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Globe Bistro - review Feb/08

Had two birthdays to celebrate, we deliberately waited until Winterlicious was finished so we wouldn't run into rushed or bad service. Was a family dinner, ages range from 13 to 82 (82 year old is the biggest foodie of us all!). When our party of 9 arrived at 7 pm at the Globe Bistro (our first time), our waiter told us this was only day 2 of their new menu, and to bear with them. Guess that should have been first clue. He advs'd that they had gone to tasting/tapas style, and that we should consider one plate from each of the three courses.

Some of us ordered all 3 courses, some went with just 2. But we sat for 1.25 hrs with no food other than the bread and a tiny portion of butter and hummus to share between 5 of us at each end. Service was extremely uneven; a number of times only half the table got serviced, and we had to call them back repeatedly to get refreshed water, or a missed order. When food did finally arrive, they couldn't get the plates to the right diners.

The tastes were all there, litte foam and molecular happening, the food was good, but for what they're charging I shouldn't be paying for research to find it. Bloor & Danforth ain't Eigensinn, chef ain't Stadtlander, so it's not like we're getting the reputation or the real estate treatment.

I had the lamb chop and 48 hr sous vide lamb shoulder. Waiter claimed there was about 4 oz of each, I think maybe he needs a new scale. The chop is the size I would use for passed hor d'ouevres at a function, i.e. roughly 2 bites, and the shoulder piece was about the size of a silver dollar, maybe 1/4" thick. 5 baby carrots atop 2 tbsp of mashed potato, and that was $24. And it didn't arrive to me til almost 9:45, us with our 7 pm reservation.

My sibs had the Vanilla Glazed Yarmouth Lobster Salad, $20 for a plate that looked like an albino rabbit had done some nasty business on it; again, the taste was there, but honest to goodness, that presentation was just nonsense, and $20 a complete insult.

Desserts: I had the bread pudding & banana ice cream; the ice cream was a knockout, which was good cuz the bread pudding was way too dry. My folks had the sticky toffee pudding; a dry crumbly pudding, barely enough sticky toffee to snort with a straw. Niece had the expresso sorbet, it was dreadful, none of us (including this coffee addict writer) liked the taste, texture was like they used coffee grounds in it. When they put down the cheese plate for my sis at the end, they finally had to call over the owner to identify the cheeses because neither waiter could. To his credit, it was finally evident when the owner spoke that HE is passionate about food, but he's got a very long road ahead to get that message out over top of this kind of abysmal service and pretentious menu.

We're generally a pretty tolerant group; we eat out A LOT. Everyone had checked out the previous online menu, and were primed for a really interesting meal. Sadly, the Globe really blew it. Something is really wrong that after $750 worth of food and bev, by the time we got home @ 11:30, everyone had to chow down a bowl of cereal cuz we were all hungry.

So, I guess that will be both times we go to Globe Bistro: first...and last.

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    1. It is quite different from our last visit there which is a few months ago. Eventhough not top-notch, but service is good, food portion is big, presentation is nice. And with the price point, it is good value. Do they have a new chef ?

      1 Reply
      1. re: skylineR33

        Same chef, but it sounds like a much-expanded menu. The portions may be small (small? say it ain't so, Ed!), but they're no less labour-intensive, and there's now 50% more dishes on the menu. Sounds like the kitchen just couldn't keep up.

        I have to say, unless I'm actually interested in a tasting menu, I prefer the app-main-desert style of dining, especially in this price range.

      2. Went to Globe a few months ago before their menu changed and it was mostly positive. That's unfortunate.

        1. Interesting I was there on Friday - Day 1 of their new menu (I did not know they changed their menu concept, but I did avoid 'licious).

          Ordered 5 dishes:
          Indian Spiced Roasted Tomato Puree - The paneer was far to soft and milky for our liking. Spicing was underwhelming, I was confused about the grapes, but I did enjoy the flavour combination with the preserved lemon.

          Morrocan Crusted Monkfish Chop - slightly overcooked for my tastes but I did enjoy the spicing and the green salsa was nice. The fritters were okay.

          Masala Black Cod - Cooked wonderfully, but can't remember much else.

          Nunavut Caribou Leg - I enjoyed this dish, while I did find the Caribou a touch bland (could be a function of the meat itself I haven't had Caribou much often, but it's definitely not as rich as venison IMO), the spaetzle was very tasty as was the spiced red cabbage.

          Lamb chop and 48 hour shoulder - I too was very disappointed with this dish. The 48 should was "fall off the bone" flaky but dry! The mash was inedible IMO.

          With a cocktail and 3 glasses of wine $200+ tax/tip incl. I don't think I will immediately go back. There are other restaurants I would rather experiment on.

          Service was fine, they were very busy even for a late evening reservation. Though, I'm not one to fuss over service unless it's obviously poor, which it was not (for us). I did comment to the SO that I liked how the timing of the dishes were spaced out a touch longer - she wished they'd arrive a touch sooner - matter of preference really.

          6 Replies
          1. re: Apprentice

            Sorry to hear you had such a disappointing experience. We've been a number of times and have always enjoyed the food and never a problem with service. In fact I found the staff to be quite knowledgeable, and if they didn't know, would quickly find out. You're right in that Ed is very passionate about food, dining and in particular his restaurant, and so he should be. I'm with estragon in that I much prefer the traditional style as opposed to tasting menus. I'm hopeful that this was a one off experience and that if something is broke Ed will get it fixed pronto. Hmmm, haven't been for awhile now, might have to check it out for myself.

            1. re: millygirl

              Well, it's interesting to see that those of you who have dined there before have had completely different experiences. My waiter said the first night of the new menu was actually even worse than what we went through, I cannot imagine that. And I have trouble believing what you all say about the portions, because these really were, well, just silly. I don't mind the tapas style m'self; as a foodie family, we spent years ordering half a page of appetizers so everyone could try, or ordering 4 forks to go with each plate so we could all try each others, so we were doing our own version of tapas before anyone but the Spanish had a name for it. But you don't do tapas at those prices; the whole raison d'etre of tapas is small tastes for small prices. I will be interested to hear what those of you with a history at Globe have to say when you have your own experience with this new menu. To say I was disappointed would be a grand understatement.

              1. re: The Goddess

                Thanks for this review. I am always appreciative of those who take the time to spell it all out. I was invited recently to a UWO Alumni event at Globe Bistro. I guess Ed the owner is a Western Alum.... We'll see what the Westerners have to say about all this.

                1. re: Maimonides

                  Friends of mine were also there during the second day of their new menu and found similar issues with respect to portion sizes being all over the map - specifically the small portions of the lamb chop and shoulder for the price.

                  Sounds like they need to work out the kinks and potential fix the prices.

                2. re: The Goddess

                  I've eaten at Globe three or four times and always enjoyed the food even though I had some scatterbrained service on one occasion. The last time I was there was in August. I've been wanting to go back but there are so many other places to eat at. In early January, I had a look at the menu and saw that the prices seem to have risen drastically. (like about 30%) and I didn't see anything that really stood out on the menu. Did anyone else notice this? I would like to hear what others who have eaten there in the past think of the current menu, as my birthday is coming up in a few days and I was considering GB.

                  EDIT: I just visited the GB site and dinner menu after the posting the above, and see that the high prices I saw a month ago are now back down. I wish I has saved a copy of that previous pdf. I'm sure it had many items in the $30 to $45 range. It appears the new menu has three courses to choose from instead of the two in the old menu, and now you spend $50 for the second and third course, instead of 30 to 45 for just the "main".

                  1. re: foodyDudey

                    That's too bad, as others have noted hopefully they'll work out the kinks.

                    We've eaten at Globe twice, once last July and again this past January. At both visits, we were very happy with the service and the food.

                    I noticed when we went in January that the the wine list was much improved, and the mark-ups seem more than fair (Vega Sicilia's Alion for $120 - it retails for $70 in Ontario).

                    That said, on both trips we found their desserts to be truly awful. They're clearly aiming for something clever with the last course and really missing the mark.

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