Canada’s 100 Best - - THE LIST - 1 Ben­venuto Pl., Toronto, Ont. scaramouch­er­estau­

THERE ARE more than a few “spe­cial oc­ca­sion” restau­rants that main­tain an aura of so­phis­ti­ca­tion while do­ing lit­tle more than rest­ing on their lau­rels, but not Scaramouch­e. The bar was set high nearly 40 years ago when the restau­rant opened, and it has con­tin­ued to try and raise it ev­ery night since. The ad­mit­tedly pedes­trian ar­rival area—the restau­rant is housed in the ground floor of a high­rise apart­ment build­ing—is more than made up for by the ex­pan­sive sky­line views and the gra­cious ser­vice. Chef Keith Froggett’s culi­nary vision, ex­e­cuted th­ese days by Carolyn Reid, is well-grounded in Euro­pean clas­si­cism, and packs just enough of a modern in­ven­tive touch to re­main in­ter­est­ing. Beet salad with Si­cil­ian blood or­anges, goat cheese and pis­ta­chios is clas­sic and de­li­cious. What else does grilled AAA On­tario filet mignon need be­sides mush­rooms, Borde­laise and whipped pota­toes? Mak­ing a case for French pasta, airy gnoc­chi Parisi­enne in duck foie gras jus are an­chored by shreds of ex­cel­lent duck con­fit, earthy sautéed mush­rooms and bit­ter win­ter greens. Desserts re­main a high­light even if few reg­u­lars ven­ture away from the leg­endary co­conut cream pie.

La Quer­cia Speck

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