Friday, February 13, 2009


When you've been friends for as long as Joanna and me (since we were 10), you get to know each others' food likes and dislikes while also sharing in common tastes. For instance, last month we went for Chinese on Spadina -- we can do this with two people because we like the same dishes. But when she was dropping me back home, Jo tried to pawn these candied almonds with lemon zest off on me. She said she wanted them out of her van because she was addicted, plus she thought I'd love them. I tried one: "Yuck."
She looked surprised by my reaction, mostly shocked really, then sighed: "A rare miss." 
Still, when I told her I was taking her out for her birthday Jo knew we'd likely hit Foxley, one of our favourites (we've nailed the perfect order.) But then she emailed me while I was away, asking if we should maybe try Scaramouche's Lobsterlicious menu before it was gone. The crazy thing is, I was going to suggest the exact same change of plan (eerie.)
Based on his support of Nova Scotia fisherfolk, chef/owner Keith Froggett struck a deal with the lobster people a couple of months ago, when lobster prices were at an historic low. And he's passing the "savings" on to Scaramouche diners, with a three course Lobsterlicous '09 meal, for $52 a head. 
Joanna and I went this week, were seated by a beautiful window on the pasta bar side of things, twinkling skyline as a backdrop and a thick fog socking in the city. And then we ate. Oh, how we ate. 
My first course was a gorgeous plate of fresh, poached shrimp (definitely not your Thai imports, these) blood oranges, persimmons and winter lettuces (watercress, frisee and the like) tossed together in a fantastic Meyer lemon and lobster vinaigrette. I could have got home happy right then. But then came my main of generous butter poached lobster perched like rubies and diamonds upon a silky cauliflower puree, with shaved fennel and a smoked bacon and butter sauce. Dinner was incredible. And so was the service. Same goes for the wine. In fact, we didn't think things could get any better, but then they did with the return of pastry chef Joanne Yolles and her famous coconut cream pie -- flaky butter crust, home-spun but high class coconut cream and whipped cream becoming one along with fresh coconut shavings. It was such a perfect capper that I almost didn't mind the white chocolate shavings on top. 
I wish I could describe what my pal Joanna had for her dinner, but I already did. Because even though there was lots of choice (three per course, plus the option of substituting with anything else you like from the main menu), we ordered the exact same meal. 
Like I said, we've been friends for a long, long time.
Scaramouche's Lobsterlicious 2009 runs Mondays to Thursdays until March 5th. Reservations a must. Knockout meal, a given. 

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