When Jamie Oliver decided to grace the GTA with the opening of his Italian restaurants, everyone seemed pretty stoked. Despite the hype, J.O.'s proved to be extremely disappointing. You know when you're super hungry and almost anything tastes as good as McDonald's breakfast at 10 p.m.? (Shout out @ McDonald's Canada) Sadly, this wasn't the case.
We decided to order three menu items to share: one app, one pizza and one pasta. For appetizer, we ordered the Roasted Squash and Ricotta Bruschetta ($9.95). Sadly, this plate was the highlight of the meal, despite being bland. The description sounded promising with lemony ricotta and aged balsamic, but the only hint of flavour came from the small pieces of squash drowning in their bed of tasteless ricotta.
For pasta, we chose the Fresh Crab Spaghetti ($22.95), proving to be one of my biggest mistakes of 2017 so far (this is saying a lot). For a while, we all sat there in silence, eating our food and not really commenting, until one of us finally let out a "um... this is gross?". The first disappointment served with this dish starts even before eating it with only about two or three bites of crab on top a mountain of spaghetti. Now, imagine you are at your favourite local Asian supermarket, and you decide to buy some live fish. So you make your way to the seafood section and get a strong, unpleasant whiff of sea creatures and tank water. Now, imagine boiling your pasta in that water. Sometimes a dish just transports you to another location, and in this case, I was transported to a sad, dirty Ontario beach.
For pizza, we ordered The Parma ($19.95), a classic Margherita topped with prosciutto, arugula and Parmigiano Reggiano. For some reason this pizza was served cold and was turning out to be the one pizza that could defy the age old saying "even bad pizza is still good pizza". At this point, I just wanted to be full.
Jamie, you have disappointed me. If these dishes are inspired by your time in Italy, as the restaurant claims, then I have absolutely no idea what you were even doing there. I never thought I would write a 1/5 Utensil review, on account of who I am as a person and who my stomach is as a stomach, but here it is.