June 20, 2010
On Friday, we enjoyed fine dining at Splendido. We decided to go to Splendido because it is highly thought of by the foodies on Chowhound, and was mentioned much more than the stereotypical high-end Toronto fare (i.e., Canoe, North44).
After scouring the boards for awhile, there were a few things we wanted to try, the first was the 88 Harbord:
The 88 Harbord, is also the address of Splendido and has the unique distinction for me of being even more bitter than alcohol itself! However, even though it mixes 3 different liquors, it doesn’t taste like alcohol and manages to go down smoothly (due to I assume the peach nectar).
For starters, we tried Victor’s Foie Gras Parfait which is one of their signature dishes. I think the head chef, Victor brings it out for you and describes the dish, but I forgot to study beforehand and remember what he looks like.
Since I’m not a connaisseur of foie gras, I can’t really comment on quality, but Pauline said it was pretty great. I actually thought the rhubarb purée that accompanied it was more interesting and tangy. I guess that is like how babies like to play with the box instead of the toy that came inside it.
The other signature dish we wanted to try was the Pappardelle with pulled rabbit. This is apparently the second time I tried rabbit, and I focused more on trying to remember the taste this time. There isn’t a lot of it actually, it doesn’t taste like chicken per se, but it is kind of tasteless. I guess you could say it’s like chicken breast. The texture was also like pulled pork, which makes sense doesn’t it?
Ironically, the first time I had rabbit (I think) was at Noté Bene whose chef (David Lee) was the former chef of Splendido.
Next was the Tagliatelle with Tunisian octopus. I found this dish more interesting since there was a combination of different flavours. The octopus were big and cylindrical while soft and chewy, unlike squid/calamari at all. I tried to think back to when else I had octopus; there were the octopus balls in Japan, but I can’t really differentiate octopus and squid in my memory.
The octopus was are second choice because we actually wanted to order the Orecchiette instead, but since Splendido hand rolls its own pasta daily, they had run out of it for the night (we had a late sitting – 8:45PM)!
The last dish we had was the Halibut. We weren’t a big fan of this, although it was prepared very well (juicy but seared on the outside), it didn’t have the wow factor in ingredients or taste of our previous selections.
I took these pictures with our new P+S camera, the Canon SD1200IS. I think it did OK in the low light; it took pictures at 0.8″ and 0.6″ which turned out alright (as long as you have a steady hand). However I found out later that Auto ISO only goes to ISO400. I could have had a couple of clearer pictures if I manually set it to ISO800 or ISO1600.