Eat: SCADDABUSH Italian Kitchen & Bar

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.

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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.

scaddabush02To 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).

scaddabush03We 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.

scaddabush04The boyfriend got the spaghetti with a large classic meatball, tomato sauce, garlic chips and basil. He said it was good, but could have had more sauce on it.

scaddabush05I 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.

IMG_3139Charity 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.

IMG_3140Betty’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.

IMG_3141Not kidding you, but I forgot what I order on my first visit. I ended up getting the same thing and only discovered it once my pasta arrived. Haha…

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.

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Spaghetti Sorrentina ($13.98 small, $17.72 regular, $32.74 social) – tomato sauce, basil, baby arugula, olive oil, cracked pepper and poor man’s parmesan (subbed for mozzarella).

SCADDABUSH Italian Kitchen & Bar
382 Yonge St., Unit #7
Toronto, ON
M5B 1S8

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Eat: Roselle West

When when my favourite patisserie, Roselle announced that they are opening another location somewhere in the west end, and this location would be much larger with more capacity to bake other pastries, I got excited. I want nothing more than for people to discover how awesome Roselle is.

I’m fortunate to live Roselle’s King East location, and now I’m more fortunate as the west end location (Queen West and Dovercourt) is close to my in-laws.

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Jeff and I dropped by on our way to his parents. At this location, Roselle offers the same pastries as the east location, but they also offer croissants and other viennoiseries because there’s more work space. I believe croissants, etc. will also be offered at the east location as pastries are made at the west location and brought over to the east.

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Kouign Amann

Roselle is love.

Roselle West
108 Dovercourt Rd
Toronto, ON
M6J 1H8

 

Eat: CXBO Chocolates

Located in Kesington Market is CXBO Chocolates, co-owned by chef Brandon Olsen (of La Banane, a restaurant sitting on my want-to-try list) and stands for Chocolates by Brandon Olsen.

CXBO Chocolates is known for the large chocolate egg, Ziggy Stardust (also an alter ego of David Bowie circa 1970s), which is also found on the dessert menu at La Banane. Its claim to fame is smashing the chocolate egg to discover little chocolates and things inside.

Nonetheless, my visit wasn’t to get the large egg as I’m saving that for my visit to La Banane. I wanted to get some chocolate bonbons, which is kind of my current “treat myself” obsession.

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For $24, you can get 9 pieces of bonbons. You can choose their signature collection, their vegan collection, their current special collection (if available) or choose your own 9 pieces. At the time of purchase, their special collection was the Ice Cream collection.

From top to bottom:
Rocky Road, Cookie Dough and Mint Chocolate Chip
Pistachio Spumoni, Yuzu and Sake, and Orange Blossom and Honey
Pistachio, Orange and Bergamot, Raspberry, Rose and Fennel, and Neapolitan.

The non ice cream ones are from their regular, signature collection, There are some nice combinations like the pistachio, orange and bergamot and the orange blossom and honey. From the Ice Cream collection, my favourite is the mint chocolate chip. Flavours are good, but some aren’t a prominent as the one I had from Onyx Chocolates.  If anything, the signature collection is worth a try.

CXBO Chocolates
193 Baldwin St.
Toronto, ON
M5T 1M1