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Nov 25, 2012 01:11 PM

Oliver and Bonacini at Bayview Village -- the village idiot could have cooked a better meal

I recently ate at Oliver and Bonacini (It was for Cdn Thanksgiving -- American Thanksgiving has triggered the memory of this meal). Oliver and Bonacini was one of the few local places open that day.
What's the best word to describe it? Lame. Amateurish. Bland. Overpriced. It's hard to choose just one word.
We had the turkey with mashed potatoes, or as one put, mushed potatoes. I ate a paint-by-numbers salad and some sort of roast beef dish. Evidently it was so memorable, I can't even remember what I ate. We also had a bottle of wine that I was tempted to send back when I taste-tested it. But I wasn't sure of etiquette. The wine wasn't lame, merely horrible.
The best part of the meal was the tiramisu. But I've made tiramisu that was equally flavorful using Cool Whip.
I eat out only on special occasions these days, so this was a real disappointment.

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  1. I think the best word to describe O&B, among the choices you offer, would be "overpriced". I've never noticed "lame" or "amateurish", and "bland" only occasionally. But then, as you point out, it was Thanksgiving, and the B Team was probably on duty that day. So too bad for you. I make O&B at Bayview Village to be about 20-25% overpriced, compared to similar dishes at joints just a 10-15-minute drive away, on Bayview, Mount Pleasant, Yonge St. and Avenue Rd.. Mind, just about every eating spot in Bayview Village is somewhat overpriced, if usually acceptable enough in quality, but the locals don't seem to mind such details. What counts is that the eating places are handy to the shopping. The casual Bakery Garden, diagonally across from O&B, probably offers the best value in the mall, though the bagels there are quite dreadful, even when they're fresh. They have no chew to them at all. Stick with the kaisers, onion buns and breads for your sandwich.

    In your shoes, I'd have probably gone to a nearby Chinese resto - either Sun Star (on Finch Ave.) or Congee Queen, on Lawrence Ave. East - both of which seem to be always open, even on Thanksgiving. At either place, you don't have to concern yourself about whether or not to send the wine back. You can bring your own ($10 corkage at Congee Queen, last I looked). Invariably, good mid-level food and service, though not quite as slick and stylish as O&B.

    2 Replies
    1. re: juno

      Totally agree. Since I live in the area which is pretty barren for anything other than Chinese I was really happy when I found out it was opening several years ago. Despite several attempts over the years I still find the whole thing totally disappointing. On my last visit I ordered a Margarita to start. I'm not sure who they had behind the bar but they had no idea how to make a Margarita. It was disgusting. To be fair, the mushroom soup is not bad, but the die was cast when I ordered a turkey sandwich and asked them not to include one of the toppings listed. I was told that the sandwiches were premade and so it could not be excluded. A premade sandwich in that restaurant!!! That was it for me. Way better off buying some of the ready made food at Pusateri's and eating at one of the tables outside that store.

      1. re: Attknee

        Hopefully the new Origin will be a better full-service option, once it opens.

        At O & B Grill, I've found their appetizers and desserts to be ok.

    2. I had an equally horrendous experience last week for Sunday brunch. My eggs benny was overcooked, and had literally two drops of hollandaise on them. When I asked for more, I was told that I would be charged $2 for extra. Seriously? I grumbled about how there wasn't much to begin with, and was ignored. Portions for brunch were insanely small. Needless to say, I won't be going back to any O+B Grill again.

      3 Replies
      1. re: thecupcakegal

        ViVetha serves a better eggs benedict, with a better hollandaise, at a better price, if you're looking for eggs benedict north of Lawrence.

        1. re: prima

          Thanks for the rec prima! I work in that area and have been wanting to check out ViVetha anyways. Will def be trying their eggs benny soon.

          1. re: prima

            prima! re: ViVetha, I am now an occasional brunch customer there now! An excellent suggestion :) Such a decent benny, large portions, and at $9 I think one of the best deals in the city! Thanks again :)