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Don Appetit! Scaddabush — Molto Italiano!

Don Douloff, Food WriterIt’s early on a Sunday night and Scaddabush Mississauga, just west of Toronto, is packed and buzzes with energy. Operated by SIR Corp., whose other brands include Canyon Creek, Jack Astor’s and the upscale Reds, Scaddabush dishes up homestyle Italian in a sprawling, comfortably outfitted space converted from an Alice Fazooli’s.

Beginning at 5pm each night, Scaddabush offers made-to-order mozzarella, a warm ball of cheesy goodness delivering a mildly lactic tang. Paired with sweetish tomato jam and slices of soft bread, it’s a splendid way to start a meal.

A newly introduced dish, spaghetti pie, is built on crushed, house-made meatballs layered with mozzarella, ricotta, chili parmesan, spaghetti and house-made Bolognese sauce, and then baked. It arrives piping hot and tastes like something created by an Italian grandmother in a fever dream. It’s wonderfully homey and a ton of fun to eat.

Freshly made mozzarella with tomato jam.

Beautifully balancing sweet and savoury, soft and crunchy, Tuscan salad is anchored by super-fresh baby green kale, arugula, marinated raisins, toasted pumpkin seeds, semi sun-dried tomatoes and cipollini onions, all brought together by a brightly flavoured balsamic lemon vinaigrette.

Just-rich-enough white wine lemon sauce animates grilled chicken breast accessorized with rosemary scented potatoes and al dente veggies.

Cooked properly medium rare, as ordered, sirloin carries a nice char and is juicy and full flavoured.

Zeppole doughnuts.

Make sure to save room for dessert, which includes warm, freshly made zeppole dusted with cinnamon sugar and served with chocolate hazelnut dipping sauce. They’re like Timbits sent from heaven. There’s also warm and custardy bread pudding made with the Italian sweet bread, panettone, and crowned with a scoop of white chocolate gelato.

The restaurant offers a number of group options, including a private space, The Cellar, which seats 55 people; the lounge, which seats 200; and the dining room, which seats 135. The entire restaurant is also available for buyout.

Catering and delivery are also available.

— Don Douloff has been a restaurant critic for over 30 years and, during that time, has critiqued more than 1,400 eateries. In 1988, he studied the fundamentals of French cuisine at Ecole de Cuisine La Varenne in Paris, France. During his time in France, he furthered his gastronomic education by visiting the country’s bistros, brasseries and Michelin-starred temples of haute cuisine. He relishes exploring the edible universe in his native Toronto and on his travels throughout Canada and abroad.

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