About two weeks ago, I received an e-mail from Becca of Service Inspired Restaurants alerting me about the opening of the fourth location of the Scaddabush Italian Kitchen & Bar and invited me to the restaurant in exchange for my thoughts of the restaurant in a blog post. I was informed that there would be an event where a few food bloggers would be dining in and I agreed to attend. Becca said she would leave my name with the restaurant.
When I arrived at 7 p.m. sharp at the brand new location of Scaddabush Scarborough (it is located directly across from Scarborough Town Centre and in the same building as Jack Astor’s at 580 Progress Ave.), I was welcomed in warmly by someone who opened the door for me and several ladies at the hostess table who greeted me. I felt very warmly received. When asked for my table reservation, I introduced myself and said that I was there for the media tasting event. One of the ladies asked if it was for the food blogger event, and I said yes. She informed me that they didn’t actually have any tables reserved for us (that was a first for me at a food blogger event..) but that there was one blogger already present and asked if I minded to join her at her table. I spotted the back side of Jen of Gastroworldblog and recognized her so I followed along to the table. The hostess informed me that as there were more food bloggers arriving, they would “group us together”.
I sat down with Jen and it was really nice to see her and chat with her. She had arrived ten minutes before me and was already dining on her two appetizers at the table. I felt quite out of my element at first since I didn’t expect to be dropped in on somebody else’s table in the middle of her meal — I expected a good-sized food blogger event that had been organized for a “few food bloggers” as Becca had mentioned in the e-mail she sent me. I tried to get over my confusion and fish-out-of-water feeling, but it took me some time to shake it off. Needless to say, that was a rather awkward and confusing arrival to Scaddabush Scarborough for me.
The interior of Scaddabush Scarborough was very open and spacious. For a Wednesday evening, it was quite packed and there were many people dining in. It was a pleasant surprise when Jen told me that we were sitting right on top of a pokestop too! There was also high speed free wifi available and I quickly logged on to get some items from a pokestop. 😛
I tried a few of the Crispy Polenta Tots that Jen had ordered. It had mascarpone, corn meal, Sunday sauce (“the kind that Nonna would slow cook at the start of the week”) with pancetta, Parmesan aioli, Grana Padano, and fresh basil. I really liked the Sunday sauce with the Grana Padano cheese. It was a little spicy too. Jen made a great point that it would have been great if the polenta tots were served separately from the sauce so that it could maintain its crispiness.
Before I was served, the manager brought us over to the mozzarella bar where we were able to watch the fresh mozzarella being made in front of us (I watched this done at the Richmond Hill location too last time!). On this visit, Chef Miranda was the one who was preparing the fresh mozzarella. She explained to us each step as she molded the fresh mozzarella from start to finish. It was always a nice sight at the end to see the plump round ball of fresh mozzarella finish on the plate. I also learned something new — the piece of paper that they put on the plate is signed by the chef who prepares the dish. That way, you know who prepared your fresh mozzarella since the signatures are always unique.
Back at the table, our server for the night came along and took my order. She was very friendly, attentive throughout the entire night — especially knowing that we were food bloggers –, and made sure that we were happy with everything.
At this time, Jen’s Smoked Bacon & Egg Pizza arrived. I had wanted to order this and I was so grateful that Jen had chosen this too! It was served with double-smoked bacon, mushrooms, freshly cracked egg, stracciatella, chili oil, mozzarella, caramelized onions, and lots of chilies. Just like previous pizzas served at Scaddabush, their pizza is a long oval shape and comes with a self-standing scissor that you use to cut up your pizza.
However, the unique part about the Smoked Bacon & Egg Pizza was that it contained a spoon for you to spread the freshly cracked egg across on the pizza. This was so cool! I recorded a boomerang video as Jen spread the cracked egg across the pizza. Gooey!
I tasted a piece and I was blown away with how amazing it tasted. It was delicious! The gooey yolk of the freshly cracked egg really gave the pizza a juicy and smooth texture while the chunks of double-smoked bacon added the meat component to it. There were also many, many chilies scattered on the pizza which definitely made it taste spicy yet delicious. I loved this pizza and would definitely order it again! 😀
When the server came around for me, I ordered the Bomba Burrata fresh mozzarella and the Spaghetti & Meatballs. From my last visit at Scaddabush, I had vowed to myself that I would try the other variations of the fresh mozzarella the next time I stepped foot inside a Scaddabush. I was so happy I could try it out this time!
The Bomba Burrata was a beautifully presented dish where the fresh mozzarella sat in a cast iron pan and was infused with cream, spicy roasted tomato and chili ragu, fresh basil, double-smoked bacon, extra virgin olive oil, chili flakes, and served with focaccia crostini.
I used the knife to cut into the fresh mozzarella and I really adored how chewy and gooey the cheese was. It was so delicious! It also contained some chili flakes that were similar to the ones in the pizza so there was a tiny hint of spice. The fresh mozzarella went really well with the focaccia crostini.
Since I had been to Scaddabush a few times, I definitely wanted to try their Signature Meatballs next. Their 1/2 Signature Meatballs were made with fresh Certified Angus Beef® ground chuck, ricotta cheese and parsley, marinated with garlic, black pepper, and porcini mushrooms. Yum! I asked the server upon ordering which dishes contained their Signature Meatballs and she told me about the pasta dish. However, upon reviewing the menu online more closely, I realized that you can also order their Signature Meatballs in the Sociables and Sandwiches section (in addition to the Fresh Pasta section as I mentioned). Thus, if you are not inclined to eat pasta but want to try their Signature Meatballs, you can still order them in the other variations.
Nevertheless, I really enjoyed the Spaghetti & Meatball dish. The spaghetti was intertwined with the Sunday sauce with pancetta, garlic chips, and basil. I was impressed that the 1/2 Signature Meatball was quite large and was the main star of the dish. It was a beautiful dish especially after grating in some fresh cheese and pepper too.
I liked the al dente spaghetti. It was firm yet chewy. The Sunday sauce wasn’t too strong here and the garlic chips really stood out on the dish. Even for Jen who was usually a garlic-lover, she found it a bit overpowering.
I liked the Signature Meatball. They serve classic Signature Meatballs and also ones that are stuffed. I chose the stuffed one to try. It was stuffed with cheese and pepperoni! I hadn’t had such a big meatball like that before. I really liked it since the meat was very tender and you could taste the cheese and pepperoni sausage embedded inside the meatball. You really have to try this out for yourself to see what it’s like!
With all that food on the table, I couldn’t finish it all but packed home to enjoy later and with my family. Yum!
We were given the dessert menu and I chose the Tiramisu (since the Apple Ravioli was out of stock) while Jen got the Zeppole.
The Zeppole contained deep fried sweet dough, dusted with citrus sugar, straight out of a paper bag, and was served with chocolate hazelnut sauce for dipping. This was my first time trying a Zeppole and I was really impressed with how delicious this Italian pastry tasted! It looked like a regular donut hole that was crispy on the outside and dusted with citrus sugar, but on the inside, it tasted like heaven! It was really soft and cake-y inside. It was definitely delectable and something I would recommend. The chocolate hazelnut sauce added a slight sweetness to it too (don’t dip too much though because you don’t need it).
My Tiramisu arrived in a medium-sized mason jar (you could even share this portion with another person) and had Lady fingers, sweet marsala, espresso, mascarpone cream, and cocoa. At first scoop, the heavy mascarpone cream tasted heavy and dense. When I scooped to the bottom of the mason jar, that was when I tasted the bitterness of the espresso. It was definitely a stronger tiramisu than I expected but it was still a decent creamy one.
We left the restaurant feeling very content and satisfied. I was content after all concerning the food blogger tasting experience despite the slight awkwardness at the beginning. Thank you again to Becca who contacted me to arrange for this tasting. (Neither Jen nor I saw any other familiar food bloggers the rest of the night which was interesting.)
If you haven’t tried Scaddabush yet, do so! They have a lot of great-tasting Italian dishes. If you like playing Pokemon Go, I can confirm that their Scarborough restaurant location has reliable free wifi and is a pokestop. Go, go, go! 😛
FTC Disclaimer: Although Service Inspired Restaurants invited me to a complimentary tasting to showcase the new location at Scaddabush Italian Kitchen & Bar, the opinions expressed here represent my own and not those of the companies.