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After the recession, Splendido revamped its menu which resulted in a drop in their prices. Not quite as expensive as the pre-recession days, but the entrees still hover around $35. Thankfully the drop in prices haven’t translated over to their service. Not only was the food fantastic, but the service also blew me away.


The restaurant has an intimate ambiance and surprisingly didn’t strike me as very pretentious. After being seated, our server brought me a little stool to keep my purse on. I’ve only been at one other restaurant that has done this and I love it when restaurants do the little things like this. I’m sure all you girls out there can relate. I don’t like putting my purse on the ground so most of the time I have to either keep it on my lap or behind me. Neither of which are very comfortable… so the stool was a nice touch.

Anyways, we thought about ordering a half bottle of wine. But after skimming through their extensive wine list, we decided against it since most of the bottles were well out of our price range. I wouldn’t mind paying a lot for a good bottle of wine but unfortunately I don’t think I’d really appreciate it. So, I just went with a glass of rosé (5oz for $14).

Amuse bouche - chilled zucchini soup & a cheddar biscuit

Soon after ordering my drink, a server came by to offer us some bread. He had a selection of house-made white bread, brown bread and rosemary potato bread. Mike and I both went with the rosemary potato bread which was so good we got seconds… and thirds! The bread was also served with bacon-infused butter, which really excited Mike. Unfortunately, it sounded better than it tasted. It had a bit of a smoky flavour but I couldn’t taste much bacon in it.

Before ordering our food, we were presented with an amuse bouche which consisted of a chilled zucchini soup and cheddar biscuit served on a small wooden block. The cheddar biscuit wasn’t anything special but the zucchini soup certainly was. I don’t even like zucchini but this soup was simply delicious! Since we hadn’t ordered yet, I considered ordering the chilled corn soup for my appetizer given how great the zucchini soup was.

Victor’s foie gras parfait

However, the corn soup couldn’t compete with Victor’s foie gras parfait – Vickies Veggies strawberry puree, elderberries & crushed walnuts ($20), which I ended up getting. I saw several other people getting this and had mistaken it for a dessert. It looked like a small piece of cake, topped with strawberries, a berry drizzle and walnuts. Since this is one of Splendido’s specialties, it’s no surprise that this was a great dish. It was silky smooth, had a great flavour and was served with a thick slice of brioche. I particularly enjoyed the walnuts that it came with as it provided a nice bit of crunch, contrasting the smooth foie gras parfait.

Mike went with the Kataifi Crusted Prawns – with roasted pork belly, fresh corn polenta, smoked red pepper & lime ($19). It came with two small prawns and several small pieces of the pork belly. I didn’t try any of the prawns, but Mike said he enjoyed them. We both really enjoyed the pork belly… who doesn’t? It was nicely roasted with a crisp skin and tender, fatty meat. It was nicely balanced by a light corn salad. The only part of the dish I wasn’t a huge fan of was the lemony foam which topped off the entire dish.

Kataifi Crusted Prawns – with roasted pork belly

For my main, I ordered the Lamb Shoulder – with a Garlic puree, rosemary & lemon lamb sausage, bagna cauda ($34). The meat was incredibly tender – I lightly touched it with my butter knife and the meat just fell apart. The flavour of it was fantastic and I especially enjoyed the garlic puree it came with. One of the best lamb dishes I’ve had in a while.

Similar to my experience at Scaramouche, the sausage paled in comparison to the main meat. It was a little dry and didn’t have the greatest flavour to it. Maybe it was the lemon… Despite this, I’d still recommend this dish since the lamb shoulder was amazing.

Lamb shoulder – with a garlic puree, rosemary & lemon lamb sausage, bagna cauda

Mike went with the Beef Striploin – with a roasted eggplant puree, cippolini onion, fregola & basil pesto ($38). It was cooked to a perfect medium rare and was very tender. I tried a piece of this and was able to cut through it with my butter knife. Simply a perfect steak – tender and flavouful! The steak came with a side of fregola, which reminded me of Israeli couscous. It tasted delicious with the eggplant puree. The whole dish was perfection.

Our server recommended ordering a side of Ontario Snap Peas – brown butter and pinenuts ($8) and I’m so glad we did. Snap peas are one of my favourite vegetables and Splendido did a great job with them. They were crispy and combined with the brown butter, you really can’t go wrong. My only complaint about this would have to be the portion size. It comes in a tiny cast iron pot which didn’t contain a whole lot of snap peas.

Beef Striploin – with a roasted eggplant puree, cippolini onion, fregola & basil pesto

To finish off our meal, we decided on the Salted Caramel, Peanut and Chocolate Tart – with dark chocolate gelato ($13). We came to Splendido to celebrate my birthday and when making the reservation, they asked Mike if it was for a special occasion. So, when they brought out the tart, it came with a little biscuit with “happy birthday” on it and a candle. It was a nice little touch.

The tart consisted of chocolate mousse on top with a chewy caramel bottom. The caramel was delicious, especially when paired with the dark chocolate gelato. I just wish the gelato didn’t melt so quickly…

Overall, I had a great experience at Splendido. The food was excellent and the service was top notch! Our server was knowledgeable and very accommodating. I also liked how they came by between the dishes to clean the crumbs off our table. They really pay attention to all the little details around here which contributed to the great experience we had. I can certainly see why this place comes highly recommended as a special occasion restaurant!

Salted Caramel, Peanut and Chocolate Tart – with dark chocolate gelato

At a glance:

  • Amazing food and top notch service
  • Great for a special occasion
  • Located at near Harbord and Spadina
  • Ratings (out of 5):

  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 5
  • Atmosphere: 4.5
  • Splendido on Urbanspoon

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