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“Santini's is a credit to Collingwood and our taste buds”

Santini's Ristorante
Ranked #21 of 116 Restaurants in Collingwood
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Pizza, Seafood, Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Large groups, Romantic, Families with children, Kids, Business meetings
Dining options: Dinner, Lunch, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Delivery, Free Wifi, Full Bar, Outdoor Seating, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Street Parking, Takeout, Television, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible, Wine and Beer
Description: For an unforgettable experience in traditional Italian food and relaxed dining - discover Santini's Ristorante in downtown Collingwood. Enjoy a drink by the fire, dine in the spacious restaurant or for large groups, ask about the intimate private dining room (with fireplace) and banquet hall. Taste the difference. Our wood fired pizza and mouthwatering desserts have to be tasted to be believed. Custom catering and home delivery also available if you'd prefer to have Santini's come to you. Discover the Santini's Experience today! View the menu online. Located at 61 Hurontario Street in historic downtown Collingwood. Only 10 minutes from Blue Mountain Ski Resort. 5 mins from Scandinave Spa.
Collingwood, Canada
Level Contributor
107 reviews
79 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 180 helpful votes
“Santini's is a credit to Collingwood and our taste buds”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2014

Full disclosure: I have history with Santini's long, long before this Italian-menu restaurant opened its doors in Downtown Collingwood recently.
Flashback to the mid-1970s when this Hurontario Street property housed the best Chinese food restaurant in Collingwood: the Bamboo Terrace.
Back then, working in Collingwood and the Georgian Triangle area I often ate Chinese there, or got take-outs; as well as taking our taste buds to try other restaurants in Collingwood and district. Once, as tourism continued to grow as an industry (thanks in particular to nearby Blue Mountain Resorts) I counted 108 restaurants in Collingwood and area.
There are more restaurants per-capita in this town of 19,500 population than in comparable-sized municipalities.
So the competition for a diner's loyalty and her, or his, meal purchasing has been very stiff for about 30 years in this town on the shore of beautiful Georgian Bay.
Tourism growth continues hand in hand with this area's reputation as a four-season's destination and we continue to see new restaurants opening in Collingwood and area.
Enter Santini's Ristorante.
Bravo!
The owners started with a very small restaurant in a separate location in Downtown Collingwood where Zencha Tea Room once served customers. Zencha's became Heron (I think Heron Gate), another tea room and that was replaced by new owners who started a small restaurant there. In summer, that restaurant was a joy because they had a delightful, small sidewalk patio outside for patrons.
Then came the big move and the bigger Santini's restaurant.
Santini's Ristorante opened north of the smaller restaurant and now Santini's has two locations.
The larger, most-recently-opened, is across from Collingwood's former Post Office building, which still serves as a federal building and has amazing architecture (patterned after the state financial building in Havana, Cuba). That's just south of the Loblaw food store, on Hurontario Street.
One of my friends, Bill Nicholson, had raved about Santini's Ristorante and Nancy and I went there last weekend with a couple of friends.
Bill was correct. It was worth the visit.
I had dropped in earlier in the day of our visit to reserve a table and was impressed with the décor. I remember the flashing red-and-gold of the Chinese restaurant. All of that has been renovated to bold black-and-white, some might say avante-garde. (Or, is that avante-guard?).
Anyway, on with the food.
Kristina took my reservation for four and indicated that we would sit at the last-available table for a 6.30 p.m., sitting: a table for six. I did not mind and away I went.
The four of us arrived on time and the hostess ushered us to another table as Kristina welcomed us and indicated that she had found us a table for four. It was on the higher level where ample light from a west-facing window illuminates that part of the restaurant.
Lucy was our server and she was prompt and professional at every turn.
Santini's Ristorante offers a vast menu as well as specials.
We had "mix bruschetta" which at $9.00 for the order provided three bread slices, each topped with a different item. I cut them all in half and that went quickly. Tasty!
Bar drinks for my wife Nancy and one of our friends added $6.50 each to the bill and glasses of for my friend's wife and me added another $6.50 each.
One of my friends has a generous cesare salad and that was $9.00.
Then came Penne Arrabbiata - black olives, chicken, tomato sauce and a touch of chili - for one of my friends. I know that he likes sausage in his pasta.
"Does that have sausage in it?" I asked well within earshot of the server Lucy.
Quick as a wink, she pointed out that Penne Arrabbiata does not contain sausage. This lady knows her menu, I thought.
My friend stayed with that order and that added $14.50 to the bill.
Our other friend ordered Penne Apollo. It sounded out of this world with penne pasta with chicken in cream and arugula pesto sauce. Our other friend enjoyed every bit of it and that added $16.00 to the bill.
I ordered Tagliatelle, that day's special. That pasta arrived with scallops in a tasty sauce. I enjoyed every bite and that added $17.00 to the bill.
My wife ordered a meat special, stuffed chicken. When it arrived it looked delicious and there I was without a camera! She enjoyed every bite and offered me the last bit of a very generous portion. I wolfed it down, unashamed, and her order added $28.00 to the bill.
I provide the prices because everybody wants to know what things cost.
Our total bill was $151.30, not including tax. We don't dine like this every day, but when we do we like to know that things were perfect from surroundings to service, food to being made welcome.
Happily, I can say that it was all worth it. We passed on dessert, but there were some lovely offerings.
Surprisingly, this restaurant doesn't rush you. We arrived at 6.30 p.m., chatted over drinks until our meals arrived. Chatted some more and then as we considered dessert, Lucy our server said "don't rush". We were made welcome to stay. We left about an hour and a half after we arrived. Thanks Lucy!
During our visit I noticed that every table was full and some changed customers while we were there. We'll go back another time to try other things. I noticed that at the front of the restaurant there's a seating area with armchairs - sort of coffee shop-ish - and some people were having their dinner there. I prefer the higher tables and the straight-back chairs. But all who visit Santini's might agree with my friend Bill and now me: It's well worth the visit.
Santini's offers lunches, dinners, take-outs and the owner also does catering; the latter, he has been doing in the area for years. They can handle a group too in a private room.
The number of restaurants in Collingwood continues to grow. Just today, I saw that another breakfast place is promoting its opening. Elsewhere, south of Santini's, an old building is facing renovation to house - you guessed it - another restaurant; one with some affinity for the community's history.
In a tourist-oriented town, where it's also important to build a base with local residents, Santini's Ristorante is a credit to Collingwood and delighting our taste buds. I predict Santini's will continue to attract a following from near and far.
Soon, they might be delighting your taste buds as this downtown building continues to provide accommodation to a history of restaurant excellence.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank George C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SantinisRistorante, Manager at Santini's Ristorante, responded to this review, April 15, 2014
Thank you for such an informative review. Some great information, and history of the Collingwood area.
We love being part of the Collingwood Downtown. The local businesses and people have humbled us with their support and loyalty.
Thank you again for taking the time to post your review.
We appreciate you visiting Santini's Ristorante, and we hope to see you again soon!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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175 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Toronto, Canada
2 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Best March Break”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 17, 2014

Friends from Toronto highly recommended this brand new restaurant to try. So we made reservations for the end of the skiing vacation. When we entered the restaurant we were greeted by a friendly hostess. Seated to the table with comfortable chairs and plenty of space between each table. My wife was pleased we could have a conversation without everyone hearing it. That's a bonus. We ordered appetizers and wine prior to our meal. We savoured the moment of our last night in Collingwood enjoying a romantic dinner. After a relaxing glass of wine and fantastic mussels we ordered our entrée. The staff and server made you feel like you were part of their family. Great atmosphere. I really enjoyed the lobster and my wife loved the mushroom tortellini . The salads were fresh and crisp. Portions were large. Unfortunately we were too full for a decadent dessert. Café Latte completed the dinner. We hadn't finished our meal when we decided that we were definitely coming back. Next time we will make this a family outing and have everyone experience this great place .
Bravo!

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank smithr2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SantinisRistorante, Manager at Santini's Ristorante, responded to this review, March 21, 2014
Thank you for coming to see us at Santini's.
We're so happy that you and your wife had an enjoyable night out.
We look forward to seeing the two of you again, and perhaps your family as well.
Buon Appetito!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Collingwood, Canada
Level Contributor
18 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Great Birthday Dinner location for a large group”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 10, 2014 via mobile

We needed a restaurant that could cater to a group of 28 for a birthday dinner. Santini's has private rooms and one of these was perfect for our event. A visit beforehand to discuss the details gave us confidence that we would have a great evening. Chiara, one of the owners, was charming, helpful, and flexible.

The dinner itself was wonderful. The staff were cheerful and efficient. The menu had excellent choices for everyone and the food was very well prepared and presented.

All in all, it was a successful event and we all left with big smiles on our faces. Thanks to all the folks at Santini's, we'll be back soon!

Visited March 2014
Helpful?
2 Thank Andy206B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SantinisRistorante, Manager at Santini's Ristorante, responded to this review, March 16, 2014
It was our pleasure to host your birthday dinner.
Thank you for choosing Santini's - we look forward to seeing you again soon.
Buon Appetito!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Vancouver, Canada
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“"The Unforgettable/Unexpected Experienece"”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2014

" Look!! Do you remember it used to be a Chinese Restaurant here? It looks so classy now. Lets give it a try!!" My girlfriend said. It was our Tin(10th) anniversary. We met each other 10 years ago in Blue Mountain. Then we moved to BC.
Back then, I remembered Collingwood was just a little town with just a few good restaurants. We couldn't believe it change so much within the last decade. Well, at lease we never seen a "Fine Din" restaurant that has a granite floor in Collingwood before.

The first sentence when she walked in... She said: "Really?! WOW!!", with a surprising smile on her face. Then she turned around, looked at me and said:"Lets go somewhere else that's cheaper. This place looks very upscale! I bet your wallet will get very slim after the dinner..."
At the same time while she was saying; I was looking at the menu on their web site.

"Santini's...Hmm... Nope, we'll stay..." I said. *By comparing the prices on the menu to a "High End/Fine din" restaurant like this. It is NOT EXPENSIVE at all. Well, can't compare it with McD's or other restaurant. Right?! As same as you can't compare a Lancia or a Maserati to a KIA. Although KIA does makes some good cars too...I guess*
"Table for two please!" I said to the hostess.

***The unforgettable/unexpected experience began.***
"I am sorry, do you have a reservation?" The hostess asked.
"No, I don't." I replied.
"I am sorry Sir, but we are fully booked for tonight."The hostess apologized.
"Oh... Please do me a favor. Today is our 10th anniversary. It is snowing and cold outside. I really don't want to drive around." I said.
"Congratulation Sir and Madam. Please excuse me for 5 mins. Let me see what I can do." The hostess replied and went to the gentlemen(the manager)that was standing behind the the bar.
After a short period of time. the hostess came back and said:" Our manager has decided to open the private dinning room for you. If you don't mind. Please follow me."
The hostess leaded us through the main dinning room. "It looks fabulous." my girl said.
She is right, the main dinning hall is "fabulous". The color of the wall, the ceiling, the lighting. The wine case, especially "The granite floor". They are elegant. It gives me a feeling of the cross over between modern and classic. The ONLY thing that's missing......
A Fazioli Grand Piano, right at the center. Then, this place would be perfect!

"Would you like anything to drink?" The server asked.
I looked at the wine menu and said" Yes, may I have a bottle of 2007 Brunello di Montalcino?"
"When did you learn how to drink wine?" My girlfriend said.
"HAHA... I don't. I google it!!" *According to some web site, this vintage scored 95 points. Plus I remembered from a TV show,
*Any Italian wine that is from Tuscany or its on the list of Italian DOCG wines... IT WON'T GO WRONG!!* Anyway, one word for this wine... "Outstanding!"

"Are you ready to order?" the server asked.
"YES!" My girl said. "For starter...May I have.............(she took a berth and continual said)....
"A Cozze with white wine and cream sauce (Mussels), The King tiger shrimps, The grilled octopus tentacles. OH... and the Fritto Misto (calamari) please. "

*** Now, let me stop here for a bit. My crazy lady just ordered 4 out of 7 starter dishes that was on the menu. Price range is around $11 - $18 per plate.
I was going to stop her, but I didn't. Cause I though they were ONLY starters right?! It won't be a big dish anywhere. It turns out, I was wrong... The starters plates were a lot. The Tiger Shrimps are FULL SIZE, nicely cooked. The Fritto Misto has 2 huge whole breaded and sliced up calamaris. The Mussels were completely filled up the blow and the meat inside.... they are BIG. Unlike some other places, that we only get what I called" (T.T.C) The Tiny Chunks". The Octopus tentacles... I am sure the chef used something called "Madako Tako Legs" on this plate. Its a high end Japanese ingredient. (How do I know? Well, Sushi is HER life).***

She goes on " For the salad, I would like to have the Contadina (Black Kale and Pecorino Cheeese). For him, he will get the Santini's (Organic Arugula, Squid Rings, and Paprika).
*** Now, let me explain. "Black Kale" is also called "Lacinato Kale". It is a types of Kale with a LONG TRADITION in Italian Cuisine, especially that of Tuscany. An expensive vegetable. Organic "Arugula". Known as the "Salad Rocket". Also an expensive vegetable too. "Parprika" is a type of spice that made from bell pepper or chili pepper.*** Hmm. I wonder since when does she knows what is a high quality porduce?

"And for the main dish, we would like a Grilled Lamb Chop, cooked to medium rare to share. AND... what would you like?" She finally asked me.
"Do you have the European Sea Bass today? And What is the catch of the day?" I asked the server.
"Yes, we do have the European Sea Bass. And for the fish of today, we have Fresh Tuna, Salmon and Sword fish loin.... Oh, and today chef's special... Lobsters. The Lobster is about 2 pounds each." The server said.

"Hmmm, Okay. I will get the Tuna; grilled to medium rare. And one order of Sea Bass please." I said.
"Why don't you order Pasta? This is an Italian restaurant.You should...." My girlfriend asked.

I stopped her and said" Pasta?! i am 100% sure all Italian restaurant make their own pasta. They can't even call themselves "an Italian restaurant" if they don't make their pasta. Nothing special Right? We can have pasta any day, anywhere. But if you want to try how high are the qualities of the foods here. Then I am going for something that's we don't usually eats everyday. And something that's other customers wouldn't order everyday. Like the Tuna and the European Sea Bass."
*True, I am being very picky at that moment. I don't think this NEW restaurant can pull it off when it comes to seafood. Especially, those two stuffs that I just ordered. WHY?? The European Sea Bass is seasonal fish. Its hard to find during winter time. And these type of fish.... they are NOT CHEAP. It can be easily tell the freshness of the fish. One more thing, European Sea Bass can only imported and brought into Canada by air. As for the Tuna. when was the last time that I had a NICE Tuna in an Italian restaurant??. Even some "so called HIGH END" or "FAMOUS" restaurant in Toronto or Vancouver uses a cheap, blocked frozen tuna.
But again...Guess What...?! I was impressed.
* The tuna was nicely grilled. Still a bit raw but warm in the middle. Which its the perfect way of cooking the Tuna Loin, it still has the shiny coat of fish oil on it. Only a FRESH Tuna will gives you that.
** Sea bass, perfectly marinated and NOT OVER COOKED!! By looking at the eyes of the fish, and the texture of it. I KNOW why would they put this on their menu.
*** Grilled Lamb Chop, perfectly marinated and cooked into middle rare. The spice and the white wine were nicely brand-in together. I was afraid the lamb will be tough and it will has the very strong smells. But it turns out.... completely opposite of what I was afraid of. I bet the chef has award of the same thing that I was worry about. So he/she used the spring lamb. Cause the older the lamb is. The stronger smells and tougher the meat are. *Credits to the CHEF!!

"Hows Everything? Would you like anything else for tonight?" The server said.
"No. we are FULL... The dinner... it is perfect!!" My girl said. "What else can go wrong? Good wine, foods are delicious !! And today is our 10th anniversary. A perfect timing too!!"
"Just the bill please." I said.

"How much is it? Is it expensive?" SHE asked......with her little sorry face.
I looked at the bill and replied:" WOW... it is cheaper than the pair of earring that I got you yesterday."

This is my FIVE STARS EXPERIENCE @ Santini's!! I've read the other people's reviews about this restaurant. Most were good, some were bad. But me tell say one thing...
You must get yourself a chance to "experience" at this restaurant. Cause the food and everything else in here is just like a "Notable Work" by Leonardo da Vinci. MOST PEOPLE LOVES IT, a few don't.

P.S :"Thank you Santini's!! We will come back again next year." said by my LOVELY LADY.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
4 Thank Nino_Lance_W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
“NEVER GO BACK”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2014

A group of us go out each Friday to a different restaurant and we went to Santini's on a Friday for lunch. It was the worst experience for quality & quantity of food ever experienced with all 8 of us and none of us will ever recommend it or go back. What bothers me the most is the fact that two of us sent Santini's a email outlining our concerns & disappointment and neither one of us ever heard anything back. If a person takes the time to let a establishment know why they are not happy then the very least is they could have acknowledge our emails. I have been a business owner for 15 years and I would never treat my customers that way. I can't even rate it because it was so awful. Louise McCartney West

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Louise M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SantinisRistorante, Manager at Santini's Ristorante, responded to this review, March 11, 2014
Firstly - thank you for visiting Santini's. We truly appreciate you dining with us.

We would love to hear your concerns - we are always looking for ways to provide the best dining experience possible.
Unfortunately we did not receive your emails.
Please visit the website and email us from the Contact page.

Regards and thanks.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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