Bar Italia


Going through restaurants reviews in little Italy for my parents' night out a week ago, I was curious about checking this one out. The reviews made it seem easygoing and yummy. And so I made a reservation for 5 a few hours before I was going to meet my friends.

crisp & cheap

From the outside - big windows, little patio, fluorescent sign on a brown background. Honestly, not too welcoming.

an interesting character

Entering, there was a neat wooden, high community table with chairs. The hosts were smiling, and sat us quickly down at a comfortable semi-circular booth. The interior has a clean, architectural feel - the building-like chandlers, a lit up wooden texture on one wall, and the rest walls with a strange gloss and lots of mirrors. I felt a little distracted by all the mirrors around, I guess it'd be perfect for a first date, if you don't want to directly stare..
and instead check out the person from all sides. Our booth was at the end of the restaurants
next to the kitchen.. which was open for people to see, but didn't add at all
(rather messy and chaotic in there).

a mismatch with the first nose

At our table, menus were handed out - cover: handwritten style illustration and a tick-tack-toe logo (which doesn't have much to do with exterior not the clean crisp interior feel). Even though it was bound by an interesting elastic band down the middle. There were two separate, smaller, hardcover menus for wine and drinks. The waiter talked about the specials with a lot of pauses, perhaps so he doesn't overwhelm us or may be because of the loud party occupying half of the restaurant.

light-bodied, not well balanced

I decided to try their special butternut squash risotto salmon with spinach. The salmon was tasteless - its butter, dill sauce only gave it some character, but the risotto had a good texture and unique taste. However I wouldn't say worth $23. I coupled it with a glass of white Sicilian wine Izolia - crispy, light, nothing impressive. Mon cheri had a Veal Scaloppine with truffle sauce. The meat and sauce were great, but the gnocchi were burned and chewy. We coupled this one with a glass of Tuscan Sangiovese, blackberry charter, which he enjoyed. Another friend had one of their panini and was not impressed. I kind of said for him to try it, reading up on reviews.. oops!
For dessert I had a taste of the tiramisu, which I though was very well done. Also had a Late Harvest Vidal '07 from Ontario which has a light, crisper ice-wine taste.. i enjoyed.

very short (not impressive)

After 10, the music switched to what we though was karaoke but reading on their website it was a band which we didn't see.. honestly very loud again, we had to scream talking to each other.
Definitely should've tried a few more of their desserts, a lot of reviews recommended the Panna Cotta or the Cake.

overall.. an inexpensive sauvignon blanc
Bar Italia on Urbanspoon

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