Archive for the Italian Category

Toronto buzzing for Scarpetta and Chef Conant

Posted in Italian with tags , , on August 16, 2010 by amulgandhi
550 Wellington Street West
Toronto, Ontario
(416) 640-7778

The ultra chic Thompson Hotel is seeking to provide Toronto tourists and locals a form of luxury never seen in Toronto.  By being the first five-star hotel to open in Toronto since the Hazelton Hotel, and the primary competitor to soon- to- open Ritz-Carelton, Trump International, the new Four Seasons and the Shangri-La the Thompson group knew everything had to be perfect.

Scott Conant, Scarpetta

One of the key strategies for the Thompson Hotel is to not only have luxurious rooms but a flagship restaurant that adds to the hotel experience.  When Thompson Hotel opened up in New York City, they lured Toronto super chef Susur Lee to open up his first NYC restaurant.  Coincidentally, the Toronto hotel has nabbed one of New York City’s top Italian chefs, Scott Conant, to open up a location in Toronto.

The opening of Scarpetta comes with a great amount of fan-fare as this is the first time a star chef has opened up a location in the city of Toronto.  Over the years, there have been rumours of celebrity chefs looking to open up high-end restaurants in Toronto, but there have always been question marks surrounding the desire of Torontonians to pay top dollar for a meal.

Scarpetta, which is the restaurants third location throughout North America was slated to open in Mid-June and then got delayed to the end of July after several constructional hiccups due to the gas line.  After Scott Conant’s open letter to Toronto, came off as being condescending more than “cool”, things weren’t looking good for the New York native.  Although Chef Conant may not be that great with words, I had to make sure to check out his new restaurant. Continue reading


Coquine Restaurant

Posted in French, Italian, Reviews with tags , on August 31, 2009 by amulgandhi
A Euro-inspired Bistro in the heart of Yonge and Eglinton

A Euro-inspired Bistro in the heart of Yonge and Eglinton

2075 Yonge Street
Toronto, ON

Coquine has created quite a buzz within North Toronto with their nouveau European-inspired bistro that emphasizes French cuisine.  I arrived at the restaurant at about 6:30 and there were only a handful of guests, meanwhile the staff were finishing last minute preparations for that nights dinner service.  As the night went on the restaurant filled up quickly and I could see why the restaurant has become a neighbourhood favourite as the bustling chatter of friends and family–some even speaking French really transforms this place from another Toronto restaurant into a pseudo-Parisian experience.

Grilled New Zealand Lamb Chop with Dijon Mustard

Grilled New Zealand Lamb Chop with Dijon Mustard

We were first presented with some pre-cut slices of bread with a garlic spread which tasted very similar to hummus.  I only had one slice, as I was eager to try out the real food.  For the Hors D’Oeuvres I ordered the Grilled New Zealand Lamb Chop which is prepared with rosemary and roasted garlic ($6/chop), the chop comes with dijon mustard.  The chop was prepared to perfection as the meat had a succulent center.

For the entree, I selected the Wild Mushroom-filled Ravioli ($16), which is described as sauteed mushrooms and cherry tomatoes tossed in herbed truffle butter sauce topped with shaved parmesan cheese.  The pasta was cooked properly and the butter sauce complimented the pasta quite well but as the dish progressed, I felt the butter sauce overpowered the rest of the dish. Continue reading