Scopa has been on my wishlist for a very long time. I live up in the north and take the bus down Centre Street to/from work every day so I see Scopa beside Lina’s Italian Store all the time. I had a chance to hit up Scopa twice in one week – once for supper with a group of people for a birthday, and once for brunch with a couple new to town. I chose the restaurant both times, without having eaten supper or brunch there yet – a tad risky when I don’t want to disappoint my friends!
Dinner was really quite nice; minus the old guy at another table who kept staring at my eclectic group of friends all evening. I was there early – 20 minutes before everyone else arrived (there were 5 of us in total) and I felt comfortable being there on my own. The server was very nice to me and I sipped a glass of white wine while I waited for the late ones. The restaurant has a nice vibe and the tables aren’t too close together so it’s easy enough to hold a private conversation.
Once my friends arrived I ordered the Formaggio Bruschetta for $10 to start. With burrata cheese (YUM), white anchovy, basil and aged balsamic, this was an interesting combination of flavour. I gave one piece to a friend and she quite liked it as well.
For dinner I ordered the Chicken Scollopini for $26. Served as chicken parmigiana with kale and pasta, this was a hearty meal. The photo doesn’t really do it justice – there were two pieces of chicken and after eating 2 pieces of the bruschetta I couldn’t finish my entree. I wasn’t a huge fan of the kale as it was just a little tough, but I quite liked the chicken parmesan and pasta. I do think my ex can make a better chicken parmesan, but what can I say… C & B got the big hunk of lasagna and split it. I’m sure I could have plowed through it all on my own, but they eat less than I do.
Now, brunch was a different story. The three of us were seated at a table for 4 near the front door. The space behind the front door should NOT be set up with 3 tables of 4. The server couldn’t even get around the one empty table to get to us… They really need to remove one of the tables for more space; it shouldn’t have been so entertaining to watch the server make her way to us through a maze of chairs…
Service was so slow. Painful. I was actually embarrased for choosing the restaurant. My friends had just moved to the city, and although I told them I’d never had brunch at Scopa before, I still felt bad that they were disappointed. It took forever for us to get water, then forever for our drinks to come, then forever for our food to come, and we had to ask for ketchup and then she only brought one little dish of it so we had to ask for more, then we had to ask for more hot water for the tea… You get my point. We tried to flag down the 2 servers multiple times but their peripheral vision wasn’t working.
The food was just OK. I had the Smoked Salmon Eggs Benny for $17. I liked the potatoes, and there was a huge pile of them, so that was good. But I didn’t like their hollandaise sauce – it was way too zingy. And it wasn’t just lemon juice – it tasted like something else I couldn’t put my finger on. Anyways, I wasn’t a fan. My one friend had the same dish as me and his wife had the Scopa Burger for $19. They were excited that the burger was to come with crispy onion – she was going to give those to her husband… but when the burger came they were both disappointed because the onion was not crispy – it was raw sliced onion. The skinny fries were nothing special for her and she didn’t eat all of her burger.
I’m so torn because I want to love this restaurant. Would I go back? Sure, but I won’t go out of my way to plan for it again. I do, however, want to give the pizza a shot.