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Dec 20, 2011 09:09 AM


We wanted to love this place. The room was warm and cozy on a chilly late fall evening. It was packed with two parties occupying all but two tables in the tiny space.

We sat down and were greeted promptly by Giuseppi wearing his not so clean kitchen apron.

Laid the table, handed over the menus and asked if we'd like some bruschetta before even taking our drink orders. Ummm ok, sure? We both thought it was odd but assumed that this was instead of a typical bread basket. Wrong.

Giuseppi returned a moment later to see if we'd like a drink. We asked about the red wine by the glass, instead of describing it he just bought the bottle to our table for a small taste. Excellent value for money wine with a lot of fruit flavour, good legs and light on the tannins, which is important to me.

We decided on a pizza and an order of the seafood pasta to share.

Shortly after we ordered the bruschetta arrived. It was ok. But the bread didn't have enough olive oil and the toping was fridge cold. I really don't ever enjoy any sort of tomato product fridge cold so I ate one piece and left the other. My bf isn't a big bread eater so he only ate one piece as well so there were two left on the plate.

The pizza arrived quickly and it was a total disappointment. The crust was terrible. Dry, no chew, and no seasoning. It was like eating cardboard. The mushrooms on the pizza has not been pre-cooked in any fashion so were basically raw. The spicy salami was nice but it was let down by the shredded mozzarella. We ate half between the two of us and left the rest.

The pasta arrive within about 10 mins of the pizza and the kitchen at taken the time to split it in two for us - very nice touch.

We had been told that they were sold out of many of the seafood items but that didn't matter to us when we ordered. Well that was a mistake. What we got in terms of seafood where two mushy shrimps, four over cooked scallops and tiny canned baby clams. The tomato sauce was lovely, the pasta, while not house made, was cooked perfectly but both were let down by the terrible quality of the seafood. This was a $17 dish so we didn't expect the moon but it was at best worth $10 at a quick and cheap takeout place.

We decided that we’d had enough of what this place had to offer so we asked for the bill to pay. To our surprise we found that we’d been charged not just for one order but two orders of bruschetta. It was only $8 but I was more than slightly annoyed that the whole thing played out like that. Shame on us for not asking at the beginning when we thought it was odd, but shame on the resto owner for not making it known we were being charged.

The wine was great and the room was cozy but the meal was overall meh at best and the whole bruschetta incident means that it will be a very long time before we even consider a return visit.

EDIT - The BF seemed to think we'd actually been there before but if that's the case I can't recall any of the details.

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  1. I went there with my wife and another couple about 2 years ago after I read about it here. It was a big let down, I wouldn't go back. I felt really silly for dragging 3 others out to this place.

    I was in Chicago last week and ate at Stanley's Kitchen and Tap on Lincoln ave. I wish they had a location here. You can't beat the combination of decent food, big serviings and reasonable prices.

    1. Have to say I agree with the review. I went to Fusilli back in August before watching the Cirque show. My expectation was that I'd be enjoying a simple meal at a neighbourhood restaurant but I was very underwhelmed, even with a group-buying coupon.

      Bruschetta was offered as it was to JennaBean but we declined after asking whether it was on the house. The caprese salad was basic but decent. The Pasta Con Salsiccia was forgettable.

      1. Hubbie and I went for dinner about a year ago now, and we really wanted to love this little place, too. Alas, our meal was unmemorable and not good value. We haven't returned, and I don't see us heading there again.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Full tummy

          Ditto. This place was on our Top Ten Worst. I shudder at the thought of a return visit. It was that bad. Actually I recall having a lot of fun that evening only because it was so bad it was a joke if you know what I mean.

          I know Googs is a big fan and with all due respect, while I value her/his (?) opinions - this is one place that has me stumped. I often wonder, are we talking about the same place?

          One big ick!!

        2. I hate to just add a "me too" type of post, but these experiences are extremely very similar to ours. We went for dinner a couple years back because it's nearby and I'd read so many positive things about how it was this great legendary neighbourhood spot with warm service. Yet our visit was kind of odd and uncomfortable. It was pretty much totally empty on a Saturday night, yet the service was indifferent and kind of rushed us through. We knew it was a "red sauce" place and weren't expecting anything cutting edge, but even so, the food wasn't particularly satisfying even in a comfort food sort of way. It was not awful or anything, but we've never had any desire to return. I can only conclude that Fusilli was a good restaurant at some point in the past, but its best days are behind it.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Gary

            There's noything wrong with adding a "me too: sort of post if that is what you feel. Then people who had a similar experience will know they didn't just hit it on an off day. Someone else here who likes Fusilli says "go when Giuseppi is in the kitchen". Well if it's so bad when he is not in the kitchen, they should stay closed on those days.

            Maybe give Tomasso's on Eastern Ave a try, I'd like to know what you think of that one as I had posted about my experience there in another thread. *gong sound*

            1. re: foodyDudey

              Googs definitely likes Fusilli. There are threads on Chowhound where he/she swears by the place, but my experiences differ. Diametrically opposed. If you know wha't is in the area of Queen St E and River ---- basically Fusilli, Dominion, Weezies and Gilead Cafe/Bistro. The only one I would recommend is Gilead depending on what you order. Even though it is JK Cafe/Bistro, depending on what you order it may be good or dodgy. Once had salmon (slime), wild asparagus, and potato (very old -- cooked a few days previously) appetizer. Thanks for that culinary delicacy JK.

              1. re: DrewStar

                Weezie's has one of the best steak tartare's in the city!