Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Thank You Adventurous Nancylanders!

A very belated thank you to the Nancylanders that came out to the first ever Nancyland meet on October 14th, 2006. It was great to meet some of the people who have stumbled onto my blog, and confirm my suspicion that Nancylanders are a pretty neat bunch of people, at least judging from the brave souls that ventured out to Le Piazza Dario Ristorante that night to have dinner.

Embarassingly, the restaurant let me down in a big way, being downright rude, as well as serving rather mediocre food. An Italian restaurant seemed like such a safe choice, too. I mean, how many times have you had bad service or bad food at an Italian restaurant? This is a culture that usually knows how to entertain. Also, I had a great birthday dinner (a friend's choice for her birthday) there, in a half-full room, a year before that was really exceptional in both food and service, and I even loved the decor (see October 2005). But this place was really dismal the night we went. We were rushed, and given a time limit upon arrival without having been told about the time limit at the time of booking. There is a diplomatic way of doing this, and then there is the way they did it that night - to the point of actually being discouraged from ordering dessert with the line "you have 15 minutes left, if you think you can finish dessert in that time." The food was just okay, and the decor loses its romantic charm when the room is full. We did have some last minute cancellations, but I had someone call ahead about that before the dinner started. We offered to move to a smaller table or to move over so that they could change the arrangement of the table, but they didn't accept the offer. We did have a bit of a late start, but I was pretty open about that happening when I made the reservation in the first place. They were abrupt enough with us, that I will not bother giving them another chance though. I'm not going to worry about it too much, because the food wasn't really that great anyway.

Don't let this discourage you from future Nancylander events though. It was great fun to meet more people who love to eat, and, well, to eat with them! Maybe we should get a gang together for Daniel's new Senhor Rooster location, now that he has moved to a bigger space, on Renfrew St., just a couple of blocks south of Hastings. He was telling me before that there will be a dancefloor!

Below are some pictures of some of our food at Le Piazza Dario. But since I can't recommend the restaurant, I will recommend one of my favourite dependable Italian places again instead - Amarcord, which I have not been disappointed with in my four visits there. It's not somewhere I would think of for a large group, but a very lovely place for a small number of people (particularly for two).



Spaghetti with Turkeyballs

Lamb Posted by Picasa


too_much_thinking said...

Thanks for organizing! I'd definitely be up for future adventures. (And ditto on Amarcord - it is a lovely place.)

SaabKen said...

Too bad the venue and service was subpar. But it sounds like the NL'ers enjoyed the company nevertheless.

I'd love to be at the next NL event. Maybe you could make it like a quarterly event (people gotta eat ....) to mark the changing seasons and their offerings of foods and ingredients. Also gives us new parent-types an excuse to get out of the house ;-p

One Italian restaurant that's never failed me in terms of food quality and service is Marcello Pizzeria (although I've read some negative reviews of them too) or their cousin restaurant Lombardo's. Btu Marcello is way more festive feeling, whereas I find Lombardo's ambience depressing. Some Kinda Pasta on W.10th has been a consistent hitter too.

OK now I'm just rambling and getting hungrier by the minute ......