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Jul 15, 2009 12:46 PM

Tutti Matti

Went to Tutti Matti for Summerlicious lunch....I work in the area and had often passed it thinking I should try. It is usually very busy so I thought it a good sign. Given its rather dingy general location, and position right on busy Adelaide, I thought the crowds inside were all in on a secret. Unfortunately I needn't have felt I was missing out on anything.
While each of the dishes sounded lovely on paper, and while they looked beautiful on the plate, they were all flat. In contrast to the simple burst of flavour Tuscan dishes often provide, everything served to us was rather bland. The carpaccio tasted of...well....protein, but not of beef. The ragu was also just 'meat' - no garlic or basil or anything of note. The frittata was merely egg...At this point I am repeating myself, but the one thing that shone through was the strawberry compote on vanilla gelato because it tasted....of glorious strawberries!
I fully understand the tradition of allowing a few basic ingredients speak for themselves, but these ingredients didn't have anything to say.
Service was good, though detached, and our table of 3 was presented a bill with the 15% gratuity included. While I expect gratuities to be added to tables larger than 5, I certainly didn't expect it for 3 people at lunch. I found it very off-putting that I wasn't allowed to assess the quality of the food and service myself.

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  1. You should have edited the line for gratuity and added what you would have prefered to give them. That's what I would have done in that case. But I suppose they lose if you were planning on leaving more than 15%.

    1. Sorry to hear about your bad experience. I have been to Tutti Matti numerous times (a few dozen over the years) since I live in the area. I have to say, I have never been for lunch, only dinner.

      Consistently Toronto's best Tuscan Italian food imo (consistently rated well in reviews as well), never had a bad dish there. I deplore bad italian food, no excuse for it, if you source your ingredients right and don't fuss with them too much it will be good. This is what has always made Tutti Matti stand apart from the crap most places try and pass off as italian food.

      That being said I have never received a bill with the gratuity added in advance to a bill from any restaurant in Toronto, whether I was a group of 3, 5 or 10 or more.

      I will have to go again soon, I will be hugely disappointed to find that the quality there is slipping. The short ribs I had last time were sublime. The wild boar ragu pappardelle that I used to order frequently was rich and comforting. I am hoping your experience was an anomaly.

      2 Replies
      1. re: JPJ

        I'm glad to hear it wasn't just me. My visit to TM is unforgettably one of my worst dining experiences EVER!! My ravioli's were served still frozen in the middle, and it took forever to be brought back, all the while my friends were eating away at their meals. The service was incredibly bad, and our waiter had a real attitude.

        1. re: JPJ

          Agree. I've had nothing but excellent food at Tutti Matti.

        2. Some friends and I arranged a special meal there for a big birthday. There were about 10 of us and we were really excited to go -- unfortunately it was pretty mediocre fare. We had the chef's menu and while nothing was flat-out bad, it was kind of bland. I had been once for lunch before and enjoyed it. My husband and I will probably try it again and make a final decision!

          1. Thanks for the feedback! While any place can have an off day, part of the reason I won't be back is that each dish (and we had 7 at the table) was marked with the same blandness. If there had been one or two standouts, I might be tempted to try again. As always one person's favourite is another's nightmare, and that's the fun of trying for yourself!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Julie McCoy

              A bit disappointing tonight too ... I wonder if somebody crucial is on holidays for Summerlicious. It's been better in the past, and posts here from as recent as June seem to suggest it was still pretty good not to long ago. Worth trying again out of -licious season?