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Jul 14, 2008 06:53 PM

dining alone-scaramouche or splendido?

Planning on going to a nice place to eat solo sometime next week as a special treat....and I was thinking about the two S's-Scaramouche and Splendido. Am dying to the try the coconut cream pie so that tips the scale in favor of Scaramouche but Splendido has a Canadiana menu that looks interesting. Has anyone been to both and can provide advice? Also would solo dining be an issue at either place? Thanks!

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  1. Having never been to Splendido I can't comment with authority on it, but am aware of its reputation for impeccable and somewhat more formal/grand style of service. In other words, not sure how appropriate that would be for someone dining on their own. But who knows, you might like that kind of thing! And keep in mind, I've never been there so take what I say concerning Splendido with a grain of salt. Though it is certainly highly regarded - that much is fairly undisputed.

    I would say though Scaramouche is probably not only the best restaurant I’ve been to in this city but I think it would be just fine for someone flying solo. They have a really nice bar where you could enjoy your meal on your own, in what look like accommodating, comfortable stools (though I’ve never actually sat in them myself). The bar is sophisticated but in a very casual way - perfect for someone dining alone I'd think. If you prefer a table I think you'd still have a great time at Scaramouche. Especially in the somewhat less formal 'Pasta Bar' section of the restaurant (note: it's a pasta bar in name only, the focus is not on pasta per se).

    The service is always flawless and warm, and my god.....the food (you’d certainly get a taste of Canada there too; largely local Ontario most likely).

    1. Difference between Scaramouche and Splendido? I would say Scaramouche is excellent but Splendido is outstanding. Based on my Michelin star experience in Europe, Tokyo and the States, I would give Scaramouche borderline one star and Splendido a two star ( because it delivers the total package of food, wine, service and ambience ). In a way, Splendido reminds me of the cosy Parisian 3 star L'Arpege before it received its third star. If you dine alone, no doubt the friendly co-owner Yannick or the knowledgeable sommelier Carlo will keep you company with timely injections. If you like wine pairing with your tasting menu, then Splendido, with its interesting and vast wine collection would make your evening an adventurous one.
      What ever is your choice, no doubt you will have a nice time! Enjoy!

      8 Replies
      1. re: Charles Yu

        I prefer Splendido to Scaramouche, whose food I often find overly rich.
        However, dining alone I would choose Scaramouch, as it is a little livlier.
        Charles, how can you compare the near perfection of L'Arpege to Splendido?
        Splendido is in a league of its' own in Toronto, but...L'Arpege make the taste buds sing.
        On my last visit to Splendido, they brought the bill to the table before we requested it.
        A definite no no.

        1. re: erly

          Good morning erly,
          My CH friend, you did not read my posting correctly! I was comparing Splendido to L'Arpege 'BEFORE' they get their third star '14 years ago'!!. At that time, they still have some rough edges to smooth out! Of course, NOW, they are one of the best in Paris.

          1. re: Charles Yu

            I stand to be corrected.
            We have only been there since it became a 3*
            Wish we had a restaurant of this calibre in Toronto.

            1. re: erly

              Yes! Hopefully one day?!
              Right now, I'm more curious to see who will move into the culinary void created by Susur's departure. Along the Michelin theme, a L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon ,Spoon by Alain Ducasse or Bouchon by Thomas Keller would be nice! But! Is Toronto 'world class' enough to attract one of these?! Also, I thought Rob Fennie was eyeing to open up a Lumiere clone here in Toronto?!

                1. re: Googs

                  Thanks for the info., Googs!

        2. re: Charles Yu

          On the contrary Charles, THIS is an interesting wine list:

          1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

            Ah! My friend. But that is in New York!! And they have almost everything!?! ( except may be Portuguese wine which I think its pretty hard to beat Chiado's winelist ).

        3. You can't go wrong at either place, but note rumour has it Scaramouche is closing soon. Also is has one of the loveliest dining rooms and view in the city. And superb service.

          1. Overall I prefer Splendido to Scaramouche. If you are dining by yourself, you may find the staff more engaging, the room livelier and the view nicer at Scaramouche. But if you are looking for perfect service and better and more variety of local food, I'd recommend Splendido (but Scaramouche is my number 2).

            1. I had dined alone at Scaramouche before and I thoroughly enjoyed my food in a table for two. It was a few years ago when I visited Toronto a few years ago for the first time. I called ahead and made a reservation for one. No problem there.
              I don't really like to engage in any kind of conversation with the staff (and that inevitably happens if I sit at the bar) so I really appreciated them willing to accomodate me in the dining room.
              I honestly cannot remember what I had, except for the great wine pairing. It was really enjoyable. I do remember it was a Tuesday night.

              I have not dined solo at Splendido, but I imagine they would be more than happy to have your visit if you call ahead of time. The food will surely be more impressive though; Splendido has impeccable standard.