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Nov 22, 2008 05:31 PM

Il Fornello - King Street

Had tickets for the symphony at Roy Thomson Hall last night. Given that I work in Grimsby and not knowing what traffic would be like, my SO booked a table for us at Il Fornello. It's across the street from Roy Thomson Hall, very convenient.

I was a bit worried about this as our last experience there was less than memorable. My fears were not unjustified. Interestingly, the place was jammed to the rafters. The menu identifies the restaurant as one of Toronto's 10 best in 2008 - laughable. The first indicator of a bad night was the waiter. He was indifferent and referred to my wife as sweetie, and honey. This was very off-putting. We asked for another waiter.

I ordered the Asiago Chicken, my wife seafood penne. Our dinner companions ordered the Osso Bucco special and Linguine Carbonara. Their meals were OK - they are not particularly picky, however, both of our meals were stone cold. Not only that - the chicken was supposed to be a stuffed supreme chicken, yet it was no larger than a chicken nugget. We both sent our dinners back, waited 15 minutes and the second waiter retunred the meals with a trite apology. Although my plate was hot, the food was still stone cold. Probably just let it sit under the warming light for a few minutes. My god - had to send the plate back twice!!! I said forget it and ordered a caesar salad with grilled chicken. What did I get... rotisserie chicken. This restaurant can't get anything right.

Toronto's 10 best??? No way! I shoulda known better and told my wife to book somewhere else. At least they comped the salad.

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  1. Sorry to hear that. Not sure who put it on their 10 best list, certainly not on mine. Next time, I would suggest another chain restaurant called Big Daddy's, which is a couple of doors down. Very good oysters, good cajun food, and a couple of starters shared would feed two people well. Very dependable for service and quality.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Snarf

      Pretty much that whole stretch along King from Simcoe all the way to Spadina is a disaster. You probably would have been better off going for a burrito or poutine one block north on Adelaide at Burrito Boyz or Smoke's Poutinerie, respectively.

      1. re: Snarf

        Zagat put it on their "10 Best" list, unfortunately.

        1. re: BodyByCheese

          Zagat generally works on voting. Who would vote for that? Maybe we need a concerted manipulative effort to correct the guides....

      2. I went to the Yonge & St Clair location yesterday with a friend. I had the wild mushroom pizza. It came with portobello, oyster and button mushrooms with mozzarella and brie cheese. My friend had the italian sausage pizza. We both really liked our pizzas. I wouldn't say it was the best wood oven pizza we've had but it was pretty good. The service was really good. The waitress offered bread and flavored olive oil and I have to say that it was not spectacular. The olive oil didn't have a "flavour" so I think it was just a basic extra virgin olive oil. They have an Autumnlicious event going on now till November 19th - Sunday to Thursday where they offer an app and a main for $19.99 -

        I would like to check out their other locations but which one is the best?

        1. I've been to their Oakville location and had their prosciutto pizza, it was way too salty and the dough was incredibly boring. I was not impressed at all and will never go back to any of their locations.

          I like Dhaba on King Street, good quality Indian food.

          1 Reply
          1. re: itsvince

            I disagree about Dhaba. Went there last year and it was mediocre at best in my opinion and high priced for the quality of the ingredients. I don't remember specifics (although I think I posted on here at the time) but I do remember that the paneer and chicken were both rubbery.