Florentina on MT pleasant - Anyone?
The chef certainly has a good pedigree, but it all ends there.
We went last nite, out of desperation, since resto choices for Sun. nites are limited.
Weh nthe waiter greeted us, i wasinstanly put off as his face was covered with a liberal coating of perspiration. I can accept this when it is Springsteen on stage or Steve Nash on the BB court, but definitely not from someone who is going ot be serving me a meal.
That said, all four of us were somewhat dismayed by the limitations of the menu. There were a lot of pizzas and pasta dishes, but very few that fell into the category of secondi.
We started off with 2 salads, whic h were decent enough, and 2 orders of Bresaola. Hard to screw that up, but for the price, chef could have been a little more generous with the meat, and a lot more generous with the Parmigiano which appeared more as a decoration than as an ingredient.
Nancy and our riend had the Branzino, which was served as grilled fillets, and it was passable. This fish is far better when served as a whole fish.
The men ordered the cornish hen al mattone (grilled under a brick) ,which is very nicely done at Zucca, and occasionally in my kitchen at home. We were then told that they did not have the hen, but were substituting chicken treated with the same marinade. It was not flattened under a brick.
My first taste was a piece of the leg meat, always moist and tasty. This was cooked to the point at which it tasted like sawdust. Both servings were similar.
We sent them back to the kitchen and ultimately ordered pasta with octopus, squid and shrimp in a tomato sauce. It was quite tasty, but our enjoyment was diminished by the fact that our ladies had finished their mains by the time ours arrived.
Although they did not charge us for the chicken, they did charge us full price for the replacement entrees and did not so much as offer us a few glasses of wine to wash away the bitter taste of a screwed up dinner.
Nancy and i spend much of the winter in the SW US and constantly marvel at the superiority of hte service everywhere. Where something goes awry in a resto, they fall over themselve to make it right, and to make it up to the customer in every way possible.
Rarely have i experinenced this attitude toward knock your socks off service in Canada.
On the other hand we do have universal heath care.
299 James St N, Hamilton, ON L8R2L4, CA
Just came back from dinner at Florentia with mixed reviews. I started with the grilled calamari which was quite simple and lovely, presented on a bed of fresh greens. Thumbs up. I also tried the special - thinly pounded and seared beef topped with a fresh tomato sauce and bits of buffala mozzarella - I was not overly impressed by it. It was a bit bland and there were 5 tiny, tiny pieces of cheese scattered on top. It was not the indulgence I was hoping for. Also as a main it should have been served with a bit of pasta on the side instead of plain meat with no side or veg. Pizza was great, with fresh toppings and a salty, crispy crust. Unfortunately the dessert was truly inedible - a red wine granita with espresso whipped cream which was basically way-too-sweet frozen red wine with espresso infused cream - blech. It tasted horrible. In fact, the entire dessert menu needs some re-working with more classic Italian desserts incorporated (tiramisu please). I also dislike how that they serve coffee and tea in those tiny espresso cups with the round circular handles that you can barely hold without scalding yourself and that only hold 2 sips of coffee. But the service was very friendly and the atmosphere nice. I would go back - but stick to the pizza and salads.
We ate there a couple of weeks ago. We found the menu to be very limited and the food to be mediocre. Their "house specialty" pollo arrosto (roast chicken) was way overcooked and dry (I never order roast chicken in a restaurant but did this time because of its stated specialness.) The roasted-eggplant-stuffed ravioli were a bit odd, with a very strong, slightly off-putting smokiness. The pasta dough was nice and light, though. The bresaola with arugula was probably the best thing we ate, and was a very large portion.