Splendido's dining room.
In July, Toronto’s Splendido re-opened after a changing of the guard.
Executive chef David Lee and owner Yannick Bigourdan decided to focus their energies on Nota Bene, so they sold Splendido to chef de cuisine Victor Barry and general manager Carlo Catallo.
After a brief renovation, Splendido re-opened with the same high-ceilinged room, augmented by new light fixtures and shelves of jarred preserves, lending a rustic, homespun touch.
The menu, too, was rejigged and downscaled slightly, in a sophisticated-farmhouse mode. For the most part, Barry’s food – straightforward, yet robustly flavoured – hits the mark.
I loved the pappardelle topped with shaved reggiano and delicately fragrant, shaved black summer truffles from Molise, Italy.
Moist suckling pig is paired with blood sausage – made with chestnut flour and raisins – textured like a mousse. It sits on a homey corn succotash.
Butter-poached lobster is tender, but its chanterelle/mascarpone risotto is undercooked and slightly soupy, unacceptable for a $37 entree.
A short and largely uninspired dessert list yields a gem: Two custards, dark-chocolate and coffee, layered with crunchy bits of hazelnut biscotti and topped with creamy frangelico/hazelnut foam.
Enhancing the experience is a service team that is attentive, knowledgeable and professional.
A spacious private room, in the basement wine cellar, functions as a business meeting venue.
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