Came to Toto for my wife's birthday with another couple that are good friends.
We came durring lunch time and the atmosphere was nice. Got a great table with a bench and the place filled up to 100% capacity rather quickly.
The waiter came by and took our order. I asked for whatever toto is known for. I told the waiter "order the item i can remember you by". The waiter replayed, " you should have the steak". "why is that" i rebutted. "Its what we do best here", he explained.
So toto is an italian restauran, i really have not been to any italian restaurant that its claim to fame is a steak. They why you go to a steak house, not an chef extrodinare italian place, right? So i see the waiter is just greedy as the steak is the most expensive item on the menue by far. So i tell them waiter, "you know what, ill go with the $70 steak, if its that good, lets have it." Waiter comes back, we ran out of the $70 steak, but we have a $200 steak. I look at him and say, is that even possible??!! I've eaten at peter lugar, the strip house, del friskos, i have had kobe in Kobe Japan, but i have never had a $200 steak. Obviouslyt the price is a function of the wight and this steak was 800 grams and should not be eaten alon. I aksed him, should i get it, as everyone else has ordered and they dont want steak. "does it make sence for me to order it alone?," i asked. He replayed, "you can take care of it, there is a bone and some fat there." Thats where i drew the line, no thanks bud, seems you are guided by your intrest in a larger bill. I asked if there was anything else on the menue he recommended and all he came up with was a scure of beef fillet. Mind you i gave him card blanch and did not limit him to beef. With out options i went for the hamberger with goose liver.
So here is what we had and what i think of it.
The complimentary break that came at the beginning of the meal, was hands down one of the mest items we had durring the meal. It was fabulous bread that seams to have come out of the oven minutes before its arrival on our table. The crust was crispy and the insite was mouse and it had a great texture with a complex taste. But we dont like to fill up on bread, so we tried to keep away from eating too much of it ;).
1. First course: calamari salad: arrived with a plethora of salt. I never send dished back, but we sent this one back and they emidiatly took it and replaced it with a normal dish. This one was not salty, but i would not order it again, just a bland dish.
2. I ordered truffle and bacon pizza to start. It was fantastic!! the only bad part is that i came 20 minutes after all the other dishes so i had to eat alone.
3. The hamberger i had was not good. I asked for medium rare and i got medium. The piece of good liver was minute, i was shocked at its size for a$25 burger.
4. My wife got pasta bolonaise which was good. The pasta was home made and was nice, not amazing, but nice.
5. I asked the waiter for a glass of wine, he inquired what are you looking for, i asked if he had chateau golan a good ,local winery in the golan heights. he said yes, we have eliat, their blended label. I said ok, he mentioned it was expensive, i supidely did not ask how much as i am familiar with the wine and know that a bottle costs about $40 so a glass could not be more than $12-16. I blame this mishap on myself, but when the bill came the wine was $20 per glass and i had two. The volume poured per glass was also quite small. I have to say, i have never encountered a $20 glass of wine in israel.
The deserts were good.
The bill: shocking is the right word. Notice i have separated the items from our friend couple. The bill for my wife and i was $200 before tip. Two starters, two main dished, two cocktails, two glasses of wine and a disert. lets say, there is no restaurant in israel that can give you proper value for $50 per head, but $100 a person is in the Michelin price range for lunch and this place is nothing better than a regular.
Service: We had five or six people serve out table, and that is not taking into account the runners to brought out the food. When you charge that much per person there is not escuse for not having one waiter from start to end. The waiter that took our order did not know the menue well and seemed to dicate recommendations based on price only. My starter came out 20 minutes late without apology or compensation.
I have heard countless people rave about this place. Several of my close friends are toto fans but it only strengthens the fast that most israeli food is mediocre and Israelis dont know how to tell medium food from excellent food. I love giving praise where praise is due. Toto is a restaurant to see and be seen, the food quality is only a coincidental.
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