Gio Rana's Really Really Nice Restaurant is really just a big nose. From the outside, that is. I don't remember seeing a sign with a marquee indicating the Italian restaurant Sean and I were to dine at. All I saw was The Nose.
After a quick trip to the Leslieville Spit to see this:we decided to head to Queen St. West to run some errands and then headed over to Leslieville for dinner since our attempt to grab dinner the last time, ended up in epic fail. We decided upon Gio Rana's because it was close-by and because we were both hungry. I was just about ready to gnaw Sean's arm off.
The decor at Gio's is funny. The walls are not complete and it's quite dark inside, but we were able to grab a table for two on a Saturday night without a reservation. After a few bites of some bread dipped in olive oil and balsamic, we were ready to order. But wait, where the heck was our waitress? Chatting with another waitress? Dilly-dallying infront of the computer screen? Talking to the busboy? This seemed to be the theme of the evening.
Eventually we found our waitress and made our order.
First up was the prosciutto with fig stuffed with gorgonzolo cheese and honey. I have no photo to show, so imagine this instead. There's a round white plate. On top of that plate lies a child's handful of arugula. On top of the arugula is one black mission fig topped with gorgonzola and a drizzle of honey. Surrounding the mound is three strips of prosciutto. It was good. Was it $7.95 good? Probably not but I was hungry. And Sean and I had finished all the bread.
Next up were our entrees. We skipped the option of a pasta in case we ended up with too much to eat, which ended up being a smart decision on Sean's part. I got the ossobucco with roasted potatoes and Sean got the pork tenderloin with chickpeas. Meats hover around $14-15 and sides are an extra $5.95. I neglected to see the latter on the menu so when our waitress told us that sides were an extra order, we ordered but a mention of the cost would have been appreciated. In my case, as you'll soon see, $6 could have been saved.
My ossobucco with mushrooms:My side of roast potatoes (this plate is actually smaller than it looks):Sean's pork tenderloin with a walnut and gorgonzola sauce:
Sean's side of chickpeas (ceci) and cured pork (again, this bowl is actually smaller than it looks):
So I ate about 1/3 of my potatoes, Sean had some and then I had about 1/4-1/3 of my ossobucco and Sean had some and when I asked the busboy if I could have the rest of my meal packed up, he said "of course" but neglected to pack my potatoes! Okay, okay, so I didn't really gesture to the plate of potatoes but only to the plate of meat but you'd think that since someone is paying $6 for a plate of potatoes, you'd pack them up too. Common sense people!!
So not only that but their ossobucco was cooked using chicken broth. Chicken broth, people! And if you're not aware of the fact that I'm allergic to non-organic chicken, you would be right in assuming that Gio's ossobucco did not go down well that night. And just to make sure that it was the ossobucco and not just a fluke, I decided to eat the leftovers the next, next day and had the same reaction. Not so good. Was it my fault though? Should I really have asked if the ossobucco contained any kind of chicken? Sean didn't do so at the amazing Italian restaurant in NYC and his osso buco went down really fine. I mean, really fine. I still think about that osso buco sometimes.
Anyway, back to Gio Rana's. Overall I'd rate Gio Rana's Really Really Really Nice Restaurant a 7.5. The waitress was MIA for the most part; she forgot about Sean's tea, was MIA for our order, MIA for the dessert menu and just about every other time we tried to find her but the food was really good, despite my chicken issues.