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“Excellent food!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of La Fenice

La Fenice
Ranked #388 of 8,404 Restaurants in Toronto
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Romantic, Business meetings, Special occasions
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Neighborhood: Downtown West
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
59 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
“Excellent food!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 24, 2012

We came here upon the recommendation of a friend and were not disappointed.
My dinner companion had the Grilled provimi liver with sage and braised pearl onions (21$) and I enjoyed Veal ragu pappardelle with porcini mushrooms (22$). Both were delicious.
We also tasted two desserts - Chocolate Orange Hazelnut Torte and Chocolate Pecan Torte - which were delightfully fresh and rich in flavour.
Great place for a date or and evening with friends, especially before heading to the theater.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank super-explorer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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147 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    77
    45
    19
    4
    2
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
67 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“The textbook example of high-end Italian dining”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 18, 2012

A good sign that a restaurant takes their dining experience seriously is the amount of attention that all staff pay to the customer. When the coat check person takes the initiative to take your coat, that's a very good sign.

La Fenice is part of Restaurant Row, along King Street across from the TIFF Bell Lightbox and within three blocks of most of TO's live-action theatre venues. It's a restaurant that knows the crowd that comes here, and so they pay attention to making a good show.

When I was down there, the wait staff were showing diners the available live fish that would be the special for that night, giving details as to their species, the style of cooking they intended to employ and what to expect from the resulting flavor. Which is all well and good if you're in the mood for fish, but I was actually going for pasta.

I had their beef carpaccio as an appetizer. It came with shavings of Parma cheese, dressed in olive oil and capers, and was a nice presentation. I also had their linguine with clams bianco, which was also very well done; the clams were in their shells and were appropriately tended, while the pasta had a good al dente texture. The only downpoint was actually my own mistake; Zinfadel is perhaps a bit too fruity and sweet to be a wine for dinner.

They have a good dessert selection; I had their chocolate orange torte, which was an excellent finisher along with the coffee.

The atmosphere was quiet, with the background music quietly playing Italian standards. You could take a date there and have a good intimate conversation in a relaxed atmosphere.

Expensive? Well, yes. But I have eaten in more expensive places where the service was far less attentive. When you're looking for a dining *experience,* as opposed to just getting a bite before the show begins, service matters. People who want to know what high-end dining should be like, should check this place out as part of their research. Sure, the actual timing of the service could be considered slow if you're alone, but considering their traffic and customer base I'm more inclined to describe it as "relaxed." And relaxed, on a Saturday night of being out on the town, is a good thing.

  • Visited November 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank VWOttawa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
117 reviews
76 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Great Food in Entertainment District”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 15, 2012

If you're looking for authentic Italian food in downtown Toronto - at a reasonable price - look no further than La Fenice! We visited the restaurant in late June with a large group and everyone raved about the food. We returned again in early October with another large group and, once again, rave reviews. Great service throughout the evening. The wine choices complemented the food very well. The restaurant is quite intimate with white table clothes. Unlike many restaurants these days, the noise level was very acceptable. Our Italian friends believe this is one of the very best Italian restaurants outside of Italy. We agree!

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank TheOakvillian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
80 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Very nice indeed”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 5, 2012

Right in the middle of the theatre district we had maybe 3 minutes walk to see War Horse. The restaurant was quiet on a Tuesday night so the service was maybe a little too attentive, but the ambience, the food and wine were all lovely. Rack of lamb got very high marks from our table, as did the Veal chop and the calves liver. Good portions but not too huge that we fell asleep in the theatre. Shared desserts were a good idea as they were quite large.

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank Carol M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Meh!”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 13, 2012

Sorry to say but what a disappointment. I went with my 3 girlfriends for dinner on Wednesday Sept 12, 2012. The supposed grilled fish came back deep fried and was so overcooked which dried out the meat.. and it was suppose to be drizzled with olive oil but wasn't. Presentation was blah - so unappealing on the platter.

Desserts were not presented very well and the most awful zabaglioni i've ever tasted.

Service was awesome though and our server was certainly very entertaining which made up for the lack lustre food.

I don't recommend and wouldn't go back.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank arlina k
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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