07 August, 2013

When In Rome....Eat At HOME

There are only a few Italian places on my "to eat" list that are in OUR end of town.  I have been told repeatedly that going down to Little Italy for Italian food is overrated.  Sometimes that can be true...when places are the usual "go to" for something, they start to slack off and become monotonous with their flavors and textures.  Sure, that will drive ya nuts at top speed.  Taking all of that into account, I decided to check out a local Italian spot nestled in the heart of Bells Corners; a quaint little place called Cyranos.

This is one of the first places I've gone to that wasn't recommended to me by someone else.  I drove by it so many times when we were living in the nearby hotel waiting to find our house, I figured it was high time I checked the place out.  I knew it was quite a pipe dream on my part to think we were going to make it through dinner out with the 3 year old and the 10 week old without a TOTAL Gong Show of a night, but a Momma can dream, can't she?

As soon as we were inside I got to ordering and taking pictures.  I was caught a little off guard when I looked at the menu IN house and noticed that something I saw pictured online on the menu page, wasn't actually offered on the menu.  So I asked our waitress about the lamb chops....  They definitely have them, but it isn't listed on the menu.  I put in my order for lamb chops; rare, garlic mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables, the antipasto plate for two and an order of deconstructed chicken parmesan for the Sprout then went on my walk about of the place.

Booth Seating

                               Party Sized Table                          Bar Area

Traditional Seating

Specials Board

As you can see, due to the nature of our entourage, I decided to show up before the rest of the dinner crowd did.  This was both to catch pictures of the place and to get in and out without disturbing other people's meal if our Sprout decided to get crazy...  I need to learn to stop saying "if" about that scenario.  Until further notice, I am pretty sure our son is going to garner us some dirty looks when we're out on the town.

After I was done taking my pictures the Sweet Pea started to decline in her level of contentment, this usually means there is a diaper change on my horizon.  I grabbed her and headed to the ladies restroom with a changing pad and BOY oh BOY was I glad I brought that pad...  No changing station.  Isn't that standard in restaurants these days??  I thought it was; I stand corrected.  I had to change my 10 week old on the floor of the ladies restroom.  Our night slowly got worse from there on out...

When I got back to the table I cheered up a bit to see a basket of dinner rolls on the table and the Sprout had already dug into them.  Better to have him satiated and quietly munching rather than bouncing off of the ceiling.

Dinner Rolls
The dinner rolls were pretty awesome.  Beautifully crusty on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside.  It gave me high hopes for dinner but those hopes rose and fell like the tide in the midst of a hurricane...

Antipasto Platter for Two

By the time this platter made it to our table we were out of dinner rolls and I was S-T-A-R-V-I-N-G, so that didn't go over well with my inside my head...or my tummy.  My Mister and I blew through this platter pretty quickly, but mostly out of hunger and desperation.  There wasn't anything remarkable about it, in fact I could have made that at home myself NO problem.  The cheese and prosciutto were passable but the olives and the rest, I could have gotten from the grocery store and plopped on a plate and had the same thing for much less money.

I started to wonder if our waitress was ever going to refill our dinner roll basket...  That antipasto platter wasn't very filling for two adults.  I could HEAR our entrees being cooked, but they were nowhere to be seen.  Our Sprout was getting close to out of control and I was losing my patience...  That of course is when our entrees showed up.

Lamb Chops, Garlic Mashed Potatoes & Mixed Vegetables

I made this picture extra large so you could clearly see the chopped garlic on top of my mashed potatoes.  Not something you would want to order on a date night unless your toothbrush was stowed away in your purse!  I've never ordered "garlic mashed potatoes" and been given mashed potatoes with the garlic roasted and simply chopped and thrown on top as a garnish.  Typically the garlic is roasted and while it is still warm they squeeze it right out of the bulb like a paste and fold it into the prepared mashed potatoes with butter and cream.  So this presentation mystified me...and then disappointed me after I tried it.

Somewhere along the line I could hear my Mister complaining to himself.  "It's all fat..."  *poke, poke* with his finger.  His steak had a HUGE ribbon of fat in it that was never trimmed off.  I explained to him that the fat is where the flavor comes from.  He shot back quickly that he would be fine with that concept if it had worked and shoved his fork towards my gob to give his food a try.  *shoved fork in and chewed*  I looked at him with an apology in my eyes...  I hadn't tried my lamb chops yet, now I was quaking in my boots.  I reached for a chop and sliced into it.  Same thing.  I was so angry.  I grabbed another chop and sliced into it.  That one was fine.  To the chef's credit they were all cooked to the right temperature; rare.  But there was absolutely NO detectable seasoning on ANY of my chops anywhere.  There wasn't even sea salt or pepper that I could taste.  I was getting pretty angry.  Our son was misbehaving, the place was starting to fill with customers.  When the waitress came to refresh our water again (but not bring more dinner rolls...) I just threw in the towel and asked for containers and our check.

Why did I bring that food home, you may wonder???  Let me tell you...  Because it cost me 115 loonies plus tip.  THAT'S WHY!  There is no way I was leaving it there.  We hadn't fed our dog yet that night, I figured we might as well give it to him.

My Mister and I left and discussed this dinner the rest of our night.  The WHOLE night.  It was all we talked about.  We were so disappointed.  We started to wonder if perhaps pasta was the "thing" to order there.  Perhaps that was their specialty.  But if pasta were their specialty, you'd think the waitress would have steered me in that direction when I started asking about their menu.  She didn't.  The service was okay, I mean no one was rude at all; on the contrary.  They were very gracious and kind whenever we interacted.  Quite frankly I felt like I was in their way sometimes when I was up and about changing the Sweet Pea, etc. but they always just smiled and kept on with their work.  However, kindness doesn't make me overlook the constant empty bread basket and the seriously under seasoned meat.

Once I got home, I tried the Sprout's leftover chicken parm.  The only thing worth noshing on was the breaded chicken filet, but there again...totally under seasoned right along with the red sauce on the noodles.  


Will I be eating here again??  No.  Did I like it...?  Nope.  No amount of kind staff can make up for a seriously overpriced menu that totally misses the mark on flavor.
  Cyranos Restaurant on Urbanspoon


  1. I loved this review! I went there for my fiance's birthday a few months ago. I ordered the margarita pizza, and he had a reduced mushroom steak of some sort (it was a "special"). My pizza came out with two SMALL basil leaves thrown on top of a crummy cheese pizza. His steak was drowning in a thick, lumpy mushroom gravy. Our bill was over 100 dollars! I was blown away, and very disappointed.

  2. I'm sorry that your experience was so disappointing...and on a special occasion as well. The good news is that there are plenty of places to get a steak in town that ARE worth the money. Next time you take him out for a steak try The Empire Grill downtown. I had an Alberta Bison Steak there and it was one of the best I have had since we moved here in 2011