Wednesday, April 6, 2011

good idea: watch Fellini's 8 1/2

bad idea: eat at Fellini's   

 'Happiness consists of being able to tell the truth without hurting anyone'
~ Guido (from the film 8 1/2) ~

Unfortunately this truth might hurt a little.

I had hoped that eating at Fellini's would be a lighthearted Italian experience filled with warmth and laughter.  Disappointment ensued...

We called ahead but were told by a young woman that "there might not be a table available if we don't come right away" - no offer of a reservation possibility.

The greeting was pleasant enough and our waitress was friendly and upbeat.  A look at the wine list offered flights (three 2oz portions of different wines) a great idea, but unfortunately there weren't enough drinkable wines present to warrant getting three. 

We perused the menu and the insert on which the daily features were written.  Both had a relaxed feeling that bordered a little too close to carelessness, somewhat dog eared and spilled on, mine even had some items smudged out.  It's ok to not take yourselves too seriously, but the crayons on a table which has only adults at it seems to denote a certain _______?

Appetizers were bacon wrapped scallops and spinach salad.  Presentations were colourful and pleasant but the scallops were dry, seemingly cooked directly from frozen and the bacon wrapping them was rubbery; both sat atop some kind of onion and red pepper bruschetta with cream cheese which ultimately masked the scallops entirely when eaten together - thank heaven for small blessings.  The salad was not unpleasant, but that is the best that can be said.

Entrees arrived a full hour after we ordered with a long stretch of wait time after the appetizers were cleared.  Thankfully the company was pleasant enough to endure the untimeliness and the presence of the highlight of the meal, which is the olive bread, made in house and served with olive oil and balsamic, was comforting - though it was also served with unnecessary pre-packaged butter.

The main courses arrived and the feature, priced at $20 - chicken breast stuffed with crab and portabello mushroom with linguini in a lemon pepper cream sauce - looked as though it had been in a holding oven/under a heat lamp for quite some time, congealed sauce, dry chicken.  The pizza arrived looking like some overcooked version of a frozen 'no name' and the taste was exactly that.  Slightly soggy in the middle and burnt on the edges - it should never have made it to a table - this is something that one might eat after a drinking binge, only because there are no other options available.  The saving feature to the food was a rather tasty version of rustic ratatouille, the only thing that was eaten without complaint.  Sadly, the server did not seem to realize, or perhaps didn't care about the unrest at the table regarding the food.

Tempting fate, we ordered dessert and as much as the tartufo was delicious, the tiramisu was too heavy and decadently chocolate for it's namesake - had it been called something else, it could have been great!

Nearing the end of the evening, a contrast to the disastrous plated fiasco finally appeared.  The manager who saw us off (possibly the owner?) was delightful.  Gracious and kind with a genuine sense of humour, at least he left us with a touch of the warmth I expected from the experience.


  1. The first time we ate at Fellini's, the food was blissfully decadent. We were late to the theatre and regretted not being able to linger and enjoy our meals. The second and thirds times, we were very disappointed. Although service is always great, and I enjoy a little colouring between courses, I find the food to be unpredictable - sometimes great, often adequate, and occasionally disappointing.

  2. Fellini's has amazing lasagna... it's delicious every time I order it! I've had good service every time I've dined there... the wait staff is courteous, efficient, and friendly. I even enjoy the crayons :)

    On the negative side, the calzones are usually disappointing, and I've always thought the dessert menu was limited and boring. I tend not to dine there, because they don't take reservations (and I hate waiting)... but luckily, there are many other great places in Stratford that do take reservations :)

  3. they don't take reservations? how sad.