Thank you for the amazing 8 years here at A Baked Creation, we can't thank you enough for the memories! But we've decided to move over to a new site - Sincerely, Syl. Please join us there for future posts on all the things you loved here!


Friday, February 8, 2013

Winterlicious: Scarpetta

550 Wellington Street West
Toronto, ON M5V 2V8
Tel: (416) 601-3590

For our second Winterlicious dinner, we tried Scarpetta, a trendy restaurant in the Thompson Hotel (which we had the pleasure of visiting for a previous event). This was the Toronto location of the acclaimed Italian restaurant know for their signature spaghetti and polenta.

Scarpetta has their own entrance at the Hotel and we were greeted by friendly hostesses. Coats checked, they took our party of four to our table by the tall shelves of wine (which caused the customers beside us to shuffle out of their seats when the sommelier wanted to reach a certain wine behind them - ekks, not a great way to layout the restaurant).

Our waitress came by and asked if we wanted any drinks, we politely declined as we had just sat down and were debating what to order. I don't know about you, but we always look at food first, drinks (if we're in the mood) second. Here's the strange part, after she took our order and asked if we wanted a drink again, we said we would now take a look at the drink menu. But she took it away!

Regardless, our bread basket came out shortly and we found ourselves enjoying a delicious roll of pizza bread. At the moment, we also asked someone if we could see the drink menu. Seeing us looking through the menu, our waitress returned to take our order. We had a few in mind, but also asked for drink recommendations and she explained to us that she hadn't tried any so that she wouldn't be able to let us know which ones were good! We did end up trying a couple of drinks but felt that she could have done a better job explaining the items.

Let's move to the food, which was why we were there in the first place!

The guys at the table ordered the braised short ribs of beef with vegetables and farro risotto. No complaints here, they both agreed that it was very tasty.

The rest of us tried the spiced winter squash soup with goat cheese dumplings and farro. When it was set down on our place mats, this soup smelled amazing! It reminded us of a really good pho broth - which was very surprising, how does squash end up smelling like pho? If you're wondering, they soup did not taste like pho, but a very nicely composed squash soup. My only complaint would that I would have liked it to be hotter in temperature. But those goat cheese dumplings? So delicious and fun to eat!

While I was mocked and laughed at by Howard for ordering spaghetti, I was going to try their signature dish! It may look like a small pile of spaghetti, but even portioning off most of it to the rest of our group to try, it was really filling. Some parmesan cheese would have been a nice touch!

Howard went with the roasted chicken with cauliflower, cippolini (onions), and finger noodles served with a fegato sauce.

Our friend tried the striped bass with a parsnip purée, hedgehog mushrooms, and a brown butter froth.

This is probably a first that every main was ordered by our dinner party! The last one was the pancetta wrapped pork tenderloin with mustard seed braised lentils, butternut squash, and fresh guanciale (a pig's cheek bacon).

The same went for desserts, we tried all the items on the menu.

The Amedei chocolate cake with Baileys ice cream and an espresso sauce. The cake was incredibly rich and had a little bit of molten happening.

The cheesecake with carmelized port marinated berries. The cheesecake was nice and soft, didn't have an overpowering cheese flavour - a nice balance that I enjoy.

We had two of these at the table. A selection of ice cream and sorbet. That night's trio was an apple sorbet, cinnamon ice cream, and Baileys ice cream. From the shrieks of delight, the apple sorbet was the night's winner.

The verdict? While the food was good and service was acceptable, the four of us don't see a ourselves returning in the future. But it was great to have the opportunity to try it!

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