3.50 Stars – Overall Experience
3.50 Stars – Price
3.75 Stars – Service
3.25 Stars – Food
3.50 Stars – Atmosphere
Feudi di San Pio Valpolicella ‘Ripasso’ ’13
Offering a large menu with plenty of cuisines to choose from, Hot House Restaurant and Bar seems like the perfect spot to bring your big family for a meal, but does it truly deliver on the taste factor? Check out below to find out.
Hot House Restaurant and Bar offers plenty of space and seating, seeming to cater best to large groups and families. The decor has a “restaurant chain feel” – not my cup of tea. It is well lit and the tables are spaced out nicely, but there is nothing unique about the feeling of this place.
Service started off great as our hostess greeted us with a friendly manner and delivered us to a cozy booth right away. Our waitress was nice enough, but it took a little longer than I would have liked to get our food. When I asked for my main to be made vegetarian (it originally was supposed to be cooked with meat), she had no problem changing it for me. Nothing very special about the service, but it was decent enough.
While I did not get an appetizer myself, we were brought bread for the table and my husband ordered a Chowder soup. The bread was warm and fluffy and was served with packages of butter and margarine (yup, like you would see at chain restaurants or a dive diner). It would have been nice to have some olive oil and balsamic or even the butter on a plate, but clearly this restaurant isn’t going for an upscale feel (although the prices might have you thinking otherwise).
My husband seemed to really enjoy the soup. It was not on the regular menu, but on a special set menu for Friday. It looked very hearty and he said it tasted very good too.
Hot House has a massive menu that offers many different types of cuisines (American, Asian, Italian, etc), which is usually a red flag for me. I decided to give their Sicilian Gnocchi a try since I love that pasta and who can say no to mushrooms and a gorgonzola cream sauce. First thing I noticed was the portion size – massive. Sure, I love more bang for my buck, but there is a line between a generous portion and a future heading towards obesity. The gnocchi itself was cooked well with the exception of being too salty. I was disappointed in the sauce as well as it didn’t taste like a gorgonzola sauce (honestly I question how much gorgonzola was used or if there was any used at all). The cremini mushrooms overpowered the flavour and gave it a light brown colour that wasn’t too pretty. And even though I am a big mushroom fan, cremini is probably my least favourite as it is very basic in taste and texture. I ate the dish and found it to be just ok.
My husband ordered the Penne Alla Sambuca for his main. Also an extremely large portion and he, too, was a bit disappointed in the lack of exciting flavours. Overall we both felt the food was very typical “restaurant chain” quality.
There were quite a few options on the menu that were identified as Vegetarian and also some that you could “make” vegetarian, so I would definitely say this place is vegetarian friendly.
While the portions were massive, the overall taste/enjoyment of the food was lacking, so I felt the prices were a bit on the high side. If I am going to be paying close to $20 for gnocchi, I would really hope that it tastes amazing. If there was less on the plate, but the quality was much better, I would have been ok paying that price. My husband and I ordered 1 glass of wine, 1 beer, 1 chowder (soup) and 2 pasta dishes and paid around $80 after tax and tip. Didn’t feel like I got what I paid for.
Time of Dinner: 6:30pm
Date: Fri Mar 10th, 2017
For more information, please check out their website at http://www.hothouserestaurant.com/