Friday, February 3, 2012


Located within the Thompson Hotel at King West, celebrity chef Scott Conant's Scarpetta (Twitter: ScarpettaTO, Facebook: Scarpetta Toronto) is an upscale and trendy Italian restaurant. Through Scarpetta, Scott Conant (a James Beard Award winner who reached celebrity status as a judge in Food Network's Chopped! and Top Chef) said he wanted to offer Italian food where "rustic Tuscany meets urban Milan". 

To me, the decor at Scarpetta is definitely more "urban" than "rustic"; it is sleek, cool and contemporary.

A very cool bluish glow by the windows.

My friend and I went all out and ordered way more than necessary for the two of us. We started off with Scarpetta's bread basket.

It came with mascarpone butter, eggplant caponata and citrus-infused olive oil.

Probably one of the best bread baskets I've ever had.. My fav was the Stromboli - fresh mozzarella, smoked mozzarella, genoa salami and soppressata - I could eat it all day. If all bread came stuffed with meat and cheese, I would be a very happy girl ^_^


Tuna "Susci" - Marinated Vegetables & Preserved Truffles ($18) - Cute presentation (reminded me if maki rolls) with a very unique interplay between the tuna and veggies. 

Yellowtail - Olio de Zenzero & Pickled Red Onion ($18) - The glistening fresh yellowtail was soft and went together beautifully with tang from the ginger oil and red onion. Very nice and I liked it more than the tuna.

Braised Short Ribs of Beef - Vegetable & Farro Risotto ($16) - I enjoyed the farro risotto underneath more than the braised short ribs because although very flavourful and tender, I found the short ribs to be a bit on the dry side. 

Creamy Polenta - Fricassee of Truffled Mushrooms ($15) 

I now understand why this is one of Scarpetta's signature dishes - it is the best polenta I've ever had - so buttery and creamy! The combination of smooth polenta, earthiness of the mushrooms and the pungent white truffles won me over.


Black Cod - Baccala Montecato, Gaeta Olives & Concentrated Tomatoes ($35) - Black Cod is one of my favourite fish and Scarpetta does not disappoint. It was so good I wish there was more of it!

Spaghetti - Tomato & Basil ($24) - Scott Conant's famous spaghetti really deserves a more exciting name. Sweet yet slightly spicy with a touch of cheese, the tomato sauce was stellar; it literally coated each strand of spaghetti better than any other sauce I've had. The pasta was cooked al dente; chewy yet not under-cooked (ok maybe a bit too chewy for my taste but that's just me).

Mediterranean Branzino - Mussels, Salsify, Tuscan Kale & Salsa Verde ($29) - Lightly seared with a slightly crispy skin, I really liked the Branzino. I think I liked this dish even more than the Black Cod because I like kale and salsa verde =D


Petit Four Platter - Selection of Bite Size Flavour Explosions ($11) - I love the whimsical and playful presentation! The best thing about this platter is that you're bound to find something you like =)

Amedei Chocolate Cake - Burnt Orange-Caramel Gelato & Expresso Sauce ($11) - I'm a big fan of chocolate cake but wasn't crazy about this one; I thought it was a bit dry and not rich / moist enough for me. The burnt orange-caramel gelato was  tasty though.

In Scarpetta's kitchen...

Sous Chef Jesse Chingcuangco and Chef de Cuisine Michael Hunter (@Chef__Hunter) plating the "Roasted Organic Chicken - Chestnut spaetzle, braised cabbage & fegato sauce", one of three entrée choices from Scarpetta's Winterlicious menu.

Pastry Chef Ella Herrera plating the "Honey Roasted Pear Wrapped in Crispy Filo - Cinnamon Gelato", one of three dessert choices from Scarpetta's Winterlicious Menu.

Given that my friend and I ate like pigs, I must admit that our dinner was pricey (believe me it is not everyday that I indulge the way I did that night or I would be broke lol). However, we both really enjoyed the dinner, with my favourites being Scarpetta's signature dishes (i.e. polenta and spaghetti), the yellowtail, branzino, and the petit four platter.

I also need to point out that Scarpetta's Winterlicious Menupriced at $35, includes the choice of Creamy Polenta as an appetizer and Tomato & Basil Spaghetti as an entrée, which are regularly priced at $15 and $24, respectively. Just sayin' =D

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