Let me begin by saying that I'm just not a girl who uses tour guides. I've had bad experiences with them (from drunken to beligerent to getting lost) so I usually avoid them like the plague. When my friend asked me to join her on the Culinary Adventure Company tour of Little Italy in downtown Toronto I hestitated but finally relented.
Scott Savoie, owner, operator and tour guide makes it very clear right from the get go. He ain't no tour guide. He's very adroit at entertaining and mixing with people. The tour started with cocktails and charcuterie at the Toronto Temperance Society which is a private cocktail lounge (you need a swipe card to get in) that is a total throw back to the prohibition years. We started with two pre-selected cocktails that were both absolutely outstanding. What a great way to start off the tour! We nibbled on charcuterie, cheese, smoked nuts, ceviche and olives.
From there we went off to Briscola, a popular Italian hotspot on College Street. All along the way as we walked over Scott kept pointing out all sorts of interesting little spots and filling us in on the history of Little Italy. At Briscola we dined on fried olives, gorgeous fresh Burrata cheese drizzled with olive oil & herbs, thin crust tartufi (mushrooms) pizza and short ribs braised in balsamic that sat atop of bed of barley risotta. We washed this meal down with a couple of glasses of red Cabernet Sauvignon.
Off to the next spot. L.A.B. It's a restaurant that is founded in molecular gastronomy. Now I'm not a big keener for this new age culinary razzle dazzle but when Chef Dubrovsky smoked the liquor right at our table to concoct our Smoked Manhanttans (think Mad Men) I was was completely sold. My fave dish of the whole night was the starter at L.A.B. which was a pumpkin soup with a splash of basil oil on it. I could have licked the bowl. From there we moved to a butter poached lobster atop a corn mousse, with corn niblets, corn smut and deep fried corn silk. Ok, I was thoroughly impressed. This was followed by duck done two different ways. Wow. Dinner was accompanied by a lovely white wine from Organized Crimes and a wickedly great red Italian wine (the name escapes me) but it was from the south, Puglia as I recall. We finished up with a lovely light dessert with a fruit ice atop a piece of cake. The presentation was absolutely stellar. I'd definitely go back to L.A.B. on my own.
The evening flew by and I have to say that Scott Savoie was simply one of the most fun, entertaining and engaging tour guides I've ever had the good fortune to meet. For the $140 price tag it was simply worth every penny. The Little Italy tour is all that and a bag of chips! La Dolce Vita!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.