Scaramouche

Scaramouche is one of my favourite restaurants, partly because it’s so expensive that we can’t quiet afford to eat there very often, meaning it’s such a nice treat when we do get there. Whenever I get to hang out with the boyfriend, I get to throw all my diet worries away and indulge, indulge, indulge. Above is the view from the south windows of the restaurant. I had been wanting to come here for a very long time since seeing their famous Coconut Cream Pie in an issue of Toronto Eats (arguably one of my favourite magasines) and so for my birthday in June, boyfriend finally took me! And it was so good that he made me promise to take him for his birthday too. And well, here we are.

They start off every dinner service with a complimentary amuse-bouche. I actually can’t remember for the life of me what this is, I think it might be some sort of salmon, but these are just to whet the appetite. They are cute, dainty, and leave us drooling for our meals!

My appetizer this time was a decadent dungeness crab ravioli (24$). The pillows were ultra light and melted completely in your mouth. The light tomato-based sauce was creamy and very rich. So good that we ended up dipping some of the complimentary bread into it so as to not waste a single drop. The crab was light and yet so intense in flavour. There were only a few raviolis, but as this is a french restaurant, small portions are expectant. I don’t care though because every bite is one of those movie moments where you close your eyes and just savour it.

The steak tartare (18$) topped with crostini and watercress, surrounded by a caper mustard. The first time we came, I just had to try the steak tartare because I’d never had a tartare before. Once it reached the table, boyfriend got super jealous because he didn’t know what tartare was but he looooooves his meat raw, or as close to raw as possible. The tartare is so delicious, nice and peppery, with a kick of spicy mustard, and the meat is just so soft and tender.

This was the lamb (46$) that we had last time, but since I hadn’t made a post, this is where I display it. Lamb is usually my go-to dish just because I love the richness of it with the light gamey flavour. The meat was topped with a classic mint pesto and served with goat cheese whipped potatoes. Everything was just so lovely and yummy. I love the arrangement of everything on the plate so that there are endless combinations of things to eat, each ingredient enhancing the flavours of the others. And oh my, how delicious and smooth those potatoes were.

Another reason I had wanted to try this restaurant was because they served elk/venison (46$), a meat that I had never had before! This meat was like a cross between beef and lamb. Super tender, a light gamey flavour, yet has the presence and sturdiness of beef. They were also wrapped in bacon, and really, who doesn’t like bacon. Plated on a bed of baby spinach, a lot of different types of mushrooms, and beets. Oh man I love beets. There was also a mustard cream that  tasted almost like really creamy quiche. I honestly don’t know what to say about any of these dishes because they are all just on a very high level of wonderful cuisine.

This time, boyfriend chose to stick with a standard filet mignon (47$). The meat was, of course, cooked to a perfect medium rare. It’s served alongside green beans (which are sitting in the beef gravy. This is where you swoon) as well as porcini whipped potatoes. Let me tell you, this restaurant has got their potatoes DOWN. They’re light, full of flavour, and not at all overpowering. I probably stole half of his potatoes, and quite a bit of his green beans too. Sharing is caring.

Of course the first time we went, we had to have the coconut cream pie (13$). The crust is flakey to a fault, the pie sitting on top of some beautiful chocolate drizzle. White chocolate shavings on top of a mountain of coconut cream. Now let me start by saying that I don’t even like coconut shavings. There’s too much chewing involved but despite that, this pie was soooo good. The cream was intense, the chocolates, divine. It was a beautiful dessert.

This beautiful thing is the Valrhona Jivara Cylinder (14$). It’s beautifully presented and I wasn’t expecting to be wowed by it, but I ended up floored. The yellow spots are passionfruit curd. It isn’t sour like some passionfruit is and the seeds, when you bite into them are like little balls of sugar. On the left is a fresh banana sorbet sitting on top of nuggets of chocolate. The sorbet is fresh, tangy, and perfect after a meaty meal. The nuggets of chocolate actually pop in your mouth after you bite into them, not unlike pop rock candies. But let me tell you where the magic happens. It’s the milk chocolate cylinder on the right, filled with raspberry foam. But that’s not all it’s filled with.

Underneath the deliciously sweet, with a slight sour, foam, there looks to be a praline-like cream, and under that yet, there is milk chocolate mousse. This thing looks small, but it was so damn good, that I would pay 14$ just for that cylinder alone. So gosh darn delicious.

I wasn’t lying when I said boyfriend likes his raw meat. The first time this happened, I was slightly embarrassed, but I couldn’t stop laughing. This time, I didn’t think he would actually do it again. Sometime after our entrees were finished, I feigned a bathroom break and went to talk to our waiter to inform him of the birthday we were celebrating and if the kitchen could do something special for the dessert. And what does boyfriend order for dessert for a second time in a row? Steak tartare. The first time it happened, the waiter who was cleaning crumbs off our table actually stopped to look at him, like it was the weirdest request because well, it is weird. So yes, so manly that he eats a chunk of raw meat for a dessert, and I accept him for it. And they stuck a candle in it for me.

I really do love Scaramouche, and if I were hella loaded, I would probably eat here monthly, if not weekly. Both dinners cost us between $200 and $225 after tip, and that’s without drinking any wine or spirits. The food is definitely worth it though and the atmosphere is very nice, classy, and the perfect place to treat yo’self.

Toronto Food Trucks II

My food truck journey never stops. It’s just such a unique feeling walking up to a food truck, and it’s kind of a treasure hunt when you get the tweet telling you the location, finding it, and then munching. I love how these gourmet food trucks are so well intertwined and interactive with online social media. This definitely caters and aligns to my modern urban lifestyle and attitudes.

Gorilla Cheese // Twitter // Facebook

So I was in Hamilton visiting family when I remembered that the famous Gorilla Cheese is stationed here all the time. So we went on a mission. On this day, they were parked at Mohawk College, Stoney Creek Campus. Lucky students.

The Lumberjack // $7.50 : Bacon, Cheddar, Apple, Maple Syrup

I dare you to read that description and not drool uncontrollably over your keyboard. Bacon? C’mon. Bacon. The apple is a surprise, but apparently a not-so-secret secret amongst grilled cheese connoisseurs. The bread was crispy, the apple — crunchy. The bacon was salty, the syrup – sweet. The sandwich of beautiful opposites attracting. And each sandwich comes with a nice tart pickle!

The Sarducci // $7.50Mozzarella, Basil, Tomato, Red Onion, Balsamic

A classic combination of ingredients, one that I absolutely adore, and molded to work in the beautiful mechanics of a grilled cheese sandwich. Like all their other sandwiches it’s an integration of the classic comfort and the exclusive gourmet. I approve. The balsamic was sweet and not overly tart. The multigrain bread had wonderful sunflower seeds and oats, which made me feel healthy.  Although the elegantly browned exterior screams oil and grease, the sandwich itself tasted wholly fresh, with the tomatos and red onions. Eating the sandwich was definitely greasy though, but that satisfying, “damn-that-was-so-worth-it” kind of greasy.

Cupcake Diner // Twitter 

The Cupcake Diner has access to my work schedule. Or so it would seem because they like to taunt me by parking a block away from my apartment, but only on days that I’m away at work. Luckily, they have a permanent store that sits on the lower floor of the Hamilton Farmer’s Market. Or as my parents call it, “Ba-nam-bay” or “3-5-7” because it’s only open on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturdays. Or that’s how it was way back when I was growing up in Hamilton. And it had been at least a decade since I’d been back to the Farmer’s Market and oh my, either I never really noticed what it looked like as a kid, or it has really undergone a totally modern renovation.

Classic Chocolate Cupcakes

Cupcake $2.75 // Cookie $1.50

So I went and had the cookie dough cupcake. It originally had a wedge of cookie on top but I was too quick to dig in and forgot to take a photo. The icing was extremely dense and almost like biting into butter. Really sweet and almost a dessert in and of itself. The cake part was equally as decadent, and I had to share some of it with my brother. Not even expensive for a cupcake, and it really goes the mile. The Rocky Road cookie was bought by my brother and it was huge! The size of my whole hand. It was thick and soft. Made of oats and raisins, I was eating so healthy today! Man, my waist is feeling smaller already! The cookie was sweet and very cinnamon-y. Nom nom nom. I only had a few bites in the car before I had to run for my bus back to Toronto.

Toasted Tangerine // Facebook // Twitter

As fate would have it, Toasted Tangerine was at Yonge-Dundas square for “One Day Without Shoes” event that was going on there. Couldn’t pass that up!

Went twice; ever-changing menu.

Toasted Ravioli $6

The filling for this was SO good. Bolded, capitalized, and italicized. That’s how you know I’m serious. It was creamy, filling, delicious, not too cheesy, light, melty-on-your-tongue. I could go on. The marinara dipping sauce was quite good as well. I loved how the container was big enough so that the ravioli can be dipped it without crushing it or turning all kinds of awkward angles. The only thing I can complain about is that it was deep-fried a little too dark for my liking so the outside was really hard and crunchy, which cut up the roof of my mouth. I’d eat it again though, which is telling of good that filling is!

Toasted Sweethearts $6

Another deep-fried ravioli, but dessert style! This suffered from the super-hard outside as well, but it took me a little while to get to them, so they did soften after a little while with that strawberry glaze. Mmm, strawberry glaze. These were so cute with their heart shape and powdered sugar. Inside was so thick with bananas, mascarpone, dulce de leche, and probably cocaine. This was so yummy!!

Sweet Rider Sliders $7

So after the one day at Toasted Tangerine, I knew I just had to go back for some more. This was at one of their regular appearances at Queen and Jarvis. The buns were nice and soft for a ciabatta, and the pulled pork bbq sauce was nice, sweet and sticky. The stand out piece of this was the pineapple mint salsa. I’m not a big fan of mint but this was absolutely wonderful. The pineapple giving a sweet & juicy tang and just a hint of mint to highlight the sweetness of the pork and bbq sauce. I ate these while walking, and it wasn’t too messy. Everything stayed rather well in the bun, nothing wasted!! Uguughghgh I want pulled pork.

This will not be the last food truck post. I think I’m obsessed. I’ve got tickets to the “Next Food Truck Event” presented by Food Truck Eats that takes place tomorrow. So prepare yourself for that as I prepare my belly for it. I’m really looking forward to trying Ninja Piggies, Rock Lobster Company, and Fidel Gastro! I want to try all the food trucks. I don’t need to worry about my belly, I just need to worry about whether I’ll have enough time to eat everything! I know I will barely be able to sleep tonight knowing that tomorrow I’ll get to stuff my face with delicious things. This truly is the life.