Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Spuntini! Toronto!

I had been meaning to try "Spuntini" for a long time. I LOVE Italian food. I've loved it ever since I was a kid in high school. I had a lot of Italian friends and would devour homemade pasta sauces, fresh bread, light crisp green salads and the softest, freshest romano cheese that their moms would prepare! Makes me want it right now. I once asked my friend Linda's mom how she made her red sauce and she answered me with a "I don't know, I just throw some stuff together and cook it for a long time". "Oh, ok, let me just get a pen and write that down!" Needless to say I've never been able to make it the way they did but really, why should I expect to? I didn't grow up with an Italian mom cooking sauce all the time. I grew up with a mom who has a British background. So if you want me to serve you tea, overcooked veggies and maybe some bangers and mash... har har har... All this to say I was really excited to try "Spuntini" on Avenue Road in Toronto. My sister has been to Spuntini a bunch of times and loves it. She is a tough critic and it's in my neighbourhood so let's do it. My sister had told me about their complimentary white bean dip served with baguette which I found interesting. I didn't know that Italian cuisine was known for bean dip but it was good!
Besides, I love it in general when places give a little bit of free stuff. Come on people. It doesn't cost much and it's a nice touch for God's sake! I was too excited to eat at Spuntini's so it was really hard to decide what to order. I ended up going for a seafood linguine as my main course because I never cook seafood at home so it was a treat. I had a ceasar salad as an appetizer. It seems like a boring appetizer but it's rare that a restaurant gets the caesar right so I thought I'd give it a chance. The salad was awesome! Just the right amount of everything in the dressing, a nice big piece of bacon on top and a crostini! Yum! Loved it! It was one of the best caesar salads I've ever had.
My seafood linguine was very good. It was light but also rich and flavourful...
... BUT ... and this still upsets me on some level - there was more than three bites that had a sandy/gritty texture to it - like as if the shells were not cleaned properly. That was the only issue with my visit to "Sputini" in terms of the food but that's a big one. Turned me off of eating anymore. I tried to not notice but the last bite was so gritty that I had to spit it out into my napkin!!! Embarrassing!!! Bleh. (I don't have a picture of that!) It's always uncomfortable complaining about a meal when you've got other people at the table. The world just doesn't want to be around a complainer, even if it is justified but I don't care. If that was my restaurant I would want to know if I was serving something that tasted like it had a heaping tablespoon of sand in it! Wouldn't you? So I said something about it to the waiter - who, incidentally was the other issue I had with our experience. He was fine but had that attitude like he was doing us a favour by serving us. Sorry to bother you buddy but this is your job mother f er! And we are all either currently servers or used to be servers so you should be nice to us $$$$... Double bleh. Anyway, he didn't seem that apologetic about my gritty linguine but five minutes later he brought over a complimentary dessert platter! Which was nice but I really didn't want dessert. Now I know I sound like an unreasonable high maintenance lady right now but, honestly, I didn't want dessert. I was not hungry or in the mood for anything else. I wanted him to at least discount my meal or take it off the bill. SAND IN FOOD guys! Having said that - the desserts were great and at least he made some kind of effort. The desserts were creme brûlée, tiramisu, tartufo and cheesecake!
Also, the waiter got nicer to us as it got closer to bill time coincidentally! Arrggg! Annoying! Anyway, I read on line about how great "Spuntini" is - food and service. I probably just had an off-ish experience- a waiter with a bad attitude and maybe a new cook made a mistake by not rinsing the mussel shells well enough. Sh%t happens. (am i allowed to swear on my own blog?) (is sh%t still a swear word, really?) The red wine and ceasar salad was REALLY GOOD though. Ok, I will go back and give it another try. Fingers crossed I don't get Grouchy Mc-I'm-doing-u-a-favour waiter and careless Mc-I'm-Sure-These-Shells-Are-Washed-Well-Enough Cook. That was wordy but cute, no? At least I'm trying which is more I can say for our waiter at "Spuntini"... ok, I'll move on!

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