Location: 2220 Centre St. NE
This was a lunch I never expected to have. A while back, a friend of mine wanted to hang out and I suggested this place, but those plans fell through and I didn’t think much of it. Sure I had been working next to this place for a while, even back when it was Boccavino, I never had the chance to try it out. In a spur of the moment kind of thing, I headed over to this place with my boyfriend.
We were promptly seated and water arrived shortly after. The waiter was very attentive and made sure to check in in a timely manner that didn’t come off as being too frequent. I knew I wanted pasta because at an Italian restaurant, the deciding factor for me is their pasta and how well they cook it. I was initially torn between the orecchiette and the tagliatelle, but also debated getting the spaghetti as well. I ultimately chose to go with the tagliatelle. My boyfriend chose to have the Scopa Burger. After ordering, the waiter brought by some bread, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. I’m not entirely sure what kind of bread it was (I know with certainty it was not focaccia though), but the bottom appeared as though it had been fried, leaving more than just a greasy smear on my plate. It reminded me a bit of the lemony-rosemary type bread/spread on my bread when I went to Al Forno. The wait didn’t seem too long, but maybe because I had good company. Upon its arrival, I thought that the tagliatelle was quite small, I was about to find out just how filling it was. The pasta sauce was more like whole stewed tomatoes slightly mashed (some were actually still whole) mixed with the tagliatelle topped with five polpette (veal meatballs). The pasta was the biggest disappointment to me. Although the flavours were all there, the pasta was way overcooked and if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s overcooked pasta (well under cooked pasta’s pretty bad too, it’s pretty much inedible). I barely got through half the thing before I had to stop, but that may have to do more with the fact that I had so much bread. The burger was served on a board, giving it a semi rustic feel. It was served with what appeared to be a lemon aioli, but there was something else I couldn’t detect. My boyfriend ordered the burger medium rather than their usual medium rare, which may have been a contributing factor. He probably ate about half of it and decided not to finish it, opting to eat the fries instead. The fries were pretty good, very thinly sliced, reminding me more of hickory sticks than fries.
Overall, I’d say it wasn’t the worst restaurant I’d been to, but it’s also not one of the best. Great service, but as a restaurant, the food needs to speak for itself. That it did not. For the price that it was, I was expecting a lot more, this place just fell flat. 2.25/5