What's the deal with 7 Numbers -- I've heard mixed reviews. Ate there a few years ago and wasn't impressed, has anything changed? Can anyone offer some perspective? Also which location is better, Eglinton or Danforth?
we would always choose its more "sophisticated" cousin, Gio Ranna's. Its pretty much the same menu. but Gio Ranna's seems to always taste better.
we were on a 1 year hiatus w/7 Numbers. had a decent meal at the Eglinton one, but we prefer the Danforth one due to staff and layout.
last week,we went to the Danforth location.
service was pretty crappy (and i think it was a Sunday night). only 1 server.
ordered some of our favourites:
another pasta that began with a G. never heard of that noodle before.
a salad as an ap (forget which one).
duck was pretty good, but not mindblowing (which is what it used to be). same with lasagna.
otherwise, it was a good meal - but it used to be a great meal.
I really don't understand the mediocre reviews of this place. The food is stellar, if what you're looking for is simple, fresh, unpretentious Italian food. This isn't "Canadian" Italian food. What you get at 7 Numbers is pretty representative of what you'd get at any Italian family gathering. The lasagna, in my opinion, is easily the best in Toronto.
Having been to all branches of the Gio Ranna restaurant family a number of times over the years, I've always enjoyed the no-fuss, well-made dishes. As TOFoodFan notes, the food and service is supposed to be simple and unpretentious.
It's more akin to what you'd find at an Italian family gathering or trattoria rather than a ristorante. As such, you can't expect fine dining service. That said, I have always found the service to be competent and affable, although I have experienced lengthy waits, especially on Saturday nights. I think this is attenuated somewhat with the larger space in the new Eglinton location.
In any case, to me, the wait is not intolerable, as I understand that the servers are usually in no rush to shoo people away (at least this has been my experience). The last time I was at 7 Numbers, my party was able to enjoy our meal at a leisurely pace not always encouraged at other establishments. This too, is very reminiscent of a typical Italian family meal.
All things considered, I will continue to frequent the Gio Ranna restaurants when I'm craving tasty, uncomplicated Italian comfort food which rivals that of my nonna.
Sadly, my nonna is no longer around to cook. But my zias are, and I've always considered them the best Italian cooks outside of Italy. I know I'm going to get food that tastes like theirs when I go to 7 Numbers, and to a slightly lesser extent in my opinion, Gio's. I've never had rude or unfriendly service either at 7 Numbers. I have, however, almost always had to flag someone down when it's time for the check. At less than $25 for a meal of lasagna and braciole, I'm fine with that.
I've had some really nice meals there the last few months, and the service is always great. We go as a family, including two small babies, and they work hard to accommodate us. We used to go to Gio's all the time, but I guess now that we have a baby, it's 7 Numbers all the way...much more of a family place.
Have only been to the one on Eglinton and here are my thoughts:
Old location was MUCH better both in terms of the space (LOVED the huge patio) and the food.
New spot is really cramped and cavernous....plus its really noisy. The food is all fine. But nothing spectacular.
That said...the one thing I still think they do better than anywhere else in the city is the fried calamari. Light. Not too greasy. Always perfectly cooked. Brilliant!!!