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Maurizio review

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Café Maurizio has recently relocated from the West Island on St-Laurent (3509 St-Laurent, just above Sherbrooke). We bought four Living Social coupons to try it out.

Our coupon experience was terrible and made me want to simply cut my loses and not go altogether. The offer indicated that the coupons would be valid for the entire menu. When we got there, we had access to very few items (2 apps, 4 mains). The coupon's value is inflated artificially (they say the wine glasses cost $11 each, when it comes from a $6 bottle. Same for the dessert), so that you have to pay taxes and tip on a disproportionate number. Service was absolutely terrible.

Nevertheless, we went back, decided to play according to the new rules, and try to have a good evening. The melon and prosciutto appetizer was terrible: huge chunks of so-so melon wrapped in prosciuotto. Lacked any refinement, presented as if prepared by a 5 year-old. We split one between two people and couldn't finish. The bruschetta ($7) could have been good but the winter tomatoes were tasteless. You could taste that the tomatoes had either been refrigerated or had frozen at some point. Maybe it'll be better in the summer.

The bread that came with the food was also store-bought, frozen, and tasteless.

The pastas and sauce are the main attraction. The portions are very, very generous, and the only thing worth eating, really. The Penne Arabiata were the best of the bunch. Sauce is thick and spicy but the pasta were unfortunately completely cooked outside the sauce, and so the sauce and pasta do not stick together. The gnochi in cream sauce were pretty good as well. The pasta Matricia were just ok - way too salty for me. This time, the pasta was slightly overcooked and rather blah. Finally, the Vongole was also just ok. Again, the sauce and pasta did not come together. Although I enjoyed the taste of all pasta and sauce, I have to say that all their sauces are extremelly rich with oil and their leave you really, really stuffed. The parmesan they sprinkle on the pasta has dried out and is tasteless.

To finish this off, the coupon entitled us to what has to be the most insulting selection of desserts I've ever seen. We had four different desserts and they were all store-bought (tiramisu, lemoncello, chocolate cake and mille-feuilles made with graham crackers). Nothing was made by the kitchen. Some store-bought desserts are good and made with quality ingredients. Not these. The fact that they would charge $7 for a paper-thin slice of chemically -flavored trans-fat is offensive in itself. That they wouldn't say that it's not home-made, and then make you pay for it is downright dishonnest. I can get better dessert for a fraction of the price at Pharmaprix.

All in all, if you must, this is not a bad place for an overpriced pasta arrabiata ($16). But skip the rest or it'll ruin your supper.

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