Rodizio is a Brazilian style of restaurant service that, for a fixed price, you can eat as much as you'd like. However, unlike a traditional buffet where things sit under a hot lamp for hours, pizzas and pastas are made fresh for wait staff to serve.
To begin, our server explained the restaurant's concept. The first course was comprised of a self-service salad and appetizer bar. At that time we could also order a pasta course from the pasta bar at the back, which would be brought to our table. She also gave us a card with a red and green button on each side to control service; the green side signals the servers to bring more pasta, pizza and meat, while the red side indicates a stopping point.
The salad and appetizer bar was well stocked with fresh salads, grilled vegetables, smoked salmon, and perfectly steamed mussels in a garlic tomato broth. The ingredients were of great quality and I would have been content to eat from here all night.
I ordered gnocchi in a tomato cream sauce for the pasta course. It was adequate but nothing to rave about. I only ate a bit of it as I didn't want to fill up on starch.
We were frequently greeted by gracious servers with a variety of pastas, such as lasagna and cannelloni. Given the lackluster gnocchi, I decided to dedicate my precious stomach space to the delicious thin crust pizzas that appeared every few minutes.
While I was enjoying the meal I was completely unprepared for what was about to occur - the meat course. Servers come to the table with knives and a skewer with various kind of meat. The chicken was pretty good but I was blown away by the beef. It was like eating delicious beef-flavoured butter. The meat was so tender it melted in my mouth.
Breaking the rules, I explained to the server that I needed to flip the card to red so that only the beef would return; I was finished with pizza and pasta.
I'll be the first to admit, the fixed price of $35 for dinner and $20 at lunch isn't great value if you have a small appetite. I rarely can eat $35 worth of food at a mid-priced restaurant but for the meat alone I'll come back for lunch with a group of friends.
Piatti is located at 150 Eglinton Avenue East between Yonge and Mount Pleasant.