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Jul 19, 2012 02:27 PM

Ursa vs Campagnolo

Trying to decide between Ursa and Campagnolo for a birthday dinner, have heard good things about both.....

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  1. Ursa has recently undergone some changes in kitchen staff. I don't know if the quality is still the same.

    2 Replies
    1. re: dubchild

      How recently? was there about three weeks ago and was very pleased with the meal.

      These are two very different places, I think what Ursa is trying to do is more challenging and interesting myself

      1. re: bytepusher

        Good to hear things are the same. I believe the change would have happen around then. They lost two senior guys from a kitchen of four.

    2. Two excellent places, both in my top 5. Can you provide more information, maybe what type of food or atmosphere or who will be joining you?

      1 Reply
      1. re: NoraRebecca

        I was underwhelmed by the food at Campagnolo. Given all the hype, food was ok but nothing special. Just saying this because I did have my hopes up and had convinced my SO to take a chance from his usual faves. The burrata and roasted grapes were good, yes, but not too special and the pasta with fennel sausage I could definitely throw together at home.The service was interesting. Since I do want to return to give it another chance, 'nuff said.

      2. Just came back from dinner at Ursa. The food and service are good, but for $225 for dinner for two (incl. wine & tip), I expect air conditioning (VERY hot and stuffy inside), wine to be served at less than 25C (NO wine is good that warm), and maybe some bread. LED lighting may look good but no one looks good under it, and painted concrete block walls may be ok for a burrito place, but not a good restaurant.. When I can't wait to leave a restaurant because I'm so damn hot and sweaty (no dessert because we just wanted to get the hell out of there), nothing else really matters.

        8 Replies
        1. re: meanmartin

          My experience very similar to yours! Except ours was $230!
          I even asked about bread - was told they're 'revamping their menu' and it's not currently offered.
          The wine we ordered was 'out of stock'.
          Food looked nothing like pictures on website.
          Somebody posted that there has recently been 'kitchen turnover' - at those prices for what's currently being delivered, it seems it will shortly be restaurant turnover!
          It was packed though - although the disastrous decline may not (yet) be well-known.

          1. re: estufarian

            Is your comment re the 'disastrous decline' based upon your own experiences (which I assume include more than one visit), or on the comments of others?

            1. re: dxs

              Two visits - one about 2 weeks after they opened - mid February (I have a policy of not reviewing in print until I've been twice, although will comment in response to someone else's post). The other one on August 4th.

              On the first visit the food was excellent, but the service had 'many rough edges'.

              The most impressive thing there (for me) was their house-churned butter - the best I can recall having in Toronto - and missing completely on my return visit in August.

              I had attempted to return between the two visits, but tried to add an additional diner to the reservation and they were unable to accommodate that request, so I went elsewhere (and hold no grudge as I was the one changing the (attempted) reservation.

              1. re: estufarian

                I've been a couple of times as well, most recently at the beginning of July. I didn't notice a decline but I plan on returning in the autumn so we'll see. It will be disappointing if the level of the food really has dropped, since I count both of those past meals as amongst the best I've had in Toronto.

                1. re: dxs

                  If you refer to dubchild's response above it seems the kitchen changes were in July.

                  1. re: estufarian

                    We went to Ursa twice in a week in July. Our impression was that the food was very good and enjoyable. Our only reservation was that the portions seemed fairly modest, comparitively to restaurants at this price level.


          2. re: meanmartin

            We went last night. I have to say I was really impressed with the food. As a picky eater, i ate a strictly vegetarian meal...and I was full and satisfied. The desserts were delicious and also lovely to look at. I didn't find the prices too outrageous. The service was good. Not sure what URSA was like before but we went with friends who had been before and they were happy both times.

            1. re: MeMeMe

              Did you have bread or wine?
              How much was your meal?