Have to agree with GourmetGourmande. The food is not very good. We ordered the lobster appetizer, the halibut sandwich and the pizzza. First of all, we received all the food at once, which when we commented on it, the waitress seemed very confused. I guess she's never eaten in a restaurant herself. The appetizer was cold. The pizza was not good, my wife could not eat it. The halibut sandwich was very greasy, as were the fries. In fact, an hour or so after eating, we both felt ill, like after eating a very greasy meal. I don't think I would go back for food. We were very surprised by the poor food. I think maybe they got Adjey to come in and design the menu, pick up his check and leave. Clearly no one has taught anyone in the kitchen how to cook the food, which I imagine if cooked by Adjey would be very good.
I went last Friday, and I agree with the consensus here that it is just plain bad. Firstly, the decor is really off putting, and I will never understand the need for restaurants to feel like they have to provide TV's so I can catch every minutes of every sports channel while I am out dining?!?
We sat at the bar for drinks to start, really awkward to sit there as there are so many chairs crammed into the space. We ordered overpriced drinks, any my friend had to wait an extra 10 minutes to get hers. I guess they are still working out the glitches.
We were seated in a booth on the far wall, which was nice, I wouldn't have wanted to sit at the long dining bar.
We were greeted by our server, who looked like he was barely 13. Obviously his young age meant that he didn't have much experience serving, so I didn't expect much. He did his best, but he was just too inexperienced to provide a good level of service. We ordered the lobster nachos to start, which were really disappointing. They were very cold, right out of the fridge apparently, and the lobster was absolutely tasteless. It just tasted cold and salty. Their attempt to spice it up with jalapeno was all you tasted. It looked like there was something mixed with the lobster, but I sure couldn't taste anything.
I ordered the AAA steak thing on the menu. My vegetable too were glistening with oil, and the barbeque sauce they used was so overpowering and grossly sweet. Maybe it would be fine if you liked that sort of thing, but it really turned me off and I couldn't finish the meat. The jalapeno cornbread was okay, and the coleslaw was the best thing on the plate.
Really, it's the first restaurant I have been to where I wanted to complain, and say that it was just plain bad.
O is open. It is very "Toronto" with a definite "Restaurant Makeover" feel, which is not surprising given that David Adjey is the consulting chef. I'm not clear whether he has financial ties beyond that or not.
Being the Consulting Chef SHOULD NOT BE CONFUSED WITH BEING the chef that executes the menu.
In fact, while the menu is midly interesting, the execution was nothing short of brutal.
We went the first week it was open (Yeah, I know....never usually do that, however, we didn't know it was so new when we presented at the front door).
So, in fairness to the resto, please keep that in mind while you read the following...
The staff, while extremely friendly (in the "put my hand on your shoulder" kind of friendly) was not at all knowledgeable. They didn't know their menu, didn't know their wine...but, I must say, this admission of cluelessness was delivered in the sweetest, most adorable way by a timid but oh so willing to serve waitress. (Although, she should probably wait a fraction of a second longer after she turns away from her table before she rolls her eyes...).
But I digress. to the food:
chicken: pink underdone, salty but plentiful ; vegetable in very small quantity and shiny with oil
halibut sandwich: big bun; small piece of fish with a soggy crusting...probably due to contact with the tartar sauce (so so) placed directly on the bun and topped with shredded lettuce (how very cafeteria). Halibut overcooked. Fries were the best part of the food on that plate. Salad, drenched with dressing to the point of wilting (which coudln't possibly have been intended).
Chicken was replaced with another selection, the mushroom salad. Passable at best according to my dining partner who by this time was less than interested in commenting on her food.
Food: below average
Wine Selection: different than the usual; large; big price spread; a task for waiting staff to gain expertise;
Service: friendly if somewhat amateurish, KEG'ish and definitely becoming chilled after a complaint
Atmosphere: good, urbain, very conducive to "5 to 7" with friends where the main focus is a glass of wine (some good selection...if they don't run out) or a beer.
Price: it's always too expensive when the experience is below par...however, at first glance, from a purely economic standpoint, reasonable.
Will we go back? yes, for a glass of wine...this week in fact.
Will we order food? not particularly motivated to do so, and certainly not before looking at what comes out on other people's plates...however, a restaurant most often deserves a second chance...so stay tuned...
Last I heard it was supposed to open on the 13th, which I guess didnt happen.
The chef is David adjey (sp?), he is from Toronto and has something to do with Nectar and sassafraz. My understanding is that the whole building will be part of the same restaurant. The downstairs will be a lounge and the upstairs will be fine dining.
David Adjey now provides menu consulting to restaurants through his firm, David Adjey Cuisine. He hasn't had anything to do with Toronto's Nectar Restaurant for a couple of years, which closed last year and later reopened as Marben. It would be quite a nice treat if some of David's fresh cuisine showed up at O.