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Red Sauce - 50 Clinton Street

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  • 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!
http://www.redsaucetoronto.com/

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

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  1. Well that's rather sad.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JennaBean

      Yup

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

      JennaBean, what is sad?

      6 Replies
      1. re: kwfoodiewannabe

        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

          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

            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

              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

                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

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

            Nicely done website too.

            1. Here's a pic of one of their sandwiches:

              https://twitter.com/RedSauceToronto/s...

              10 Replies
              1. re: kwass

                that better be the world's best kaiser

                1. re: kwass

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

                  1. re: kwass

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

                    I think I'll wait for the reviews.

                    1. re: kwfoodiewannabe

                      Me too.

                    2. re: kwass

                      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

                        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

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

                          1. re: estufarian

                            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

                            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

                              Fair enough.

                      2. Has anyone actually been yet?

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: justxpete

                          http://taylorfladgate40906.wordpress....

                          Not me but I follow.

                          1. re: estufarian

                            Those mushrooms look amazing!!

                            1. re: kwass

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

                        2. Toronto Life gave a short write up with pictures:

                          http://www.torontolife.com/daily-dish...

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

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

                                http://www.blogto.com/restaurants/red...

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: ylsf

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

                                  1. re: kwass

                                    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

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

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

                                    http://thegriddoes.com/food-booze/wha...

                                    1. NOW just did a write up:

                                      http://www.nowtoronto.com/food/story....

                                      1. Another review:

                                        http://www.postcity.com/Eat-Shop-Do/E...

                                        1. 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 :)

                                          http://abbeyskitchen.com/blog/review-...

                                          I'll make this the last one :)

                                          13 Replies
                                          1. re: kwass

                                            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

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

                                            2. re: kwass

                                              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

                                                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

                                                  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

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

                                                    Fixed
                                                    Apologies...

                                                    1. re: pourboi

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

                                                    2. re: estufarian

                                                      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

                                                        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

                                                          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

                                                        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

                                                        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

                                                          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. 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. 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

                                                              Good to know, thanks for the review kwass.

                                                              1. re: magic

                                                                Glad to take one for the team :)

                                                              2. re: kwass

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

                                                                1. re: frogsteak

                                                                  I should have. I know.

                                                                2. re: kwass

                                                                  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

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

                                                                3. 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. 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

                                                                      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

                                                                        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. 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!!