of the patios. I doubt that it involves the RM program, though, since Omonia spent much more than the $30,000 limit of that program. It looks like well into six figures and it took several months - not a week or two.

                  It's too bad that the food doesn't seem to have changed. Omonia was a really good restaurant 20-30 years ago. Their claim to local fame was the whole animals they cooked on a charcoal-burning rotisserie in the window. They tasted yummy, and you could always count on the rotating animals to freak out less adventurous eaters.

                  Unfortunately, that rotisserie is long gone - I had hoped it would be revived during their reno, but no such luck. Their food has declined consistently over recent years. They have gone from good, to inconsistent, to just another blah, Canadianized, souvlaki joint. I personally can't see any reason to eat there, given the many alternatives along the Danforth. It might be nice to sip some retsina on the patio on a hot summer night, or to quaff a beer in front of the fireplace. But don't bother with the food.

                  1. re: embee
                    e
                    ejcoooper0 Jun 5, 2007 07:50 PM

                    We have eaten at The St. Clair Village Cafe and it seems like they have incorporated some of the items suggested, but they do some great items, including chicken parm, and some homemade pastas. Reasonable prices and very nice owner/operator.

              3. Tara9000 Apr 3, 2007 10:19 AM

                Heads-up: I started a new thread about last night's Six Steps makeover on the Food & News board here: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/387847

                1. The Chowhound Team Apr 3, 2007 06:03 AM

                  Once again, we'll remind folks that discussing the food at Toronto restaurants which have been made over is fair game for the Ontario board. Discussions of the show, its effect on restaurant success, etc, are all off topic for the regional board. TV show discussion takes place on our Food Media and News board - if you want to discuss those non-chowy topics, please start up a thread there.

                  http://www.chowhound.com/boards/33

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: The Chowhound Team
                    foodyDudey Apr 3, 2007 07:21 AM

                    I've seen the Chowhound Team mention this before, but after reading through this thread and other similar ones, do you think any of it's content would be of interest to people on the the Food Media and News board? It appears very specific to people in the local area.

                    1. re: foodyDudey
                      The Chowhound Team Apr 3, 2007 07:28 AM

                      The mission of this local board is very narrow- to find great chow in the Ontario area. Discussion of TV shows doesn't fall into that focus. Rather than just declaring it off topic for our site altogether, we've set up the Food Media & News board to allow people to discuss those types of topics. If you want to be sure the locals see a discussion there, feel free to leave a "heads up" post to point people towards the URL of a thread on that board.

                      Here are some threads that may be of interest:

                      http://www.chowhound.com/search?item_...

                  2. Vise Mar 26, 2007 07:31 AM

                    I had a chat with the owner of Reliable Halibut & Chips (Queen East at Carlaw), his place had the RM treatment a few months back. He was actually very happy with how things went, he obviously didn't need any updates to his menu (it is the same as before... great fish & chips) but the place looks great/fresh and he said the word of mouth/buzz he'll get from the show will be more than worth what he put into it. He said the show actually approached him with the proposition (I guess it is normally the other way around), they were supposed to do the makeover on Barrio but the timing didn't work out.

                    I know most of the comments on RM are generally negative (and for good reason, did anyone else read that article in Toronto Life?) but nice to see it worked out for someone.

                    16 Replies
                    1. re: Vise
                      e
                      embee Mar 26, 2007 02:51 PM

                      I think I may have posted this somewhere else, but...

                      Yes, they did a really good job. It's still Reliable F&C, almost the same as it was but much more inviting. People seldom ate in there before, but the seats are often filled now.

                      The menu suggestions were something else. He told me that Lynn Crawford came up with a chowder, a lobster roll, and a shrimp/scallop dish, and that all were delicious. He said he would have needed to charge $20 or more for this food. The menu remains unchanged from before.

                      1. re: embee
                        y
                        Yongeman Mar 26, 2007 08:57 PM

                        It's pretty cool that I'm actually watching the RM show about Reliable F&C as I'm reading this. So basically, Lynn Crawford's input was zero, I guess. Her recipes did look good, though--maybe they kept her coleslaw?

                        1. re: Yongeman
                          c
                          chalenegirl Mar 26, 2007 11:00 PM

                          i was just wondering the same thing!! did they keep her coleslaw?? i think i will try it this week to see

                          1. re: Yongeman
                            e
                            embee Mar 27, 2007 11:55 AM

                            I haven't seen the show. What did Crawford do to the coleslaw? It was quite good in the past, but I haven't had it since the RM. Also, How much cash did they get from Reliable?

                            1. re: embee
                              Brain of J Mar 27, 2007 01:40 PM

                              Crawford added some sour cream and paprika to the coleslaw. She also added Manhattan fish chowder and lobster roll (it looked great) to the menu.

                              1. re: Brain of J
                                b
                                BLM Mar 27, 2007 02:06 PM

                                Any Fish & Chip places in Toronto that offer these two dishes suggested by Crawford(Manhattan fish chowder & Lobster roll)? I'm guessing none.

                                1. re: BLM
                                  j
                                  julesrules Mar 28, 2007 06:05 AM

                                  Yeah. And if a place does something like F&C well at a certain price point, let 'em do it. Some more appropriate interesting add-ons might be fried clams (so good on the east coast) or MAYBE grilled/poached fish with salad... so I have something healthy to order when DH wants his F&C fix. Oh forget it, as soon as I smell the frying fish I would change my order anyway!
                                  I guess they have to do the menu segment because it's the Food Network not HGTV. But it seems pretty useless.

                                  1. re: BLM
                                    Brain of J Mar 30, 2007 01:10 PM

                                    Not that I'm aware of.

                                  2. re: Brain of J
                                    e
                                    embee Mar 28, 2007 07:43 AM

                                    The coleslaw does not taste of sour cream...

                                    1. re: embee
                                      Brain of J Mar 30, 2007 01:09 PM

                                      Maybe not, but I'm pretty sure she mentioned she was adding it to the mix.

                                  3. re: embee
                                    b
                                    BLM Mar 27, 2007 02:00 PM

                                    RM got the full amount as usual. Otherwise they don't get a makeover(the lowest amount ever contributed by the restaurant owner that got a RM was $12,000).

                                2. re: embee
                                  s
                                  SusanB Mar 27, 2007 06:29 AM

                                  That's 'our' fish & chip place, just up the street from us, so I'm happy to see that Lynn didn't trash their food. I love the batter on their fish, although I don't go all that often - it's still fried food. But it's a really cute place now, so good for them.

                                3. re: Vise
                                  j
                                  julesrules Mar 27, 2007 06:50 AM

                                  Wasn't this place already pretty successful? Did the show try to portray them as failing?

                                  1. re: julesrules
                                    Vise Mar 27, 2007 07:06 AM

                                    Yeah, I would go every so often before the RM and it was never dead... funny that talking directly to the owner vs what the show portrayed tells two very different stories. I'm sure they needed to do their normal 'if we don't change we'll close down' schtick for the TV audience... but in their defence I would say that it is noticeably busier post-RM. I think people are less afraid to dine in given the new environment.

                                    1. re: julesrules
                                      b
                                      BLM Mar 27, 2007 07:08 AM

                                      That might be the case. As somebody recently mentioned(maybe on this thread), it was RM who came to Reliable Fish & Chips, instead of the other way around(told this after speaking with the Reliable owner).

                                      1. re: julesrules
                                        e
                                        embee Mar 27, 2007 11:52 AM

                                        They've always been busy and business seems to have been growing gradually since the current management took over. They were certainly not failing and often sold out of stuff. But the eat-in business is markedly better since the makeover. It was uninviting before and it isn't now.

                                    2. t
                                      torontoscene Mar 25, 2007 06:59 AM

                                      Phil's Original BBQ is amazing!!! Best ribs in North America, really.

                                      6 Replies
                                      1. re: torontoscene
                                        diesta Mar 25, 2007 08:03 AM

                                        In my opinion Phil got ripped off on that show; $15k he contributed for what seems like VERY little work done to it...considering that places that get radically madeover also pay $15k, it doesn't seem to have been worth it to him.

                                        1. re: diesta
                                          a
                                          Aardvark Mar 25, 2007 08:51 AM

                                          I would agree on Phil's. I was there after the makeover and didn't notice much difference and the menu wasn't changed at all.

                                        2. re: torontoscene
                                          m
                                          mclaugh Mar 26, 2007 05:14 PM

                                          Maybe I'm missing the sarcasm, but Phil's isn't even close to the best ribs in the GTA, much less the best in North America.

                                          1. re: mclaugh
                                            diesta Mar 26, 2007 06:11 PM

                                            and what would you say is better in Toronto then?

                                            Phil's in my opinion is definately up there with some of the best I have ever had.

                                          2. re: torontoscene
                                            koknia Mar 27, 2007 06:06 AM

                                            Best ribs in North America?!?
                                            You gotta get out more! (Out of Toronto that is...)

                                            1. re: torontoscene
                                              Charles Yu Apr 19, 2007 06:31 PM

                                              Went to the 'Chowhound meet' at Phil's last weekend. Found the food mediocre and sub-par. Best ribs in NA!! No way!!!!!!

                                            2. y
                                              Yongeman Mar 21, 2007 09:44 PM

                                              Evidently, Homeway, on Mt. Pleasant, a couple of blocks north of Eglinton, was the subject of a RM, but the episode never made it to tv. Maybe that's a good thing, because I've eaten breakfast there twice recently and both times everyone in our party raved about the food and service.

                                              4 Replies
                                              1. re: Yongeman
                                                m
                                                mummy2Luna Mar 25, 2007 08:09 AM

                                                I love Homeway. Great food. Great atmosphere.

                                                1. re: Yongeman
                                                  p
                                                  pitap Apr 9, 2007 09:09 PM

                                                  Homeway was never subject of an RMO. No restaurant has every been renovated that hasn't made it to air. Might be that it was part of Opening Soon instead.

                                                  1. re: pitap
                                                    y
                                                    Yongeman Apr 10, 2007 06:20 AM

                                                    I don't think so, pitap, because I'm pretty sure that Homeway is owned by the same family as before the reno, but I heard the information second-hand. In any case, it's a nice reno and the food is great.

                                                    1. re: Yongeman
                                                      j
                                                      JJBB May 22, 2007 04:52 PM

                                                      They actually had the designer from Restaurant Makeover to do the renovations. It was never intended to be on the show because the renovations were started before Robin (the designer) was hired. Too bad! :-)

                                                2. MiniMom Mar 21, 2007 01:12 PM

                                                  I tried the Rubicon Grill in Clarkson village after the restaurant makeover not realizing it had even been on the show... once i chatted with the owner and discovered this I anxiously waited for it to show up on FT to see the before pics. After watching the show on FT some of the changes on the show are not quite the same afterwards & the menu i dont see any adjustments to it. But the ribs & wings are quite good & pretty reasonable so that is what matters.

                                                  10 Replies
                                                  1. re: MiniMom
                                                    j
                                                    Jbenn Mar 11, 2009 01:36 PM

                                                    just a heads up the rubicon grill just burned down on march 10, 2009. sadly i will no longer be able to eat there excellent wings.

                                                    1. re: Jbenn
                                                      duckdown Mar 11, 2009 01:50 PM

                                                      Wow, I just passed by there it seems like last week

                                                      Sad to hear... Was the fire a result of cooking?

                                                      1. re: duckdown
                                                        j
                                                        Jbenn Mar 11, 2009 01:55 PM

                                                        don't know, they're stilling doing the investigation. it happened early morning so i doubt it had to do with cooking.

                                                        i live around the corner so i heard the trucks

                                                        1. re: Jbenn
                                                          MiniMom Mar 13, 2009 08:50 AM

                                                          I walked by it the following morning of the fire and as soon as i saw all those trucks i knew the Rubicon was no more....we will miss it. It was our favorite rib/wing joint and since the Clarington went out of business the only decent fast food joint in Clarkson.

                                                          1. re: MiniMom
                                                            duckdown Mar 13, 2009 12:50 PM

                                                            Sucks because I always meant to try it after hearing they made pretty good ribs and wings

                                                            1. re: duckdown
                                                              t
                                                              tjr Mar 13, 2009 06:01 PM

                                                              It's sad to hear about. I don't think you missed much, duckdown, the ribs and wings were both fairly mediocre (but probably good for the area).

                                                              1. re: tjr
                                                                redearth Mar 13, 2009 06:05 PM

                                                                I agree. The ribs and wings were definitely mediocre, at best. And there are definitely better wings to be found in the area. From a previous post of mine:

                                                                Clarkson Pump and Patio
                                                                1744 Lakeshore Road West, Mississauga (just down the road from Rubicon).
                                                                Several recommendations for their wings can be found on the Chowhound boards, and we received an additional recommendation for them from a close friend. These wings, while definitely the best of the three we tried today, were far from perfect. First of all, they were tiny. At $8 for 10 wings, we thought they were a bargain, until they arrived at the table. They are very small. However, the sauce was good, and, having them grilled after being fried and sauced (as recommended by our server) made a big difference, giving them a nice smoky charred flavour.

                                                                1. re: redearth
                                                                  MiniMom Mar 20, 2009 08:51 AM

                                                                  I liked the Rubicon.. they had improved so much within the past 6 months. We had them a year ago and they were acceptable but lately the past few months they have had monster wings that had lots of flavor and the numerous sauces were excellent.. and im fussy.. the Pump wings while good are small and same as everyone else. And the pump is always hard to get into.

                                                                  1. re: MiniMom
                                                                    redearth Mar 20, 2009 09:02 AM

                                                                    In that case, I'm sorry they've gone, as I haven't been there in the past six months to enjoy their improved wings... I hope they reopen so I can!

                                                                    1. re: MiniMom
                                                                      g
                                                                      Greyben Apr 26, 2009 10:34 AM

                                                                      Too bad they waited so long after RMO to improve. We went there not too long after the Makeover. The place had a facelift but the menu was the same as before, not to mention the food was average at best. The space didn't feel homey/comfortable, service not good at all. Too bad about the fire, but rebuild or not I wouldn't go back.

                                                    2. Davwud Mar 21, 2007 11:33 AM

                                                      I had posted on another RMO thread.

                                                      Stoney's Bar and Grill has been sold, less than a year after the make over.

                                                      DT

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: Davwud
                                                        m
                                                        mummy2Luna Mar 21, 2007 03:23 PM

                                                        I remember that Innocenti on King at Portland had the same thing happen to them.

                                                        1. re: mummy2Luna
                                                          Herb Mar 22, 2007 05:02 AM

                                                          The closing of Innocenti might have had more to with the unfortuanate death of its owner than the makeover.

                                                          1. re: Herb
                                                            t
                                                            The Macallan 18 Mar 22, 2007 08:41 AM

                                                            Innocenti closed 6 months prior to his death.

                                                        2. re: Davwud
                                                          m
                                                          murphcansurf Apr 3, 2007 09:56 AM

                                                          and it's always empty

                                                        3. l
                                                          Lotus Seedling Mar 20, 2007 05:45 PM

                                                          I went to Tha thai on King... the decor was awkward and the food was mediocre. What made it worse though, was the owner wandering around watching people eat. I haven't been back since.

                                                          It's a shame. I really wanted it to be good... David Adjey taught the chef how to prep a lobster pad thai, which wasn't even on their new menu! Talk about false advertising!

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: Lotus Seedling
                                                            westhead74 Mar 21, 2007 07:22 PM

                                                            I live near Natchos Thai Thai - didn't see the RM episode but the menu post-makeover looked exactly the same as the previous menu. Not sure if they incorporated any new dishes (Too bad because that lobster phad thai sounds yummy!).

                                                            1. re: Lotus Seedling
                                                              s
                                                              scrooge Jun 5, 2007 10:16 AM

                                                              I used to love going to Natchos Thai Thai. After the makeover, I was very disappointed.

                                                              I agree with your comment on the decor being awkward - the entire place (including the ever hovering owner) made me feel like I was on display.

                                                              The food was not good! The chicken was obviously frozen (I could taste freezer burn) and the coating on the chicken was too thick - there was no chicken in some of the chunks, just batter. I actually sent the dish back it was so bad. We ordered a completely different dish, and it was so tough I could hardly eat it. No apologies from the owner Nada. He should have realized something was wrong when I stabbed a bit of meat in frustration and began pounding it on the plate in an attempt to separate off a piece to eat.
                                                              Too bad. this was one of my favourite places downtown.

                                                            2. m
                                                              mummy2Luna Mar 17, 2007 10:04 AM

                                                              The restaurant formerly known as Europe Planet on Danforth between Coxwell and Woodbine was a cozy little Italian place that served tasty, unfussy food at a reasonable price. The service was outstanding and the portions were very generous.
                                                              After its "Restaurant Makeover", it has a new name (I think, although I'm not quite sure what it is offhand), a smashing modern decor and the prices DOUBLED to reflect the new menu. So I won't go. A few extra ingredients and a menu written in Italian. It's such a shame.

                                                              6 Replies
                                                              1. re: mummy2Luna
                                                                f
                                                                FlavoursGal Mar 21, 2007 12:30 PM

                                                                I watched that episode a couple of weeks ago; I can't remember the new name either, but I do recall that I found it to be inane.

                                                                What gets me about many of David Adjey's "new creations" is that, in many of his new menu makeovers, there's an antipasti plate made up completely of store-bought ingredients. Give me a break!

                                                                1. re: FlavoursGal
                                                                  Tara9000 Mar 21, 2007 02:12 PM

                                                                  The new name is Quattro4Ragazze Ristorante.

                                                                  Website is found under both http://www.europe-planet.com/ and http://www.quattro4ragazze.com/.

                                                                  I live in the area, and after the show started a thread to see if anyone had been there and what the food was like since the reno, but it got no replies. A neighbour told me she went recently with some girlfriends and enjoyed it. I may or may not try it out. They sure used a lot of butter. :)

                                                                  1. re: Tara9000
                                                                    oishiBear Sep 19, 2007 07:04 PM

                                                                    Just went to Quattro last week.. I have to say their food is pretty good for that price. Generous portion. Don't expect fast services as this is a family business. If you are not in a rush and crave for family Italian food. I would highly recommend it.

                                                                  2. re: FlavoursGal
                                                                    p
                                                                    pitap Apr 9, 2007 09:11 PM

                                                                    David Adjey was not the Chef for Europe Planet.

                                                                    1. re: pitap
                                                                      e
                                                                      Enza Apr 19, 2007 04:30 PM

                                                                      corbin tomaszski from (holt renfrew

                                                                      1. re: Enza
                                                                        Food Tourist May 22, 2007 05:06 PM

                                                                        Watched the Citron episode...not sure how a chef at a restaurant that only makes sandwiches (with bread flown in from France) qualifies as an expert.

                                                                2. c
                                                                  cookiebaker Mar 16, 2007 01:40 PM

                                                                  Oasis on College and Spadina closed a couple of months after Restaurant makeover. None of the dishes suggested during the show made it onto the menu. They did scale down their previously very large menu. Sad that it's gone, it had great cheap drinks and good food.
                                                                  They just didn't attract more customers after the makeover.

                                                                  1. a
                                                                    Arthur Mar 20, 2006 11:14 PM

                                                                    Hi,

                                                                    I have been to Via Oliveto several times since the show and really enjoy the restaurant. I was a little disappointed that they never had some of the dishes from the show I was looking forward to trying, the beet and grappa cured salmon, and the braised rib. However, there are plenty of great items on the menu.

                                                                    The gnocci I had was a little uninspired, and average to be truthful.

                                                                    The starters, anything with bread which they bake on site, are top notch, you simply must try them.

                                                                    My partner loves the ravioli, which I think is from the make over show.

                                                                    The selection of wine is outstanding, especially if you are a lover of Italian wines.

                                                                    The food sometimes could be warmer, especially the sides, and I have had to send a few things back to be reheated. This is something that I find is sadly becoming more common in restaurants in general. The only reason I can think of is that it seems the younger generation, raised on fast food that has sat under warmers, are more inclined to eat luke warm food, rather than send it back. As a result chef's don't seem to be presenting the food as hot as it should be, as most people are sending them the wrong message by accepting food that is not piping hot.

                                                                    To be honest I lived in the neighbourhood many years ago and never ate in the restaurant which has been there forever. Having seen the show we now eat there whenever we travel to that neighbourhood.

                                                                    The service is very good, but some of the staff, namely those that are not family can be a little elitist, which is quite frankly disconcerting to have to deal with from students. When served by the owners, the service is top notch, warm and welcoming.

                                                                    Overall, the food is well above par, the price is fantastic for the fare, the service is good, and the atmosphere is inviting. It's a shame that some of the recipes from the show are not on the menu, but that doesn't take away from what is on the menu.

                                                                    I recommend Via Oliveto to anyone and everyone, the price is excellent and the food is a great value for the price.

                                                                    Enjoy!

                                                                    Arthur

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Arthur
                                                                      e
                                                                      Ender Mar 16, 2007 10:46 AM

                                                                      Unfortunately Via Oliveto has been run off that strip of bloor either from lack of business or unwillingness to pay the rising rent.

                                                                    2. The Chowhound Team Mar 16, 2006 12:11 PM

                                                                      Discussing the food at Toronto restaurants which have been made over is fair game for the Toronto board. Discussions on the show, it's affect on restaurant success, etc, are all off topic for the regional board. TV show discussion takes place on our Food Media and News board - if you want to discuss those non-chowy topics, please start up a thread there.

                                                                      http://www.chowhound.com/boards/33

                                                                      1. h
                                                                        H20 Mar 15, 2006 09:09 AM

                                                                        Went to College Street Bar after seeing its makeover show. They had integrated some of the menu items but unfortunately didn't take the advice to use quality Italian ingredients. The antipasto platter was the most disappointing. Poor quality and overpriced.

                                                                        1. b
                                                                          Bill Mar 15, 2006 08:49 AM

                                                                          Innocenti which was done in Season two (I think) is rumoured to be closing and taken over by the guys who own Century Room. It never gained the additional clients that they were hoping for or that the show was "promising"

                                                                          1. p
                                                                            PCM Mar 14, 2006 11:26 PM

                                                                            I went to Town Grill on College. I don't think any of the addition menu items were added, but what was already there was quite good. The food was well done, plated intelligently but the service was less than I would have expected. As a whole, it was a good experience, if a bit pricier than the food would have demanded.

                                                                            1 Reply
                                                                            1. re: PCM
                                                                              t
                                                                              ThomOnTheNet Mar 15, 2006 11:26 PM

                                                                              I also went to The Town Grill, which is actually on 243 Carlton St. I first went to the restaurant after watching the program, so I cannot comment on the menu prior to the makeover. The food is very good and well presented, service is friendly, wine pairing with the tasting menu can be improved, price is a bit high. Overall, I like the food and certainly recommend the place.

                                                                              Peace,

                                                                              Thom

                                                                            2. c
                                                                              Curtis Mar 14, 2006 01:25 PM

                                                                              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.

                                                                              1. y
                                                                                yumo Mar 14, 2006 01:14 PM

                                                                                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. g
                                                                                  Gary Mar 14, 2006 01:11 PM

                                                                                  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
                                                                                    j
                                                                                    ja_jc Mar 15, 2006 09:44 AM

                                                                                    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. d
                                                                                    Derksen Mar 14, 2006 12:59 PM

                                                                                    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
                                                                                      s
                                                                                      Sui_Mai Mar 20, 2009 11:03 AM

                                                                                      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. j
                                                                                      jayseeca Mar 14, 2006 12:49 PM

                                                                                      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
                                                                                        d
                                                                                        doctorandchef Mar 15, 2006 05:32 PM

                                                                                        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
                                                                                          TorontoJo Mar 15, 2007 05:22 PM

                                                                                          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.

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