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Enoteca Ascari 26

Posted by Staff / Listed on November 29, 2011 / review policy

Enoteca Ascari 26Enoteca Ascari 26 has now open at the corner of Queen East and Caroline. The restaurant features a short Italian menu of antipasti, salads, pasta and mains. It's from the same owners at Table 17.

Discussion

5 Comments

G / November 30, 2011 at 01:57 pm
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Similar to Pat A. who was the first customer at Ascari, we ordered the Crostini Toscana to start. It was quite delicious and our dog tried to lick our face off when we got home so human and dogs approve :)

The menu is predominately pasta, salads and appetizers aside, so this I found a bit disappointing. With little variety of options I was left wondering how this place would have me coming back consistently.

Regardless, having difficulty choosing from the lack of choice I defaulted to the waitress, which we all know can be a challenge sometimes. You hope to hear some romanticized answer and often get the "Well I haven't had a lot of this stuff because I don't eat meat." This waitress on the other hand was amazing. With a hint of an Italian accent and ability to tell a story, she had me sold on the lamb pasta. Now I'm not going to do it any justice by explaining it, so you'll have to try it yourself but essentially it was braised lamb, with square homemade pasta, what seemed to be dried cherries and a very subtle use of cheese. Spectacular!

The significant other settled for a simple spaghetti but as far as simple spaghetti's go ... again the actual noodles were incredible and the tomatoe sauce was deliciozo!

We ended the night very unnecessarily with the equivalent of what I'd say are fried banana donuts. Banana's battered, fried, dipped in sugar and cinnamon and then served with a creme of caramel.

We also had an espresso and Americano and I'd go back just for the coffee it was so good.

The meal was served with perfect olive oil and bread, which they are apparently still trying to settle on ... the bread not the oil.

They still didn't have their license so it ran us $70 before tip and tax.

In terms of decor ... it's lacking the warmth of an Italian establishment. I'm all for minimalist and slightly industrial looking design but it's too "cold". What's really great is the postcard that comes with your bill that tells the story of Alberto "Ciccio" Ascari, why they haven't leveraged this story to add some life to the walls via black and white photography is odd.

However, given it's Table 17 affiliation, I am confident they'll make the place work but would def recommend more variety on the menu or at minimum a changing menu.

Otherwise it was yum!
Natalie / March 17, 2012 at 10:30 am
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The wine list is quite large for such a small, casual place. I also loved the wine descriptions on the menu -- playful but still meaningful enough to make a good decision.
Thomas Par / June 1, 2012 at 08:05 am
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Went there recently. Service was lousy. Painful because it's a small place and the pretty young things can still chit chat while waiting for food and keep an eye on their tables. Instead, it got laughable with my partner and I wondering how long it would take for our pasta to finally arrive, and so it went. Forever to get our coffee, forever to get our bill. Our main waitress rarely made eye contact with us. Sigh. Wine list is good. The wine actually saved a fairly mediocre meal. I found it pretty good, nothing special. It is pricey for what it is. It's just getting insane when a so-so bowl of pasta is up in the $17 range. It is also loud, be warned. Would I return? I doubt it. But others will, such is the paucity of good restaurants in the east end.
LeslievilleLocal / July 22, 2012 at 01:48 pm
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We have been here several times (4) since it opened its doors. The service is knowledgeable, friendly and prompt. Servers are educated on the dishes / wines and can make excellent recommendations. Food is always fantastic and consistent (excellent quality). Prices are appropriate for the dishes and quantity.
We will return again. Well done.
Pape_Street_Resident / June 14, 2014 at 12:28 pm
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We've been here three times, and each time we have had an excellent meal. Sure, it may cost $100 for dinner for two, but on Monday nights it is 1/2 price wine, and how often does one actually go out for a delicious meal, complete with appetizer, main dish and dessert + drinks? The broccoli appetizer is fantastic, while the pastas, that are all made from scratch in house, are flavourful and well composed.

I see there are a number of comments about the staff, but we have found that they're the right combination of stand-off-ish and attentive. There was never a rush, and you should be prepared for a more euro-style dining experience where they will not put pressure on achieving a high table turn-over rate.

Overall I'd give it at least a 4.5/5 for restaurants of this price range. I'm looking forward to going back.

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