Il Canale (2 Visits)

Food Decor Service Cost
19 21 20 $30

Disclaimer: I was invited back by the owner after my 2010 review

We visited on a Tuesday night (11/15) and had a great experience. Our waiter, Rohit, was very knowledgeable about every aspect of the food and structure of the restaurant. He knew how every dish was made and where all the ingredients were sourced, down to the ingredients in the olive oil! The service was excellent and he had great recommendations for pizza and appetizers. After our meal, he offered to give us a tour of the pizzaiolo’s working space, but no pizzas were in the queue at the moment.

We tried the calamari again; there was a better ratio of zucchini to calamari and the plate came out piping hot. Though the zucchini was a little watery, the texture of the breading and calamari more than made up for it. The sauce was also more flavorful and paired well with the fried morsels. We also ordered two pizzas, the Il Canale and the Diavola. The Il Canale had a perfectly crunchy crust and the toppings were flavorful. My favorite part of the pizza was actually the tomato slices that burst with a great flavor–and I don’t really like tomatoes! My only concern was that after I finished eating one slice of pizza, the rest of the pizza had basically turned to mush because of all the cheese and veggies. The softened crust mixed with the moist ingredients melded together and lacked textural contrast. Maybe a quick zap in the toaster oven at home will revive the slices? The Diavola didn’t skimp on the ingredients and while the crust wasn’t as crunchy, each bite was still flavored well with the salami and cheese. We didn’t have room to try dessert, though we were eyeing the tiramisu.

I’m glad I visited again–I can tell that the ingredients, processes, and service has all been changed. But, I just don’t like soupy pizzas, so I will probably not be back again.

A few things: there was a guy going around selling roses, which made us feel uncomfortable (especially since they were so expensive!). There were also several times that a server tried to bring us other people’s food, or give our food to the wrong table and we had to flag him down. Other than that, the rapport with Rohit and the host was great and the weather outside was refreshing.

2010 Review

I’ve gone to Il Canale twice, both times sitting on the roof.
The most recent time (7/10/10), I went with a WTD coupon for $50.

We ordered the frittura di calamari e zucchine (fried calamari and zucchini) and the Capricciosa pizza (ham, artichoke hearts, mozz, and mushrooms).

The calamari came out and there was no zucchini in it, only calamari. We asked our waitress and she checked with the chef and apparently they ran out of the “cut zucchini”. (Did they run out of zucchini, did they just not want to cut more?) The calamari itself wasn’t even warm and the breading and squid were separate from each other. There was a lot of breading and the squid itself was dry. This means that the calamari had been chillin’ under a heat lamp for a while. If it was freshly fried, it would have been hot or at least warm when it arrived at the table and the squid and breading would have been more linked together.

The pizza was a soupy mess in the middle. All the toppings were in the middle, making the soupy problem even more so. The toppings tasted canned, and were too wet and metallic tasting to be considered fresh. The charred parts of the pizza left a bitter, acrid taste in my mouth.

The view is good from the rooftop if you get one of the seats on the edge. But those are always “held” for “people that know people”, so we were put towards the back. My view was alright–I could see some brick building across from me and the sky above that. My boyfriend was stuck looking at an ill-painted white brick wall.

Glad I went, but never going again. Even at half-off, it’s not worth it.

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