Ratings & Reviews - Ritorno

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  • Atmosphere: 3.7/5
  • Food: 3.9/5
  • Service: 3.6/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Great place, bad experience

I really wanted to be able to say my visit was perfect but....well, it wasn't. My mom wanted to treat me to a dinner out since I got a job, so it was me and my parents. We were seated promptly at the crowded restaurant, at about 7. The atmosphere was gorgeous and intimate. The noise was unholy, I had to practically yell to be heard above all the other patrons talking. Half the tables were filled, but we got wine (a delicious Chianti) and our orders taken immediately. The menu was good, very Italian (aka. darn near impossible to get some without gratuitous use of tomatoes, oil or cheese) The prices were 6-25 for appetizers and about 15-30 bucks alone for a main course. The waitress seemed distant and hurried. She didn't really introduce herself, just quickly got our orders taken. It was kinda off putting, but understandable. We had a little bread basket for free...Thin slices of bread that was obviously not fresh, but still soft. (Cobb’s has spoiled me it seems) Along with the bread, we had this tiny little dish of oil and balsamic vinegar. We were not sure how were supposed to share it (double dipping is supposed to be bad thing, isn't it?) Thankfully it didn't take long for our soups to show up. Mom had the special, which was a corn chowder. The corn chowder was brilliant. It was strongly flavored with pancetta, creamy, and full of flavor. I got a potato soup with what I assume was pesto oil and some greens. It was decent.....subtly flavored, a bit too thick , and the additions were a nuisance. The waitress quickly asked us how our soups were, we said it was good. Our entrees was were the trouble started.....We waited about 20-40 minutes, though it felt much longer. Nearly all the seats were filled. Poor dad had eaten next to nothing, and it was over an hour past when he's used to eating. Our veal chops, penne bologesne, and polenta primavera showed eventually. I wanted dessert (my favorite part of the menu was the dessert options), so I got a menu to mull over while eating my entree, but it was snatched up by a waitress and given to another table while I was distracted. Wtf? Dad had ordered medium rare, but it was rare at most. Like my polenta dish, Dad's meal was plied on and mixed together. He couldn't cut his chops without squishing the vegetables and getting mashed potato on everything. My polenta was delicious (had this great melt-in-your mouth consistency), but it was overpowered by the tomato sauce and the huge serving looked sloppy. I have a small stomach, so I was full by time I was half way done. Mom was the most upset though....She claimed she could taste cheese in her meal, even though she asked if there was cheese in it while ordering. A check with the waitress, the kitchen, and the manager insisting (not really confrontational, but pushy) that there was no cheese was not enough for my mom. The service was polite, considerate, and thorough....but mom didn't want to risk it. We skipped dessert (I was kinda pissed b/c they looked amazing at other tables) and asked for a bill and a doggy bad for my polenta. That took us a while too. It was hard to get the waitstaff's attention, since they were so busy. As we left no on really noticed, but that's fine. It would be kind of pretentious of me to think that the waitstaff would have to say goodbye on a night were there are roughly 30 people to serve. *hint hint to other reviewers* Overall, it started out great, until the long wait for huge and sloppy entrees began. The staff reacted pretty well to mom's allergy scare, but was obviously distracted most of the time. The menu was great and the atmosphere was lovely. If I could go another time, I'd skip the entrees and just enjoy a few hearty appetizers. Then stuff my face with desserts. All while drinking red wine until I forget what my name is. PS: How can I write a 5 paragraph review with ease yet feel like I’m pulling my own teeth writing an essay?

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Restaurantica12
By

Amazing Place!

We decided to visit Ritorno based on reviews we had read. We were definitely not disappointed! The restaurant is phenomenal, it looks really professional, with wonderful decorative pieces. They even have a nonna wall! It's a whole wall dedicated to pictures of customers' grandmothers, it is really touching. When we were seated, we were greeted and given menus right away. We decided on the calamari to start, then the short ribs and vitello parmagiana for the main course. We were served complimentary bread with dipping oil, the bread was really fresh and tasty. The calamari then came. It came with two different sauces, which were both amazing! The calamari were crispy and tasted great. Then our main courses came. The short ribs were WONDERFUL! They were so tender, with amazing sides such as asparagus and stuffed mushrooms. The vitello was also good, cooked to perfection. The service was also amazing, all of the staff were friendly and helpful. The bathrooms have some interesting sculptures on the doors in order to distinguish the difference between men and women. I was confused at first, then I understood. I will leave it as a surprise for all of you who decide to go!

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Restaurantica12
By

Will Returno to Ritorno (har har)

My boyfriend and I have been trying to get to Ritorno since last summer. We finally went last Friday for Dinner around 8 pm. They don’t take reservations on the weekend but we managed to get seated immediately. Although the atmosphere outside is uninspiring, it’s set in a regular plaza, the atmosphere is nice. Ritorno was dimly lit and the room is a blend of modern and rustic. There is a wall of inspiring women on the wall. Another nice thing about it, was how it was not too big but not too small. Anyway, maybe it was my company, but I found it romantic. Our server Jessica was extremely nice and funny. She seemed genuinely happy to be at work there. The other servers we encountered also seemed enthusiastic. After we ordered drinks and an appetizer, a seat by the wall (more intimate) opened up and we asked to move. They were very accommodating. but because we’d moved, the kitchen cancelled our appetizer order and Jessica came out with a complementary bruschetta because it would be another few minutes for our appetizer. We honestly didn’t have to wait that long! We got the Piadina al Forno to share. It was a perfect blend of sweet and savery, with some pepper from the arugula. Definitely an interesting flavour, but in a good way! For the main course my boyfriend ordered the Penne Con Vitello Ragu and I ordered the Butternut Squash Ravioli. His was great, mine was better! My only complaint would be that the tiger prawns were a smidgen overcooked--but I’m a sushi and seafood lover so that may just be my texture preference. The sauce was fantastic and the Ravioli was excellent. Definitely recommend it if you don’t want a heavy, meaty dish like my boyfriend ordered (and thoroughly enjoyed). Even though we were practically bursting, there is always room for dessert and we ordered the chocolate Semi Freddo to share with some cappuccinos. The mousse was super rich and large enough to share—extremely satisfying. Would go back just for that. The cappuccino was perfect. Way better than starbucks! Overall, we really enjoyed our Ritourno experience and will be going back. The service was excellent. Often, when we go to restaurants we feel like they are rushing us through to get to the bill. At Ritorno, the pace was slower. We never felt rushed or like we were bothering the server. They let us eat and enjoy each other and the atmosphere. Also, the bill was not steep, not for the experience we had. Try Ritorno for your next date night!

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Restaurantica12
By

Great Place

Food was great, service was a bit slow but overall good. We enjoyed the free bread at the beginning of the meal. Would recommend to anyone.

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Restaurantica12
By

Delicious! This may become my favourite Italian restaurant and I love Italian food. Everything we ate was excellent. The minestrone soup was delicious -- so fresh and well seasoned. I loved the agnolotti and thought the pasta was cooked perfectly. Lots of exciting menu items to try -- we can't wait to go back. The service was great too.

Atmosphere: 3/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 4/5
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Restaurantica12
By

This has quickly become our new favourite restaurant. The food was spectacular and the servers were all friendly and made us feel very welcome and relaxed. Julia, of Julia's downtown Oakville on Lakeshore is the same owner and offers wonderful food and it is a little less expensive then downtown which is a small plus. It is a very warm atmosphere and the chef I think is one of the best in Oakville.

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

I have travelled throughout North America and...

I have travelled throughout North America and have dined at great restaurants. Ritorno is defenitely one of them. It is one of my favourites restaurants in Oakville. We go there at least once a month. In fact we now give Ritorno's gift certificates to our friends and always have great reviews from them as well. In fact we purchased a certificate today. While I was downloading the menu I was very suprised about some of the reviews, I guess everyone has an opinion? I would recommend this restaurant to anyone who is looking for great food at a fair and reasonable price. The veal marsala is great and so is the taramisu, they also have a very good wine selection. Barb and Gil

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 4/5
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Restaurantica12
By

I am not certain why this restaurant has such...

I am not certain why this restaurant has such mixed reviews, however, I realize that it must be difficult for a chef to find a proper cook to help him out when times are busy. In Oakville, most people aren't out there looking for a cook's position so I am going to render that the worst reviews are probably coming from times when the person cooking obviously did not care.I know that the chef and the sous-chef are awesome and deserve a lot of credit for all their successful dishes. I have found Julia present at many of the events that my family has booked with either Julia's or at Ritorno. She overlooked everything to ensure it was all on track. All excuses put aside, I had a private party for a special family occasion and not one of the 40 people who ate or drank at Ritorno had a complaint. If anything, Courtney, the dining room manager was receiving compliments on the level of service and the taste of the food. I highly recommend the bresciola, slow cooked to perfection, the prosciutto wrapped fish, the chicken marsala, we had antipasto, pasta, our main dish, a salad..you name it. Red and white wine to boot and coffee and espresso to finish off a fabulous meal. My husband and I could not have spent our money more wisely for this event. I wish everyone could have the same experience we had. Give Julia and her staff the credit they deserve. It must be difficult trying to open up a restaurant in North Oakville that is not a "chain restaurant" and with her impeccable taste for food, they are obviously struggling to find someone to cook properly on the chef's night off. It's funny how people complain about the food, and sometimes I wonder what exactly people are expecting from say something as simple as "straciatella". It's chicken broth with a scrambled egg/cheese mixture. Portions have also been a complaint, but that was not my experience. How big a portion is enough for some people? Everyone has their own opinion..if you ate at RAIN, would you complain about the portion or is it just the fact that the chef touched it with his own hands and crafted his work of art enough for you to pay $40 for a main and have that experience? Remember that reviews, including mine are a perception,and everyone's experience will be different. I know Ritorno will find it's balance and things will work out for them in the end.

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 4/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Excellent food at an affordable price will come...

Excellent food at an affordable price will come again! Keep up the good work! Fast service too!!!! Everyone should eat here!

Atmosphere: 5/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

I have never felt compelled to publicy slam a...

I have never felt compelled to publicy slam a restaurant before but Ritorno has inspired me. In reading that Julia's inspiration for opening Ritorno was her Nona, I am afraid to say that Nona would most likely be embarassed to have her name associated with the food served. My husband and I went with another couple, who jokingly said I would get blamed if the food wasn't good as I had suggested trying Ritorno. Well, I shouldered the blame. As reservations are not taken on Saturdays, I inquired about the best time to go without having to wait. I was told it starts to get busy around 7:00pm. We arrived approx. 6:30 and only had to wait a few minutes for a table. Great! And, true to their word, a line up started not long after we arrived and continued until we left, approx. 1-1/2 hours later. You would think, with a line of people waiting to eat that the food must be fanstastic - NOT! As I said to my friend, they must be first timers like us....they don't know better. My appetizer (shrimp) was quite good, not exceptional, but good. The minestrone soup was a hit, however, my husbands Stratiatella (spelling?) tasted like, and I quote, "left-over dish water". It had absolutely no flavour! It was the worst excuse for a soup he has ever encountered. The entrees' were a joke. One of our friends ordered the Linguine with Alfredo sauce, and asked for chiken with it which they would only bring as a side dish, they would not put it with the Linguine. Sadly, the bowl of Linguine she received was about the size of a small soup bowl you might use at home for your child. Thank God she ordered the Chicken so there was at least something to eat. The spaghetti and meatballs was also miniscule in proportion although what little there was, was enjoyable. The little-neck clam pasta was just that...little. There were four or five clams on top of a very small bowl of pasta. One of the shells was empty and there were no clams in the pasta itself. Sad! My chicken Limone was serviceable but also a small portion (and I am not a big eater). To top everything off, we of course all had room for dessert, and the Tiaramasu (sp?) was probably the worst mushy mess I have ever had the displeasure of eating; needless to say it was not finished. I actually had to register to leave a review here and I went to the trouble of doing so just so I could warn people about this restaurant. They seriously need to get a grip on what constitutes a good Italian meal. When was the last time you left an Italian restaurant hungry?

Atmosphere: 3/5
Food: 2/5
Service: 3/5
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Restaurantica12
By

AMAZING!!! AMAZING!! AMAZING!! We have been...

AMAZING!!! AMAZING!! AMAZING!! We have been to the poor excuse for an italian restaurant down the street from Ritorno and were a bit apprehensive to try out this new place. We were more than pleasantly surprised!!! This place actually has a real chef! We shared an anti-pasto platter to start. Loved the figs, and some spicy sauce was to die for! Perfect starter for sharing with friends. The service was excellent...attentive but allowed us to enjoy ourselves without feeling rushed....i hate when i am rushed through my meal! Really helpful picking out a bottle of wine. The food was very authentic italian....I had the brajole and my husband a huge pasta (some pesto and vegetables). Our guests loved it and the best part was the price. We felt like we ate fine dining all the way but when the bill came it didn't break the bank! Oh, and the best foam on a cappacinno I have had in my life!

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 5/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Tried for the 1st time this week..Service was...

Tried for the 1st time this week..Service was slow. Long wait between appetizer and entree.Food at best-mediocre. I had a Caesar Salad with one sad looking Anchovie strewn across the top and a Penne S 'something..with sausage. Actually, it had lumps of fat and bone more than anything. Not impressed. Dessert-Pannetone Bread pudding was very good. Overall-disappointing.

Atmosphere: 3/5
Food: 3/5
Service: 3/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Fantastic casual evening out

Was in recently for dinner, been a few times and this one was the best one yet so I thought I would post something on here. I've been mindful of this site and it's unfortunate that so many people accentuate the negative and so few decide to put forth positive feedback on their dining experiences. The mussels were excellent, well spiced and just enough sauce left over to mop up with the fresh bread, the olives were very tasty as well. My rigatoni was perfectly cooked and sizeable...had to take some of it home...no problem there - lunch the next day. The veal parmigiana is huge and also nicely cooked, risotto was creamy and delicious. Only minor negative - perhaps a little salty on the breading for the veal, but could be just my tastes..not salty enough to discourage my companion from valiantly attempting to eat the whole thing. To no avail....more lunch for the next day! Chocolate mousse was silky and delicious. Service was attentive, professional and courteous. The ambiance casual, the restaurant clean and the evening was very enjoyable. Thanks for making the decision to go out a good one for a change.

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 4/5
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Restaurantica12
By

The whole experience was a bit disappointing...

The whole experience was a bit disappointing. The decor is fine. The food is ok. The service is lacking. As for the food. I had bruchetta - which was actually pretty good. Nice crostini, cheese, tomato and roasted garlic. It went down hill from there. I ordered one of the evening's specials - which was steak with gorganzola. I requested no gorgonzola cheese - and chose risotto as my choice of side. The steak came - it was cooked medium, came with cheese on top of it (though I had requested medium rare - with no cheese), had roasted potatoes on the side (recall I had ordered the risotto), and large stalks of chewy, out of season, grilled asparagus. For you meat lovers out there - they gave me a poorly trimmed, lousy piece of meat, from the bad end of the tenderloin... you know the one that tastes like it hung out with the liver for a while. I suppose it's my fault for ordering steak in an Italian restaurant - but I figure if they put it out as a special... it should be good?! I asked my server why there was cheese on my steak - and she informed me that it was parmesan, rather than gorgonzola (I guess she didn't understand what "no cheese" meant). At that point, I didn't bother to mention that I got potatoes rather than risotto. I had a few bites and had it wrapped for home (lucky dog). Three of my seven dinner companions had chosen the other evening special - to be told that they only had one left. So, one got the special, and two got a rather enemic looking plate of pasta with a couple of shrimp on top. Boring. The house wine by the glass was overpriced ($8 a glass for what I suspect was about $10/bottle from the LCBO). Also, there were only three - uninspiring choices of wine by the glass. In all, I felt that the food was mediocre and over-priced. The service was below-average and slow. I'm not sure I'll go back.

Atmosphere: 3/5
Food: 3/5
Service: 2/5
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Restaurantica12
By

I would be embarrassed if I was the owner

This, without a doubt was the most ridiculous restaurant experience we have wasted $60 dollars at, Thank God the weather is changing, because there poor excuse of a "patio" will soon be covered in snow. First we had to move to a different table because the first one was falling apart. We moved to another, half cleaned from the previous people. The weathered plastic table cover was a great indication of things to come (you can't call it a table cloth if its plastic picnic table cover) We then waited 15 minutes before our drink order was taken. (you would think bread or something might have been brought to the table - but no) finally ordered, after another 10 minutes our food well.... to all the reviews that raves about the food. HA HA HA looking around at other peoples food I was glad I was not eating what they ordered my salad was nothing special, quite tasteless The chicken Scallopine was really chewy, but what made it gross was it had all the grizzle and the stuff on a chicken breast that would normally be cut off (viens, chunky bits), nothing worse being in a restaurant chewing and you have to spit out this chunk of cartilage (or whatever) Oh, how could I forget. the food was brought out, and we had no utensils other than one set that was left from the previous people at our table. we mentioned that, and got attitude saying "it right on the table", to which we told our server that one set is leftover from the previous people and since there is only one set, we would like to get two, we then get brought cutlery, no napkins (huh??) from that point we could not get out of there fast enough Lucky for this restaurant Oakville's population is growing so fast that there might be a stream of uninformed first timers looking for something to eat.

Atmosphere: 1/5
Food: 1/5
Service: 1/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Lunch at Ritorno is Great!!!

I went with my fiance for lunch last Saturday and had the panini's they were excellent! I love sandwiches and am therefore somewhat of a critic because I try them everywhere I go, and these were fantastic. Amazing value, they were huge!! and for only $11 or $12! The atmosphere in the restaurant is great, really authentic, it looks exactly like some of the restaurants I visited in Italy, with the tables close together and everyone was so friendly, we ended up having a great conversation with the table next to us. The service was great too, we've had dinner there before we went for lunch which was suggested to us by our server, the risotto is awsome! We would definitely go back.

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 4/5
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Restaurantica12
By

It took our waiter an hour to take our order...

It took our waiter an hour to take our order. One person in our party ordered a salad and explained that she would have to leave in 45 minutes...she never got her salad. The side order of mushroom risotto tasted like a box of salt had been poured on it and the side order of aspargus never showed up...well it finally did after a complaint. The restaurant "thoughfully" agreed not to make us pay for the salad, risotto or asparagus...didn't even offer us a complimentary coffee.

Atmosphere: 3/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 1/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Yum, yum, yum!

My most recent dinner at Ritorno has been the best dining out experience I've had in a LONG time! The Cioccolato Semi-Ferddo is TO DIE FOR! We've eaten at Ritorno about 4 or 5 times now, and love it every time. At first there were a few kinks for the resturaunt to work out, but now it seems like they have everything under control. Everything from the atmosphere, service and finally the FOOD was amazing! Rigatoni is my favorite! Spaghetti and meatballs are yum, yum, yum! If you're looking for an 'out of the box' dining experience, you MUST try Ritorno... you won't be disappointed.

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 5/5
Service: 4/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Absolutely delicious meals, large portions. I...

Absolutely delicious meals, large portions. I took home the leftovers of everyone else's meals and they were all amazing, especially the 4-cheese rigatoni. Looking forward to the next dinner their!

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 4/5
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Restaurantica12
By

Excellent superb fantastic food great service...

Excellent superb fantastic food great service will definately join again

Atmosphere: 4/5
Food: 4/5
Service: 4/5
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