Restaurants & Bars 11

Splendido - The Next Generation

estufarian | Oct 15, 200912:15 PM

Since the ownership change, Splendido seems to have fallen off the radar on this Board. I was there the week it reopened but wanted a repeat visit to confirm my impressions.
And, simply, it’s still one of the top places to dine in Toronto.

The tasting menu has gone completely, and the ‘new menu’ is comparable in price to Nota Bene (surprise, surprise!). With a bottle of wine, our meal came to around $250 (including tax, but not gratuity) – but we essentially ordered at the top of the price range. It can probably be done for $200. Not the cheapest around – but about half of what I used to spend there.

But the best news is that it’s functioning on all cylinders. The tables are set a little closer together than before – but still more comfortably apart than most places. The food is superb – I’d place it in top 5 in Toronto (possibly top 3). The service is excellent; a little less formal than the previous incarnation, but still top notch (on my opening week visit it was a little sloppy, but all fixed in the recent visit).

We tried the Foie Gras Parfait as an appetizer. Essentially a ‘blend’ of foie and chicken liver (that’s the way to give a larger portion at a lower price) – excellent! The other appetizer was the daily ‘special’ – Pappardelle with black truffle. This was the most ’truffly’ of any dish I’ve had this year – superb aromatics and great taste.

Mains were a Haldimand County Suckling Pig; and Elk Striploin – I’m assuming the elk was cooked sous-vide as it was very tender and tasty. And the suckling pig had the right amount of ‘al dente’ to give it a great mouth-feel. Also accompanied by boudin noir – which I found a little too ‘smooth’ for my taste. I prefer the ‘country sausage’ texture (rather than a hot dog texture), although I emphasize this was NOTHING like a hot dog – just trying to describe the texture. Both were accompanied by local veggies, so Splendido is firmly on the ‘locavore’ track, if that is important. I just want good taste (and service and price – and anything else I can get thrown in!).

Overall a great meal. The room seems a bit brighter to me, and I saw people eating at the bar, so certainly a bit more casual. Well worth a visit.

88 Harbord Street, Toronto, ON M5S 1G5, CA

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