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Tati Bistro

Posted by Tim / Listed on May 6, 2008 / review policy

Tati BistroAdopting (and giving a vibrant repainting to) Kensington Kitchen's well-loved spot on Harbord, Tati Bistro offers a moderately priced, classic French menu.



Lyne / March 14, 2009 at 11:01 pm
Well let me start with, I just got kicked out about an hour ago. But wait.... I guess I should start with the fact that I made reservations three weeks ago. No one said there was a time limit. In fact I thought I was being overzealous in making a reservation. Dinner was fine. Food was average at best and certainly not "French bistro" quality. However, when I ordered coffee and was told that my party and I had to leave, I was utterly horrified. I have never, in my life, been asked to leave a restaurant -- even when maybe I should have been. Apparently, Tati is so busy these days that they are offering two seatings on the weekends and there is a time limit.

Unfortunately, no one told me about it -- when I made the reservation or when I showed up this evening. Nor, quite frankly, did they schedule their meal service in such a way that after two hours they had any right to ask me to leave. I had enjoyed the standard three courses and was getting ready for coffee when I was told it was time to go. It is not like my party was loitering after having ordered water and breadsticks. This, to me, is utterly unacceptable. If they want to turn their tables and offer two seatings, then they had better orchestrate their meal service in such a way as to move the evening along so that diners can enjoy a leisurely meal and not acutally be asked to leave because the table is double booked.

To add insult to injury, after the poor clueless waitress was sacrificed to be the bearer of bad tidings, I asked to speak to the manager who actually turned hostile. That was impressive for its sheer gaul. She then said that she would get the owner, but apparently he was too busy to come and discuss the matter -- information that was conveyed by the sacrificial waitress who offered me a business card and told me to call someone named Wayne tomorrow morning. Yeah, I am about to do that. I might call him at home in a few hours and tell him his restaurant is an embarassment, but that's about it.

My advice to anyone who has made it this far in my tale of woe is to avoid this dump like the plague. If there is any justice in the universe it will be gone in a few months and we can all enjoy the falafel place that takes its spot. Seriously, people, it's a recession and you are kicking people out of your restaurant on a Saturday in March....? Well, I will pray for you Wayne. Repeat after me..."would you like fries with that...?" See you in a few months!

xox Lyne (a Montrealer who knows what French bistro is supposed to look and taste like!)
Oranjette5 / March 30, 2009 at 05:23 pm
I have to say that I have been twice and the first time my friend decided she wanted to leave because one of the young women who works there was so rude; perhaps unintentionally, and she truly has zero personality. I went a second time, 8 months later, and she was still there (!) and exactly the same...only this time my date wasn't willing to go elsewhere because we were cold and hungry.

It's overpriced for what you get...especially when you throw in the attitude and so-so service from staff that gives off an attitude that they're doing you a favour.

NOT recommended! Au revoir!

Michelin Man / April 4, 2009 at 04:59 pm
Thanks for your warnings. I wish more people would write about their bad experiences at Toronto's eateries to balance the often overblown praise they receive.

I have also had bad experiences at restaurants where arrogance, incompetence, rudeness, overprice, etc., are evident and have also been "invited" to leave too when I complained. Two, which I have written about, are Sopra/Mistura (on Davenport Ave.): http://www.menuism.com/restaurants/dd4DjERmCr26FeabBlKsEs-mistura-restaurant-toronto-on and Messis (on Harbord St.): http://www.menuism.com/restaurants/b0tysCRmur26FeabBlKsEs-messis-toronto-on
They are not the only restaurants I have had unsatisfactory to awful experiences at, there are others including: Matignon (St. Nicholas St.) owner went ballistic after I rejected a bottle of wine he recommended and gauranteed I would love; Gamelle (College St.) same issue as at Matignon; Vesuvios (Dundas St. W.) wife got food poisoning from sea food; Pangea (Bay St.) I go food poisoning from dessert; Amuse-Bouche (96 Tecumseth St.) burnt steak as retaliation for complaining about huge markup on wines. There are others but that's enough for now. I have had consistently good meals at Bistro Tournesol (Dupont St.); Ferro (St. Clair Ave.); Splendido (Harbord St.); The Fifth (Richmond St. W.); Le Paradis (Bedford Rd.); Scaramouche (Benvenuto Pl.); Pastis (Yonge St.).
Victoria / August 25, 2009 at 07:22 pm
I'm afraid that I would overwhelmingly agree with the negative reviews. in fact, I am at Tati now and am experiencing the unpleasant service and mediocre food. I wish I could leave. I am surprised by the unfriendly staff. Rude yes, but also unable to describe the dishes beyond 'well, we are a french restaurant, and the lamb is served in a french style.' Do NOT come to this restaurant. It's unfortunate that the user feedback has not resulted from a change on the blog top listings.
guy / September 14, 2009 at 10:42 pm
This so called "bistro" is not worth a single penny! They hike up the price and the service is so-so...Please don't waste your money and time on this less than average joint.
Mir / November 14, 2009 at 01:03 pm
Thanks for the heads up about Tati Bistro everyone! Our large group was considering this place for dinner tonight, but will definitely stay away now.
Helen / November 27, 2009 at 06:33 pm
Was considering this place for dinner with my boyfriend, but the string of consistent bad reviews convinced me to look elsewhere! Thanks for the heads up!
Elena / January 21, 2010 at 05:29 pm
Have been there twice. Horrible food and bad service, and my criteria of a bad service is indifferent, blanket face waiters not caring about what they do.
John / September 2, 2010 at 02:39 pm
Wow, my fiance and I were thinking about going here to celebrate our anniversary but I changed my mind after seeing these reviews. Hopefully the management of this place does something to counteract all the negative publicity.
Not-going-anymore / September 11, 2010 at 01:32 pm
Yikes! Thanks for the heads up
ag / October 1, 2010 at 12:48 pm
we went at 630pm on a sunday night. although it was not very busy when we arrived it filled up as the night went on and we had great service throughout the night. the food was DELICIOUS and reasonably priced.

please don't base your decision on comments that are over a year old.
Michelle / October 4, 2010 at 04:49 pm
Have been here a few times over the past year or two. The food and service has been consistently good, although not 'excellent' or memorable. Tha ambiance keeps me coming back - very pleasant and laid back, with good decor.
Katie Grennan / March 28, 2011 at 03:37 pm
I'm a big fan of Tati! Tati has the best patio I've been to yet in Toronto. It is upstairs off the back and has quaint lighting and a fabulous old tree growing right through it. The main floor dining room is also quaint, but if it is warm enough I highly recommend making a reservation for the back deck.

Tati has a great wine selection, and I've enjoyed everything I've had to eat, - the beet salad, some soups, a few fish dishes, the mussels and frites. It has a wonderfully Eurpoean charm and as such, the service can be slow so be prepared for that. Every encounter I've had with the staff has been more than friendly.
Lynn / June 7, 2011 at 10:18 am
Absolutely horrible. All they have going for them is a nice patio. Our server was terrible. After ignoring us for 15 minutes, he asked us if we would like to order (even though he hadn't given us menus yet or water yet). He brought the water and the menus (there were two of us) in two trips, as he couldn't handle carrying both. Then when we told him he wanted to order, he had to go back to the kitchen the get paper/ pen. He then failed to mention the specials until I asked. Our food was medicore at best. We ended up standing up to pay our bill because he was just taking way too long. The people beside also seemed to be quite dissapointed with the service. I would never go back.
TATISUCKS / June 22, 2011 at 10:47 pm
worst service I have experienced by far. Bread was 1.25 for 5 slices of bread served with no butter or balsamic vinegar.
Water was not served, I had to request for it.
We sat at the bar for a total of 30 minutes without receiving any sort of drink menu.
Servers were beyond rude, never checking up on our table unless our hand was raised for attention. Even upon asking for a waiters attention he walked straight past me.
Regulars at this restaurant receive more food, and better service.
not worth the money.

You leave happy about your meal but your good mood is diminished due to staff treatment of their customers.

Never Again
dmz / August 4, 2011 at 11:10 pm
would have gone if not for all of these negative reviews. thanks for letting me know in advance.
gxt / March 18, 2012 at 09:52 pm
I went to Tati for dinner today with my parents, and it was pretty nice! The food was delicious, the service decent (we did have to raise our hands for more water though) and the atmosphere glowing. I don't understand where all these negative reviews are coming from... it's a bit pricier than I'm used to, but I suppose that just because I'm used to paying less than 10 dollars for Chinese food.
Candy / March 30, 2012 at 07:01 pm
A goodbye party for our father returning to France after a too short visit. It was our first time and we were leery of trying somewhere new and expensive, our fears were as most fears, totally unfounded.
Ordering from the prix fixe my salad was fresh and spicy, not overdressed and a cleanser to my main of Bavette. Having spent two winters living in France I can honestly say this was the best I've ever had. Meat dripping with flavour and caramelized shallots, melty in the mouthy with good texture. Frites far and away surpassed our usual frite addiction at Le Select. Lemon tart was perfect in texture and sweet vs tart balance.
Husband started with the moules and they brought me back to shellfish. Always leery of mussels, these ones rocked everyone at the table with their delicate aromas and more- ish juices. Lamb shanks were fall off the bone drippy with glazes that took time to caramelize without ever becoming dry or overdone, very good French cooking techniques. Trout almandine tasted as though it had jumped out of the water and into the poacher minutes before, incredible texture and supremely subtle flavors that were allowed to rise gently on the palate.
Our wines were recommended by our fabulous server and left me wondering why I didn't drink more wine when these were so very delicious, spot on!
We had such a lovely time and the ambiance kept our conversation bubbling along, feeling enveloped in a warm Bistro embrace.
If you don't believe me and think I should find some fault with the place all I can say is that I wish food and wine this good were more affordable so we could eat there more often. But, then it wouldn't be so special.
Notes: reservations on a Tuesday night that we called back to be half an hour later were greeted with a 'no problem, see you then' although we were seated near the center of the room we never got cold or bumped from servers walking around us.strangely you have to ask for bread which should come with the fabulously juicy dishes in order to 'mop up' those wonderful flavors
Heidi / April 26, 2012 at 02:01 pm
I hope that all the negative things are in the past (esp since they were posted in 2009). I've been here twice recently and both experiences were great. I think it is a little over priced but the ambiance was good and food was delicious. Waitresses were nice, never treated rudely.

They have the best creme brulee!
Rufus Spinone / May 6, 2012 at 08:53 pm
Not the first time we've dined here, but most disappointing dinner... Four of us and the least disappointing meal was simply not gross. Eat anywhere else and you'll be less disappointed... Deep fried confit? Overly garliced and strange tasting mussels a pissadillaire that had maybe 3 slivers of onions and a bavette that was so-so. And surprisingly, the service was worse than the food. Never coming back.
local / June 10, 2012 at 07:43 am
I went to Tati for the first time this weekend. When we were paying after the meal (which was fine, if pricey), the waitress swiped my non-chip credit card, handed me the machine to complete the transaction -- and walked away with my credit card into the other room (the one with the bar/counter). When she returned I asked where my card was, and she was unpleasant and defensive: "You were busy doing something so I hung onto it." There was absolutely no reason for her to take my card away from the table, and she gave none. I don't know what she did with it, but given the behavior and her reaction to my question, when I got home I called credit card security to ask if this might lead to problems. They offered to cancel my credit card, so that's what I did.
Vince / July 11, 2012 at 12:10 am
Thank you for the warnings!
dmz / October 26, 2012 at 04:31 am
I left a note above saying that I would avoid this place because of the bad reviews, but I got dragged into it by a friend. the food was somewhat passable. overall this is a dreadful spot.
ellie replying to a comment from Michelin Man / November 3, 2012 at 10:18 am
Wow you sound awful. No wonder you got such terrible service. It's people like you who should stay home.
hbd / February 23, 2013 at 04:52 pm
Got sick from the cassoulet, which was so freakishly boiling hot it had surely been microwaved; the absence of a yummy breadcrumb crust would confirm the microwave hypothesis.
Nancy / April 12, 2013 at 04:01 pm
I'll miss you Tati :( My favourite Tartar in the city!

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