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May 29, 2008 08:54 AM

Coppi Restaurant - translation 'crappy'

We were there last night. What a mistake that was! We knew pretty early in to our arrival that it wasn't going to be good. You know when you just have that feeling? Worst part was we dragged 4 other foodies along with us. Oh well, misery loves company. Mr. Millygirl and I have had a few very good meals at Coppi, but that was a few years ago, and sadly things have changed quite a bit since then, and not for the better.

First off, our waiter. Where shall I begin? To give you an idea, he would have been very comfortable at something along the lines of The Spaghetti Factory. Honestly, the manner in which he was banging our plates around I thought I was sitting in a Swiss Chalet. Everything had to repeated at minimum twice, sometimes three times. We ordered a bottle of red and one white. Do you think he could keep straight who was drinking what? The service in general which was once crisp, confident and with fantastic table management, has been reduced to that of your average banquet hall.

Then the big upsell. I find that so cheesy. Did we want flat or sparkling? Did we want some brushetta? Did we want cocktails? I think normally I would find it helpful but it was this guys manner. He was barking at us the minute we sat down. Yes sunshine, calm down. We're gonna order all of the above, just give us a minute to settle in.

Now the food. Did I mention that they are in the middle of an Italian Food Festival of some sorts. Think Summerlicious but italian. Anyways, we all had a toast at the table and made a vow NEVER TO DO PROMOTIONAL DINING AGAIN - EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Absolutely horrible experience. Let's see the food was tasteless, COLD, overly salty, and extremely boring. Main course was either halibut done in parchment or osso bucco. Halibut was very boring and dry and osso bucco was the same, but even more so.

Now the best part - one person in our group had decided not to have the prix fixed menu and ordered two courses - an appetizer and main course pasta. The prix fixed menu was three courses and a desert. One of the three courses was a very small portion of spaghetti. So what do they do? They bring the guy's main course pasta out with our little bowls of spaghetti.
When questioned on this we were told 'well pasta is pasta, we bring all together'. Huh? Needless to say, we didn't see Fausto (the owner) for the rest of the evening.

When it came to ordering our coffee it was meyham. Going around the table, cream or milk, cream or milk. For f'sakes just bring us some of each, where hell are we anyways? Finally after getting himself all confused (again) he mumbled something about just bringing us some of each. Duh!!! I was picturing a bowl of creamers arriving like they do at Sunset Grill. It was a nightmare

Anyways, luckily we are all good friends and understand that you take the good with the bad. It happens. But I could not believe that this was the same Coppi that we had experienced about 4 years back. What the hell happened? Fausto would never have allowed such crap to come out of his kitchen back then. I remember the bread as being a highlight, served nice and warm and wrapped in a starched white linen napkin. Now it's cold dry toast slapped on a plate.
Even the famous risotto has been demoted to just another plate of gluey run of the mill yuckiness. Where's the pride?

Unfortunately we've had a few of these lately. Dinners out where Mr. Millygirl and I look at each other and say, why the hell didn't we just go to Pastis, or Scaramouche, or even Gio's. Our standard spots that are consistent and we know we're gonna have a good or even great meal, without any surprises.

What a circus Coppi was! Sorry hazelnutts and paw paws.

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  1. Disgraceful. Yet another example of a (once lauded) restaurant serving horrible food and doling out horrible, inept service and thinking it is acceptable – that customers are naive enough to not realize what is going on. Very sketch. Pure garbage. That’s why I’ve tended to stick to my tried and trues this past year. Don’t want to spend my money on crap like this. My condolences. I will stay away.

    1. I feel sorry about that. I have the same worst experience with them 2 weeks ago. At the end of the meal, our server asked how's the evening and I replied to him go ask the guy behind the mirror insider the washroom.

      3 Replies
      1. re: pokerdan

        I must admit pokerdan that it's bittersweet to hear that you had a similar experience. I am both happy and sad at the same time to learn that it wasn't just us experiencing a really 'off' night.

        I just don't get it. How does someone who at one time was so passionate about every detail slip so low? Does he not care anymore? Does he not realize? What the hell happened? It boggles my mind.

        1. re: millygirl

          As I live in the area, I hit Coppi four or five times a year, and am happy to say I've never had your most recent horrible experience. Indeed, I find the resto just about the best on a strip of Yonge St. Italian joints that are overwhelmingly very, very average. Seems like you got it on a night when lousy service met an off-night in the kitchen and one of those damn promotions, which shouldn't happen where dinner for two with a bottle of wine (tax and tip included) can easily top $150. And it certainly shouldn't happen when Fausto, the owner, is on the premises, making sure everything is as it should be. I haven't had any of the dishes you mention, but generally stick to several imaginative appetizers on the regular menu, and three or four main dishes they usually execute quite well - like the reliable spaghetti puttanesca, which you can't find on too many Italian menus - so can't offer my experience with them. But I find it's a wise move to stay away from restos when they're doing a special promotion. I was aware of the promotion of which you speak (a number of Italian restos are in on it), and resolved to wait till it's over - thereby avoiding the usual chaos and corner-cutting of such things - before venturing back. And, after reading your post, I'll be alert to any diminution of quality at Coppi. Though to be fair, I've only had smooth, professional service there. Upselling, which is usually discreet at Coppi,, never bothers me. I just say, "No, thanks," and that settles it. The bread you mentioned, toasted and drizzled with flavored olive oil, is one of my favorite parts of a meal at Coppi, but it has never been served cold to me. As for the main dish of pasta coming out before the appetizer for one of your fellow diners, well, I'd just tell them to take it back till I'm ready for it, and give me my appetizer, please. But then, I hope never to have such an experience at Coppi. At that price level, there's no excuse, promotion or no promotion.

          1. re: juno

            Regarding the promotion, I was of the mindset that a restaurant like Coppi could pull it off no problem. Afterall, this the same food they serve regularly and we're not talking a $30 promo. Coppi's prixe fixed was priced at $50, and all in all, what with the brushetta and side of risotto we were in at $200 a couple.

            What really irked me was that Fausto has really lowered his service standards. The bozo that served us last night was honestly the worst server I have experienced in a very long time. And to make matters worse, it was Fausto himself that explained the reasoning behind the pasta main coming with the apps. What a joke. "Pasta is pasta, we serve at the same time".

            Another funny thing he said to us - all 5 of us could not eat the salty spaghetti appetizer and left it. He came to our table to tell us that that particular dish is supposed to be salty and he figured we knew that because we ordered it and didn't ask for an explanation. Huh? This was prixe fixed - it came with the meal. We didn't have an option. It just didn't make sense. I could go on and on, and I know I've already rambled too much but really, it was BAD!!!

            It was at that point we realized it was a lost cause. They just didn't get it.