I first tried the Artisano Bakery in Etobicoke a few years ago. I thought the food, atmosphere and concept was amazing and very unique. The concept was similar to Panera Bread – order at the counter and wait til you are alerted when your food is ready. The decor was homey, decorative, attractive, set up as an attractive bakery/cafe in a setting where you feel as if you’re in someone’s dining room. The feel of the place was high quality.
The food is Italian offering paninis, pasta, pizza, salads, baked goods, gelato, coffee etc. At the time when I first visited the Islington Avenue location, I remembered ordering at least the pizza – It was quite good, high quality – and at the same time very pricy. The place was very busy and I thought – what a great place for a casual yet quality meal (great place for a date, lol)!
I was aware an Artisano was built in Mississauga recently. And we decided to try it out for dinner last week. I don’t know…. I’m still nostalgic about the Etobicoke location – I will have to go back and compare the two to see if the quality has declined or if the two locations are not comparable…
The Mississauga location had a more commercial feel to it – it was spacious inside and had less of the exclusive feel I experienced at the first location. The girl at the counter didn’t offer the friendliest service – her mind seemed to be somewhere else and came across as if she was impatient.
We ordered pastas – cannelloni, and penne with sausage, plus a caesar salad. I thought only the caesar salad was decent. As for the pastas – I seriously have to go back to the Etobicoke location to make the comparison… I do not remember the pasta tasting like frozen dinners. The texture of the penne seemed as if it were in the microwave oven too long. The cannelloni had that frozen dinner bite to it. This is similar quality food thats offered at casual chain restaurants.
I’ll need to visit this place one more time and try something else off the menu. But the experience at the Artisano, Mississauga location was not what I remembered at the Etobicoke location.
Etobicoke Location: 1020 Islington Avenue, Toronto, Ontario
Mississauga Location: 3145 Dundas Street West, Mississauga, ON