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Restaurants

Terroni

Posted by Tanja / Reviewed on November 26, 2007 / review policy

Terroni TorontoI've mentioned Terroni in other reviews on the site, but when it comes to doing a review of this authentic Italian eatery itself, I've never managed to get any co-diners to hold back long enough for photos. Most everything on this menu is so delicious that everyone just wants to sink their teeth in.

This time though, I've convinced a few friends to give me a second for a picture, only to have the waiter inform me that they prefer people not take photos of the food. I'm annoyed, but decide to get this listing up without more photos -- the food is worth it.

We arrive at the Queen West location and for the first time in all my visits, we are seated right away. It seems we arrived in a rare window of time where there is no line-up. We order some drinks and look over the menu. It's a long famished while before anyone returns to take our order, but on the bright side, at least we're not standing outside.

Fresh bread with olive oil are presented first as we await appetizers and pizzas.

Our Quartet of Appetizers includes mini eggplant parmigian, saffron rice crocchette (alla Milanese), deep fried ciabiatta bites filled with buffalo mozzarella and anchovy and grilled bufala wrapped in speck and radicchio.

For $16, everyone at the table got the chance to try a couple unique appetizers, all of which were rich in strong traditional italian flavours. Even the ciabatta-mozzerella wraps were balanced so nicely with subtle anchovy that the latter didn't overtake things. I normally wouldn't touch anything an anchovy touched, but enjoyed these a great deal!

On to the pizzas...

Pizza Marinara, the simplest of offerings - tomato sauce and basil - is light as air, crispy and savoury. Most pizzerias don't offer this cheese-less pizza because their sauce can't truly hold it's own. Here, the sauce is proudly presented as the feature item.

Terroni's Quattro Stagioni (four seasons) pizza is also incredible. Rivalled perhaps only by the version at The Big Ragu (1338 Lansdowne), it arrives steaming and casually topped with prosciutto, olives, mushrooms and grilled vegetables.

The true test of a fresh pizza (handed down by mamma dearest) is that the cheese should be piping hot and hard to handle. If it goes to slide off the slice or burns your finger, it's going to be good eatin'. If it sits nice and behaves, you know you've got a pre-made, loveless pie.

Terroni's passes that test with flying colours as we are using our cutlery plus hands to handle the Quattro Staggioni.

With a friend celebrating her birthday this week, we insisted she order up one of Terroni's rich homemade desserts to celebrate. Spotting a Souffle di Nutella on the specials menu, she decides that Nutella trumps everything tonight. We order it up and the waiter returns with extra spoons (4 total), assuming we might to share.

Perhaps he'd never seen this dessert 'cause when he returned 10 minutes later, he was carrying a dish with an espresso cup containing the souffle. It probably contained 1.5 tablespoons of warm baked Nutella, at most. Tasty, but for $7, it was a little ridiculous.

Instead of ordering something else to fill in the gap, we enjoy our cappuccinos and reminisce of the delectable Nutella layer cake at The Big Ragu. That's one that even Terroni just can't beat.

Terroni

Discussion

88 Comments

Maria / November 26, 2007 at 03:15 pm
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Oh Tanja, thanks! I didn't know they had cheeseless pizza. I'm so excited :)
Debbie Ohi / November 26, 2007 at 03:25 pm
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I love Terroni's! Very odd that a pizza place doesn't allow photos of the food.
Tanja / November 26, 2007 at 03:30 pm
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Maria, I believe there is also another grilled veggie pizza that is cheeseless!
Laura Bee / November 26, 2007 at 04:00 pm
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Their Pizza Margherita is heaven on earth. As is everything else at Terroni's. The Victoria street location is my favourite, but it is always packed with business folk on weekdays.
Gary / November 26, 2007 at 04:07 pm
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The new location in the Courthouse building at 57 Adelaide will be opening any day. I've heard conflicting information on whether they will be keeping the nearby Victoria St. location open. It's cozy, but as Laura Bee says, way too busy to be relaxing.
Aaron / November 26, 2007 at 04:16 pm
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Did they say why they don't want photos?

Even though I think Terroni has the best pizza in town, I almost never order it, because the hand-made pasta and other dishes are so fantastic. The garganelli geppetto and the new orichiette al ragu d'agneau e pecorino lead me into lands of ecstacy.

In my experience, Terroni is the closest you can get to being in Italy while staying in North America.
jordan / November 26, 2007 at 05:02 pm
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I do love Terroni, but the noise levels in there can get absolutely out of control at times. I've had two evenings there where I figured the decibel levels in theory warranted hearing protection as per WSIB regulations ? not only could our server not understand what we were saying, but it was very difficult to have a conversation while waiting for our food.

That said, my idea of Hell is being shackled next to that one party of eighteen of the loudest early-twentysomething girls I've ever encountered, obviously without the delicious bucatini with pancetta and peas.
Amanda / November 26, 2007 at 09:41 pm
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Their web menu says the Margherita pizza includes Mozzarella???
Do you mean Marinara?
Tanja / November 26, 2007 at 09:53 pm
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@Aaron - no they didn't.

@Amanda - I do!! Thanks - will correct that slip right away.
Louise P. Doren / February 23, 2008 at 06:58 am
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Been to Terroni's on Balmoral, and tried the new one on Adelaide East last night, and was crudely disappointed. Mind you, my friend had the pizza. But I was had the misfortune to order the daily fish, swordfish that came oddly sliced thin laterally (!?!) , some slices with holes from the dubious enterprise, and as tasty as hospital food - no spices, no herbs, no nothing. Even the fris?e that came with it had not a sprinkle of oil, vinegar, or even lemon let alone specks of parsley. The menu offered much done with ricotta, notorious for imbibing sauces and leaving them clumpy. Where's the marscarpone? They brought us the wrong lemon (ricotta!) cake at dessert too. This can only be southern Italian/North American cooking. While it may make for good food at home, it doesn't "cut" it in gastronomy.
DZ / March 7, 2008 at 04:34 pm
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I unfortunately a poor experience there and it appears that one of their policies is not patron-friendly. When I asked for some mayonaise for the calamari, I was told that they had none. When I asked for some sauce for it I was told they had none. Surprised as I was that I was in an Italian restaurant without sauces, I asked how that can be given that they make pasta here. I was told that their policy is that they will not add or modify any of their dishes in any way and that includes asking for sauce. Ridiculous way to treat a customer as far as I am concerned.
laurel / August 7, 2008 at 10:42 am
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for the vegetarians, i've heard that they apparently boil their pasta in chicken stock? not sure if that's true or not, but definitely something to keep in mind when you go.
ANouk / August 22, 2008 at 12:14 am
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I hate the no substitution rule. I have food allergies and the server was really rude about it. I understand they are busy but most restaurants
now understand that accommodating is the norm.
ontherun / September 20, 2008 at 08:43 pm
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No Substitutions Explained:

1) People in Toronto seem to think that when it comes to Italians, it's a free-for-all to scrutinize anywhere from the stereotype of always having plastic on our furniture to all Italian males having crude mannerisms with their privates in public while speaking 1000x louder than anyone else present. On that note...

2) You would never, ever go into a French restaurant and ask for substitutions of the main dish or the garnish. This shouldn't be any different for this restaurant.

3) Menu: no, you will not find Penne a la Vodka or Alfredo sauce or any other North Americanized dish that are made constantly in this city, even in establishments that aren't even Italian. The ingredients and the recipes used are taken seriously and are not found anywhere outside of Terroni's. I.e. the tomatoes are the highest grade tomatoes available in the world, the oil served to customers (for free) costs $20 a bottle retail, imported from Italy. Most establishments use bottom grade oil and therefore don't mind putting vinegar in it to taste better.

3) Wine, wine and wine: Terroni's serves wine that is normally 400% more expensive anywhere else, and on top of that, Terroni has wine served that isn't available anywhere else in Canada.

Bottomline -- you get the real deal at Terroni's, which means no substitutions. But after all of that, why would you want to?
Caitmase / September 30, 2008 at 02:12 pm
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The food at Terroni is fine, the attitude of the staff is over the top, which in turn ruins the food. Who wants to be treated like a second rate citizen when you're forking over the money?! The no substitution rule is fine but, come on, they can't give you vinegar for your caprese? Wth? Why do they care if you want to use vinegar?
I think I'll stick to the wonderful staff and great food at Grazie.
Rita / November 15, 2008 at 01:32 pm
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Having been to Terroni's a bunch of times, I just have to say that it definitely is the closest thing to Italian food outside of Italy. I also have to ask, "What the hell is wrong with people?" Mayo with Calamari is not only grossly disgusting but not how they eat it in Italy. C'mon. And Substitutions? Give me a break, they have like 30 pizzas so if you can't find one that suits you, there is a problem.
Bottom line is this place is great - better than the much talked about Libretto.
True the service isn't the friendliest but you try serving 100 customers with another 50 at the door. Clearly, no time for mindless chit chat.
Me / December 6, 2008 at 08:25 pm
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Avoid Balmoral location.
isobel / December 7, 2008 at 03:53 pm
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Terroni is done for me. The price is too high for portion sizes that have gotten smaller. The waitress explained that the plates had become smaller- wouldn't that make the portions look larger? I understand there are rising food costs right now, no need to lie to me. Terroni has become to gentrified to handle. Call me when you guys go back to basics.
Cindy S / December 12, 2008 at 03:30 pm
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I just had lunch at the Adelaide location and it's safe to say that as of today, I'm boycotting Terroni for good. I ordered a pizza while others in my group ordered pasta dishes. When our food arrived, a server came around with fresh Parmesan cheese but absolutely refused to give me some for my pizza, despite my asking twice. She was right there, standing next to me, holding the cheese in her hands and still, absolute refusal. The No Modifications rule has simply gone too far - I can understand if I asked for something crazy, like chocolate shavings, but CHEESE?!! For my PIZZA?!! I find it completely obnoxious and arrogant of the owners to enforce such ridiculous restrictions. When I go out to eat, I like to feel taken care of and relaxed, NOT feel bullied into eating whatever's in front of me, no questions asked. I'm all for maintaining authenticity but there's also something to be said for customer service and accommodating your patrons. The fact of the matter is, I'm a paying customer and a little sprinkle of cheese is NOT a big deal. Unfortunately, it is now because that alone was enough to make me never want to go back.
Chris / December 24, 2008 at 09:49 am
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Its great....Everyone complaining on this site about Terroni's, mean while most people can't get a seat at the restaurant every single night.

Coming from an Italian background, Terroni has probably the freshest quality ingredients in any italian restaurant in the city. There are others which are comparable, like 7numbers, but to consistently have fresh, quality dishes day in and day out is very impressive.

Keep doing what you are doing Terroni.
Melly replying to a comment from ontherun / April 14, 2009 at 04:41 pm
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Substitutions should be allowed because:

1. the cardinal rule of the hospitality trade is CUSTOMER SERVICE.
2. it is rude and arrogant for a person to tell another person what they should and shouldn't like.
3. the customer is paying and the food industry has shifted towards accomodating special requests a long time ago.

I have been to Terroni a few times and I would go back, as I have not experienced some of the horrid "alteration" refusals. But I agree that the owners/managers of the restaurant has lost sight of the big picture by the way customers are treated - that or they don't care because they know their food is good and people will come regardless.
nina replying to a comment from Caitmase / April 15, 2009 at 09:56 am
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if you want your food modified, or done your way, make it yourself at home, don't effing go to terroni.
nina replying to a comment from Cindy S / April 15, 2009 at 09:58 am
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if a sprinkle of cheese isn't a big deal, then why are you making such a big stink about it?
you can't eat your pizza without a friggin sprinkle of cheese?
make it at home then.
Anthony J / April 25, 2009 at 02:50 pm
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This place is HORRIBLE! I am Italian and spent the first 17 years of my life in Italy! The thought that you can't add such things as salt / pepper / cheese or balsamic vinegar to a meal without ruining its authenticity is absurd! This is NOT a fancy 5 star restaurant (although it is grossly over-priced!). The $12 / hour waiter and the $15 / hour chefs need to get over their mediocre asses and do what they should be doing: SERVE THE CUSTOMERS!

Ciao..
Cindy S replying to a comment from nina / May 28, 2009 at 02:43 pm
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The sprinkle of cheese is NOT a big deal, Nina. The principle, however, IS. You have to agree that requesting some extra cheese for a pizza is not an unusual request, especially from someone who had never eaten at Terroni before, hence unfamiliar with their rules. The fact that she so easily dismissed my request, without so much as a proper explanation or even a hint of an apology, was something I've never come across in any Toronto restaurant. And the fact that Terroni stands behind this kind of customer service is downright appalling.

I appreciate your crusade against all Terroni haters, but may I suggest going to Ferro on St. Clair instead? The pizza there is 10x better and you won't be told what to do or how to eat either.
Anthony / May 29, 2009 at 04:23 pm
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Visited the one on Queen after having read this review. Must say I can't agree with it being number one. I am new to the city and still have many a pizza to eat but I can say that Terroni will not be visited twice. My girl friend and I ordered a pasta dish each and a Margherita pizza I felt disappointed. Now I am trying not be bias, coming from an Italian background but the pasta fell very short of delicious and the prices were not worth the quantity or taste. The pizza was mediocre at best it left me wanting something more (boring). The atmosphere however was great. The louder the better (at another comment). All in all I am sure there are many places aside from Terroni worth mentioning (head to Woodbridge maybe, or the Niagara Region where I am from). I didn't read many of the other comments but having skimmed a few I don't think I am alone on this (another Anthony). To the people saying no alterations or make it at home...if you have a basic understanding of what a real Pizza is, you can make a better one at home.

That being said, to all the cakes...enjoy.
Abi / August 2, 2009 at 08:51 pm
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Just had lunch at Terroni's on Queen St. Had the eggplant ravioli which was good and Le Peculi pizza. I don't think its Toronto's best pizza. I've had better pizza st Il Fornello. I thinks it overrated and overpriced. Will not return.
M / August 9, 2009 at 12:58 pm
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Being Italian myself, I can honestly say that the food at Terroni--not that great. There are better places in Toronto (which is why I'm extremely disappointed that it mad number 2 on this list). Overrated, overrpriced, and the staff is ridiculously rude and unaccomodating.

To ontherun: even the best French restaurants know and understand food allergies. To not even attempt to accomodate to those individuals is simply ignorant and shows that Terroni does not care about their patrons.
davey / September 3, 2009 at 08:47 pm
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Never been, but if the waiter is standing right there with a cheese grater in his or her hand, I should think it would behoove them to serve it to anyone at the table who asks. Anything less is sheer rudeness.

As for substitutions, who are you to tell the artist what to paint?
If you are an annoying allergy person, you call ahead to find out their policy.
DL / September 10, 2009 at 11:25 pm
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Went with my girl to the Queen West location... ordered some Ravioli something-something, it wasn't served hot, and they didn't even fill up my plate. I asked for some Parmesan, and they wouldn't budge. I'll admit I was a noob, but if I'm paying for a meal, I should be able to have access to the free condiments! It took me about a minute to finish of the bulimic portions, and it left me wanting to use my McDonalds coupons for desert! This place is way over hyped. I had Chef-Boyardee that tasted better.
Stephanie / September 10, 2009 at 11:28 pm
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Dude, you totally lost credibility at "chef boyardee". Do they feed kids that vomit?
Nisi / September 11, 2009 at 02:04 pm
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I ate at the Balmoral location once. I didn't have any problem with what was offered - I ordered the gnocchi. They were fine, but as my folks sometimes say, "sapeva di poco". I think I paid $16 for about a demi-tasse of gnocci.
C / September 18, 2009 at 01:17 am
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Honestly, I think Terroni is overrated. I went there with high expectations, only to be let down. There's a MUCH better place called "Fratelli" in Scarborough that I've been frequenting-- the owner is very personable, alongside the rest of the staff, and the food is great. It's is reasonably-priced and the portions are well-sized. Definitely worth a visit for people who are looking for good Italian food.
Steven Turner replying to a comment from jerome / October 11, 2009 at 10:15 pm
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You ignorant being. It must hurt to wallow in your self pity. I realy wonder were you get off?!
Patrick / October 11, 2009 at 11:24 pm
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This place is Overrated.
Prince of Ronces / November 4, 2009 at 10:36 pm
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I think that what this all comes down to is, we can all agree..
Terroni (queen st) is GOOD. It's a GOOD restaurant. It's not great.
Go there, enjoy, put up with it, whatever, but there's better out there.
Scott / November 11, 2009 at 04:39 pm
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Went to the Adelaide location awhile ago, and won't be going again. The waiter was constantly putting his hand on my back whenever he came over. The pasta potion I got was tiny and bland. And the waiter basically ignored my table until we were all done, leaving my empty plate sitting in front of me for 10 minutes, even though he came and took one of the plates from the table next to me.

I didn't leave a big tip and I saw him glare back at me from the cash register. (the tip was alright considering half the bill was wine and just two mains)
alexei dostoinov replying to a comment from ontherun / February 28, 2010 at 11:41 pm
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No substitutions explained:

1) are you french? have you been to italy?

2) All the ingridients can be found at lablaws... though i must agree they are prepared correctly.

3) The food is absolutly NORMAL regular italian food. no better than delivery quality in europe... therefore it is absolutly rediculous that they wont add parmesan to my spaghetti if thats what i request.

BOTTOMLINE: there is absolutly no reason in this world why they should have the courage to put themselves in front of the customer.
L. H. / May 10, 2010 at 10:23 am
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No wonder this cozy place was packed with people from all walks of life on a Sunday at 9 pm. We had no trouble with the service at all and instead just enjoyed the beautiful atmosphere and the awesome, no-nonsense pizze: super-thin, extraordinarily crunchy, wonderful sauce.
We would go back any time to enjoy this sweet neighborhood spot!
(Pizze we chose: Santo Spirito with capers and anchovis and Santo Stefano with prosciutto, arugula, and mozzarella di bufala)
Tony / August 2, 2010 at 09:16 pm
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I'm from Italian descent. I go sometimes to Terroni on Balmoral (Yonge/St Clair). The food is excellent. But the attitude of the servers is appalling. No substitutions, simple requests met with disdain, they have a bad and unfriendly attitude "look at me I'm cool". It's Ok with me. They don't bother me. I let my girlfriend do to the ordering and the talking to these morons, I enjoy the food and leave no tips.
Tony / August 2, 2010 at 09:57 pm
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One more thing, follow up from my comment above, though the food is good (I usually order Spaghetti in Canna a Mare, Garganelli Geppetto or Tagliatelle alla Bolognese), the portions are really small for the price we pay.
So to sum it up: delicious food, small portions and very mediocre service from servers probably poorly trained by incompetent managers themselves. But remember, as always enjoy and no tip!
kam / August 6, 2010 at 12:03 pm
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last time i went there they wouldn't even give me balsamic vinegar when i had ordered some entree with olives and bread and what not also i was NOT allowed to have Parmesan cheese for my pizza but my friend was aloud to have it on their pasta, the food was very good just poor customer service
Louie / August 9, 2010 at 09:45 am
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If you want to try real authentic Italian pizza, try Danforth Pizza House.
Terroni could use quite a few (actually many) tips from +70 year old Angelo.
They should start with the crust because that is the most pathetic excuse far a pizza crust I've ever tried. Adding a few more toppiings wouldn't hurt either.
Maria / August 9, 2010 at 05:48 pm
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I agree with Louie
I do not reccomend this so called amazing pizza place to anyone. The crust is too thin, they just throw the toppings on the pizza (they didn't even take the pits out of my olives)the bacon on the pasta didn't taste to good and their appetizer that they said "was for four people" only satisfied one persons belly. Not to mention their over priced for the quality of their food. Danforth pizza house has been open for a very long time. Angelo's pizza is by far the closest to authentic italian pizza than any other place listed above. They can't even compare to Danforth pizza house.
chloe king / August 16, 2010 at 06:34 pm
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Felicia, my dear, you need to get out more. You're a nightmare customer.

Terroni doesn't do substitutions. Big deal. You don't like it, don't eat there but they have a right do whatever they choose without being labeled 'pretentious.' Only wildly unpretentious people call things pretentious, anyway, so thanks for giving us a clear image of what you look like.

You obviously don't dine out very often because if you walk into any Toronto restaurant run by a notable chef, take Susur Lee at Lee, and ask for a substitution, they'll laugh in your face. You know why? Because they can. It's their restaurant.

Next time you're at the Gap, ask the sales girl if she can give you that shirt without the pink bow on the collar and see what she says. Okay, pumpkin? Because taking it out on the sales girl will help.

I've had nothing but A+ service there and the one time I had a problem, a manager by the name of Steven, assuming it's the same guy, was there and took care of it in a flash. So maybe, my dear, it's not them. Maybe it's you? Take a breath and have a glass of wine. Life doesn't have to be so difficult.
Igor / August 23, 2010 at 03:23 pm
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I think the comments written by Chloe King above are not genuine. They seems they originate from someone within the management or wait staff of Terroni who are taking much heat these days for their arrogance and extremely poor customer service. It's ironic that in Terroni philosophy customers should cater to the staff and not the other way around.
Melanie / September 19, 2010 at 11:25 am
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"Chloe" is one condescending bitch. She may be correct in a few of her observations but I feel sorry for her emasculated boyfriend (assuming).

Oh and comparing Terroni to Susur Lee? Really? Terroni has okay food but come on.
Scott f. / September 26, 2010 at 08:42 pm
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Went to the queen st location. Had the seafood pasta, was good but not great. Service was pretty decent but nothing above the norm. I understand the no substitution/modification rule but they take it to a bit of an extreme. There are far more prestigious restaurants with globally acclaimed chefs that will at least allow you salt and pepper to taste. This isn't charlie's burgers afterall. Decent overall experience, food overpriced for the portion size.
Linda / October 4, 2010 at 09:36 pm
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'what would you like to drink?'
a glass of pino grigio, please.
'we don't carry pino grigio.
why?
'because everyone comes in asking for it, and we think there are other Italian wines that you should try.

pras replying to a comment from jerome / October 18, 2010 at 04:37 pm
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Are you serious dude? What are you talking about?
Jerry / October 20, 2010 at 02:58 pm
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Talk about customer service: Recently my wife went to Terroni at the adelaide location for lunch. Pasta with clams was ordered when it arrived she requested to have some parmasen cheese the waiter/waitress refused. She offered to pay for the cheese but they declined. The staff at Terroni mentioned that it would ruin her pasta. With service like this I am sure that Terroni will not have repeat customers. It was very upsetting experience.
Tanja replying to a comment from Jerry / October 20, 2010 at 03:00 pm
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Never cheese on pasta with seafood!
Stevie / October 28, 2010 at 02:31 pm
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To Jerry:
That's exactly what happened to me. I went to Balmoral location a whilw ago and they refused to serve me parmesan with my dish. They said it would ruin the dish and against the tradition!!! What tradition are they talking about?

Now to Rita: your quote: "Having been to Terroni's a bunch of times, I just have to say that it definitely is the closest thing to Italian food outside of Italy."
I don't think you ever been in Italy. Besides even the Pizza in Italy doesn't look like the one served at Terroni. As for the attitude of the staff, that's definitely not real Italian. Italian servers in Calabria are generally nice and eager to accomodate you. I saw somewhere in a post that a waitress at Terroni Queen location said to a customer: "that's not gonna happen" after a request from a customer. Wow, talk about tradition...
stephanie / November 12, 2010 at 02:05 pm
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i decided to finally check this place after all the buzz...after my lunch that was terribly overpriced, i wasn't even full and i'm a small person. it was okay, it wasn't superb or anything, i suppose just knowing the fact that you can't make any slight substitutes or changes just makes me sad subconsciously, and if people pay a decent amount for their food, i'm sure giving them a little salt or pepper or cheese would make them happy...i'm sure the "italian tradition gods" won't smite you with a lighting bolt terroni's...

@ chole king: using susar le is a terrible example, terroni's menu doesn't cost and arm and a leg, there is no world renowned chef cooking in the kitchen...i understand the no sub issue if you were paying for some real tradition like eating at hashimotos kaiseki...$500 a head for some authentic real tradition, people would understand not to mess with tradition...terroni's on the other hand is just some hyped up italian place that thinks too highly of themselves...juss sayinnnn
Sarah / May 25, 2011 at 03:57 pm
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My boyfriend took me to dinner at the Adelaide location for my birthday earlier this year. We had an excellent experience. The staff was attentive and helpful. Our server provided excellent recommendations for the wine, appetizers and pizzas.Maybe there are cheaper/more flexible/authentic places to eat, but we left full and happy.
Sita / May 27, 2011 at 11:28 am
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Watch out for the hostess with stringy brunette hair - incredibly rude and seriously lacks any kind of customer service skills. She seated the last couple who came in, ahead of 3 other couples. The group ahead of us complained about it to the other servers and the hostess tried to feed some bulls**t about how the last couple had actually been ahead of all us and that they had just stepped out for a smoke.

We called her out on a blatant lie telling her that we all heard her clearly say that it would have been a 15 minute wait for them. She was taken aside by her co-workers and within a few minutes we were all seated. She didn't acknowledge her mistake, nor did she apologize. Having read past reviews on this site and others, it looks like this is an ongoing issue with the establishment. The very fact that someone who claims to be from the restaurant responds to this blog in a less than professional manner speaks volumes about their views on customer relations.

Aside from the rude hostess, the service we received from our server was fantastic and the food was great. While the C't Mang and Ravioli di Zio Paperone were divine, I would never recommend this restaurant to anyone.

While the food and our particular server were great, I found the attitude of the restaurant to be pretentious and to be honest, a little desperate - like an actress who is clearly on their way to becoming a has-been, but won't let go. Their refusal to provide cheese on certain dishes and refusal to serve balsamic vinegar with their olive oil just aren't . . . nice. It lacks the warmth and hospitality which I associate with Italian cuisine. Instead by dictating what you're allowed to eat with what, Terroni just sounds like a humourless, uptight prig.
most of these comments sound like baby talk / June 30, 2011 at 04:24 pm
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For all of you complainers and defenders. Italy is made up of so many peculiar regions that to expect to get just what you want is crazy. There are many "traditional" ways of doing things and Terroni is just showing you what that means coming from their family. Try running a restaurant that has hundreds of employees in six locations and tell me later how easy it was to have every one acting the way you like them to. Bad experiences are to be had everywhere, including Susur's and all the way down the line, but mostly the result of human error, unrealistic expectations, neediness or selfishness. Why the outrage? If you spent a fortune bringing delicate tomatoes and cheese from italy you would probably cringe to let your patrons kill it with acid too. Being a friend to each of them, I can also tell you that Susur Lee has eaten at Terroni a couple times a week since the early nineties... maybe he's the one who has bad taste?? but really... he would kick you out himself if he had to!!

As for all the substitutions and cheese and vinegar complaints, give it a rest... this comment board is like eavesdropping on a bunch of spoiled children who momentarily "hate" mommy when she doesn't cough up their favourites. Since when did your opinion matter so much? And all the talk about manners sounds fake when your having a fit (in writing no less).
Give it a rest, or go back to the suburbs and wait expectantly for something interesting to happen. Real manners is being open to what others are doing and appreciating it even if it's not what YOU would do.. enjoy and walk away. Don't go back if you don't like it. Don't waste your energies spreading bad words that many could easily deny with their own relevant experiences.

This just reminds me how even after all these years of restaurants trying to bring different and authentic stuff to the table, this city still just loves to eat crap and complain.

There is nothing cool about pretending to be in control all of the time, but
obviously the sense of entitlement that directly leads to complaint goes completely undetected... ah, consumer despair... how sad it truly is...

DeeGall replying to a comment from most of these comments sound like baby talk / July 5, 2011 at 09:54 am
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Blah, blah, blah. Have you put down that crying towel? A consumer is the one who judges the efforts of the kitchen, not some cookbook written generations ago. You have given all of us very good reason NEVER to set foot in your establishment. OK, you need to pick up that towel again.
what establishment? replying to a comment from DeeGall / July 5, 2011 at 10:20 am
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Sorry Dee. I'm not "Terroni"... In fact, I could sit here and tell you about all of the problems they have too, but I don't see the point. I just don't go very often. It's easy to complain when you don't like something, but better to keep that energy for something you do like. I realize my response was very strongly worded, but after reading four or five different restaurant reviews on here I just got sick of the tacky " me first" tone of most comments. Anyways, I wouldn't waste tears over this one. My comment was more about the atmosphere of entitlement that has ruined many Toronto restaurants and patrons alike. Even if it's not on my short list, I still like Terroni's personality and see nothing wrong with their policy. Sorry if I offended you!
deb / September 26, 2011 at 03:31 pm
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Went to the restaurant on victoria street. It was THE WORST meal I have ever paid for. We sent one dish back and they charged us. they refused parmesan cheese. The service is arrogant. Tosay no substitutions and refuse a reasonable request by a customer is just plain arrogant. It is the first time ever that I did not leave a tip. How dare a waitress tell me what I can or cant have when I am paying. I hope you go out of business!!!
marvin replying to a comment from deb / September 26, 2011 at 05:03 pm
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Sounds like the heart of the tradition at Terroni's is to prove to all of Toronto that THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS WRONG. Like meals at an old aunts' house: You don't like it? Leave!
Peter / September 26, 2011 at 09:27 pm
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Just had the greatest pizza with Fabio as my server. Two nights ago I had a similiar pizza at Liberato's and this one beats it hands down!!! The consistency of the dough and the combination of sauce and other ingredients is perfectly matched - just as if I was sitting in a local pizza restaurant in Rome or Milan. Even with a wood fired oven and a VPN certification I am sorry to say this pizza base and choice of ingredients was closer for me to the real thing than liberato's. Having actively seeking out the best possible pizza in Canada - from Vancouver to Toronto I have to say these guys kick ass!!
Deb replying to a comment from Peter / September 27, 2011 at 06:54 am
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They may have great pizza but the service stinks. I take it you didnt request any modifications!!! Or Parmesan!
tony bologni / December 21, 2011 at 04:29 pm
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TERRONI IS THE WORST RESTAURANT IN THE CITY....frickin idiots, the run is gonna come to an end hard and fast and i look forward to the demise.
mayor dodge replying to a comment from tony bologni / December 22, 2011 at 10:09 am
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Hey Tony: Maybe someone should smuggle a brick of Parmesan cheese and a grater. Pass is around to all the patrons and put thier goofball tradition to the ground. Take pictures of all the angry servers, too. LMFAO
Foodkj / January 1, 2012 at 03:57 pm
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North American self entitled attitudes are very apparent in all these posts. If the restaurant puts out very high quality olive oil with their dishes and does not want to spoil the dish with balsamic vinegar it is understandable. What people don't understand about this restaurant is that they go to uncanny depths to prepare all their dishes with the highest quality of ingrediants from the eggs to the organic greens to the preparation of their house made cure meats and fresh pasta that is made daily for all their locations.

What I hate the most is when people haven't even tried the food and start asking for all sorts of things. I went to dine at Terroni with a group of colleagues (some of which I did not know very well) and was completely disgusted and embarassed to be with them as one person in the group insisted on getting extra grated cheese on their pizza before having even taken a bite of the pizza. How did she know she would want extra cheese? Their table grated cheese is not the same quality of cheese that is prepared in the actual pizza itself and actually compromises the taste. North Americans need to learn that if they have issues with the mentality that when you go to a good restaurant, where they prepare family home recipes from a very small southern town in Italy, then they should not be asking for substitutions or modifications. You would never do that at a French restaurant nor would it ever be acceptable when you visit a traditional family in southern Italy. The wine list is very reasonable as their wine program offers very little mark up on their entire wine selection. I have seen wines that are offered at Terroni with a 300% mark up from what is listed on the Terroni menu. When you add all these things up, it's not that unreasonable to have these rules after all the depths they go through to offer the clients the best wines at reasonable prices and top of the market quality meats, cheese and produce.

Bottom line: Try the food before demanding things.
Try the food the way it is meant to be tasted by respecting these home recipes.

I can't understand why everyone is OBSESSED with making substitutions and modifications in North America but this mentality should change. If you go to a restaurant where substitutions need to be made because the food sucks it is understandable but then why would you go back?

Educate yourselves.
tony bologni / January 20, 2012 at 03:25 pm
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@ foodKj

You are....an idiot.
sara / February 29, 2012 at 08:33 am
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This is the WORST italian restaurant I have ever been too! (a native italian speaking). They don't allow substitutions.. ok fine, the chef thinks his food is artwork, but people do have food allergies, sensitivities, etc. You are cutting out half the population by being so uptight. Their pizzas are not even close to the pizzas made in Italy. They are a true knock off. All the hype.. for what? Never again!
Sara Russell Interiors / March 12, 2012 at 03:29 pm
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This is my favourite and go to spot for pizza! The new location at Summerhill is stunning and the food is delicious as always.
Agostino Vitiello / April 12, 2012 at 07:11 am
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Terroni pizza is very tasty. I like it.
Yoche / July 24, 2012 at 10:26 pm
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A little to pricey for me, but man. The pizza margherita was delicious. Also tried the one with eggplant and goat cheese, but it was alright. I say, stick to the simple stuff and you wont be disappointed. Also had the cheese platter. So lovely. Olive oil and bread were served by a seemingly cold waiter, who turned out to be a pretty nice guy when we asked him a few questions. Clearly very proud of his job. Will be back without question
Yoche / July 24, 2012 at 10:42 pm
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Also, I dont mind the "no subs allowed" Man, if we didnt offer that at my job I would have a much easier life. However, ignoring allergies? Really? Thats just cold.
Jim replying to a comment from Foodkj / August 2, 2012 at 01:52 pm
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I have not gone to eat there yet but if someone asks for a substitution or modification sometimes it is because of food allergies. Not accommodating a person who could potentially have serious issues as a result of allergies is not maintaining tradition of food or adhering to strict quality, it is called callous and stupid.
Steve J / August 26, 2012 at 09:17 pm
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I would only eat here again if I wanted to dine with d - bags which does indeed include the staff.
Carlotta / September 16, 2012 at 10:16 pm
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It is really sad that the service in Terroni is so horrible. Food is good, but the experience it's not. Staff is not friendly. I am not going back, since last time we left because we did not get serve and we were ready to order a while ago. A restaurant is not just about the food... Is all an experience, and is suppose to be excellent since customers pay for it!
Noelle / November 29, 2012 at 10:35 am
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Have only bothered to go to the one on Queen once as that was sufficient. Food was meh (not bad, not great), service was laughably bad (didn't ask for a substitution but DARED to ask for a diet pop and was treated like I was picking my teeth with my fork), and the portions were insanely small, even for someone who doesn't eat a lot. No alcohol and our bill was over $50 -- there are much better places to eat in the neighbourhood that I'd much rather support. Luckily I see it's finally starting to sink in to those around as the place has been decidely less busy (I walk by their door every evening to get home).

The hilarity for me though is in all my visits to Italy, I have found them to be the most accomodating people ever. I'd be willing to wager that not only would they give me cheese for my pizza/clam pasta or vinegar for my olive oil without hesitation, they'd also happily provide ketchup to pour on my pasta (if so desired), or ANYTHING TO MAKE THEIR GUESTS HAPPY. That's the Italian way, not this stuck up, "I know what you want better than you do" bull that Terroni passes off as fine dining.

FYI, since we were still hungry, we went to One Of A Kind down the street and had a much better meal.
phokus / December 21, 2012 at 11:43 am
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Integrity = ARROGANCE!

This policy of not providing parmesan with certain pastas and pizzas is totally arrogant and really left us with a bad experience.

I was told by management that it would compromise the integrity of the dish. I tried to explain to him it was something I've actually been provided with in the past (at the queen w location) and that its what I like to include with my pasta but was flat out refused rather rudely.

We decided to leave because I couldnt support the logic, policy and service behind it. All this does is piss people off and there inflexibility to resolve customer requests = TOTAL ARROGANCE.

IM DONE WITH TERRONI - I'LL NEVER GO BACK!

Justin / January 7, 2013 at 02:37 am
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Terroni is good quality italian food. Pizzas and salads are especially so. I too agree that the no substitutions and/or cheese is irritating however it's just the way they do it and if you don't like it, simply don't go.
Giuliano / January 29, 2013 at 03:07 pm
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I love Terroni. They sure know how to make pizza!
photography business / April 7, 2013 at 06:03 am
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I enjoy what you guys are usually up too. This kind of clever work and
reporting! Keep up the good works guys I've included you guys to blogroll.
JoQ / July 29, 2013 at 10:11 pm
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Amazing waiters/waitresses!
The Boratta is to die for! Keeeeeep em coming
Pat replying to a comment from Justin / August 20, 2013 at 03:38 pm
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"just the way they do it and if you don't like it, simply don't go"

thanks, haven't been there for a couple years now. when Terroni was the only show in town, they could get away with their over-priced food, drinks and arrogance. respect your menu? wtf, respect your customers!!!

it never was a high end restaurant, but had the attitude of one. look in kitchen and see immigrants making minimum wage, not a chef.

there are way too many pizza places that have opened up since this article. Terroni is well past its glory days. a couple more years and look for a "for lease" signs on their locations.

save your hard earned money and go to the less snobby new places around the city that have less noise and better food ...the way YOU want it.
Jonas replying to a comment from Pat / October 8, 2013 at 09:45 pm
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Actually Terroni is still pretty good, they always had some good hits and a few misses. The desserts the last time were incredible, the pizzas usually great. They tend to make some great pasta dishes and then unaccountably discontinue them. I never know what to expect! Nobody quite covers all they do.

But -this whole "Terroni is doomed cos I had a bad day" nonsense is completely unnecessary; Toronto has gone completely mental with people who yell at everything that isn't just as they personally imagine it must be (or else.) Why not have some overpriced Nero D'Avola and chill FFS.

The reviews of Bonjour Brioche are even funnier - and the plaintiffs sadder.
Abe / February 15, 2014 at 06:38 pm
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arrogant know it alls gave me attitude
I paid for the food and tipped ZERO
T.P. / February 26, 2014 at 07:53 pm
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Checked it out today and it was great.

Service was completely pleasant. Reading the reviews actually intimidated me that it would be like going to the Soup Nazi. Server I had was quick, he put up with our noob questions and had helpful suggestions.

We went during off hours though, so it wasn't busy at all.

Had some bread, olives and olive oil to start. All great. Then one of the best Pizzas I've had - The Natalina. Person with me had some vegetarian pizza that was also great.

Will totally go back to try the pasta.
Shhelly / April 2, 2014 at 10:09 pm
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their pizza is tasteless completely tasteless the waiter agreed the sauce is from a bucket (as in wholesale tomato paste).
Alli.G / September 4, 2014 at 05:35 pm
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I am not Italian nor a food expert. I don't eat out a lot either. Was invited to the Queen St. Location by a friend. The food was alright, but the customer service was poor. The waiter was rude, arrogant and impatient. I remained only out of love and respect for my friend. I will not return.
Mary replying to a comment from most of these comments sound like baby talk / November 22, 2014 at 04:44 pm
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Great post. Terroni's is great. Those complaining sound/are spoiled or uneducated...no cheese on seafood people! Going to Queen St T tonight!

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