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Anyone been to Vagabondo or La Vecchia?

A friend mentioned us going to one of these two italian restaurants, and I was just wondering your thoughts on the food, service and atmosphere? Thanks.

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  1. Googs clearly had a bad experience at La Vecchia:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/396630

    1 Reply
    1. re: TorontoJo

      THREE bad experiences one after the other making it the new consistent standard. My friends and I kept hoping it would go back to better times. Now I refuse to La Vecchia for anyone. Gotta say with Zucca and Five Doors in the 'hood, why spin the wheel when you can always win?

    2. La Vecchia is fine for what it is- neighbourhood Italian near Yonge and Eg. The atmosphere is cozy, with lots of dark wood. It has more of a romantic ambiance in the evening, with lots of candlelight and soft lighting. The tables are set a little too close together.

      The crowd at Grazie tends to a little older and usually a little better dressed than the mostly 20something Grazie line-up. La Vechhia's crowd is generally 30something and up, with a fair number of families and couples.

      I like their dinner dishes better than the brunch dishes I've tried.The portion size of the pasta what I would consider meal size as opposed to primi size (which would allow room for a main course after the pasta) , but still not as large as the servings at Grazie, I've always found the servers to be friendly and courteous.

      A couple months ago I tried their arugula salad which I liked, and a daily pasta special involving Italian sausage and rapini IIRC. The espresso was quite good. Our server was great- more professional than many servers I've met in more upscale establishments.

      I like the food at La Vecchia better than Grazie (and much better than Amore or Spacco) because I find the dishes a little more interesting, and the food seems to be more carefully prepared, with less short cuts taken.

      I've found I'm usually less disappointed in TO Italian restaurants if I stick to the salads and primi (pasta/gnocchi/risotto), and stay way from the secondi. I usually also avoid seafood pastas and seafood antipasti because I'm not a huge fan of farmed atlantic salmon, frozen shrimp and frozen calamari, and that's all that neighbourhood Italian restaurants can afford to offer at their pricepoints.

      With the portion sizes in TO, a salad and primi is usually more than enough food.

      http://www.lavecchia.ca/menu_items.ph...

      For Italian food in the area, I'd rather eat at 5 Doors North or Zucca south of Eglinton, or Gamberoni north of Lawrence, but I think La Vecchia serves decent food, especially for that immediate area.

      Good for a quick meal before a movie or an event at the Capitol Event theatre.

      Haven't tried Vagabondo.

      -----
      La Vecchia
      2405A Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4P2E7, CA

      1. I'm also one of those people who've been to La Vecchia and not Vagabondo. I agree with phoenikia, La Vecchia is what it is.. a decent neighbourhood Italian restaurant, though it's not normally a place I'd choose to eat when visiting friends in the area. Personally, I feel Zucca is a better choice, but it is a little more expensive. Also, since the two choices are pretty far from each other I suspect that proximity isn't a terribly important factor in deciding where to go.

        1. I haven't eaten in the restaurant at Vagabondo, so I'm not sure if this is a good indication, but I have ordered their pasta for take-out and it was very salty. I couldn't finish it and have never frequented them again. I'm trying Trio Ristorante (Yonge north of Lawrence) this weekend.

          1. Thank you for all of your opinions.. anyone else with experiences at Vagabondo?

            2 Replies
            1. re: hungryabbey

              I really liked Vagabondo ( the one of Dufferin right?)
              Food was great, amazing owner what more can you ask for !

              1. re: apetimberlake

                The one I was thinking of is on wellington
                http://www.menupalace.com/menupalace/...

            2. I had a business lunch at Vagabondo recently. I had Stracciatella soup and Spinach Salad and enjoyed them. One of my partners ordered a pasta but did not finish it - he said he wasn't that hungry. The other lunch partner order the pasta of the day and seemed to enjoy it.

              1 Reply
              1. re: OTFOODIE

                Okay thanks for the tip!

              2. Which Vagabondo? Isn't the one at Davisville now called Piano or something?

                1. I went to Vagabondo on Wellington over two years ago and thought if was a lovely, romantic restaurant. I went back in the fall last year and they had changed things somewhat; they opened up a lounge area at the front of the restaurant with loud music (even in the bathrooms!) I think they are trying to appeal to the younger crowd. Although I enjoyed their food on both visits, this "club/restaurant" format did not work for me.

                  1. been to Vagabondo and Dufferin a few times.
                    i really thought it was a step above food court Italian food, but at higher prices.
                    I only recall having the lasagna and thinking "this was definitely NOT work $10!"

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: atomeyes

                      hm, so there are two locations then?

                    2. Thank you for your help everyone. We had a great dinner tonight at Vagabondo on Wellington tonight! Service was really attentive and we were even brought a complementary tiramisu for my sister (it was her birthday). Food was also really nice for the price. We tried the bruschetta (excellent, very fresh and the bread was perfect, not TOO crispy but held up well),3 spring salads (lovely light dressing), caesar salad, sausage rigatoni, 2 veal paninis and 1 sausage panini served with fries (HUGE sandwiches with nice house cut fries) as well as a bottle of wine for about $160 including tax and tip. In general I found their tomato sauce a little bit flat, by which I mean it tasted a little bit like the sauce you buy in a can, but other than that I thought everything was really good for the price. I will definetly be going back, especially when its really nice out so I can sit out on the lovely patio. Thanks again guys!

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: hungryabbey

                        The patio at the Wellington Vagabondo is fantastic on a summer's eve but I would avoid the pasta and go for a pizza with a pint or two of beer.

                        1. re: westhead74

                          Thanks for the tip westhead, I will try the pizzas next time I go! Are they thin crust?