NEAR: Scaramouche

11 Jan

Scaramouche yellow fin tuna, eggplant caponata, fresh maltagliata pasta & coconut cream pie Photo by: Gizelle Lau

If you’re not from Toronto or not familiar with Toronto you may be thinking “What is Scaramouche?” Scaramouche is a famous restaurant that boasts some of the best skyline views and since I’d never been I put it on my Restaurant Resolutions List for 2012. Well, done and done! I liken Scaramouche to the equivalent of the Gramercy Tavern in NYC.  But One Bevenuto Place is all Toronto. Here’s the lowdown the meal I got to share with four very lovely ladies who love food and Toronto just as much as I do! This review is also on my Yelp profile.

VIBE 

Well, what can we say about this institution that has been in the industry for over 30 years that hasn’t really already been said? First of all it really is all about its location. Benvenuto Place is the place of mythical Toronto. You don’t believe it exists until you go an once you go, you’re at a condo building. A restaurant in a condo building? Yes.  But what a genius idea because that view is phenomenal.
The secret — it’s down the street from the high school Del La Salle. Who knew?

If you want to see the CN Tower and the Toronto skyline in all of its glory, this is the place you go. It’s where you’re brokering that deal; making that proposal (or accepting it; or not accepting it) and celebrating some momentous occasions. And yes, there is a balcony. I wish I went out on it but I felt a little bit like a kid on Christmas Day excited to see the view I had not yet seen of my beloved city.

It is the one of the few old school, classic white linen type of restaurants left in Toronto but I will say that the pasta bar section has bit of a relaxed attitude. And the decor accents are modern. Another note: the seating is very comfortable.

And yes, the restaurant has two sections 1. The Pasta Bar 2. The regular restaurant.
But let’s not confuse “pasta bar” with all-you-can-eat and pick-your-own-sauce styles a la Tucker’s Marketplace (one reason I love Tucker’s Marketplace; I digress).  It’s just the more “relaxed” side of the restaurant with a few more pasta options than the fancier fare of the other section.  You get a traditional menu and all.

Service is A Plus. The servers are professional and articulate without being stuffy, though at times I felt there were a few more hands than needed clearing off the table. (I get it: teamwork).

There are no good pictures of Scaramouche or they are too small so since I had pasta, you're getting a picture of Antonio Sabato Jr., one of my favourite Italian models.

WE ATE 
We came on a mission for coconut cream pie and coconut cream pie we ate. Soft, white delicious, creamy stuffing with just the right amount of coconut flavouring you’d feel like you were in a Beach Boys video (anyone? Kokomo?). It is the Messiah of all desserts and we were glad we came for the quest. We ate the ginormous pie (three of us shared one dessert) and we savored and appreciated it down to its crust for what it was. It really does deserve punctuation for the end of each word. Coconut. Cream. Pie.

But of course, with our bunch of food lovers, we got distracted by the main menu and decided to go all out. Two friends had the Yellow Fin Tuna, which seemed light and refreshing; my friend had the Eggplant Caponata –garlic crostini/whipped buffalo ricotta/fine olive oil/Maldon sea salt. I was lucky to have a little taste and the power of flavour in this dish was strong and memorable. If I go back, I’d have this.

My dish was:
Fresh Maltagliati Pasta — wild mushrooms/spinach/leeks/toasted bread crumbs/Parmesan porcini sauce. The pasta was a wide and was easy to sop off all the sauce. I really liked the texture of the dish; the creaminess of the sauce, leeks and spinach that complimented the crunchiness of the bread crumbs. And it smelled so delicious. But though it did have flavour, I wanted to put more pepper on it. It was just missing that hint. It was a solid dish but I would try something else next time.

OBLIGATORY CATCHY REMARK 
One of those places you can’t not visit if you live in Toronto. A true classic in a sea of more casual, modern restaurants in the city and an absolutely spectacular view. There’s a reason that Frogget’s customers rallied for him when the condo owners were trying to raise his rent and push him out of the building.

A Note: the famous Lobsterlicious is back from January 9, 2012 for $62. Sounds amazing!

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10 Responses to “NEAR: Scaramouche”

  1. Jen Laceda January 12, 2012 at 3:25 pm #

    Would you believe, I’ve never been to Scaramouche! I should make a trip to Benvenuto Place. I’ve always wondered why it was in a condo building. We sometimes play outdoor Ultimate frisbee at De La Salle field, and I always see the address. Then I wonder, there’s a restaurant where? Here?? Anyway, I should make me own list of restaurants to try out for 2012. Scaramouche is definitely making the list!

    • nearafar January 13, 2012 at 1:15 am #

      It’s the most random and odd location and how they found the address and phenomenal view is beyond me. But it works. It’s what makes it interesting. I was talking to a friend about Charles Kabouth and she said “keep your voice down; I think he’s here.” It’s that place! Their pasta was OK but their coconut cream pie was very impressive. I would LOVE to see your list as you are the consummate foodist!

      • @candicebest January 13, 2012 at 1:36 am #

        “Keep your voice down…” Now, I wonder who might have said that? If only CK knew we were talking about him, I think he would be very pleased. All in all, a great review of Scaramouche, Natalie.

      • nearafar January 13, 2012 at 1:48 am #

        Tee hee! Thank you. It was a random moment.

    • nearafar January 15, 2012 at 7:00 am #

      I have been finding the list very helpful because I want to check off everything right away! I had no idea where it was and I’ve been living here forever. I knew where De La Salle was but it’s not like the area is super accessible! Thankfully, I got a drive. 🙂 I think you and the hubby would love Scaramouche, if for view and coconut cream pie alone!

  2. alanc230 January 13, 2012 at 12:08 am #

    Scaramouche sounds great. If I ever get back to Toronto, I’ll be sure to eat there.

    • nearafar January 13, 2012 at 1:16 am #

      It’s a special place. I’m glad you liked the review!

    • nearafar January 15, 2012 at 7:01 am #

      Thanks! I’m glad I could motivate you to come here.

  3. jade January 13, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    um, must go here! Great review, Natalie!

    • nearafar January 15, 2012 at 5:34 am #

      Thanks! If you’re ever in TO come!

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