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Review - Rae - What am I missing??

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I work at Cira Centre. Last week I found myself having lunch on my own and needing a bit of a cheer up, so instead of the normal cafeteria food I decided to take myself out. Not wanting to walk a lot, I opted to try Rae again.

I'd tried it a time or two back when it first opened, and was decidedly underwhelmed. Yet, I kept reading such glowing reviews that I thought I would keep my eye on it; maybe I had gone on off days.

Well, they were off again. Way off.

I ordered an Onion Soup and what was advertised on the menu as a Chicken, Prosciutto and Fontina panino.

The soup looked good enough, but it tasted very strongly off some kind of alcohol - sherry? - and was buttery to the point of being greasy. The onions were nicely caramelized though, but the broth (aside from being boozy) had very little flavor. It was served with some kind of bread / pastry - greasy with butter or oil and caked with salty bits of what I assume was parmesan cheese; it tasted just okay but the greasiness was very off putting. Next to the bread was a small container of what I thought was parmesan cheese but turned out to be some kind of mayonnaise or aioli. I didn't try it since the bread didn't need any more help in that department.

The "panino" turned out to be sliced chicken breast and prosciutto rolled in a thin flour tortilla and grilled half to death; although the outside was nearly burnt the chicken, perversely, was undercooked, cold and slimy. The "fontina" was again some kind of mayonnaisey aioli affair, and sort of gushed out all over the table.

The restaurant itself is looking a little worse for the wear - they rearrange the tables (sometimes intruding into the Cira Centre lobby, sometimes not, depending on need) on what is a daily basis; the tables and dividers are looking a bit banged up and dingy as a result. Also, and I realize this is hard for them to control as they share space with the lobby, the restaurant had what seemed like more of its fair share of flies.

With the prices they are charging (my meal came to $30, including tip and beverage), I can't see what all the hype is about! Has anyone had a better experience there? Is dinner vastly different?

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  1. I am with you. I ate lunch there about a year ago and what I remember about the food was that everything was salty and greasy. I would not go back. Can't understand the hype about this place.