Thursday, May 24, 2012

Splendido Tasting I

I'm not sure what happened? 

The thing is, I've always wanted to go to Splendido (@Splendido_TO) since hm....I don't know, a long, long time ago. Years ago. But I never got a chance to until last month, and since then, I've been to Splendido three times. THREE TIMES! And I am going again this Saturday for the FOURTH time. Crazy, right? Yup, I would say so.

1st time - April 4 - Tasting I
2nd time - May 13 - Mother's Day brunch
3rd time - May 19 - Tasting II
4th time - May 26 - à la carte


Photo credit:

I guess I always found it hard to find someone to go to Splendido with me. Unlike going for a casual sit-down dinner, I understand that my friends would probably want to save Splendido for a special occasion with their family or significant other (rather than just going with me because I want  their company!) Honestly, it is hard enough for me to find friends that can keep up with my "normal" eating out habits as it is, let alone dine with me at one of Toronto's most prestigious restaurants just for the heck of it.

Luckily, Paul & Marsha, a lovely couple whom I've met on Twitter (and also long time loyal customers of Splendido) were kind enough to let me crash their 41st wedding anniversary dinner. No seriously, 41st wedding anniversary! Isn't that amazing? And believe me, when I found out that it was their 41st wedding anniversary dinner I was like "No way. Let's do dinner another time" as I did not want be a third wheel at such a special occasion. However, Paul and Marsha still insisted that they would love for me to join them for dinner, that it is perfectly fine and I don't have to feel bad about it. I still couldn't say yes though as I really didn't want to intrude. This back and forth between us went on for awhile and obviously, I gave in at the end! Thanks Paul & Marsha for letting me intrude! =D

Photo credit:

Paul & Marsha brought along two bottles of wine. I felt extremely lucky to be able to taste such fabulous wines:

1988 Chateau Lynch Bages (left)
1985 Chateau Mouton Rothschild (right)

I had to attend an event earlier in the evening so I arrived to Splendido a bit late and missed these courses:

Chickpea, Cauliflower and Yoghurt
Razor Clam Salad
Australian Blue Fin Toro
Smoked Rocky Point Oyster
Cured B.C. Steelhead Trout

Pictures of the above courses can be found on Paul's website: Foodie Images from Taylor Fladgate

Victor's Foie Gras Parfait - Lennox Farms Rhubarb Confit, Black Truffle Coulis, Walnut Crumble

Nipissing Quail Ballontine - Quail Egg, Poached Quince & Ontario Ramps

Alaskan King Crab - Chawanmushi, Pork Belly, Pickled Kombu & Dashi

Fried Egg Cream

Gaspésie Whelk & George's Bank Sea Scallop - Parsley Purée, Confit Garlic, Fingerling Potato & King Oyster Mushroom 

Guinea Hen Tortellini

Cumbrae Farms Free Range Guinea Hen - B.C. Spot Prawn, Edamame Puree & Nori Vinaigrette

Newfoundland Cloudberry Sorbet - Greek Yogurt, Roasted White Chocolate & Crisp Meringue

Maple Syrup - Smoked Burnt Ice Cream, Shortbread, Almond & Cotton Candy

Thank you Carlo Catallo, chef Victor Barry (@ChefVBarry), chef Patrick Kriss (@Patrickkriss) and the rest of the Splendido crew for the lavish dinner! I was genuinely floored and impressed by the tasting :) Although I did not experience the entire menu that evening (a problem which was promptly fixed on my third visit!) the courses I had really exceeded my expectations. The plates were visually appealing with brilliant contrast in textures and flavours; an overall very balanced and well executed tasting. My favourite courses were Victor's foie gras parfait, Alaskan king crab, fried egg cream and the scallops...and both desserts (I know that's almost everything I had). Do you understand why I had to go back to Splendido again for a FULL tasting?

Last but not least, Paul & Marsha: thank you both so much for letting me join you on your 41st wedding anniversary dinner! I always enjoy your company :)

Splendido on Urbanspoon