14 August 2011

a dinner at Scarpina

Yesterday evening, we managed to pull ourselves into the rain and wind,  for a prix fixe dinner at Scarpina. The Mediterranean-Latin fusion venue hosts amber lighting, square mirror-clad walls and modern silo lamps. The eager staff seated us and immediately showed a twang of frustration when we showed our Travelzoo offer (pre-purchased, includes 3-courses each and a bottle of wine).

We were impressed with the extensive selections on the first and second choices to select from. I love going out with my Chris (my fiance!), he understands and embraces that I love picking things we both feel for and sharing. We selected the lamb tacos with black bean spicy hummus and P.E.I mussels with fennel, tomato and garlic for our first course. The tacos could have been warmer, the mussels were piping hot and mediocre. In this round, the lamb won with the tasty grilled pita around it. The tacos could have been a meal in themselves.

Before we could finish our first course, three servers crowded our table, one empty-handed, the others with our entrees. They apologized that our food was ready and offered to wrap up our first courses. Strike 2. We declined to have our appetizers wrapped (who reheats mussels?!) and accepted our mains: horseradish crusted salmon with cucumber slaw and steak Latino with Vidalia escabech, creamed spinach and yucca fries.  The salmon arrived luke-warm and lacking flavor, surprising for something that has been spiced with horseradish. The steak came in a massive cut, the fries were tasty and the spinach tasted mostly of fresh cream.

We finished our bottle of Argentenian Malbec and accepted coffees and our dessert selections: creme brulee and panna cotta. Both dishes were dressed in summer berries and were otherwise average. We didn't finish any of the three courses. It appeared as though they were trying to "wow" patrons with portion size, when I feel they could have benefited from better quality ingredients and smaller portions.

Images: (here & here).

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