I’ve always thought that Italy has a bit of an edge on food, elegant and classy flavours that are timeless, like a William Shakespeare play or a Chanel 2.55. Earlier this week I got a sneak preview of Scaddabush’s Winterlicious menu and the two items that piqued my interest most were the salads. I’m all for indulgence but when done well, the lighter side of things can be just as decadent.
Have you ever opened a restaurant menu, glanced at the salad section and wondered who orders them? Me, I am that person. I love eating them and not just because they are supposed to be healthy, but because they can be so yummy. At home my salads are packed with protein, crunch, delicious dressings, colour and texture, and never bland.
The trouble with most restaurants, unless you go to a very specific place that relies on their salads, this dish is usually the most disappointing pick even though they deserve the same love as every other item on the menu. Encouraging people to eat greens, means making them as dynamic and appealing as all the other things on offer and yet most restaurants just throw that opportunity away, serving up leaves and an unimaginative drizzle. Give me a restaurant that knows how to whip up some mean greens and you will find me going back again and again for more.
In this instance, Scaddabush may have to take out a restraining order on me. Their Winterlicious menu has two beautiful salads which I could not resist ordering. A caprese salad (freshly made in-house mozzarella, Campari tomatoes, baby arugula, herb oil and basil) and for mains, a Tuscan Salad with grilled shrimp (baby green kale, arugula, marinated raisins, toasted pumpkin seeds, semi sun-dried tomatoes, cipollini onions, Pecorino cheese and balsamic lemon vinaigrette). You just know a lot of thought has gone into them.
Both salads were so lovely, fresh and vibrant. Each has unique notes that really stand out. The caprese, sweet and sharp balsamic dressing married with soft creamy cheese, plump red tomatoes, peppery leaves and every now and again my tongue was kissed with basil.
The Tuscan looked like a beautiful green nest covered in white Pecorino moss and had a fierce and zingy dressing. I loved all the different components, especially the sundried tomatoes, raisins and cipollini onions. Every bite was something different because I kept trying out different combinations.
They also treated the hubby to some Jail Island salmon. Crispy on the outside, succulent and soft flaking pink within, lying there in its tomato caper glory on a bed of seasonal vegetables alongside parsley butter potatoes, it is wonderful for those seeking healthy but hearty satisfaction.
Having said that though, whatever you do, don’t leave without trying their chocolate gelato, it is tastes amazing and life is too short.
GIVE AWAY TIME: I’ve teamed up with Scaddabush to brighten up your January. I’m giving away two gift cards worth $25 dollars and it couldn’t be easier, just follow me on Twitter or Instagram for a chance to win, I’ll be posting more details them later today. Good luck! (Toronto based only.)