Two thumbs down, way down
So my husband asked me out on a date (it's been a rough few weeks), got a babysitter (okay, it's my nephew - but still he's not always free to babysit) and we decided to stay close to home (NDG), but still venture out a little ways - the canal in Lachine. He was in the mood for italian (well the wine that would accompany it) but I was more for mexican, but he won, because well, there was wine involved.
We decided on Il Fornetto. Ugh. Service was unprofessional, sloppy and just totally disinterested. At one point I thought I would just ask for my meal in a doggie bag I felt so rushed (no, the restaurant was not full and there were no line ups at the door). We ordered an antipasto plate to share, I ordered the tomato and onion salad (sounds classier in Italian), I ordered the risotto milanese- he the veal "al Fornetto".
Salad and antipasto came at the same time - not 5 minutes after we ordered it. I tried to explain to the waitress that she should take the salad back to the kitchen and bring it back when we were done with the antipasto. The concept was foreign to her. They took our antipasto plate when we were done. I went outside to make a phone call, came back in and started on my salad. Oops, here come the entrees. Yeah, I'm already really looking forward to this risotto - I've been here maybe 25 minutes, and I didn't order the minute I sat down ( a risotto from scratch takes minimum 40 minutes - so even a half way done one should take about 15-20). The risotto was bland, and not very authentic - I even highly doubt the use of arborio or carnaroli rice in this. There was no garlic or onion within a mile of my plate, and it and any form of parmiggiano had only a very brief passing acquaintance - if any. My husband claimed he could taste some, I couldn't. I left more than half in my plate. My husband's veal was tender, looked boiled (no brownish caramelization signs of pan frying anywhere) and tasted average. Again, no noticeable flavours. It was supposed to be an artichoke, mushroom thing - but alas the artichoke pickers must have been on strike.
The sign of a really bad restaurant - no one gave a rat's ass that my plate was half full. They took it away and then proceeded to empty the rest of our bottle into our glasses to finish it off - my glass was nearly full. I've never seen that done in a restaurant in my life. I get the message - WE'RE LEAVING soon. We didn't bother with desserts, and decided we would fare better with an espresso at the second cup on the corner of our street than overpay for something there.
The only redeeming point to the whole evening was a toss up of being out, and the wine.
The restaurant was total CRAP.
I had been there as well a little while back and did not at all enjoy it. The food was just OK, but the service was abysmal. The food took forever to arrive, was only just OK. Plates were never cleared. The place was full, and had two waiters that seemed to be more interested in bitching at each other than taking care of the patrons.
So, I take it. you did not like it....
There are a lot of lousy Italian in this city... it truly is caveat emptor, as anyone who can boil pasta, and throw together sauce, believes that they can run an Italian restaurant. Add to this the fact that if you ever ask most Italians 'where is the best place to eat Italian?' they will reply ...at home. So, if we use logic we can surmise that Italian restaurants typically don't serve a predominantly Italian client base......A perfect reason one should search chowhound before venturing out to the unknown.
Thanks for taking one for the rest of us.
To add to that, when I looked at the table d'hote - they had as the 2nd most expensive offering- a tilapia dish. TILAPIA and expensive don't exactly go hand in hand. Unless it's smothered in truffles, stuffed with seared foie gras and served on gem encrusted platter, how dare you sell it for 28.95 on a table d'hote.
And yeah - I rarely if ever order pasta in an italian restaurant just because the price always ruins it for me. I figure with an authentic risotto, I'm at least making them work for their money. Not here.
So, like your italian friends might say - if I want authentic risotto, I'll just keep making it at home. Stir stir stir stir.