Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Rosi's Bistro on West Saanich

This is a small restaurant in a strip mall across from the Med Grill. The decor is very Brick, 1980's and our table was wobbly. The bread is bad. But the pasta is great! Wine by the bottle is very affordable. The food is not so affordable. Overall a mixed bag.

We dined with our 17 month old and fortunately we came equipped with a booster seat as they did not have wither a high chair or a booster. On the other hand the staff was helpful and amenable to our requests for an extra plate and that sort of thing.

On entry do not expect much. The interior, as I said, is very basic. That said there are signs they are trying, but they need a bit of help and, I suspect, some money.

The menu is fairly large and printed on basic white paper. Also not inspiring. Even higher quality paper, without typos and stains would have helped. I am always a bit suspicious of larger menus too, though the limited selection of ingredients was reassuring to me. On the bright side there were several vegetarian options, though nothing vegan jumped out at me.

They brought us bread, it was from a bag. Not good, even if they tried to dress it up with balsamic and oil in shakers for your use. This is the type of bread that will be covered in mold before it gets hard or crusty and is dry even when at it's freshest.

We started with the bruscetta sampler. For twelve dollars we got three squares of the bag bread with our choice of topping from about a half a dozen options. We won't say more about the bread. The toppings were okay. Good flavour combinations and fresh ingredients.

The main courses are what saved this place. I had the baked cheese manicotti. One manicotti roll was the perfect portion and it seemed to be fresh pasta. The marinara sauce was yummy and they had used generous but not ridiculous cheese on top, which created the lovely crusty, gooey, cheesy topping I had truly be searching for. A few more seconds in the oven would have ensured the proper creaminess in the ricotta filling which was a bit pasty due to that lack. Again though, flavour was good and my portion was just right. I had a glass of Pinot Grigio with dinner which was a nice glass with the dish and a generous enough pour that I could sip through appetizer and dinner. My husband had a scallop and pancetta bowtie pasta that he was very happy with. His portion was generous and he was pleased by the amount of scallop (five big ones)and pancetta. He didn't finish his and took home a doggie bag that he enjoyed later. The one thing was that those main courses were pricey at fifteen and nineteen dollars respectively this was not the budget conscious meal that the decor suggests.

So, overall, I would say go to Rosi's, skip and bread items, and go straight to the mains. The portions are generous enough to fill you up and it would keep the bill in check. And expect to feel you eaten in someone's kitchen, not the dining room.

Rosi's Tuscan Diner on Urbanspoon
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