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Prego Della Piazza - As Good As Ever

I had lunch at Prego today and it was excellent. The food, service and ambiance were exactly what I remembered. I used to go there a lot ten years ago when I worked in the area. Back then, it was a hot scene, especially at the bar in the evening; movie stars and all. I'm glad to see that Michael Carlevale still runs a class operation, although pricier than I remember. These days, it'll have to be for special occasions only.

Anyone have any recent experiences at Prego they would like to pass on?

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  1. Yes. I had a terrible experience there.

    I will have to speak in only generalitites, though, because I don't have the time. But I would warn anyone against this restaurant. Bottom line: highly overpriced, mediocre Italian food, doled out in pathetic little portions. They are generous only with the attitude.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Fwagra

      I think Prego is a great spot for late night dinners and when your in the mood for a fun night out. The courtyard terrace is one of the best spots to dine al fresco, and as far as Yorkville restaurants go, it has to be when of the top spots.The food has always been good, nothing special, just real good. The place could go for a design update, but its always been a fun place for a casual dinner and good wine with friends. Always a treat if you can catch the flamboyant Carlevale there as well!

      1. re: The Macallan 18

        I agree about updating the design of the main room. It has been pretty much the same since the early '90s. I also find the Black and Blue room claustrophobic, but I guess it has its clientele.

      2. re: Fwagra

        For the benefit of this discussion, can you take some time to expand on your generalities? Doing so will further this disccusion, otherwise there is not much to go on...

        1. re: diesta

          Yes.

          Firstly, one of us ordered ravioli. It was billed as a homemade veal ravioli. There was no filling! We took one apart and it revealed a tiny smear of Boy-ar-dee-esque veal paste, smaller than your pinky fingernail. It was a joke. We pointed it out to the waiter, whose response was irrelevant albeit somewhat apologetic upon seeing these pathetic things up close. He said that, their menu is designed for people to order an appetizer, first course, second course, and dessert. Umm... ok. That does not explain unfilled ravioli.

          The other food was, at best, adequate. But, the prices, of course, suggest very good food. I'm not one to complain about portions (like my grandmother always did), but the main courses there were a joke. I ordered fish as a main, and the piece of fish was cut with a cookie-cutter into a small disc. It was a circle of fish no bigger than the bottom of a glass. It was laughable.

          We complained about these things, and our complaints were addressed nicely, I must say. They offered some compensation (complimentary wine and desserts), which I felt was more than enough. So for that, I must commend them.

          But, the food is simply no good. It's Yorkville, overpriced, underwhelming food. It is a scenic place in the summer, so that's nice. But, if you like good food you definitely should not go to this place.

          1. re: Fwagra

            As much as I hate to agree with Fawgra,in this case I have to. I ate at Prego about 3 months ago and had similar complaint. I ordered the lamb tenderloin, and although flavorful and tender, the portion size was a joke. At best 3 ounces. I had to stop for a burger shack burger on the way home.

        2. re: Fwagra

          I love the location and ambiance, but had the worst risotto of my life there! The rice was crunchy - at least a good 15 minutes away from al dente - and when the waiter came with the bill (which was the next time he came to the table after serving our dishes), I mentioned that the risotto had been virtually inedible. He retorted with, "Well, you should have said something sooner so we could have fixed the problem. It's too late now!" No apologies or offers to remove the dish from the bill. That was the last time we ate there. Too bad; it's a lovely patio.

        3. Why is it that the moment you walk west across Avenue Road the food gets better everywhere? Why do people who aren't tourists dine in Yorkville?

          2 Replies
          1. re: Googs

            There's good food immediately west of Avenue along Bloor???

          2. The original comment has been removed
            1. I haven't bothered with it in a while, because I found that the price:quality:portion ratio unjustifiable. I won't be returning until I see enough reliable reviews indicating an improvement. And I've always found MC a bit much.

              2 Replies
              1. re: hungry_pangolin

                Prego was sold a few months ago - MC is no longer involved. A true pioneer in the business.

                1. re: janetzuccarini

                  I know that he's gone from there. I'm just saying that I won't return until I see reviews that convince me that my experience will be different from my past ones. Thus far, nothing.

              2. I went here for dinner and new-years partay last night (31st) and I can say that it was an absolutely amazing experience. Food was fantastic and they managed to keep almost all of us happy - there were 15 of us. I had the lobster soup and steak. Both were GREAT. Staff was friendly and cool. I have only been there once before and I think they really have improved their service. as you will notice, this place is my new favourite, for now.