Fusilli - decent!
I did a search and didn't really see any recent reviews so here's one.
I went there for a last minute dinner on Friday evening. It's a nice little spot, and I had inquired about it before here on Chowhound and was told it was a romantic little restaurant.
Well it's a very nice little place but I don't know that it's that romantic or cozy. It feels more like a large dining room in a house. I could clearly hear everyone elses conversation and tables are only inches apart. No table cloth either, I noticed. So anyway, that's not really a knock against the place, just a clarification; it's very minimalist but not in a bad way. A nice place but not a place I'd formally label romantic enough for a date, but thats just me.
Service - the girl who works there tries her best but she made a few boo-boos. My soup was forgotten until I inquired, and the table next to me kept having their orders reveresed. Minor points but hey, its a review. She wasn't inattentive, just a little overwhelemed. The size of the dining room probably only requires one waiter/waitress but when its full it could probably use two. Anyway she did her best, and was more than happy to bring my soup. Again, I felt she tried her best.
Oh, and on a Friday, they were out of mussels for my pescatore spaghetti. I was slightly disappointed given that it was a Friday night, I guess in general I feel everything should be in stock on a weekend.
Anyway, those are the only negative things I could really say. On to the good.
The food was delicious! I had the caprese salad, which was good, not too oily, good quality cheese, and I had the soup of the day which was like a kind of mushroom bisque. Really flavourful soup, I was scraping my bowl with the spoon to get it all.
As I mentioned, I had the pescatore spaghetti. It was delicious as well - the only knock against it is that again, they were out of mussels and didn't appear to have thrown in any extra shrimp or scallops to make up for it. But it was still quite delicious and I enjoyed it.
Date had the Penne Boscaiola which is a veggie pasta dish, and she really liked it. Portions were decent, we didn't feel the need for dessert.
Price point was decent, two glasses of house red plus all the above came to around $75 tax/tip in.
My honest review is that because I live nearby (or hypothetically if I didn't live nearby but was in the area) I would DEFINTIELY go back. However, if I didn't live nearby, I don't think I would go out of my way the same way I plan on returning to Camarra's, even though Camarra's is totally out of my way, if any of that makes any sense.
Anyway, Fusilli, thumbs up. Decently priced, good quality Italian in a modest location.
Pity you didn't have the opportunity to go there before the reno. It was local artists works on the walls plus candlelight & red & white checkered tablecloths. Very Lady and the Tramp. I think a few more of the regulars have to pressure Giuseppe to bring some of that look back. You could never have called it minimalist (shudder) in the past. Romance was easy, especially in the open window table in good weather or the very back table in the winter.
I take it Guiseppe wasn't there when you were. I wish I had known you were going as I would have offered that advice. The best nights are the ones he's there which are most of them, but unfortunately not all.
As for stocking, as you saw its a small place. He sources his wares exceptionally well. I've always been impressed with the quality of ingredients a fact that hasn't changed. It means things such as his wife's terrific tiramisu (something I don't order anywhere else) run out. Keeping it fresh seems to be priority #1. He's good at anticipating demand, but its an art not an exact science.
If I've been reading your posts correctly, you live in Corktown and work in Scarborough. We have to exchange resto notes as I do something very similar.
Yes, close, Leslieville and Scarborough. More specifically, that glorious hamlet known as Malvern. So many restaurants peppering the Scarborough landscape, unfortunately I'm new at this and don't have many notes to compare but I think one of these days I'll soon take another Akane-esque risk :) I'll be sure to post up!
As for Fusilli, yes what you describe is a little closer to what I expected. As it is, it's a decent place, but (for me anyhow) that extra bit of ambience would have made a difference, sometimes the intangibles can factor in.