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Apr 23, 2010 05:13 AM

Brassaii since the re-vamp?

Has anyone been to dinner lately at Brassaii? Am thinking about it for a lateish dinner on Saturday but wondering about (a) the food/service; and (b) whether later in the evening it becomes too much of a club to actually enjoy it as a restaurant.

I have been for brunch a few weeks ago and it was great - but it is tough to measure a kitchen by brunch alone.

Any help appreciated!

461 King St. W, Toronto, ON M5V 1K7, CA

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  1. Haven't been for dinner, but also went for brunch about 2 weeks ago and wasn't impressed. While the food was good, portion sizes were very small for the money and service was arrogant. I also liked the previous styling of the restaurant more than the makeover.

    1. Has anyone been to dinner at Brassaii recently?

      Any recommendations for the current dinner menu?

      Are there any cocktails that Brassaii does especially well?

      461 King St. W, Toronto, ON M5V 1K7, CA

      12 Replies
      1. re: phoenikia

        Not much help, but avoid the mac and cheese. The pasta is clearly cooked ahead of time and they just dunk in hot water before serving. Watery, overcooked mush. Bleh.

        Hmm... that may just be a lunch item. Never mind. :)

        1. re: TorontoJo

          Thanks TorontoJo,
          realized after I posted that ordering will be out of my hands, since the dinner will be a prix fixe set menu for a group! Wondering now if I'll get to choose my protein, but I'm guessing it's already been chosen for the group.

          Thanks for the warning re: the mac & cheese!

          1. re: phoenikia

            filet and the short rib wree both good. could have done wit bigger portions of the starches. charcuterie was tasty but not interesting

            1. re: downtownfoodie

              Thanks downtownfoodie. I have a feeling that the set menu will be filet, short rib or some other form of beef.

              Being a sometimes well-mannered omnivore, I'll eat whatever is placed in front of me, and post my critique later ;-)

              1. re: phoenikia

                So here were the choices for the set menu:
                warm bread-crumb coated goat cheese
                or mixed greens

                asparagus & wild mushroom risotto
                honey mustard salmon with wasabi mashed potatoes
                panko crusted chicken stuffed with brie and prosciutto
                filet with sweet potato puree

                pumpkin creme brulee
                mixed sorbet

                I went with the goat cheese, salmon, and pumpkin creme brulee. Big piece of atlantic salmon. The food was decent for a group dinner on King West.

                Agree with downtown foodie, that starches could have been more substantial, but I think they're keeping a high protein/low carb ratio for the KIng W clientele.

                Our servers were weak and amateurish. Maybe these are the servers that get assigned to the private dining room, so they'll automatically get a tip through the presence of a large group. The male server "Ma'amed" me as he cleared my dish (called me Ma'am).

                I hope anyone in the service industry reading this realizes that Ma'aming female Chowhounds (calling a woman you do not know "Ma'am", whether she is married or not) is not the pathway to a good tip, especially when the female Chowhound is the one who is tipping you. It is not the same as calling a random male customer "Mister or Sir". If you're a good looking Italian server, you might be able to improve your tips by calling your female Chowhound customers Bella, but if you're an Average Joe Torontonian server who isn't making any effort to charm your customers, it's probably a better idea not to label your customers with a loaded word like Ma'am (or Madame, or Miss, or Mlle). When it doubt, leave it out.

                I decided not to point out his faux pas this time, and the lucky server received a generous automatic tip due to the size of our group. The next server who "Ma'ams" me will not be so lucky.

                1. re: phoenikia

                  At least he didn't call you dude. ;}

                  1. re: Herb

                    Good point, Herb. Could have been much worse ;-)

                    What you wrote reminded me of a Chowhound's experience at Free Times:

                  2. re: phoenikia

                    That menu sounds like something out of the early 90's.

                    1. re: phoenikia

                      So, did it turn club-ish at night?

                      1. re: jennjen18

                        It tried to turn clubbish by turning the music up, but the place was half-empty when we left just before 2 am (on a Friday). Maybe it's more clubbish on Thursdays and Saturdays.

                      2. re: phoenikia

                        In case you're in France anytime soon: "Madame" in French no longer has a "loaded" connotation; it simply (and respectfully) denotes a woman (regardless of marital status), as opposed to a teenager/child. In fact, you'll frequently hear complaints from young/young-looking women who can't get proper service because so-and-so thought they were a "mademoiselle."

                        So, in your case, calling you "madame" would be both appropriate and respectful (had this not been in Canada, and had he not called you ma'am).

                        1. re: tjr

                          Je sais.

                          I'd still be offended if anyone in France called me Ma'am.

                          As far as I'm concerned, the only people in Toronto who should be addressed as Madame or Madam, are women who are employed as Madams. In that case, it's both appropriate and respectful.

            2. New hope for Brassaii?

              Have any Chowhounds noticed improved food at Brassaii, since the former Sous became the Executive Chef 2 months ago?

              461 King St. W, Toronto, ON M5V 1K7, CA