It is fitting that “scaddabush” is Italian slang for “a bit of everything”. Anyone who has taken part in an Italian feast knows that the best meals are often the result of bringing together “a little of this and a little of that”… and our recent visit to Scaddabush Italian Kitchen & Bar reflected this sensibility perfectly.
GTA patrons will remember its predecessor – Alice Fazooli’s – as a fixture on the corner of Rathburn Rd and Duke of York Blvd in Mississauga. Strategically located right across the street from Square One, the largest mall in Ontario, I participated in many a “drinks-on-the-patio” kind of night at Fazooli’s throughout my twenties. And so it was with an equal mix of nostalgia and curiosity that I consented to check out the all-new Scaddabush Italian Kitchen & Bar.
Our reservations were for 6:30pm on a Saturday night, so the decidedly dimmed down “date-night” ambiance didn’t really bother me, except that it made taking photos inside nearly impossible! Alas, armed with only my iPhone, I didn’t think to compensate with an external flash. Lesson learned.
We were promptly seated and our very personable waiter enthusiastically recommended the two signature appetizers: Fresh Mozzarella and the Meatballs.
The mozzarella is made fresh daily, in-house, between 5pm and 9pm. Served NAKED ($9.88): extra-virgin olive oil, focaccia crostini, San Marzano tomato jam, sea salt; PINGUE PROSCIUTTO ($15.98): focaccia crostini, fig jam, extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt; or THE SPADUCH ($10.29): focaccia crostini, garlic, anchovies, lemon caper butter sauce. We are prosciutto lovers and opted for the Pingue Prosciutto without hesitation.
And for the meatball appetizer? Well, here’s what Scaddabush has to say about their meatballs –
“We love meatballs. And the secret to making them? Our special Sunday sauce. The kind that Nonna would slow cook at the start of the week. Each day we prepare a sauce just like that, adding bits of Parmesan and pancetta for flavour. Our half-pound meatballs are made with Certified Angus beef, ricotta cheese and parsley, marinated with garlic, black pepper, porcini mushrooms and olive oil. Then it’s into our sauce to be simmered to absolute perfection. Choose between classic or pepperoni and mozzarella-stuffed. Nonna would approve. We’re certain you will too.”
How could we not try one after an endorsement like that? We selected a Straight Up Classic Meatball and had high expectations. In addition to our apps, my husband ordered a glass of the Robert Mondavi Moscato, while I gleefully settled on a Lemon Rosemary Bellini.
Now it needs to be said; for all the time and care our server took to be warm, welcoming and informative, it seemed somewhat tainted by the parade of indifferent, hurried servers who dropped off our drinks and appetizers, and later, our mains and dessert. In fact, throughout our entire dining experience there seemed to be an excess of these servers milling around, often with a scowl or vacant look as they deposited orders on tables. It’s such a shame that they didn’t show the same pride in their work as our main server.
Regardless, my Bellini was divine and our appetizers arrived promptly – by Saturday evening standards, no less….