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The Flying Banzini
Cheesecake at The Flying Banzini
Panini at The Flying Banzini
Pizza at The Flying Banzini
The Flying Banzini
Cheesecake at The Flying Banzini
The Flying Banzini
Pizza at The Flying Banzini
Foods from The Flying Banzini

2013 Oct 30
I've been 3 times now, and I can highly recommend the cheesecake, but I have had no luck with the roast meat sandwiches. I first tried the porchetta and, while the meat was delicious, the sandwich was dry. There was not enough applesauce and the cold bun didn't help to melt the cheese so it was a disappointment. All bread.
The next time I tried a roast beef. They found me the rarest meat, and again, the meat and horseradish sauce were delicious, but the overall effect was dry. I ended up putting most of my Caesar salad dressing on the sandwich for some moisture. Perhaps less bun?
I liked the Caesar salad I got for take out too--packed with the dressing on the side. Tasty, but I thought it came with crackling instead of bacon. Has that changed since opening?

2013 Oct 29
I tried the pizza, not good at all. I believe I had one with sausage on it, That's Amore I think. I agree with FF's wife, the salt on the edges and seasonings is overkill, it is actually vulgar-tasting like something from a fast food chain or frozen supermarket issue.

The pizza was extremely undercooked. Hardly any sauce on it. So far two strikes on this place (sandwiches and pizza0, the only thing left for me to try is the panini).

Also a bit of a drag to have to go up to get another beer or a coffee after the meal. I don't get this type of serving system, especially in a place that is as pricey as this is, and by no stretch pretends to be Subway or Pizza Pizza.

2013 Oct 28
Simultaneously cool and warm, contemporary and retro, The Flying Banzini combines urban sophistication with neighbourhood charm.

My wife and I visited with our son while our daughter was at a birthday party. Dave greeted us enthusiastically from behind the bar, commenting immediately on my son's choice of shorts and sandals on a cold fall day. He later came by and gave my son a musical pop quiz with a cheesecake reward. This is a restaurant owner who loves reaching out to his customers.

The soft bun porchetta with garlic applesauce was really great. (My picture makes it look more pinky-purpley than it really was... sorry!) My first bite was mostly bread, but after that things got pretty amazing. From following Dave's blog and posts here over the past year, I understood the porchetta to be one of the true signature menu items. I can see why!

Overall, we enjoyed our meal and were happy to see staff and owner working together to make this a great place. I'll write our other comments under the appropriate food items.

2013 Oct 24
A pile of us went for lunch on Wednesday. We arrived early so we could monopolize the tables. Good thing, too. It got pretty busy.

Everyone was happy with their meals. I hadn't had one of the sandwiches yet, so tried the pulled chicken. Just let me say that it was one of the best chicken sandwiches I've ever had. The bun was a lovely, buttery texture. It was soft while the crust still had a lot of bite to it. The chicken had been brined before roasting and was juicy and delicious. The sauce was a nice compliment, but hardly necessary. There was nothing wrong with this sandwich. I was so greedy for it that I kept eating my own moustache with it.

The potato wedges were okay, but I prefer the salad.

There was a side that took me a minute to figure out. I thought it was beet at first because of the deep red colour. It turned out to be cabbage that had been macerating in raspberry vinegar. It wasn't bad, it was just odd. It was a nice sour taste to oppose the salty and sweet of my meal.

Ginger beer to drink. I'm starting to like this Harvey and Vern's stuff. It isn't as powerful as I'd like, but nothing really is. Mass market appeal.

Hey, Dave! Is there any way you could use less weighty plates and cutlery? A couple of my cow-orkers mentioned this. It isn't an issue for me, but some of them found the table setting to be quite hefty. A strange request, for sure. I know you picked all that stuff out specifically for it's heft. When I mentioned it to the staff who cleared our table, they were in absolute agreement.

2013 Oct 23
Happy to report that this would be my casual go-to place when I'm not hankering for pho. Everything about the experience last Wednesday was very good. And the fact that they sell Beyond the Pale half growlers only added to the pleasure.

I tried the Lovein', Touchin', Squeezin' panini (porchetta, oven dried tomatoes, arugula, honey Dijon and sage mayo, red onions, and provolone cheese). A nicely balanced sandwich with a perfectly sized side salad of mixed greens with vinaigrette. My friend also greatly enjoyed his porchetta sandwich. We had a small side of their potato wedges which were wonderfully crispy on the outside with a bit of spice heat.

The staff was charming and attentive.

And, the mini cheesecakes had to be tried (pumpkin, chocolate). A perfect ending to an enjoyable meal.

2013 Oct 6
A conveniently located lunch option. The menu is large enough without being overly complicated: decent panini and pizza selection. There is something for everyone: pork, chicken, vegetarian.

I had the Chicken, bacon, Brie and Apple slices panini (pictured). I enjoyed it. A good mix of flavours. The side of Caesar salad was only $2, very fresh and with just the right amount of sauce. My pet peeve is over sauced Caesar salads!

Hubs had the porcetta panini with a side of cream of broccoli. Both very good. The cream was very rich.

They also have an excellent drink selection: I had a Harvey and Vern Ginger Soda while hubs had a cup of coffee made with Bytown Beanery coffee. Saw they had Beyond the Pale beer in the fridge... Was very tempted!

It's also in a fun and modern décor - there is a projector which was playing various retro dance sequences. A good option for lunch if you are in the Hintonburg/Westboro area at very decent prices.

2013 Oct 6
was here a few weeks ago on a Tuesday night and really enjoyed it.

the food we had was well done - loved the pizza and cheesecakes. we did not leave hungry and found the prices were reasonable, including drinks.

the service was quirky and friendly. the owner, FlyingBanzini, was doing a great job of hovering the room and chatting with everyone. i joked about sniping a table with the ol' Art-Is-In "jacket trick", but was quickly alerted to the 'Order-Sit-Enjoy' sign ;)

as a general comment the whole experience definitely leans to the quick service dining front. it's not quite Art-Is-In type chaos, but it's busy. my wife and i were going for that (ie. casual quick night out), but just a forewarning. not that you couldn't be welcomed to sit for awhile and enjoy yoursef, but the general busyness coupled with the ordering system kind of precludes you from say, chatting over multiple drinks. as a former cook and restauranteur i think it's actually an ingenious way to encourage quicker turnover.

this is a great addition to the neighbourhood and i will certainly be back. by the way, love the website and have thoroughly enjoyed reading about this new venture as it unfolded.

2013 Oct 5
I can understand no phone orders for takeout... right now. It could lead to having the kitchen swamped and the eat-in patrons would suffer longer waits.

But I hope Dave changes his mind and will allow phone in take-ou orders when the initial rush to Banzini slows down. (if it ever does)
Or when it's -30 out and the cooks are bored.

2013 Oct 5
We called last night with the intention of getting take-out but were told that take-out orders can only be made in person. Kinda disappointing so we ordered from somewhere else.

2013 Oct 4
I had the same thing where they tried to take away my plate and my foodfriend's plate before we were both done, and it was hilariously awkward.

I had the "Zooma Zooma (beef) Beef outside round, tomatoes, caramelized onions, arugula, horseradish rosemary cream, and cheddar cheese." and it was okay but insanely underseasoned. (if it was more expensive I'd complain about the amount of beef in it but for the cost it was fine)

My date had the "Late in the Evening (chicken) Pulled roast chicken, double smoked bacon, granny smith apple, spinach, tomato, lemon chive mayo, and Quebec brie." without the mayo and loved it.

I really don't mean to sound negative, the food was good, I just needed to season everything more and the portions we received were approaching the small side of things.

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2013 Oct 28
We opted for two cheesecakes each, which was a great quantity for post-dinner tasting. A person could easily motor through half a dozen as a large snack.

The quality is indeed high. I'm a picky purist when it comes to cheesecake so I usually don't order it in restaurants. But these were really quite good.

I found the seasonal (October?) "Pumpkin Spice and Gingerbread with Toasted Marshmallow" (foreground right) to be particularly tasty. Fun!

2013 Oct 6
really loved the mini cheesecakes here. they are clearly crafted with care. these could put the nail in the coffin on the Ottawa cupcake trend! standouts were the salted caramel and lemon meringue. will definitely try the savourys next time.

while i didn't include anything for scale, each cheesecake is quite small. think one to two bites ie. hors d'oeuvre size. i would consider a 1/2 dozen a reasonable dessert portion of cheesecake. just order the dozen already and split with a dining companion.

the token (pog?) system of ordering these also worked quite well...

2013 Sep 1
Stopped in later last night for cheesecake. They had a dozen flavours. 8 sweet and 4 savoury. We decided in the interest of research to order a dozen. We sampled all of the sweet and 1 of the savoury.

The cheesecakes are petite, think 2 bite size. The standouts were:

Double smoked bacon with orange. Good flavour of the cream cheese in the filling. I liked the orange and the bacon flavour combo.

Classic NY chocolate: great chocolate flavour, deep rich, with a surprise coffee bean in the middle.

Lemon meringue: tasted just like a lemon meingue pie.

Chocolate salted caramel: I'm not a chocolate fan normally, but this could convert me. Deep cocoa flavour with a of sprinkling of salt.

Classic NY with dark cherry: I could have eaten a dozen of these ones. Graham cracker crust, but just a thin layer. Sweet and tart at the same time.

None of the flavours were overly sweet, you get the flavour of the cream cheese, smooth, silky texture. What cheese cake should be.

My only criticism - The bacon was set on top of the cheesecake, so the pieces fell off before I could get it to my mouth. Perhaps a way to anchor it to the cheese cake.

All in all a great 1st visit and I'll be back to sample the rest of the menu.

edited to add: Everyone from the front counter staff to the runners were very friendly

Panini 6



2013 Oct 28
Wifey had the Zooma Zooma beef panino. This was nicely done and blended a bunch of compatible flavours. I found the arugula too stringy for a panino but obviously that's personal taste. I prefer my greens on the outside of a warm sandwich. If you like all the listed ingredients you will love this panino.

The sour red cabbage slaw that accompanies sandwiches is a nice touch!

Pizza 2



2013 Oct 28
My son had the Wasting Away Again pizza, which is basically a Margherita: bocconcini, basil, mozzarella, parmesan. He loves pizza and isn't usually very generous with it, but he only ate about half of it and was happy to share. "Very salty," he explained, between gulps of Harvey & Vern's delicious cream soda.

Wifey and I jumped in to take up the slack. There turned out to be large salt granules sprinkled on the outer ring of crust in a pretzel-like way. My wife found this to be too salty for her taste. As for me, I couldn't stop stuffing my face. Salt is my cocaine. I left full, but still dreaming of that salt-sprinkled crust!

2013 Oct 6
pictured is the 'That's Amore' pizza which is topped with sausage, red peppers, carmelized onions, and roasted garlic.

the crispy crust here is particularly enjoyable with a salty bite and what tasted like a brushing of garlic oil/butter underneath the sauce (not sure if that was just my particular choice of pizza, or if it's standard, or if i'm crazy, but in any event it was good!). combined with the sweetish San Marzano sauce and fennel-laced sausage, i really liked this 'za.

portion was reasonably sized for a personal pizza, but with respect to sharing, i think 3/6 of these small slices may have you wanting more here.

2013 Sep 8
I stopped in with friends last night and ordered the Little Less Conversation pizza, for $11.95.

The crust was light and crispy in all the right places, the pizza was topped with the perfect amount of cheese, and overall it was an enjoyable blend of spicy, salty and sweet. The portion size was quite large for a single serving, and could easily be split between two people.

I meant to take a picture, but it sort of jumped into my belly before I remembered.. ;)