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Scarpetta at the Thompson Hotel

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Celeb chef no where to be found during the opening weeks.
Apps passable. The rest was far from it. Unfortunately it's a new place...the smell of varnish didn't help. That aside....a definite waste. His signature dish with goat was supposed to be "fall off the bone tender" but over-reducing the wine to a burnt residue created goat jerky. If he was on Chopped you know how this would end.....

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  1. Wow, the power of the web. I was stoked about checking this place out, now I think I'll wait and see what others have to say. My guess is it wasn't cheap either.

    1. You must have had bad luck because when we dined on Thursday Chef Conant was walking around greeting tables and the food was outstanding.

      3 Replies
      1. re: industrychick

        Same here. We had dinner Wednesday night. Conant all over the place. Food tremendous. The signature dishes like spaghetti pomodoro and polenta with mushrooms were as good as in NYC. Nice pheasant ravioli, super duck breast entree, fine desserts.

        I feared that he'd run into a bunch of haters who cant stand a "celeb chef". The man knows his food and the place is worth visiting.

        1. re: rsvp7777

          This is good, there is more feedback. What would it cost per person?

          1. re: rsvp7777

            what sea food dishes were there?

        2. If they're making waffle-style potato chips with herbs like the Scarpetta in New York does for the bar, ask for some even if you go straight to your table.

          5 Replies
          1. re: TrishUntrapped

            I'll be going there on Friday for my birthday. I'll be sure to ask about the chips.

            1. re: TrishUntrapped

              They had the chips at the bar -- with deep fried rosemary, basil, sage, thyme. Really yum with a cocktail before dinner.

              1. re: EarlyDrive

                EarlyDrive, was that at Scarpetta in New York or Toronto?
                As of yesterday they are still not serving food at the bar in Toronto. The bar in Toronto is not inside the restaurant, but in the hotel lobby.
                Hotel staff could not tell me when food will be availaible at the lobby bar.

                1. re: tasoid

                  It was in Toronto, this past Friday evening. Heaping bowls of the waffle potato chips with herbs at the bar in the hotel lobby. I didn't ask if there was otherwise a food menu at the bar -- the chips were placed at the bar.

                  1. re: EarlyDrive

                    According to the Scarpetta page on the Thomson Toronto website, a selection of Scarpetta dishes can be ordered at the lobby bar starting at 4 PM each day - atlhough as tasoid notes above, this had not yet started as of a couple of days ago.

                    Once it does, though, it'll be a good option for people who want a taste of what the restaurant offers without splurging on a full dinner.

            2. Is there a menu I can view online? There doesn't seem to be one on their website yet, but perhaps a fellow foodie has snapped a photo? :)

              5 Replies
                1. re: rapsrealm

                  Thank you! Looks intriguing...will try to go within the next few weeks and report back :)

                  1. re: rapsrealm

                    That is fairly similar to the current NYC Scarpetta menu. I had the Lardo wrapped halibut when I was in NY in June and it's a pretty good dish the fish winds up with a smokeyness from the bacon which itself is barely there texture wise.

                    It's worth noting that the menu to me is not portioned for the "traditional" antipasti/primi/secondi with contorni/dolce Italian meal plan. The paste courses are main dish sized for example. Now they were happy to split a paste between two diners which did work well.

                    1. re: bytepusher

                      Thanks for that. I was afraid that the pasta dish would be too small to split. I have a reservation tomorrow so I'll make sure to split both pasta dishes to taste both of them.

                      1. re: rapsrealm

                        If it helps this is a picture of 1/2 of the pasta serving

                        http://www.flickr.com/photos/bytepush...

                        You can see a couple of green peas in the dish so should be able to get an idea of the scale from that.

                2. Sorry but I was not impressed by Scarpetta's. It is ridiculously expensive and more so portions are small. So many better places to enjoy in and around the city. Don't waste your money here folks.

                  1. any recent visits?
                    Im going for a birthday party on friday and wondering what I should/should not order? Thanks in advance.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: hungryabbey

                      It would have to be the signature dishes.
                      The spaghetti really is as fantastic as everyone says. Cooked perfectly. Some say too filling but so good i could have eaten three plates.
                      I am not crazy about polenta but it was very creamy and tasty.
                      The other diners loved the chocolate molten cake and the guava pannacotta and thought all desserts were a hit.
                      Most of all, we thought the bread basket is one of the best. Although bread at robuchon and bouchon are pretty tasty as well.

                      1. re: hungryabbey

                        I'm totally opposite of caitlink.

                        Loved the polenta but hated the spaghetti. The spagetti was mushy and I've had better pasta in other locations in the city (Campagnolo, Enoteca Sociale, and Buca are top of mind).

                        Mind,this was a while ago. Here were my notes:

                        Polenta. Not my favourite thing in the world, but considered one of Scarpetta’s signature dishes and nothing like the fried puck I had been expecting. It was, however, the mushroom sauce that made this dish. A really fragrant and rich broth spooned upon a yellow bowl of creamy cornmeal – a delicious mouthful indeed.

                        The Fritto Misto was executed quite well and included zucchini, eggplant, and calamari. A light hand with the batter was deftly at work here. The fried parsley was an excellent addition.

                        A very different twist on the standard, the Waygu beef tartare had peanuts, truffle oil, cumin, sumac, coriander, and fennel. I felt it was too aggressively spiced and it drowned out the flavour of the beef.

                        Moist-roasted capretto with rapini, pancetta, and potatoes. I wanted this to have a stronger goat flavour, which is likely the unpopular opinion. I also didn’t find this as moist as I’d thought it would be.

                        The highly touted spaghetti is done simply with tomato and basil. While decent, I can’t say that this was the best I’d ever had. I have a different profile of this dish in my mind and felt the sauce was too sweet, and the pasta just a little too soft, for me.

                        The Red beet and smoked ricotta casonsei came in a poppy-seed sauce. An interesting pasta with a little hit of sweetness.

                        Black tagliolini with Nova Scotia lobster, tomatoes, and basil bread crumbs. Very tasty and visually appealing. I liked the flavours melding and clinging to the delicate bands of black pasta. I would order this again.

                        Originally paired with another dish, I requested a separate order of the burnt-orange caramel gelato to try. Lighter in flavour than I was expecting it to be – I think I wanted something with a darker sugar taste that bordered on bitter.

                        On a whim, I ordered the goat cheese cheesecake sided with mango granita and pistachio brittle. The cheesecake was nice and not as “goaty” as I feared it might be. But the brittle, by far, was the best thing on that plate. I could have eaten more of that.

                        The Amaretto Flan was sided with a rosemary roasted apricot and marsala zabaglione gelato. Somehow, I was picturing a light-coloured flan, so this almost chocolate-looking cube surprised me. I do not recall any specific tasting notes on this dessert.

                        and photos are here: http://www.foodpr0n.com/2010/09/10/sc...

                        1. re: jlunar

                          I'm with you. I thought the spagetti was meh at best while I LOVED the polenta. It is a must try dish IMO and even worth a visit just to try that one dish!

                          1. re: JennaBean

                            Awesome this is great. I dont think I would order a basic spaghetti dish anyways.. but the polenta, I will.
                            anything else you suggest Jenna?

                            1. re: hungryabbey

                              I was there in Feb and believe it or not the roasted organic chicken was delish. I didn't ever order but ended up swapping half of my main for the chicken just b/c it was that yummy. This also coming from a woman who overall is not a fan of this resto so I think that in itself says something.

                              1. re: JennaBean

                                Hm, good tip! Thanks. I will report back.

                                1. re: hungryabbey

                                  So heres a report back:
                                  First of all, the room is very nice. Dimly lit, sexy, with a large wine rack built into the wall. Service was very friendly and accommodating, and there was very a moment when water glasses were left empty. There were 6 of us and I didnt try what most people ate, but Ill comment on what I tasted:

                                  Creamy Polenta: Fricassee of Truffled Mushrooms- The polenta itself was creamy, cheesy (I even noticed a bit of stringy cheese pull when I brought the spoon to my mouth), and perfectly seasoned. The mushrooms were cooked perfectly with the perfect amount of truffle flavour.
                                  Burrata: Heirloom Beets, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds & Aged Balsamic- I think when you put a dish together that is so classic (balsamic, beets and buffalo cheese), you really need to nail it on the execution, and this kind of fell short. I found the burrata to be a little dry, and not as creamy as I like it, and the beets, while sweet, were a bit underseasoned.

                                  Duck and Foie Gras Ravioli: Marsala Reduction- This was a pretty solid dish. The pasta was perfectly cooked, and the filling had a really delicious salty/savoury flavour that was off-set beautifully by the sweetness of the marsala. I was a little put off by the texture of the filling, however, because the foie gave this super smooth buttery consistency that seemed somewhat muddled by the grains of duck meat. While I do love both duck and foie (and thus, this dish seemed almost too perfect for me), I think I would have preferred maybe to have just one or the other. Spiced Duck Breast: Duck Sausage, Fregola, Bitter Greens & Currants- This again was very mediocre. The duck breast was a little tough (and I know from personal experience that this can be challenging), but I also found the fregola/greens/sausage accompaniment to look very sloppy. I dont think it needed the sausage thrown in the mix, and without it, I think the dish would have at least looked a little more refined.
                                  Amedei Chocolate Cake: Burnt Orange-Caramel Gelato & Espresso Sauce- I'm not the best to judge a chocolate cake because I don't love it (and this one was super chocolately), but the texture was very nice. While I did feel that the gelato was smooth,creamy and light, I was a little disappointed that I couldn't really detect the "burnt"-ness of the caramel, nor the citrus notes.
                                  Mango Ricotta Cannelloni: Brown Butter Walnut Cake & Lemongrass Syrup- I was hoping to order the Carmel Budino, but they had already sold out, so I opted for this one instead which turned out to probably be a much lighter option. The cannelloni were prepared using very thinly sliced ripe mango as the "pasta" and then filled with a supposed sweetened ricotta filling. I was definitely expecting more of a cannoli type texture in the filling, but what I got tasted more like whipped cream, which I found a little unsatisfying. I did love the walnut cake, it was dense, chewy and crunchy from the nuts and texturally, was a nice counterbalance to the delicate "pasta" and cream. As for the lemongrass, well, if it was there, I didn't see or taste it, but honestly, there was enough bright flavour from the mango to carry the whole dish, so it was okay with me.

                                  So meal was approximately $150/head including tax and tip. Probably not the best bang for our buck in light of some of the amazing meals I've had in the city lately for much less AND the fact that we were eating pasta (probably the most inexpensive thing to make). Yes, there was foie and truffles thrown in the works, but it was pasta, none the less, and I eat foie/duck/truffles most weekends for less. Would we return for a meal on our worn? Probably not. But I would definitely not turn down an invite or hesitate to recommend it for a "safe", high end, solid experience.

                                  www.abbeyskitchen.com

                            2. re: JennaBean

                              We have been curious about the spaghetti ever since we saw it on an episode of best thing i ever ate. Ours was cooked perfectly although very simple ingredients.
                              The burnt orange gelato was indeed very good.
                              Service was attentive and the room was busy the night we were there. I remember the dining room being 'dark' - very low lighting. The Japanese/Korean (?) restaurant in the same hotel though was pretty empty.