Flavor & Menu Trends

Conant Opening Scarpetta in Toronto

Scott Conant will open his flagship Scarpetta restaurant in the Thompson Hotel in Toronto.

Scott Conant, a major force in the Italian food service category, will open a branch of his Scarpetta restaurant concept in the Thompson Hotel in downtown Toronto at the end of July.

Back in January, Conant was profiled as a prime mover of this important category of food service. His move to Toronto is unusual in that most top North American chefs have not entered this market. But with the rise of the Canadian dollar, this may soon change. 

Toronto boasts the largest, single metropolitan community of Italians outside of Italy. 

Scarpetta's arrival is likely to be greeted with enthusiasm from consumers and a considerable amount of professional scrutiny from the operator community.

Scott Conant

Who: Chef/Owner Scott Conant

What: Scarpetta Restaurant

Where: Thompson Hotel Toronto
            550 Wellington Street West
            Toronto, ON

When: End of July

Why: from Becca PR firm:

"This June, New York chef Scott Conant opens Scarpetta at the Thompson Toronto, the hotel group’s first property outside of the United States. An Italian expression meaning “little shoe” - or the shape bread takes when used to soak up a dish - Scarpetta represents the pure pleasure of savoring a meal down to its very last taste.

Toronto’s burgeoning and diverse culinary scene, and its close proximity to New York City, make it a natural and intriguing destination for Conant. The chef also shares Thompson’s approach to hospitality, offering guests an experience that is personal and welcoming.

Upon opening in 2008, New York’s Scarpetta received glowing three-star reviews from The New York Times and New York Magazine, and both publications selected the restaurant as a top 10 new restaurant of the year. Scarpetta was also named one of the “Best New Restaurants in America” by Esquire magazine and the Miami Beach location received a four-star review from The Miami Herald, the highest rating possible. Both were included in Travel + Leisure magazine’s “50 Best New U.S. Restaurants” feature in 2009.

The restaurant’s soulful, seasonally-inspired Italian dishes offer fresh ingredients and clean, earthy flavors that pay homage to Conant’s heritage and time in Italy. As a result of his new relationships with Toronto farmers, the chef has created new dishes that utilize local ingredients. Some of Conant’s signature items are also on the menu, including the creamy polenta with fricassee of truffled mushrooms, spaghetti with tomato and basil and moist roasted capretto (baby goat) with rapini, pancetta and potatoes.
Designed by Studio Gaia, the space reflects Conant’s honest and personal approach to Italian cuisine: equally grounded in tradition and modern interpretation. The simple, yet dramatic setting reflects old-world elegance coupled with Italian sophistication. The natural wood color scheme is juxtaposed with polished bronze, glass and textured leather elements, evoking the feeling of the Tuscan countryside married with the urbane appeal of Milan. The unfinished dark wood flooring is offset with splashes of gold, amber and bronze, which are scattered throughout the cozy setting. Sheer curtain fabrics and sparkling custom hand-blown glass chandeliers are contrasted with opaque wood and leathers, and add a welcoming touch to the space. The restaurant can seat 150 and the outdoor dining area, which opens during the warmer months, can seat 30





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