Scaddabush is nestled between Reds Midtown Tavern and Duke's Refresher at the pedestal of the Aura Condos at Yonge and Gerrard. The rustic Italian cucina completes the trio of varied SirCorp restaurants, this time offering the putative homestyle comforts of Nonna's dining room done on a grand scale.
The eclectic 6,500 square-foot dining room is furnished with mismatched tables and chairs, while framed TVs mounted above the bar are mixed with mirrors and vintage family portraits. A 24-seat "kitchen table" runs through half the dining room and is available for guests who like to mingle with strangers and share in family style platters of pasta or zeppole that will occasionally just show-up to the table.
In true Italian spirit, the menu from executive chef Steve Silvestro emphasizes old world recipes and ultra fresh ingredients. A window to the kitchen puts the fresh mozzarella bar on display.
Handmade nightly from 5pm to 11pm, buratta ($10.98) is served warm and optionally infused with honey and truffle cream ($11.98). Here, local ingredients like the Pingue prosciutto ($15.98), sourced from a Niagara-based producer, are favoured over imported DOP alternatives.
Spaghetti & Meatballs are available in individual size portions ($16.52) or as a social platter ($29.44) to be shared. The noodles are made fresh in house, the half-pound meatballs are hand-formed of Angus beef and ricotta then brined in a porcini, sugar, salt and chili cure before being simmered at length in Sunday sauce.
Pizzas made in a hybrid Roman/Neapolitan style are available in nine varieties like the Atomica ($15.91), topped with sopressata, sweet peppers, onions, pepperoni and fresh mozzarella. The Americano ($13.86) improves upon plain pepperoni with a dusting of fennel seed, black pepper and oregano spice mix that accentuates the flavours of the all-time fave pizza topping.
For dessert, zeppole ($4.78) are freshly fried or you can try apple ravioli ($6.51) filled with caramel and fruit. I opt for the chocolate yogurt panna cotta ($5.76) that smartly pairs the sweet creamy base with tart balsamic roasted strawberries and whipped cream.
The lengthy bar menu offers a reasonably priced collection of wines ranging from $6 to $10 a glass and number of bottles priced under $30. Large parties can take advantage of the "generous pour" program that sees three reds and three whites served by the litre in ceramic jugs. Cocktails offered for $9 or less feature sangrias, barrel-aged classics and signature concoctions like the Baba Strega ($7), a frothy drink that blends gin, Strega liqueur and apricot purĂŠe.
Scaddabush is open from 11am until 1am Sunday through Wednesday and until 2am Thursday through Saturday. Private parties are welcome to book out the mezzanine and large groups can be comfortably accommodated at one of many harvest tables throughout.
Photos by Morris Lum