Scaddabush… an Italian slang word for a little bit of this, and a little bit of that. I guess that is the secret to good Italian food and who knew that it can be found right at the core of downtown Toronto.
Both my boyfriend and I were craving for some pasta and discovered Scaddabush Italian Kitchen & Bar using our trusty Yelp phone app. Located about a 10 minute walk south of Eaton Centre at the Aura Condos and smacked dabbed between two other restaurants that are under the same ownership, Scaddabush is known for their homemade mozzarella, fresh pasta and giant meatballs.
We came in for dinner without reservations and was easily accommodated at their patio, which was located right beside the road. At first, I did not mind because we were having such nice weather, but it got a little disconcerting over the course of the evening, considering that I probably consumed more dust than any other day.
To start, we each got a glass of Robert Mondavi ‘Woodbridge’ moscato and a bowl of Italian Wedding soup with their handmade mini meatballs, fresh penne, chicken stock, onions, carrots and celery. Kind of looks unappetizing with the chunk of celery and cheese stuck together, but the soup was good, the kind of soup that’s good for the soul. However, the penne kind of tasted flour-y and doughy in texture; I’m not overly picky with my pasta, as long as it’s not undercooked or overcooked, but I felt I was eating raw dough (which in the case of fresh pasta, I was eating dough).
We also ordered their “famous” meatballs to share. With a choice of either the classic or stuffed, we chose the stuffed. The meatballs were made using Angus beef, ricotta cheese, pepper, porcini mushrooms and parsley, but the stuffed version had the addition of sliced pepperoni inside! The meatball was served on a crostini and covered with cheese sauce and tomato sauce (they called it Sunday sauce), with garlic chips and basil as garnish. While I avoided the parts that is doused with the cheese sauce, it was still a really good and tender meatball that cuts through like a hot knife through butter.
I got the Napoli pasta with spaghetti, shrimp, capers, roasted grape tomatoes, garlic and basil. Like the Italian wedding soup, it looks like an unappetizing mess, but it was pretty delicious. Fortunately, the fresh spaghetti was not doughy. Potion sizes was surprisingly decent because we both got small size pastas, but unable to finish (likely attributed to eating two different starters). I don’t even want to know what the large size looks like!
I really liked Scaddabush, it’s one of the rare restaurants in downtown that I would be willing to eat at again. I liked that they offer different sizes that encourage sharing, and even though they are corporately owned, there appears to be some heart put in to each dish.
Edit: This is a revisit from October 2015:
Last Thursday, I met up with my cousin Betty for dinner as she was staying at the Chelsea Hotel for the night because her company was organizing a networking event downtown. The poor girl did not have any sleep prior to the Thursday event that seeing her with bloodshot eyes and feeling exhausted, I had to tell her that we should reschedule. However, she wanted to eat real food since all she had was coffee and a doughnut the entire day.
Don’t know how she does it. If that were me, I’d be hangry and sleeping.
I chose SCADDABUSH because I quite like the food the last time I was there, and it was right across from the hotel.
Charity Bread ($3.68) – focaccia bread with garlic butter. Served on a small iron plate. Net proceeds goes to a local charity, in which case, is the Sick Kids Hospital. Really oily, but it’s so warm and delicious.
Betty’s Arrabiata ($12.15) – Penne pasta with roasted vegetables, fresh mozzarella, poor man’s Parmesan and spicy tomato sauce. She noted that the sauce was spicy, which she liked because some Italian restaurants would say spicy but it ends up being a mild sauce.
Edit: Revisited the Scaddabush downtown location for a work dinner. As mentioned in the Scaddabush Scarborough location post, the menu has changed… they no longer have the Napoli pasta. The Spaghetti Sorrentina was the more simpler pasta choice on the menu.
SCADDABUSH Italian Kitchen & Bar
382 Yonge St., Unit #7