Friday, July 4, 2014

{foodie} indulge away at Scaramouche

*I'm no food critic -- just someone who loves to try delicious food :) *

Recommended by a darling colleague, I reserved a dining room sitting at Scaramouche Restaurant yesterday for R's birthday dinner. It is nested within a peaceful (but unexpected) residential area in Mid-town Toronto right off Avenue Road, slightly north of Dupont. Their menu always changes depending on the produce that is in season as well as the 'catch-of-the-day'. Their weekly menu can be found on their website. The executive chef is Keith Froggett.

Although I had checked the location beforehand, I was surprised that the restaurant was tucked inside of what looked like an apartment building, with a neat fountain in the front and a circular drive way. As soon as we arrived, a gentleman came out and offered us valet parking. The dining room's main entrance was off to the left corner of the apartment, and steps lead us down into the main dining area.


We were surprised by the view... the dining room had really nice green-house like windows to the South, facing down-town Toronto, providing a sophisticated back drop to the dining experience.


For starters, we ordered Kir Royal - champagne with cassis ($9), warm bread and a mini appetizer. 

♥ Cheers~! 
The brownish bread to the left of the basket is worth mentioning -- it was slightly sweeter, tasted like blueberry/blackberry and had walnut pieces throughout to provide additional texture and flavour.The quail egg in the appetizer was tender, but the bacon bits were a bit hard to blend in with the whole texture.

Quail Egg Mini Appetizer & Warm Bread

R. and I picked our two First Courses and they were:
✤ Warm King Crab : preserved lemon chive crêpe/watercress/crème fraîche/asparagus/toasted hazelnuts/brown butter ($24)
 Yellow Fin Tuna Sashimi: finger lime/radish/shallots/soy glaze/sweet chili sauce/wasabi cress/yuzu tobiko ($24)

Warm King Crab & Yellow Fin Tuna Sashimi
I had the Yellow Fin Tuna Sashimi and it did not disappoint a sashimi lover (and frequent-eater) like me. They were so fresh and the flavours were truly stunning. The only thing I wasn't into was the raw onions -- I picked them out one by one prior to consuming the fish ;) Both appetizer dishes were excellent.

For our second courses, R. and I chose:
✤ Gaspé Lobster: fresh porcini/ricotta gnudi/white asparagus/fennel/pea shoots/ lobster sabayon ($39)

Gaspé Lobster - sorry it's blurry;_;
R. was big on seafood for his bday dinner. Although the portion looked small, it had an entire lobster tail along with two claws. My allergies with lobsters have been on and off but I couldn't resist tasting the lobster meat. It was so juicy, tender and bounces when you chew on it. DELICIOUS.

✤ Sea Scallops: garden pea ravioletti/honey mushrooms/fava beans/wilted greens/bacon butter sauce ($41)

Sea Scallops
Look at those BIG and JUICY scallops. YUM. I was really impressed with the presentation, and the fact that what looked like green bell peppers were actually mashed garden peas. Uniquely delicious, and healthy too! I was sad when I finished the last bit of scallop (I always save the best to eat last), but surprisingly, I felt comfortably full at that point. The dish was near perfection, except I thought the bacon butter sauce was a tad salty.

This was one of those nights when we HAD to have dessert. We chose the Crème Brûlée with blackberry sorbet and langue-du-chat. 

Crème Brûlée - pretty big portion!
I had left a note when I reserved online mentioning R's birthday. They thoughtfully wrote him a happy birthday message in pure chocolate glaze. So in order to not waste their efforts, we did 'eat' the words (don't ask me how :P) 

Overall, we both thought the restaurant was VERY good and exceeded our expectations, even for R, who is usually less generous with compliments. It was an expensive dinner, but the freshness of the ingredients, masterful preparations, the ambience, restaurant environment and the warm, humorous and professional staff (plural) made it all worthwhile for a special occasion. 

If you are looking to visit Scaramouche, I would highly recommend looking up their menus of the week online beforehand (main course, dessert, wine), and book EARLIER rather than later as seating is limited. Also, there are daily dishes/soups that are not on the printed menu and your server will inform you about them before making your choices. I would definitely come back for another special event and try the pasta bar and grill next time!

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