My friend suggested going to The Rosedale Diner after seeing it shown on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives on the Food Network. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I don’t have this channel — I would probably be watching it 24/7 to scope out where the best eats are. When we arrived at this place, it turned out to be a hole-in-the-wall kind of place. There were probably about 10 tables in the entire diner and there were some interesting and random decorations on the wall.
Right off the bat, we started off with some not-so-good service. The friendly gentleman at the front welcomed us and told my friend and I that we could choose any seat in the restaurant So we chose a nice corner seat (under the Spiderman figurine) where the cushioned seats were. Not more than a minute after we sat down, a female server informed us that we couldn’t sit there because there was going to be a party of 6 coming in and that table was reserved. The content meter fell a little for me since they should have realized that the table was reserved already and not tell us to pick any seat. Regardless, the first gentleman did come back to our new table to apologize to us. That was fine.
The dish that was featured on the DDD show was the duck poutine. This was the best dish in the restaurant! Every piece of duck was very tender and moist and cut into small, perfect portions to put into your mouth. The gravy was very generous and smeared on top so that almost every fry was covered. Usually the poutine-eater gets upset when the fries at the bottom are left bare. The cheese was also very good. This was really, really amazing. No wonder they advertised this dish on the show.
This appetizer was disappointing. It was just calamari that was barely warm and kind of flavourless. The caper aioli was the only thing that made the rings better. Too bad there wasn’t even enough of it.
While we were enjoying our appetizers, the same female server from before came to our table and told us that our mains were coming up.. She was sort of rushing us since our appetizers weren’t even finished yet. It was kind of rude. That on top of the first incidence already confirmed a bad impression of the service. Along with that, we noticed that the table that we were told was “reserved” for a party of 6 was later occupied by a party of 2. What! That’s very poor service. Why did they tell us that it was reserved when clearly it was not?
Anyway, the mains came and it was only so-so. The sticky Asian pork ribs were also featured on DDD and we had high expectations for it. However, it was just dry pork ribs and the fries weren’t any tasty. How sad. The scallops that I had were not terrible and the quinoa was all right. There was nothing to really comment on.
Finally, for dessert, we chose what the server on the spot told us since the Summerlicious menu didn’t list any specific dessert. I chose a flourless chocolate torte and my friend chose the tartufo. The tartufo was an excellent choice.
The first time I’ve had a flourless chocolate torte was at Richmond Station which I’ve also blogged about here. Having had this dessert twice now, I know not to order it again. The flourless part takes out the sweetness of the cake which is usually what makes the cake taste so good. I guess this would be good for people who like gluten-free desserts? I’m not sure how it works.
The tartufo was really yummy. The ice cream was topped with a smooth chocolate layer and when you hit the centre, you see pink! It was like a sorbet in the middle. It was a good portion too.
Overall, I would say that the only good part about this restaurant is the duck poutine. That dish was seriously really delicious and I would recommend you going there just to try it out. It might be one of the best poutines I’ve ever had! Everything else in the restaurant was very standard and because the service wasn’t good — that rude female server will forever be a part of my experience at this restaurant — I likely won’t come here again. Hopefully if you come to this restaurant, your experience will be better.
I did find it interesting how they were called the Rosedale Diner and had a huge rose painted on the front of their restaurant. They also had some small planters at the front. Instead of roses, they had some random flowers. If I were the owner, I would probably have many planters of roses to make everything tie in together.. and move the diner to the Rosedale subway station in Toronto. Then, I could say, Hey guys! I have a restaurant called the Rosedale Diner located at Rosedale Subway Station and I plant roses in the front… and I have roses in my menus too and the entire place smells of roses, and I even changed my name to Rose! But that’s just me. :]