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February 18, 2013


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ENNIOS PASTA HOUSEEnnios is a family-owned restaurant offering a full-fledged menu with elaborated choices of pasta, pizza, and other Italian mains. It is one of the few Italian restaurants around (East Side Mario’s does not count), with two locations within the KW region.

The exterior is pleasant and welcoming. Stoney brick walls convey a sense of pride for traditional old-fashioned cooking.

First Impression:

Always crowded. Reservations recommended.

Instead of the typical square table for two, Y and I thought the slightly rectangular table was ingenious. Square tables become too crowded when appetizers are ordered to share, or with large serving plates. Rectangular table for four feels too empty when only two are dining. This small and simple rectangular table for two really impressed/amused me.

On the Table for Maple:

  1. Appetizer #1: Special feature shrimp ($9.99)
  2. Appetizer #2: Toscanella Salad ($12.99)
  3. Main #1 – Meat: Beef Tenderloin ($26.99)
  4. Main #2 – Pasta: Manicotti ($14.49)
  5. Main #3 – Pizza: Michelangelo ($13.99)
  6. Dessert: Special feature apple cheesecake ($7.49)

Yes, we eat a lot.

I happily gushed over how beautiful the bread and olive dip looked before realizing the bread was stale and cold. The lack of toasty fresh bread was a heart-breaking moment.

Featured appetizer – shrimp with some avocado, served on a tomato.

It was a poorly executed dish and very awkward to eat. Shrimp was not succulent. We had to deconstruct the shrimp + avocado + tomato to eat it properly.

Cranberries & Brie with tender butter lettuce tossed with apple poppy seed dressing

We was pleasantly surprised with the generous chunks of brie. The presentation lacked grace, but we appreciated the fresh and crisp butter lettuce. The apple poppy seed dressing was tangy and slightly sweet. Those elements balanced the richness of the brie. It was a very pleasant and interesting salad.

** Someone please tell me where can I find butter lettuce! They are nowhere to be found in grocery stores or even the farmers market! 

Triple A beef medallions served with Risotto Milanese

Y ordered this as he assumed the mushroom risotto was going to be a small compliment to the protein. However, he was utterly horrified with the large plate of mushrooms when the risotto turned out to be the main. Too much risotto and too little meat for the price of $27.

The meat was gorgeous, but severely under-seasoned. It was a tasteless, bland chunk of disappointment.

Pasta stuffed with spinach & ricotta cheese then baked with tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese

The description was interesting, and I pictured tortellini instead of rolls. It was again, a bland dish with terrible presentation. I am still confused as to how a rich dish with cheese and tomato sauce can be so bland. Perhaps the chef was having a cold…?

Chicken, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, chopped garlic, fresh basil, tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese.

Due to Y’s deep hatred for mushrooms, we requested to have no mushrooms but the pizza still came with them! We demanded asked for a new mushroom-less pizza and the server obliged. Y says thank you very much.

It was great. Good ole’ pizza.

The apple cheesecake was simple and lovely. Too rich for Y but yummy for me.

Going to Ennios has been an anniversary tradition for Y and I. We love tradition, but realized that we really only visit once a year. The increasingly disappointing dishes made me wonder if it is time to break the tradition, or give it another chance…?


1) $$$$ price – typical pricing, but large portion sizes
2) Rustic atmosphere, usually crowded
3) Mediocre service
4) Disappointing dishes – except salad and dessert

Where: 384 King St. N, Waterloo & 655 Fairway S, Kitchener

For Maple’s original post with lots of pictures visit a table for Maple please.

For more information please visit website.

Keith Marshall, Realtor with Royal LePage Grand Valley Realty.365 things to do in Kitchener Waterloo is brought to you by Keith Marshall, Realtor with Royal Lepage. When I was growing up Italian food was considered “exotic”.

Today’s rule is Rule #49: If the house is perfect and move in ready, you’re going to be paying extra for that convenience. Don’t be fooled by appearances.

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About Author


Keith helps home buyers understand homes, schools and neighbourhoods in Kitchener Waterloo. He is an author, an award-winning realtor and an agent of change. On Twitter @kdmarshall. Online at

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