Thursday, January 20, 2011

Toast is Toast

I went to Toast Enoteca with my family and this new wine bar and kitchen has been open for one year. The way our evening went I would have thought it was opening night.
We made a reservation for 7:00 and when we got there they were going to seat us at a table that was literally in the doorway. Pretty much the worst table in the restaurant. We decided to forgo our "VIP" table and wait for a table inside the restaurant with some warmth to it.
We sat at the bar and enjoyed the some wine tasting from state-of-the-art wine dispensing machines. That was the best part of the meal.We finally were seated 45 minutes later at 7:45. We decided to go with the restaurant week menu. 3 course meal for $20.00.
We ordered our drinks, meals and received our water and wine a half hour later. It was 8:15pm and at this point we were starving and got up and asked the owner/chef/dishwasher (that is what he called himself) for some bread. Which was one of our first courses. The bread was bread, and the balsamic vinegar that was served with it was sweet and delicious. Besides my Stags Leap Chardonnay the vinegar was probably the best thing I tasted there.
We got our second course a while after that. Cavolfiore Al Forno - Oven-baked Cauliflower in the House Pomodoro Sauce. This was pretty good. I enjoyed the red sauce it was served in but nothing to amazing.
Pere E Gorgonzola - Baked Pare served with Gorgonzola Cheese. I really enjoyed this. It was served on top of arugula. I loved the sweet pare with the tart cheese.
I was starving, annoyed, and ready to leave and grab a burger someplace else at 8:45 and we finally got our main course. I have never heard my father (the nicest most mellow man in the world) drop the "F Bomb" so many times at the table.
Rigatoni A La Bolognese - nothing special. I have had better Bolognese.
Tortellini Al Burro Tartufato - Tortellini stuffed with Ricotta Cheese in a Truffle Infused Butter Sauce - What should of been cooked "Al Dente" was cooked "Al Jacked Up". I think it might of been raw. I expected a bite but this bite was way to hard and the what should of been soft hot cheese in the middle was a cold hard mess. Not good at all. I don't know if they were rushing to get us our food because they saw how unhappy we were or what but it was not cooked. I mean they only had 2 hours to do so.
Lasanga Al Broccoli E Salsiccia - Lasagna in a Broccoli and Sausage Parmesan Sauce - It tasted good but it sure was greasy.
I would of taken pictures of all the food but to tell you the truth I was to hungry I couldn't deal with pictures. The portions were tiny too, which would not of been a problem if the service was better and if the food was cooked to perfection.
They were understaffed. I felt bad for our waitress. This restaurant is small but she too was playing to many parts, busing tables and waiting on tables. Seems to me like they are trying to save money where they can but doing so seems to be bad for business. If you want to go and enjoy some good wine this is good place to go for that. Don't go hungry and if you order food expect to wait for it. The service was so off. There was no flow and it was chaotic. I almost wanted to jump in a help them out.
The owner did speak to us at the end of our meal. He apologized and knew it was an off night and said he saw everything that went wrong. He gave us his card and told us to come in to either one of his restaurants, Acqua Al 2 or Toast and he will do it right for us and take care of us. It was nice of him to offer that but I don't think I will be back. After he walked away from us, water pitcher in hand, he failed to fill our water glasses. The 2.5 hours we were there our water glasses never got refilled. Go figure. I wont be Toasting to Toast today, that's for sure.
Toast Enoteca
927 j street san diego ca. 92101

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