I go to Sotto Sotto about 5-6 times a year, mostly with vendors through work as an I.T. executive (convenient to my office). However, I will never ever set foot in Sotto Sotto again after the treatment I received yesterday and encourage anyone and everyone to do the same.
My cousin from Australia, who I see about once every 5 years, is passing through Toronto for a couple of nights so we made plans to have family dinner (6 adults) on the one night we could make work (Mon, Nov. 5). Knowing he likes Italian food, I thought of Sotto Sotto – the food is generally good and I like the warm, cozy atmosphere. Some things can be annoying (i.e. waiting an hour in line on a Sat despite having a reservation) but our plans were on a Mon so didn’t think there would be issues.
In late September, I checked OpenTable and saw nothing available so called the restaurant directly – was told there is a private party that had booked the entire restaurant so nothing was available. The hostess said she’d check to confirm and call me back ‘tomorrow’. Oh well. So we began looking at other options – Scarpetta, Aria, Buca, etc.
A few days later, on a whim (had not heard back from the hostess), I checked Sotto Sotto again on OpenTable and a table for 6 was available at 7 p.m. – so I made a reservation. Coincidentally, I got a call the next day from the hostess saying a table was available because of changes to the private party. I let her know we’d already booked…
Here’s where the unbelievably crappy experience starts – on Sun, Nov. 4 at 3:19 p.m. (yes, one day before our reservation), I get a call from the hostess telling me that the private party has ‘grown’ and they would be happy to move us to their ‘other restaurant’ or to ‘reschedule for another night’. Needless to say I lost it. Clearly Sotto Sotto had a large booking and, when the large booking either wavered or shrank, they needed to fill their restaurant so accepted reservations from people like me. And then when the large booking got bigger again they figured they could just cheerfully call and bounce my table of 6 with almost no notice and leave us scrambling to make alternate plans. I eat out at fine restaurants a lot and have never been jerked around like this before.
Well, Sotto Sotto has now lost all my future business – my personal dining, all my business dining, and anyone else I can convince to never go there (e.g. business colleagues). I suspect their arrogance stems from a belief that customers will keep coming regardless so don’t give a damn about people like me. I for one won’t put up with it – there are too many other superior restaurants in Toronto that know how to treat their clientele well (e.g. Scaramouche, any of the McEwan restaurants).