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Red Sauce - 50 Clinton Street

ylsf Jan 30, 2014 08:00 AM

This is the place that is in the previous Acadia restaurant. When they said casual Italian they really meant casual it seems!

Someone let me know how the $14 Muffaletta is!!

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  1. j
    JennaBean RE: ylsf Jan 30, 2014 08:09 AM

    Well that's rather sad.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JennaBean
      bytepusher RE: JennaBean Jan 30, 2014 10:45 AM


      If it wasn't replacing a much loved and too short lived fayn dyning establishment I think there's an audience for this stuff

    2. k
      kwfoodiewannabe RE: ylsf Jan 30, 2014 10:18 AM

      Looks like someone's been to "Parm" in NYC...

      JennaBean, what is sad?

      6 Replies
      1. re: kwfoodiewannabe
        JennaBean RE: kwfoodiewannabe Jan 30, 2014 10:50 AM

        IMO the last thing we need is another cheap "american" style Italian place. It does nothing for me. When Acadia had Matt and then Patrick at the helm it was a place doing something different and interesting.

        1. re: JennaBean
          kwfoodiewannabe RE: JennaBean Jan 30, 2014 11:24 AM

          Ahhh... so you were lamenting the passing of Acadia. Never made it, unfortunately.

          While I will admit the whole "Parm", American diner, 1950's menu font thing is a bit(?) trendy, I LOVE a good chicken parm, so if the quality of the food is there... well, then I would be willing to give them a try.

          Speaking of which, besides California Sandwiches (where I prefer veal) who makes a good "old school" Chicken Parm in T.O.? Perhaps a new thread idea...

          1. re: JennaBean
            disgusti RE: JennaBean Jan 30, 2014 11:31 AM

            Seriously? Can you name me one other spot I can get takeout spicy rapini and a veal parm at 130 am on Tuesday? Hell, anything besides dons or commisso brothers I can take out at 130 on Tuesday. Maybe we're not exactly hurting for low-end (price wise) options but we're definitely hurting for anything good I can takeout after like, 9 pm.

            That being said, the early meals I had at Acadia were fucking great and I'll miss that place, although I don't think Id been since the first guy left really

            1. re: disgusti
              JennaBean RE: disgusti Jan 30, 2014 11:49 AM

              I'm really not the target audience. I can't imagine any time where I would actually go to this place. Maybe if I had picky kids or something like that but no rug rats in my world. :-)

              1. re: JennaBean
                estufarian RE: JennaBean Jan 30, 2014 12:26 PM

                I loved the 'older' versions of Acadia - but right from my first visit I felt that the food being served there would be a difficult sell in that neighbourhood. I rated it among my top 3 restos in Toronto, at the time - but saw the 'average' place in that neighbourhood packed with a bar scene with food. That's the reality.

                So now they've switched to Italian (mirroring the competition) and could be successful - if they have decent food and can persuade the people to move from their current bar of choice. It doesn't seem intended to attract 'new' visitors to the area.

                Such is the life of a restaurateur in Toronto. Good luck to them. But I miss Acadia - and I also miss L.A.B. which was just around the corner and didn't survive. Plus the Feasting Room 'head-to-hoof dining' pop-up which lasted six months at the same intersection. All 3 drew me to the area - but failed as they didn't attract the locals.

                Can you say, Location! Location! Location! (at least for those who try to carve a new niche).

              2. re: disgusti
                ylsf RE: disgusti Jan 30, 2014 12:37 PM

                Yeah, the late night hours 7 days a week are definitely a plus. I am sure I will try this place just because of that. Sure the cocktails will be decent

          2. m
            magic RE: ylsf Jan 30, 2014 10:43 AM

            The menu looks yummy enough on paper, so that's encouraging.

            Nicely done website too.

            1. kwass RE: ylsf Jan 30, 2014 12:03 PM

              Here's a pic of one of their sandwiches:


              10 Replies
              1. re: kwass
                frogsteak RE: kwass Jan 30, 2014 12:06 PM

                that better be the world's best kaiser

                1. re: kwass
                  JennaBean RE: kwass Jan 30, 2014 12:09 PM

                  I'm even sadder now that I see that. That's one sad looking sandwich.

                  1. re: kwass
                    kwfoodiewannabe RE: kwass Jan 30, 2014 12:16 PM

                    Thanks, kwass. Looks ok, I guess...

                    I think I'll wait for the reviews.

                    1. re: kwfoodiewannabe
                      kwass RE: kwfoodiewannabe Jan 30, 2014 12:18 PM

                      Me too.

                    2. re: kwass
                      Yongeman RE: kwass Jan 31, 2014 11:56 AM

                      Obviously I don't have anything to give perspective, but that sandwich looks about half the size of a California sandwich from a couple of blocks away. Also, why the need to change the language? 'Rabe' is 'Rapini' here.

                      1. re: Yongeman
                        magic RE: Yongeman Jan 31, 2014 03:06 PM

                        Rabe is the Amercian way of saying it. Makes sense that they'd use that terminology given that the resto seems to be about Italian-Amercian comfort food. Non?

                        1. re: magic
                          estufarian RE: magic Jan 31, 2014 08:21 PM

                          Of course, as long as they charge US prices and provide US service then it's OK.

                          1. re: estufarian
                            magic RE: estufarian Feb 1, 2014 04:43 AM

                            Then I wouldn't hold my breath :)

                            I mean I have not been to Red Sauce but few if any places in Toronto are in the business of giving us U.S. value or service!

                          2. re: magic
                            Yongeman RE: magic Feb 1, 2014 02:39 AM

                            Yeah, I'm familiar with 'broccoli rabe' as the way that Americans say, 'rapini', magic, but I'm old-school about not becoming 'them'. It's not a big deal, but it still pisses me off.

                            1. re: Yongeman
                              magic RE: Yongeman Feb 1, 2014 04:43 AM

                              Fair enough.

                      2. justxpete RE: ylsf Feb 3, 2014 10:12 AM

                        Has anyone actually been yet?

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: justxpete
                          estufarian RE: justxpete Feb 3, 2014 12:26 PM


                          Not me but I follow.

                          1. re: estufarian
                            kwass RE: estufarian Feb 3, 2014 02:08 PM

                            Those mushrooms look amazing!!

                            1. re: kwass
                              magic RE: kwass Feb 3, 2014 02:52 PM

                              The Meatball Hero looks pretty tasty. Will have to try.

                        2. kwass RE: ylsf Feb 3, 2014 03:50 PM

                          Toronto Life gave a short write up with pictures:


                          1. p
                            Pincus RE: ylsf Feb 5, 2014 02:04 PM

                            If I ever get a clam craving, I know where to go.

                            Otherwise, I can't see going to a sandwich place where half the menu is taken up with drinks. Especially when they are doing Italian sandwiches on kaiser rolls with sesame seeds??

                            1. i
                              Idas RE: ylsf Feb 8, 2014 03:42 PM

                              I'd love to see a full review soon.
                              I love anyone who will make me rapini.

                              1. y
                                ylsf RE: ylsf Feb 13, 2014 12:35 PM

                                A "profile" of them on BlogTO (i.e. not a review):


                                3 Replies
                                1. re: ylsf
                                  kwass RE: ylsf Feb 13, 2014 12:40 PM

                                  That sandwich with the rapini on top looks pretty awesome!!

                                  1. re: kwass
                                    Yongeman RE: kwass Feb 13, 2014 01:14 PM

                                    It really does. I'd like to see it side-by-side with one from California. I'm pretty sure the California one would dwarf it. (although no rapini at California).

                                    1. re: kwass
                                      ylsf RE: kwass Feb 13, 2014 02:15 PM

                                      The Muffaletta looks like a big enough portion for 2 as well... Maybe it justifies the $14 price

                                  2. y
                                    ylsf RE: ylsf Feb 22, 2014 04:45 AM

                                    According to The Grid they are having a Customer Appreciation party on Sunday night starting at 9pm with some free beer and free snacks :


                                    1. kwass RE: ylsf Feb 28, 2014 01:46 PM

                                      NOW just did a write up:


                                      1. kwass RE: ylsf Mar 3, 2014 05:49 PM

                                        Another review:


                                        1. kwass RE: ylsf Mar 5, 2014 11:30 AM

                                          I hope you guys aren't getting sick of the reviews that I've been posting! If you are, I truly apologize. That said, here's one more :)


                                          I'll make this the last one :)

                                          13 Replies
                                          1. re: kwass
                                            Nevy RE: kwass Mar 5, 2014 11:51 AM

                                            The Maple Zeppole looks really good! I would say the calamari too till I noticed it was $14 for it. Maybe the lens made it seem small but it didn't look like much for 3 pieces of squid.

                                            1. re: Nevy
                                              kwass RE: Nevy Mar 5, 2014 11:53 AM

                                              I thought the zeppole looked good too! Same for the pasta!

                                            2. re: kwass
                                              estufarian RE: kwass Mar 5, 2014 11:56 AM

                                              Hi Kwass.
                                              As you've asked........

                                              My take is that it's not particularly helpful to post links to reviews on other sites.
                                              This is DOUBLY so when the 'review' is of a meal that was comped.
                                              Shills are deleted from this site (if they are recognised) - so I DO see this post as (bluntly) a waste of my time to click on and follow-up.
                                              I am extremely happy to see your reviews, as I can judge your tastes accordingly and follow (or reject) them as appropriate.
                                              But just linking to an off-site review seems (to me) to diminish this Board.

                                              I hope you understand that this is a 'general point' - not aimed at you personally - scrolling through posts that don't provide useful information is a potential waste of my time.

                                              1. re: estufarian
                                                pourboi RE: estufarian Mar 5, 2014 12:06 PM

                                                I "slightly" disagree in that links to sites like Toronto Life, Post City are usually accompanied by information that is usefull when a place is recently opened. You usually get some background info on the chef, what they are looking to acheive, reservation policy, link to website, you get professional pictures of the restaurant and usually some of the dishes. I see these links as kind of the "wikipedia" info that fills in the gaps that I would not get from a Chowhound just walking into a restaurant and reviewing their meal (except for maybe Vinnie & Charles who tend to dig deeper).

                                                That being said it is always better to have context around it... A link was posted on the "recent openings" page to a toronto life article without even stating what the link was about. I find this annoying as you have to click on the link to see if it is something you are interested in reading. Kwass is very clear on what his links are which I like.

                                                1. re: pourboi
                                                  kwass RE: pourboi Mar 5, 2014 12:12 PM

                                                  It seems that there are 2 minds on this topic. I totally hear what Estufarian is saying, especially, like he said, when the reviewer's meal has been comped.

                                                  That said, like pourboi, I personally find these reviews helpful when a restaurant 1st opens. That is, until more of us have had an opportunity to try said restaurant.

                                                  1. re: pourboi
                                                    petek RE: pourboi Mar 5, 2014 12:31 PM

                                                    <I find this annoying as you have to click on the link to see if it is something you are interested in reading.>


                                                    1. re: pourboi
                                                      LexiFirefly RE: pourboi Mar 5, 2014 02:09 PM

                                                      I would add blog TO to that list, not for the "reviews" bit the comment section can be hilarious!

                                                    2. re: estufarian
                                                      magic RE: estufarian Mar 5, 2014 12:12 PM

                                                      Not sure I agree. I make no distinction between a review posted here or a link posted here that leads to a review.

                                                      As long as I'm being informed that's all daddy cares about.

                                                      1. re: magic
                                                        justxpete RE: magic Mar 5, 2014 12:15 PM

                                                        I think it's amusing that they comp'd a meal for a blogger.

                                                        I find links to reviews relevant posts, however. I'm torn on comp'd meal reviews.

                                                        1. re: justxpete
                                                          magic RE: justxpete Mar 5, 2014 12:20 PM

                                                          When I change my handle image from an M to an Arby's 10 gallon hat logo you'll know I'm corporately sponsored and a happy camper. ;)

                                                      2. re: estufarian
                                                        The Chowhound Team RE: estufarian Mar 5, 2014 12:20 PM

                                                        Folks, we know kwass opened the door, but the question of whether or not to post links to non-CH reviews is a big one that's not really best covered in the midst of a thread about a restaurant. If people want to discuss this issue further, we'd ask that you please start a thread on Site Talk, rather than derailing this discussion of Red Sauce. Thanks!

                                                      3. re: kwass
                                                        ylsf RE: kwass Mar 5, 2014 11:58 AM

                                                        Nah, I like your review postings in this and other threads! It is good to have that in the thread and be able to check out the details.

                                                        I really like that this place is open until 2am. I am definitely planning to hit it up one day. I haven't read Abbey's review yet but I saw the pics she posted on instagram/etc. Yeah, maybe on the pricey side but seems like quality.

                                                        1. re: kwass
                                                          GoodGravy RE: kwass Mar 6, 2014 08:47 AM

                                                          The calamari looks different from most red sauce joints in that it's not breaded and deep fried, but $14 is a lot for 3 bodies, even if it is stuffed, grilled and dressed. The presentation may look better than a bowl of crispy coated calamari rings, but I don't think it's worth $14. For reference, I had the deep fried calamari last night and it was $8 for the same or more as pictured.

                                                          As for the rest, the cavatelli and the knuckle sandwich have piqued my interest and actually look like they're worth the price.

                                                        2. g
                                                          ggom1 RE: ylsf Mar 7, 2014 10:10 AM

                                                          I popped in here a few nights ago because I was in the area and had the knuckle sandwich. I don't think I'd go out of my way to come here, but I quite liked the sandwich and the atmosphere so I'd likely return if I was in the area. It's nice having a place like this open late. The knuckle sandwich kind of made me think of scrapple. It tasted good; I just wish the bun didn't get so soggy.

                                                          1. kwass RE: ylsf Mar 10, 2014 06:10 PM

                                                            Well, after posting reviews from everyone else, I decided to go and check the place out for myself. I went today for lunch, and I have to say that I was terribly disappointed.

                                                            The service was great. Our waitress was really attentive, but the food was horrible!

                                                            I had the eggplant parmigiana platter and my friend had the veal sandwich. The platter came with 3 sides of my choosing. I chose the garlic knots, the spicy rabe, and the marinated mushrooms. The garlic knots were awesome. They were deep fried balls of dough with garlic and cheese...really yummy! I could have made a meal of those alone. The spicy rabe was very good as well, but this is where things started to go downhill. The marinated mushrooms were far too vinegary, and not enjoyable at all. As for the eggplant...well, where do I begin? First of all it was cut way too thick. It probably should have been half as thick as it was. Four pieces came in the order, but only 2 had cheese on them. Some of the pieces were warm, while others were cold. None were hot. I've had eggplant parm that actually melts in your mouth. This was not the case here. The eggplant was chewy and tough.

                                                            My friend also had issues with temperature when it came to her veal sandwich. And like the eggplant, she complained that the veal was cut too thick.

                                                            For dessert, we had zeppole and tiramisu. The zeppole were fantastic. Four little doughnuts, sprinkled with sugar and filled with a choice of strawberry, maple, or chocolate. We got the maple zeppole, and they were so good, that the whole time I was just wishing that I didn't have to share them :)

                                                            As for the tiramisu, it had a very very strong coffee flavour, which I didn't enjoy. I prefer a more subtle version, but for those who enjoy that, you should find their version pleasing.

                                                            I'm glad that I tried this place, but once was more than enough!!

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: kwass
                                                              magic RE: kwass Mar 10, 2014 06:29 PM

                                                              Good to know, thanks for the review kwass.

                                                              1. re: magic
                                                                kwass RE: magic Mar 10, 2014 07:00 PM

                                                                Glad to take one for the team :)

                                                              2. re: kwass
                                                                frogsteak RE: kwass Mar 10, 2014 06:32 PM

                                                                i don't understand why you wouldn't demand an explanation?

                                                                1. re: frogsteak
                                                                  kwass RE: frogsteak Mar 10, 2014 07:00 PM

                                                                  I should have. I know.

                                                                2. re: kwass
                                                                  happycamper RE: kwass Mar 10, 2014 06:48 PM

                                                                  Thank you for the review on the eggplant platter and the garlic knots - two items on my list to try.
                                                                  I will still go for them and report back for consistency,

                                                                  1. re: happycamper
                                                                    sufficientlybuttered RE: happycamper Mar 11, 2014 08:15 AM

                                                                    Had the same experience - great service, awesome bartender, not great or memorable food.

                                                                3. a
                                                                  abigllama RE: ylsf Mar 13, 2014 11:49 PM

                                                                  Went here the other night for a quick meal after an event at The Royal. Service was good, the Red Sauce Ale was pretty good, and the food was solid.

                                                                  Everything was pretty good but not great and we felt it was a bit overpriced. The meatball roll had three smallish meatballs and some sauce and cheese. The meatballs were very good but the meatball to bun ratio was a bit annoying. A few bites of meatballs and a bunch of bread. At $9 it was a bit steep.

                                                                  Friend has the Chicken sub. They liked the chicken but the didn't feel it was worth the price.at $12.

                                                                  The space is really nice but they have the loud, '90s, hip hop disease there and carrying on a conversation was a strain. I really this trend goes the way of raspberry vinaigrette and goes away.

                                                                  Enjoyed the space, food was pretty good but overpriced, not in a rush to go back.

                                                                  Also we were there fairly late, after 11 on a Wednesday. It's possible they turn the music up later.

                                                                  1. b
                                                                    BigBabyYeezuS RE: ylsf Mar 17, 2014 11:09 AM

                                                                    Hate to pile on this place, but this is not a well executed restaurant. Ate here last week, veal sandwich was not as good as what they are serving down the street at California Sandwiches, pig knuckle sandwich was underseasoned (I figured the issue would go the other way) and seemed to be a recipe straight out of the PDC cookbook, not that there's anything wrong with that. Pickled eggplant was near inedible.

                                                                    The room itself was a textbook study in how not to convert a space. It was Acadia with a coat of paint and louder music. Given the ultra casual (one may even say cynical) nature of the concept, the decently spaced tables and low light of the place worked against any sense of fun or conviviality you'd expect from a restaurant called Red Sauce. If you're going to copy concepts from New York, you may as well copy them well. Serving mediocre Italian-American food in a room designed for more upscale food ain't going to cut it.

                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                    1. re: BigBabyYeezuS
                                                                      abigllama RE: BigBabyYeezuS Mar 23, 2014 11:07 PM

                                                                      Interesting take on it and I agree on the space, but found the food decent but way overpriced.

                                                                      I really wish these people would wake up to the loud music thing. I'm 40, but there were a few 20somethings in our group and all found this irritating. A meal out together was meant to be a communal experience. Not shouting over '90s hip hop. It's obnoxious.

                                                                      1. re: abigllama
                                                                        frogsteak RE: abigllama Mar 24, 2014 03:21 AM

                                                                        i don't find the music to be too loud. i kind of like the concept - it is a nice chill out place on a saturday night.

                                                                    2. k
                                                                      Klafouti RE: ylsf Jul 12, 2014 01:39 PM

                                                                      So I tried the muffuletta a few weeks back. Having had the real thing from Central Grocery in New Orleans (but several years ago) I had a rough idea of what they were aiming for. I thought it was pretty good - tasty meat and cheese, and I really enjoyed the pickled chopped vegetables. There was fennel seed in the vegetables which I loved, though it's quite a departure from my recollection of the original. Another non-authentic point that I appreciated was it was not absolutely soaked and dripping with olive oil, so it was much more manageable (didn't get it all over my clothes)! The bread was also not similar, which staff acknowledged before serving it to me, and said they were working on sourcing a more authentic loaf.
                                                                      I also had an absolutely delicious homemade grapefruit soda.
                                                                      PS I sure miss Acadia and that cornbread with smoked pork fat!!

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