I’m ridiculously late, overdue writing about Seraphia, the gourmet shop in Scarborough that has been as essential to me as my left hand. Maybe that’s why I’ve been so slow to write, clearly taking them for granted.
Peter Captsis is the heart & soul of “Seraphia Inspired Cuisine”.
Thank God their location at 2979 Kingston Road in Scarborough is not far from my home. If you’re lucky enough to live close by (near where St Clair meets Kingston Rd), you should check it out, although I think it’s worth the trip if you’re further away.
Come to think of it, I realize that I’m writing about a different Seraphia. Like many restaurants, they’ve had to adapt to the pandemic, change or die.
The tables are gone of course, as they’re now exclusively a take-out operation with big plastic partitions for protection even before we get to the masks everyone wears. If more than 3 or 4 (I can’t recall the limit in the space), one stands outside waiting. It may be my imagination but I think his customers are the nicest most polite people, perhaps under the influence of the food.
Their menu is now smaller, although Peter did manage to do some amazing things at Christmas time.
But never mind December, let me simply talk about the daily magic, recalling the ways we continually lean on Peter & his genius. I think it’s not an exaggeration to call him that, given the way he reconciles amazing speed & efficiency with flavor.
Today is Thursday, which means lasagna. I picked up two of them plus a large Caesar salad for dinner.
Earlier today (yes I often go there more than once per day) I also bought soup. Although it’s available hot in a single-serving size, which is how we always used to get it, recently he’s made it available in big beautiful mason jars, cold in the refrigerator.
I bought myself the butternut squash, which is a nice prelude to the lasagna I’ll be having shortly, as I type this.
Right now it’s roughly 6:30. Dinner’s at 7. I also bought the lentil which is wonderfully spicy with carrots, that I split with my mom, plus chicken noodle (Erika’s favorite). He also has beef with barley, potato leek & mushroom, and every one of them is delicious.
We take lunch to my mom a couple of times per week, so Peter’s help is invaluable.
At lunchtime today Mom got the lentil soup (roughly one third of the jar, that I heated up for her), a small Greek salad that I split with her, decorated with chicken cooked on a skewer. I take the pieces off the stick and put it on top of the salad. She loves it, and so do I come to think of it.
So in addition to her lunch (soup, salad and chicken) from Seraphia, I also brought a tuna sandwich that will be her snack later today or tomorrow.
Earlier this week, Erika & I had chicken-caesar wraps. I can’t recall what that was paired with, as we do this so often. Sometimes it goes with Peter’s soup, sometimes one of his salads. We also sometimes get Peter’s poutine.
Or a hamburger.
Or a steak sandwich.
I’m not certain but I’m pretty sure that Peter doesn’t use much salt. His usual approach is understated, classic, never over the top but just right. The flavor of that lasagna is as good as anything I’ve ever had in a restaurant: and oh boy I have it for dinner tonight (yippeee!!)…. right after I finish this in fact.
And his breakfasts are good too. The quick easy one is the toasted western, although when we’re hungrier, one gets eggs + choice of sausage, peameal or strip bacon + choice of bread (white, multi—grain or rye) + home-fries, although we usually substitute sliced tomato.
Did I mention that he also has baked items? I often grab a brownie, date square or a tart (butter or pecan tart). And he has loaves of bread, and he has a slicer. And he has different types of muffins. I usually get an apple-oatmeal and/or a bran one, although there are others. He has croissants. He has quiches & meat-pies (and dammit this is the first meatpie I have EVER eaten that I didn’t dislike…. I actually liked it).
And this is his reduced menu…!
There’s coffee as well, but I make it at home so I never buy it anymore (although I used to… another really good option btw). When the pandemic is over perhaps we’ll be back to some of the mid-week meal options that he discontinued for the time being.
The guy is very talented. He’s pleasant enough, and plays Q107 (I think) when you go in to make the pickup. We like to call ahead because I think it makes it easier for everyone.
Seraphia can be reached at 416-264-8951, and yes I memorized the number. I know it like the back of my left hand.