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Jan 29, 2012 09:15 AM

Modus Ristorante

We tried this place last night. Hate to say it but big mistake. What a waste of space and a beautiful gleaming kitchen. The dining room is quite nice too. Spacious and comfortable.

Now on to the negative -

We arrive through the street side entrance. I hear a hello coming from somewhere and it took me a few seconds to find the source. No wonder, honest mistake. The Hostess desk is situated about 45 feet from the door. Already having a WTF moment - not a good sign. The Hostess has a little bit of attitude but we laugh it off and proceed to our table happy to be out celebrating with good friends.

The room, as I said, is lovely. Very Centro-ish, if you like that kind of thing.

We're a 4 top. Cocktails were fine, adequate wine list, okay bread basket. On the food and here's where things start to decline.

Appetizers - bibb and radicchio salad with apple. Just as it sounds. Picture these ingredients dumped in to soup bowl, with thick slices of apple layered on top. Belch. Some other salad with tomato and a tuna tartare, which was the best item of the evening. Veal carpaccio, 2nd best item of the night.

Mains - honestly the menu was so uninspired. 2 of us went with the house special - fresh raviolli in what was supposed to be buffalo mozzeralla, 1 black cod and 1 scallop dish. Both the pasta and cod were boring and tasteless. Mediocre would be an exaggeration. I will say that the cod was properly cooked, but tasteless.

The scallops - big fail. Rubbery, boring and gritty. When our server asked how the meal was Mr. MG mentioned that his scallops were gritty. She asked if he wanted to send them back and he declined. She said that she would tell the chef and we carried on with our meal.

Deserts - some sorbets, goat cheesecake, and banana fritters. Whatever. By this time we have adopted the attitude of the chef. Let's just get this meal over with.

Honestly thinking back about last night - it was so unmemorable. I am certain (and hopeful) this will be our worst meal of the year.

A couple of little side bars which I think say a lot -

The menu is typed on a plain legal sheet of paper - no logo - no personality. When I ask our server if it changes - thinking this must be a daily - she says "oh yes, every couple of months we change it". chuckle chuckle

A guest at the next table asks the same server if the chicken is free range. She has to go back to the kitchen to find out. Duh!!! In this setting, at these prices?? I'm sorry they should know.

After we have settled our bill Mr. MG asks server if she mentioned the scallops to the chef. She replies "oh yes, I did. He said he was sorry, they did their best but some must have been missed>. She did not bother to report back to us because he did not send it back.

One other funny note. An owner is working the floor . Mr MG points out that he is one of the owners. Naturally I say, and I know this because he is the only allowed to wear jeans, everyone else is in uniform. Huh? Is this appropriate - NO but hey, he's the owner. Here's a hint....why not put a jacket on to at least give the impression that you care.

I know I must sound very picky at this point but little things like this get my attention. Like said Hostess in LBD with the arm holes cut low. So low that her entire bra is showing. Remember Flashdance? Is it appropriate for this type of resto - again NO.

Said owner is delivering menus to tables. Does he stop to ask if we, or anyone else for that matter, are enjoying our meal? Not a chance. Can't say I blame him on that one.

Everything about the place lacks all that a restaurant should have - personality, passion, love, creativity.

I believe I had read somewhere that Chef Woods has come out of retirement and all I have to say is REALLY, WHEN??

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  1. I have been there for lunch a few times. Exact same food and service experience you had MG.
    The entire event is meh. I find the menu exceptionally boring.

    Service at the bar is atrocious. The server can be doing nothing, you can be the only patron and it still takes 5 minutes to get the bartender to take your drink order.
    What a complete waste of everyon;es time and money

    2 Replies
    1. re: CocoaChanel

      Didn't Kates adore this place? "So grown-up" or such?

      1. re: iMarilyn

        No idea. I don't pay attention to Kates.

        The whole space it just set up "wrong", IMO. I find the whole layout cold. But at the end of the day, the food just doesn't hold up for me. It's been poor/mediocre every time I have eaten there.

    2. Thanks for the heads up. I'd made a reservation for next week, but after reading this, I'll be changing our dinner plans. I feel badly that I'm the one who mentioned it in your original thread. Sorry, millygirl.

      1 Reply
      1. re: prima

        No worries prima. I believe it was you that recommended LeFilet to me so I will forever be grateful to you on that tip alone.

        And yes, do yourself a big favour and go someplace else. In fact, anywhere else.

      2. Two of us went about a month ago and our impression was was just the opposite.

        I had the veal carpaccio for a starter and found it very pleasant but not not extraordinary. I then had the diver scallops for my main. These were excellent - perfectly browned on top and juicy and tasty overall. I thought they were the best scallops I've had in a while and it's a dish I order quite often.

        As far as I remember, the service was quietly professional and we both enjoyed having comfortable chairs to sit in at a table which wasn't virtually a continuation of the table next to it. Above all, we relished being in a restaurant spacious enough to mean we didn't have to yell to keep a conversation going on between the two of us.

        I think Joanne Kates has it at #8 on her best of new 2011 restaurants and we could see why. We plan to go back in the not too distant future.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ER2

          This place is supposedly owned by the same guy who owns Bravi on Wellington East. 'Nuff said.

        2. Please tell me this wasn't Mr MG's birthday dinner.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Googs

            I'm 100% sure it was. This is one reason that I only go to places I've already eaten at for my birthday. That Modus escapade must have been a big disappointment for a birthday dinner.

            1. re: foodyDudey

              LOL YES IT WAS!!!! BUT it was his choice AND I did not let him forget it.

              Being the nice guy he is - he wanted to give the underdog a chance. This time it backfired big time. But you know, you never know until you give it a try and we are very lucky to have some fantastic meals, this one just wasn't one of them.

              He's not hard done by, so no worries.