Mother of All Mavens

A whole lot o' nothing. And then some…

Toronto. Like it or loathe it, one thing’s for sure: we Torontonians love a good patio. Maybe it’s ‘cuz of the winter. Our summer’s are short, blah blah blah…Who really cares? At the end of the day, if you build it, we might come. But if you tack on a patio, we’ll be there with bells on.

Once upon a time, there was a charming restaurant called Adriatico. Nice food. Pretty dining room. KICK ASS PATIO. Really. It was stunning. Stunning in a who-even-cares-if-the-food’s-good kind of way. It was that great. Made you feel like you were far, far away. This is another weird thing about patios in Toronto: the more they make you feel like you’re anyplace but Toronto, the better. But I digress…

The kind folks at Adriatico upped and left. Heavy sigh…Adriatico, R.I.P. And now, it’s been replaced by Lure. Another restaurant. Another fish place even. But, sadly, just another patio. Another mediocre patio.

My man and I went to Lure last week for our anniversary. It was funny because I wanted to go there but forgot the name, and then didn’t want to tell him as he’d already made reservations somewhere. Turned out they were for that very same restaurant: Lure. It was fate! Kismet! We were so in sync… we were so in love…we were so on the same page. We were so….about to be disappointed. You see, we’d been to Adriatico (R.I.P.) and loved it. Aside from being a stunning spot, and having awesome food, we could pretend we were still on our honeymoon. For real -that patio looked like just like a place we stayed at on our honeymoon. So we were excited. Look out Lure, here we come!

And then we got there. And, despite being loved up and all, we hit the patio and saw that the honeymoon really was over.

The place was in need of… something: a cleaning, a paint job, a sponge-down… Anything. And we both noticed it, not just anal ‘ol me. Since it was customer-challenged (aka almost empty) we got to pick any seat we wanted. The first was, we were told, too dusty. The next had personal space issues. Finally, we headed to the back. Where once there were stunning wicker couches with fluffy white cushions and plants, there now lay a dusty rattan mat, the same furniture, only older and cushionless, and empty terra cotta pots. Were they going for the dingy look? If so, it was working.

The waiter arrived. He, like the patio, was a bit dim. But we ordered: seared tuna for me and fritto misto for him. We also chose the ‘chef’s choice’ starter platter, joking how the chef would probably choose all veggies for the meze plate. Joke was on us, because he did. It arrived and amid the various veg concoctions was a single shrimp split in two, a spoonful of crabmeat, a lone scallop and, to quote the waiter, “thing-a-ma-bobs”. I swear, he said “thing-a-ma-bobs”! Who says that? And who says that instead of saying, oh, artichokes? Yeah, artichokes. It was bad enough the guy had to read the specials off his paper (he couldn’t remember grilled whole fish? Or seared tuna? COME ON!), but then he couldn’t even identify what we were having. It was a good thing that whatever it was we were eating proved to be tasty. Unidentifiable, to be sure, but tasty.

Did I mention we couldn’t see? The fairy lights of Adriatico (R.I.P.) must’ve burnt out last summer. And I suppose the new management figured they’d replace them with fog lights. At least they seemed like fog lights – or some other kind of bright yellow spotlights. They’d come on for a few minutes, and then turn off. Maybe they were motion sensor lights. Too bad they didn’t have ‘em at the back where someone was emptying glass bottles into recycling bins. I kid you not. Surely it couldn’t have been the restaurant. Or maybe it was. Who knows? We couldn’t see anything. Honestly, we ate blind. I don’t know about you, but I always find it a bit weird when I can’t see what I’m eating. As my brother-in-law says, “we eat with our eyes”. Yeah? Not at Lure we don’t .

Determined to celebrate, we tried to find each other over the tiny candles and gaze…But instead we discussed what a bizarre place Lure was. We agreed: great food, but service and ambience were lack-lack-lacking. Aaaaw, we both felt the same way! So in sync… so in love… so ready to get the hell out of there. If Lure’s patio was like being away, we were ready to come home. R.I.P. Adriatico, R.I.P.


Anonymous said…

Happy Anniversary, MOAM. The stars in your eyes should’ve been the patio lanterns, instead of the patio lanterns being the… Nothing like a good Canadian rock anthem to kick off the summer– and the quest for the perfect patio. C’mon commenters– post your suggestions here!

3:29 PM

Anonymous said…

You are such an awesome closer! Your ends take the cake sister. By the way – food reveiws – your calling!

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