I mourned the ending of a fine dining era last June, and had a lovely tasting menu to commemorate its passing. However, since Splendido‘s rebirth over the summer of 2009, I’ve returned several times and found that the spirit still lives on, though the menu has changed. Food and service are still stellar, and judging by other tables, it is still considered an “occasion” restaurant.
I just happen to think that any day is a good occasion for Splendido.
Now, it was remiss of me, but I hadn’t posted any of my other Splendido meals – not even on flickr. So this will be an amalgam of three visits. Overall, I’ve found Splendido to do their veggies very, very well. It has been true of three out of four visits that a vegetable of some sort ends up being one of the favourites – if not the favourite – of the night.
But first, let’s start with drinks!
The drinks at Splendido are quite good and we’ve had the opportunity to try several of their cocktails (right) as well as a few staples like their martini (with a twist!) and a Caesar (left). My favourite among the cocktails is the Harbord 88 (right-most glass with sugar rim), a sweet and tropical concoction. The Anjou Sky (front, no straw) is also interesting with its pear vodka and juices with a sprig of fresh thyme.
Pulled-pork poutine from the bar menu. I wasn’t sure of this at first, but I quite enjoyed the the perfectly cut and stacked potato pieces (a la Jenga) with the porky shreds and cheese. A good snack.
This intensely green chilled organic pea soup was a particular favourite. It reminded one of my dining companions of eating peas fresh off the vine. Not on the current menu. Sadly.
Farmer’s market roasted winter vegetable salad with broccoli purée, Olive oil emulsion, Walnut vinaigrette. All these awesome flavours coming together. Our favourite of the night and on the current menu.
A lovely app to share: Victor’s foie gras parfait with toasted brioche. Quite light vs an all-foie mousse.
Classic butter-poached lobster. Part of our self-cobbled surf-and-turf. Buttery goodness.
To share, we ordered the roasted aacorn squash with toasted hazelnuts and the crespelle – crepes with pancetta and bechamel sauce. The squash was nice with the sweet hit from the maple and balanced by the hazelnuts. The crespelle is very classic European. Heavy, but tasty. We’d tossed that in as a random pick and was glad we did.
Our picks from the current cheese board offerings: Roquefort Carles (France), Belle de Jersey (Québec), and Avonlea clothbound cheddar (PEI). We found the 18 month cave-aged cheddar best consumed by letting it dissolve in the mouth. You miss all the aromas and nutty notes otherwise. The semi-soft from Québec had a lovely mushroomy taste. And the Roquefort was pretty much all mine. I wasn’t complaining. Our cheeses were accompanied by an Oloroso cream sherry from Sandeman. Nice.
On another night where we were eating at the bar, we were served this wonderful El Dorado 21-year old rum that was subsequently quested for in the following weeks. This is my new drink of choice. So smooth and lovely, without that bite.
We skipped on dessert as we were quite satiated by the cheese sherry, though we did linger with some tea and coffee. All in all, a good meal. And that roasted vegetable salad lingers in my memory. As does that pea soup. So tasty.
- Splendido 88 Harbord St., Toronto
- Menus: Dinner 1 (Aug 2009), Dinner 2 / Bar Menu (Aug 2009), Dinner 3 (Jan 2010)
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