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Jul 15, 2009 12:26 PM

Italian Gourmet going downhill

Wow, was in here on the weekend, and the store is VERY bare! Deli section is almost non-existant, food in cases looked dry and old. Could Pete's Frootique be affecting the Gourmet? It's certainly nowhere near to what it was when it first opened!!

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  1. Haven't been into Doyle St. for some time... one would hope that competition would encourage them to step up their game...

    3 Replies
    1. re: eastcoastal

      I like their sandwiches, but they're overpriced and very skimpy on the ingredients. $6.99 for a tuna sandwich that's mostly bread is ridiculous. Very skimpy on the calabrese in the Vesuvius, too. The Italian Market on Young piles the calabrese on (though it's been a few years since I've been there).

      1. re: eastcoastal

        I've always had mixed feelings about the IG. Before Pete's, it was more useful to me as a grocery store than as a restaurant (although for a while I worked up the street from there and developed a lunchtime lasagna/calzone habit that resulted in some alarming weight gain!). I often found the service weird: rude or slow or unskilled--"is 225g okay?" when I'd ask them for 100g of prosciutto, for example.

        I'll admit that I've opted for Pete's over IG lately, but I still buy their fresh sausages, which are unequaled, and I picked up some great artisan salami from Quebec there a while ago.

        1. re: starlings

          I share the feeling that it is a place whose best days are behind it...though they did have some good items, service was , well, 'odd' might sum it up...I remember a bizarre conversation with a young lady who served there where I had to defend my idea that gorgonzola came in more than one 'style' , comes young or old, soft and barely ripe or old and crumbly and it was indeed a blue cheese ( she kept maintaining that "blue cheese comes from France roquefort, you know?")

      2. I have to tell you that I used to love this place but the lady who owns it can be so sour-faced, greedy, indifferent, and even confrontational that it really turned me off. I only recommend going there if you know she is away. I agree with the other posts about the service.

        1. Seems like you Chows were on to something. Today, Italian Gourmet: closed, windows papered, legalese letter in window talking about non-payment of rent.

          21 Replies
          1. re: parleek

            I guess I have had my last bowl of their Thai chicken soup, which was the best soup I had ever tasted. A shame.

            1. re: Greg B

              Krisie, you summed it up perfectly. That woman has a face like a wet weekend and an attitude to match! It would seem from parleek's post that her nasty demeanour and snotty, high and mighty treatment of people she considered "below her' finally caught up to her. Just goes to prove the old saying "what goes around, comes around". It'll be interesting to see who snaps it up and makes a go of it!!

              1. re: Greg B

                greg I know what you mean about that soup. I used to love it too. You should know you can get something almost identical to it at the wired monk.

              2. re: parleek

                A shame regardless, if they got swallowed up because there's a chain nearby . I've never encountered the lady you guys speak of. I loved their florentines, their hazelnut gelato and their almond latte for sweets, and the layered cheese pesto thing whose name escapes me, also the tortas. Have to admit though, that their "cheesecakes" leave a lot to be desired, they're not even baked, alot of them. I'm an out of towner, but I always used to go there because it was, in the past, the only place that I knew of to buy sliced kalamatas, bocconcini and those addictive almond stuffed olives. I always enjoyed going there.

                1. re: im_nomad

                  You can probably still get most of the things you speak of at the Italian Market over on Young St. The Market was the original and the Gourmet was a sister store to the Market. In the beginning, the fresh food products were made at the Market and shipped downtown to the Gourmet daily.

                  1. re: spazita

                    Stopped by yesterday(on my way to the last day for the Midtown). Note indicates thousands of dollars due in unpaid rent! Wonder what a month's rent is in that part of town?

                    1. re: spazita

                      Took some pictures:

                      1. re: spazita

                        Probably $5000-$6000 a month for a space that size.

                        1. re: Greg B

                          That would explain why everything there was grossly over-priced.

                          1. re: spazita

                            I loved the idea of the Italian Gourmet I always found the service there to be terrible despite the good food. Often I'd have to wait an alarmingly long time to get a simple sandwich or piece of lasagna. The last time I went I got served the skimpiest portion of caesar salad that I refused to go back. So I can't really say I'm surprised but I am always disappointed to see a spot like that close downtown though.

                          2. re: Greg B

                            Try $8500. a month plus, plus ,plus. I know, I worked there.

                            1. re: rdytply

                              How long did you work there? Did you have any notice they were going to be closed?

                        2. re: spazita

                          spazita - Unfortunately the Italian Market on Young St is owned by the Italian Gourmet's ex and he's as sour and impersonal as she was.

                          1. re: chilibeanpaste

                            No, he's not really that bad. He's just not very good with people. And what do you expect from someone who had to live with that dragon for so long? And I prefer to say "the italian gourmet"s ex " . Because the Market was there LONG befors the "Gourmet"

                            1. re: chilibeanpaste

                              Just read this week that he sold out to someone so he will no longer be involved in that business either.

                              1. re: Greg B

                                Wow, Greg, really? Where did you see that?

                                1. re: spazita

                                  It was in (subscription required, otherwise I would post a link).

                                    1. re: spazita

                                      The report says it's now owned by Ron Marks and his wife Julie. He had previously worked in a variety of places, including Cara Operations, Wolfgang Puck's Bar & Grill, and the Omni Saigon Hotel.,

                                      1. re: Greg B

                                        Coll! Here's hoping he can make it work.

                                        1. re: spazita

                                          Maybe he'll grab the gourmet as well?

                      2. Anyone out there know if the Gourmet will re-open?

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: spazita

                          Well on Tuesday they dumped four boxes of financial records and other garbage on the sidewalk in front of my house - none of it sorted for recycling so its now rotting in the rain. There was more down the street in front of another house, so I assume they were too lazy to take their crap to the dump and just shared it with the neighbours. If anyone knows how to contact them please let me know or tell them to get their garbage.

                          1. re: ded

                            Incredible!! Are they still living there or did they move out? I wonder if those records are of any use to the trustees in bankruptcy. Seems like they're trying to avoid responsibility. What part of the city?

                            1. re: spazita

                              OK, anybody know if this space will be re-opened?

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