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“A Classic For Modern Times!”
Review of Carisma

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Ranked #57 of 9,445 Restaurants in Toronto
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Italian
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Restaurant details
Dining options: After-hours, Reservations
Neighbourhood: Downtown
Reviewed 15 April 2018 via mobile

Stepping into Carisma is like going to Italy for dinner. You feel like this place has been serving customers forever, but it is perfect for a dinner today. The pastas are amazing and so is the service. I could not decide between the Paccheri with Fresh Ricotta, Sweet Peas and Cherry Tomatoes or the Scialatielli with Lobster and Zucchini, so our waiter solved my problem. He suggested a dish with half of each pasta - Perfecto! We washed down the delicious pastas with a silky Barbaresco. Fantastic meal!

Thank _ecclou
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviews (583)
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16 - 20 of 583 reviews

Reviewed 12 April 2018

We’re four professionals who enjoy fine-dining together. We looked forward to our third visit to Carisma, but were shockingly disappointed: Small, below-average starters including watery soup, inferior sea bass, a tiny $60 venison “special” that tasted like poorly cooked beef, overly loud acoustics that made conversation quite difficult, and a waitress who would be better suited to work at a corner diner. Staff and the owner rushed us to finish our second bottle of $100 wine, despite several empty tables around us. The worst dining experience we’ve had together in Toronto over the past 20 years. You’ve been warned.

1  Thank scribe765
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 April 2018

This was our first time dining at Carisma and all four of us can’t wait to go back. The dishes we ordered were beautifully presented and delicious. When we arrived we were presented with some warm bread that had oil drizzled over it. It was so delicious we knew that we were going to enjoy what was to come next. For our appetizers, two of us ordered the pasta with a truffle cream sauce and we agreed that we could have ordered this as our main because it was so amazing. Two of our party shared the Insalata Di Bufala and they too enjoyed this beautifully presented and fresh dish. For our mains, one person ordered the Seared Tuna and it was not only fresh, but also creatively presented. Two of us ordered the perfectly Grilled Branzino and it was a delight to eat. It was prepared with Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Lemon which enhanced the flavour of the fish. Another member of our party had the Raviolini Alla Salvia and again this dish did not disappoint. They have an extensive wine list that compliments the food. For dessert we ordered the Pear Strudel which was excellent too. Besides the food being wonderful so is the staff. The wait staff is knowledgeable, professional and attentive. We look forward to our next dining experience at Carisma. If you are looking for an excellent Italian restaurant Carisma should be on your list.

    • Value
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Thank 523joyce
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2018

My wife and I had dinner at Carisma on a recent Saturday evening. We have all been there before and had great experiences. Not so this time. As other reviewers have commented, we felt rushed from the moment we sat down. We wanted to enjoy cocktails before ordering, but the waitress kept interrupting, order pad in-hand. She seemed new and totally unqualified to work in a fine dining establishment. She told us that the special was a double venison chop. Our friend asked what a "double chop" meant. She had no idea! When it came, the "double" chop for $60 was no bigger than a double lamb chop. The smallest piece of venison I've ever seen served. All of our other dishes were no better than average. The Wild Mushroom Salad appetizer was 90% greens and precious few mushrooms. The grilled Branzino ($35) did not compare with the same dish offered at lower prices at a number of other restaurants in the city. (If you want the best Branzino in Toronto, try Zucca at Yonge & Eglinton.)

The rush to get rid of us continued throughout the meal. We said nothing -- until the owner came by and tried to clear away our friend's coffee. He said, "I'm not finished with it, and it feels like you're rushing us," which was nothing more than a statement of fact. At this, the owner got into a snit and began telling us off! I must repeat that we had not said a word or complained about a single thing except this one remark. I know that customers aren't always right, and can be unreasonable, or even disruptive. However, we are 4 retired people who simply wanted a quiet evening enjoying good food and good service. We left $650 poorer (dinner for 4 with cocktails and 2 bottles of wine) and a bad taste in our mouths.

Something has changed at Carisma. It used to be elegant, classy and up there with the best Italian food in town. Now, it's crowded, rushed, the service is unprofessional, and the food is average and overpriced. The wine list is also pricey, but the quality of the wines and sommelier were both excellent.

Please do yourself a favour. Go somewhere else, anywhere else. Save yourself the aggravation and teach the owners of Carisma that they can't take their customers for granted.

    • Value
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    • Food
5  Thank ssugar6686
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 March 2018 via mobile

Food is great, atmosphere and ambiance - lot so of Italian restaurants downtown but really none that do anything like this one does well done to all the staff and chefs this is a one of a kind. I’m on par with if not already the best of The best of the best

Thank michaeljones829
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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