March 30th, 2005

Fishy Circumstances


Toronto is considering the concept of spring. Snow continued every few days for most of my absence, and only began to seriously melt in the past few days. I returned in time to see only vestigial curves of ice and scatters of snow loitering against north-facing walls. The trees are bare, the sidewalks grey, the grass muted olive. I have not looked in many places, but there are no hints of spring flowers yet.

In England, spring arrives in February, early March at the latest. The daffodils were in full glory, the temperatures in the mid-teens (Celsius). The glow of crocuses and other small flowers littered the verdant lawns. Budding trees were not long off. I left London to a crowd of spring rainstorms after a week of mellow sunshine.


Location: 88 Harbord St. at Spadina. Toronto.

In the chill and gloom of January, double0hilly and I decided that we needed an evening's escape, a decadently good meal in elegant surroundings at some place that neither of us had tried before. I browsed the recommendations of last year's Toronto Life restaurant guide and gave her three choices; she chose Splendido.

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I have treasured the memory of the meal as a glow of gentle perfection, a meal as a meal ought to be. There was too much to say about it; I didn't know where to begin. But today I sat down with the April edition of the Toronto Life magazine to browse the food highlights, and there it was: the best meal the magazine's food reviewer ate in the preceeding year was at Splendido. It was my best meal too.