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Opinions re: Mistura

Hi there, a good friend and I usually go out every now and then for a "nice" evening out of dining. We've had both good luck and bad:

- Susur - amazing food but incredibly rude service and we were rushed for the latter courses in order for them to get us outta there for the second sitting.
- Perigee - a truly magical evening, perfect food and service.
- JKWB - a lovely evening spent grazing from the small plates.
- Mildred Pierce - we had a fantastic brunch but a so-so dinner...
- Dhaba - for "fine" dining, we were treated to being seated beside a commercial freezer and served off "Corelle" plates, bland Indian-buffet style food served at tasting menu prices.

As it is my time to choose our next meal, I was wondering about Mistura - I love what I see from Massimo on the television but am wondering if the restaurant reflects...also how is it price wise? Opinions

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  1. My friends & I found Mistura to be good, but not life-altering. It's quite expensive as well. We all thought afterwards that we would have enjoyed Zucca better. Oh well.

    However, if you're looking for a special atmosphere to go with your special night, Zucca's not it. Fairly plain small room. The food and service are amazing, mind you and for me it's the service that goes with the meal that makes or breaks an evening.
    http://www.zuccatrattoria.com/

    9 Replies
    1. re: Googs

      We love Mistura. To me it is right up there with Scaramouche. It's our special celebration spot. The service is wonderful, and great atmosphere. Massimo is a great guy and he always makes a point of walking the room. His food is simple, rustic italian but I totally agree with Googs in that it's not cheap. But it's top quality. His lamb ribs are to die for, so is the beet risotto. We've always enjoyed everything...fish, pasta's, beef, rabbit...it's all great. Some wonderful apps. too. fried calamari, zucchini blossoms. It can get very loud later in the week. And you can always go upstairs afterwards to Sopra for some live jazz. It's a lovely spot. Thursdays are really hopping!!! I understand that Massimo will be travelling quite a bit over the next couple of months to promote his new cookbook.

      1. re: millygirl

        Ditto. LOVE Mistura.

        While everything on the menu may not be life altering, the Wild Boar Agnolotti sure is.

      2. re: Googs

        Hi Mike - I unfortunately can't offer any assistance on Mistura as I've never dined there but I did go to Zucca yesterday and posted a brief review here:

        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/459199

        -----
        Zucca
        2150 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4S 2A8, CA

        1. re: Yum2MyTum

          I'm with Googs. I liked Mistura, but I didn't find it life-altering. Everything was good, but there was no "wow!" factor. However, I do think that Sopra is gorgeous, and the kitchen (same kitchen as Mistura, and some overlap on the menus) was consistent enough that I'd definitely go back to eat in that space.

          I liked Zucca too, but I thought it was a pleasant neighbourhood resto, and wouldn't make it a destination (grilled fish is fantastic).

          If you liked JKWB (one of my faves too) you might like Colborne Lane... I've just had apps and drinks, but I can't wait to try more. My other best meal of the year was at Red's.

          You can search for my reviews of Mistura, Zucca and Red's (all from the past year).

          Rab-bit!
          www.rabbitreporting.com

          1. re: Rabbit

            Wow, life altering. That's a lot of pressure to put on one meal, isn't it?

            1. re: millygirl

              lol, touche, Milly! Life-altering meals could generate a great new thead on its own, although probably not allowed on this board. I remember my very first taste of lobster was life-altering in my 20s (I had a insulated immigrant child upbringing) but it was properly cooked in a nice French restaurant I wish could remember the name of -- used to be on St. Thomas on the east side just below Bloor, across and up from Windsor Arms, sort-of where Roots is now?
              Also my first taste ever of sushi and sashimi and sake, etc, life-altering because it was in Tokyo.
              I guess life-altering is relative.

              -----
              Mistura
              265 Davenport Rd, Toronto, ON M5R1J9, CA

              1. re: JamieK

                Could it have been ............
                "Three Small Rooms"?
                Also in that neighbourhood (fogggy memory today!!)" Le Provencal"?

                1. re: pearlD

                  I had some memorable meals at Three Small Rooms too, but definitely the transcendental lobster experience was across the road, I think you're right -- Le Provencal rings a bell. Yes, that's it. Also memorable was the Royal Copenhagen Room where I had duck breast for the first time, on a sandwich.
                  Thanks!
                  Mistura is definitely on my "to dine" list after reading other reviews on this board, and because Millygirl has not led me astray yet!

              2. re: millygirl

                Like JamieK said... for sure "life altering" is hyperbolic... dramatique... I stole it from Googs!

                I didn't mean to present it as a hyper-stupid benchmark. But also, like JamieK notes, there can be lots of eyes-roll-back-in-head foodie experience that are minimally "life altering" - those wow!-moments... strawberry pocky at Jenny Kim's birthday party... aaaugh!!

        2. If you do end up going to Mistura, keep your eye out for the smoked pork chop. It's a beautiful piece of meat, lightly smoked, cooked perfectly to medium, with a nice crust.

          1. Mistura is a romantic and dark restaurant whereas Zucca is a bright and more casual restaurant. The main course in Mistura are around 30 to 40 something. I prefer my meal at Mistura more than Zucca. Had the kobe beef steak there once, eventhough it is not from Japan, it is big portion and nicely cooked.

            13 Replies
            1. re: skylineR33

              skylineR33, or millygirl, can either of you share a price-point for Mistura? For example, what would the Zuppa di Pesce cost? A pasta/risotto? Starter?

              There are no prices on its website (which is a pet-peeve of mine, incidentally).

              1. re: Yum2MyTum

                Hi, I remember the main dishes are $3x with the "kobe beef" most expensive around $50, pasta is around $2x, starters are $1x.

                1. re: skylineR33

                  Hi Yum, not sure about the individual prices too be honest but I can say that dinner for two would be starting at about $150. This would include starter, main, 1 glass of wine pp, and sharing a desert. Normally my husband and I would just have a glass each. The cheapest we've come outta there was about $120 and I think we each had a pasta. The risotto is to die for....may be about $18 but well worth it. When we go with another couple we usually order it and the Majhoun the runner is kind enough to portion it out evenly for us so we all get a taste..about 3 tbsp. each but that is all you need because it sooooooo rich and good. It's not cheap but it is well worth it. Let me know if you go.

                  1. re: millygirl

                    Thanks millygirl and skylineR33 for your help!
                    I might end up going sometime soon and will definitely post my impressions.

                    1. re: Yum2MyTum

                      I'll be going tonight for dinner with my friend and will report on the results!

                      1. re: Mike from Hamilton

                        Buon appetito, Mike, and looking forward to your review!

                        1. re: Yum2MyTum

                          Oh Mike I am terribly jealous!!!! If you haven't left yet you must try the lamb ribs appetizer...they are fabulous....melt in your mouth good!!! And the risotto, those are two must haves for me. Can't wait to hear all about it. Enjoy.

                        2. re: Mike from Hamilton

                          Dinner on Friday night was a wonderful diversion and the food was very good. As my dining dining partner and I were both reeling from an insane week at work, we needed a nice little ending to have something positive to remember the week by.

                          Courtesy of standard Friday night in Toronto traffic combined with the Grey Cup, we arrived half an hour late for our reservation but were still treated like valued customers (which is more than I can say for some other "nice" restaurants in the city) and seated promptly.

                          The waiter took our drink order immediately and went over the specials in enough detail. He answered all questions quickly and without hesitation, even about the specials.

                          I started with a glass of Woodford Reserve bourbon and my dining guest had a glass of the house Merlot. Ice water was brought as requested without much trauma or upselling.

                          The tables were set with a basket of fresh breads (a loaf of a yeast bread, a number of breadsticks and two pieces of flat bread) along with olives, tapenade and oven dried tomatoes. The oven dried tomatoes were heavenly and the perfect combination of sweet and savoury!

                          To start I had the beef carpaccio, which was sliced paper thin, cool (not frozen) beef tenderloin. I make it clear that it was cool and sliced as too many places slice it frozen, thicker than necessary and pound it thin, which in my opinion ruins the texture and the flavour. It was covered (albeit a little heavy handed) with parmesean cheese slivers, radicchio salad (perfectly dressed) and a generous portion of shaved black truffle. My partner had the appetizer special, which was a tourchon of foie gras that was salt cured for three days and served over a mango napoleon. The cured foie had a nice texture, creamy on the inside and firm on the outside...

                          It was a good start to the meal. We then waited and waited and waited for our main courses. I had ordered the beet risotto and my guest had ordered the lamb special. The wait was so long, that our waiter had provided a small scoop of savoury lime/sorrel sorbet to keep us occupied. I suspect that the delay was due to the time it took to prepare the risotto as it was fresh and perfect when it arrived.

                          The beet risotto was a surprising combination of the earthy beets and rich creamy risotto flavours. It was flavourful and comforting on a cold winter night. My guest's lamb was beautifully cooked and served on celeriac mash with root vegetables. I'm not generally a fan of lamb, but the piece I was given was delicious and simply prepared.

                          We hemmed and hawed over dessert, however decided to share the plantain/chocolate fritters. These were beautifully cooked, crisp on the outside and creamy on the inside. The three fritters were served with a sweet phyllo cracker and caramel sauce. Delicious and actually light.

                          The food was delicious and the service top notch. Aside from the heavy handed application of cheese on the carpaccio and the prolonged wait for our mains, there were few missteps in the meal. I would go back again and recommend Mistura for anyone looking for a relaxed evening out.

                          1. re: Mike from Hamilton

                            Ohmigod, it's only 9:46 a.m. and I am now drooling. I forgot about the bread basket and complimentary tapenades. His cheese breadsticks are out of this world. I could go for some beet risotto right now!

                            1. re: Mike from Hamilton

                              For future reference, north- and southbound traffic on Avenue Rd is always bad on a Friday night, Grey Cup or no Grey Cup. You're slightly better off going along Davenport to get to Mistura.

                              1. re: Mike from Hamilton

                                Thanks very much for your thoughtful review, Mike. Do you happen to recall, by any chance, the prices you paid for the apps, mains and dessert?

                                1. re: Yum2MyTum

                                  Apps were about $22 each, the Risotto was $28 for the entree sized portion, the lamb was in the mid to high $30's...dessert was $12.

                                  1. re: Mike from Hamilton

                                    Thank you Mike! I think I'm going to have to visit, after your glowing review and millygirl's support of Mistura.

                  2. Been to Mistura twice, and had pretty bad food both times. Over-salted soup, uninspired mains. Meh. That was a few years ago now, so I can't say anything regarding how it is nowadays.
                    If you're looking for a nice evening, I'd recommend either Scaramouche or Splendido well before Mistura.

                    1. The food is EXCELLENT!
                      Service is good, but at times they seem a bit 'over-whelmed' on weekends
                      Meaning you get one server and then another shows up to pick up the pieces.
                      BUT
                      BUT
                      BUT
                      Very very good food!

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: NoFixedAddress

                        We've never had a problem with service. They have a number of wait staff and a runner (Majong) on the floor. Majong is in charge of delivering the food to all the tables and I think he does it very well. Very professional. Everything has been perfectly timed for us on every occasion.

                        1. re: millygirl

                          i know this is an old thread, but i went to Mistura last night and goodness gracious me, what a nice surprise!

                          i had chosen the restaurant based primarily on this particular thread - and thank you so much to all who posted here. Mistura is now on my list of go-to places for a wonderful experience.

                          great service - i appreciated the unpretentiousness (that's so not a word, but it'll do!) of the professionals involved and the general sense of "we're really glad you came by, and we'd really like it if you wanted to come again" that you get from all the staff.

                          the food was really truly excellent. between the two of us, we had the beet risotto, the bufala mozzarella (on chickpea puree, heirloom tomatoes, and a mixture of greens & basil), last night's special of mushroom-stuffed pancetta-wrapped quail, an entree-sized fettucine bolognese, lemon tart, and vanilla creme brulee. it was all lovely and simple with gorgeous flavours. really, it was just delightful.

                          thanks again, chowhounders. i've never been steered wrong here!

                          1. re: elizabethmaitland

                            Oh elizabethmaitland, I'm jealous. Haven't been in a few months and your post has given me one huge craving!!!!