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Ciao Fabbrica

r
robb Nov 13, 2010 11:46 AM

Ate twice at Fabbrica last night...frirst and last!! Overall experience was okay as was the food, however price and attitude was outragious. We were 4 in total, two couples. Three of us ordered the roast chicken, however, instead of polenta, we asked for potatos. Waitress said no problem but advised their may be a small surcharge. Finish dinner, ask for the bill and they have charged us eacjh $8.00 plus an additional $1 service charge. Total $27.00 to repalce polenta with 4 small roasted new potatoes each. With wine bill comes to $320.00. obscene for what we ate. Call the waitress over, politely explain our disaitsfaction, and she sends the manger over. He says he can remove the $1 service charge but the $8.00 each stands. We thank him and advise him he has lost our buiness forever. I will never set foot in another Mcewan establishment agian.

  1. foodyDudey Nov 13, 2010 12:17 PM

    Even if I subtract $30 for the spuds, how in the world does three roast chicken dinners and some other dinner plus wine cost $300? Curious minds would like to know.

    1 Reply
    1. re: foodyDudey
      m
      millygirl Nov 13, 2010 01:05 PM

      I am not surprised given that someone else on another thread reported that a pizza lunch was something like $200. Hell I was duped by him once, and never again.
      I mistakenly bought a buffalo mozeralla from him that was half the price elsewhere around town.

      $300 bucks for roast chicken - you gotta be kidding me. I'd much rather go to Pastis, George or Scaramouche for probably even less.

      That really is highway robbery.

    2. Kagemusha Nov 13, 2010 01:01 PM

      Whaddya expect from a celeb chef incapable of navigating the waters of late 2010? This and other accounts suggests Mark just might be circling the drain soon. Too bad but no one's going to take this kind of hauteur for long.

      5 Replies
      1. re: Kagemusha
        r
        robb Nov 13, 2010 03:49 PM

        Here's our order;

        1 pizza to share-$23.00
        1 buffalo Mozzarella to share-$16.00
        1 salad to share-$13.00
        1 pasta to share-$20.00
        3 chickens with potaoes, 3 @ $35.00-$105.00
        1 fish-$30.00
        1 litre of wine-$70.00
        1-dessert to share-$9.00

        Total-$286 plus tax-$323 plus tip. Outragious and just not that good

        1. re: robb
          syoung Nov 14, 2010 06:37 AM

          $35 for roast chicken and potatoes!? That'd be outrageous even for Manhattan or San Francisco! And what was the $1 service charge for?

          We walked past a couple of times, saw the menu with high end prices and chose to wait to see the reviews first. This did it. Easy pass. Thanks!

          1. re: robb
            b
            bytepusher Nov 15, 2010 10:17 AM

            I was going to say $80 each inclusive of tax and tip was on the expensive side but hardly outrageous, but looking again I see that that was before tip, a C-note each for casual Italian does seem rather much.

            I'm actually most shocked that you paid $70 for what I assume was a 1L carafe of "house" wine.

            1. re: bytepusher
              r
              robb Nov 15, 2010 11:58 AM

              Although sold in 1/2 litres the wine is not what you would normally refer to as house. Check out the website and you wil see what I mean.

              www.fabbrica.ca

              1. re: robb
                n
                neighborguy Nov 15, 2010 06:24 PM

                You pay for the wine and they include the cheesy for free. ;)

                $9 potatoes is the best story I've read here.

        2. f
          froglegs Nov 13, 2010 04:22 PM

          YOu and me both! WTH?

          1. Charles Yu Nov 13, 2010 07:21 PM

            Wow!!
            I paid $160 for four at Simple Bistro. Great food too!http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5905...

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            Simple Bistro
            619 Mount Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S2M5, CA

            1. GoodGravy Nov 13, 2010 08:20 PM

              I just read The Star's review. They gave Fabbrica 2/4 stars. I wonder if Keste taught them to undercook pizza or if they learned that on their own.

              1. g
                graydyn Nov 15, 2010 08:12 AM

                You could have went to Swiss Chalet and gotten a quarter chicken diner for what you paid for the potatoes.
                But at least the manager knocked off that 3 dollars. That's nearly a whole percent!

                1. grandgourmand Nov 15, 2010 08:54 AM

                  How are potatoes $8 more expensive than polenta? Eesh. Well, I wasn't planning on ever going, this cements it.

                  I can't believe prices in Toronto.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: grandgourmand
                    s
                    sbug206 Nov 15, 2010 09:00 AM

                    Yeah what is with this town? Mediocrity thrives here! Pizza Pizza and Mandarin are the two biggest examples.

                    And then there's the Leafs.......

                    1. re: grandgourmand
                      foodyDudey Nov 15, 2010 09:22 AM

                      After reading this thread, I feel like calling or emailing the restaurant and asking them if they really charge $8+ for potatoes. Maybe those were some extremely rare heirloom variety and then picked by 16 year old virgins? You know how rare those are...

                    2. p
                      Pincus Nov 15, 2010 12:44 PM

                      Well, I wasn't planning to ever visit there, but this confirms it. Phew!

                      1. s
                        Snarf Nov 15, 2010 01:44 PM

                        Very clever. It sounds like he is adding a significant premium on dishes that he sells for takeout across the road at his foodstore. Maybe that's the cost of the learning curve for those who don't have the life skills to reheat.

                        Having watched the prices jump all over the place at McEwen, this dude has his eye on what the market will bear. The Bymark burger started as 5.99, then jumped over 10, and much of the ingredients live in that magical land between retail and restaurant prices. But the pricing for Fabbrica exceeds the better restaurants in this category. But what makes the people continue to go?

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                        Bymark
                        66 Wellington St. W, Toronto, ON M5K 1J3, CA

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Snarf
                          foodyDudey Nov 15, 2010 02:34 PM

                          Interestingly, there seem to be quite a few favourable reviews on Fabbrica. Maybe the food is pretty good, if you can't cook and have a lot of greens to spend. When I go out for dinner, I order something that I'd not easily cooked at home. But others just want to go out and eat anything. And they want to say "I ate at Mark McEwan's new place yesterday". I can't be bothered. I'm having roast chicken tonight and some Arberlour scotch first, and dinner for 3 will probably cost $25. Even with the potatoes. :-)

                          1. re: foodyDudey
                            c
                            curry lover Nov 19, 2010 10:14 AM

                            these prices are outrageous. I live within walking distance of this place, methinks it'll be gone within twelve months. McEwan going to come a cropper, this is Don Mills not Rosedale

                            1. re: curry lover
                              Flexitarian May 21, 2011 10:04 PM

                              I don't think people in Rosedale want to pay those prices either.

                              I always wanted to go to Fabrica but from what I've heard and read I think I'll give it a big miss.

                        2. atomeyes May 21, 2011 07:35 PM

                          Our friends wanted to go there for dinner.
                          Its an ok-looking space. looks quite pre-fab and kind of cold.

                          The service was ungreat, especially at that price point. It took a long time for our server to come to our table for the initial hellos/drink order. She seemed relatively cold/distant.

                          We ordered the pitcher of sangria. It was $30+. Was very tasty, but way too much $$. The highlight? One of the orange slices in the pitcher still had the grocery store PLU sticker on it. I fished it out and put it on a plate and politely pointed it out to our server. She silently took it away with a quick apology and nothing more. We were left wondering if our oranges were washed before ending up in our sangria.

                          My wife and I shared the beet salad, which was very small but tasty. You get the same sized salad at 7 Numbers for half the price, and this salad wasn't double the quality.
                          We ordered a pizza and the polenta w/foie gras. Polenta was quite good and the pizza was generous and tasty. It was a wee bit more than a pizza at PL or QMP but was just as good.

                          Service continued to remain weak. We waited for a long time to get the bill. There was an error on our bill (water that we didn't order) and that was fixed.

                          The biggest shock? the menu was incredibly uninspiring. Not sure if it was the layout, the descriptions or the food itself, but we had a hard time finding something that jumped out at us. It all was quite boring.

                          We left and enjoyed the food, but at $100+ a couple, i'd definitely not run back. The restaurant was quite full, so some people liked it. I eyed a table that ordered the overpriced charcuterie board and also noted that bone marrow was $15 and wondered: had these people never heard of the Black Hoof?

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                          The Black Hoof
                          928 Dundas St W, Toronto, ON M6J, CA

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