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Jun 12, 2008 05:29 AM

Scaramouche = solid

Having heard that Caplansky's had sold out of smoked meat, I decided to head to Scaramouche instead. I know many of this board have been to this restaurant (many times), but it was a first for me. Overall, an excellent experience. Great flavours, nice presentation, solid execution, and great service. It was the first high end restaurant in Toronto that I've been too (on my own account as opposed to expense account) where I didn't feel ripped off. I recall a previous post asking about portion size at Scaramouche. Well, it ain't exactly Denny's, but nor does it charge $20+ for a puny appetizer and hope that some "foam" satisfies. I also appreciate the straightforward offerings, where I was seriously challenged by the enticing choices that didn't include any "a play on" selections. "Food as entertainment" isn't my thing.

Anyhow, for the courses. My wife had the foie gras appetizer. Excellent. I had the smoked salmon and smoked whitefish. Very good. Smoked salmon was a little less than expected. I've had some great local stuff lately (i.e. Viking Deli on Laird) and this one was not as excellent, but still good. She had fried perch and pickerely as a main, the highlight being some very tasty wild asparagus. I had the veal rib eye, a little overdone, but accompanied by some delectable polenta and a mushroom sauce.

For dessert, I've heard a lot about the coconut cream pie on this board. I'm not a coconut person and thought this one could be some sort of epiphany that made me really love coconut. It didn't, but if you're into coconut, I can see this one being top notch. My wife's dessert was amazing. Some wonderful in-season strawberries (ruby red on the inside) strewn about with a few layers of meringue and a lemon cream. Delicious.

Bottom line, for a special occasion, this is a great place.

By the way, my wife overheard the waiter telling some other patrons that staying at the current location is more expensive than moving.

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  1. It's Toronto royalty. And deserving of it.

    9 Replies
      1. re: millygirl

        Yes, agreed. Grandgoumand's is actually the worst review of Scaramouche I've ever seen.

        1. re: Googs

          "worst review"...ouch. For the record, I said "excellent experience"

          1. re: grandgourmand

            Aside from some small criticism, I thought yours was a pretty favourable review. I think "worst review" just meant that there was some minor criticism in your review, which Scaramouche is usually immune from.

            1. re: magic

              When I read in your review that the veal was 'alittle overdone' and of the pickeral and perch main, 'the highlight was the aspargus' I was surprised that you deemed it excellent. I wouldn't call it a glowing report. Regardless, I'm happy to hear overall you enjoyed the evening.

              Thankfully for us, all of our meals at Scaramouche have been stellar, and we've been many times.

            2. re: grandgourmand

              I don't think Googs meant that as a criticism of your review. It felt like she was just using your review of your excellent experience (but with some low points) to indicate how great the place really is -- sort of a "if this is the worst, then the place must be really good".

              1. re: TorontoJo

                Bingo TorontoJo. It was meant to be taken in context. Scaramouche usually inspires descriptions such as 'flawless', 'perfection', and so on.

                1. re: Googs

                  Understood....anyhow, I did have an excellent meal, so no real complaints. My little issues were just that "little". And the comment on the wild asparagus being the highlight of a fish dish was not a knock on the fish. Just hadn't had wild asparagus before and they were great.

              2. re: grandgourmand

                I have eaten there several times, and at worst it is merely excellent. At best, it is spectacular.

        2. I have to be a dissenting voice! We go to Scaramouche every few months and went just a few weeks back due to their closing. For the first time ever, the food was practically inedible. The softshell crab tempura appetiser was incredibly greasy. (My friend's cheese app was really good tho). I had the veal and it was so leathery and full of gristle I only ate two bites. My husband had the pork which was also like leather. The desserts were great but we were so put off by the previous courses, their goodness was diminished. You just expect so much better when you spend $150 pp and we had never had an experience there that even close to that nite. It was a real disappointment.

          1. I think Scaramouche was my best stop on the foodie tour when I was in Toronto a couple of weeks ago. I posted about it in my previous thread, but the service, execution and quality of ingredients was second to none. The only thing that was annoying was the loud group I was seated next to, who had brought their own wine and were a bit rowdy. But my server promptly moved me, without me even having to ask.

            The food there really was a highlight of the trip. And I am not a huge coconut fan either but fell in love with the pie.