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Best Summerlicious Dinner for $25

dlw88 Jul 12, 2006 01:47 PM

Seeking reviews and personal opinion.

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  1. p
    pimentdespelette Jul 12, 2006 02:09 PM

    Ate at Czehoski last night. Very, very impressed. The food and service were fantastic. Funny, because I'd always looked in and though it looked too much like a bar. But I hadn't seen the dining room. Highly recommended.

    7 Replies
    1. re: pimentdespelette
      pinstripeprincess Jul 12, 2006 02:32 PM

      i knew it! i'm going this saturday and i've flagged this restaurant as THE place to go for a real deal. you've gotten me giddy and excited about my meal.

      i've eaten there before and thoroughly enjoyed it.

      in terms of options, i think fred's not here is a consistent winner that way. the food is good to great, not necessarily amazing. you have so many choices and the service is quite lovely.

      tutti matti does really well for the $25 as well... big fan of their carpaccio and fish in parchment. by the end of our meal we had a lively debate at our table and with the waiter about gooseberries, more than entertaining.

      are there any places specifically that you're looking to check out?

      1. re: pinstripeprincess
        jennjen18 Jul 12, 2006 04:04 PM

        I agree with Tutti Matti. I love it there. Very homey. They have a non-summerlicious prix fixe for lunches at $11. Havent tried that, but will soon.

        I liked La Bruschetta last year. Their menu's changed tho. I know pinstripeprincess will disagree on that. :P I remember you said you didnt like LB on another thread.

        But I find that usually most restaurants serve the same portions, if not sometimes even bigger, for lunch. I think its better going to Summerlicious lunches than dinners.

        1. re: jennjen18
          pinstripeprincess Jul 12, 2006 04:20 PM

          hmm.... i've never been to la bruschetta... perhaps another restaurant is one you're thinking of?

          damn, now JennaBean has my knickers in a twist with what to expect. that's the trick with summerlicious, it's mostly a draw for new people to try a restaurant and become addicted. so those who have eaten off the regular menu have a slightly tainted view.

          oh, also, i've enjoyed bymark in the past but ended up by going all out and ordering some cocktails and oysters on top of it. superb service but lower key food than they're capable of.

          1. re: pinstripeprincess
            jennjen18 Jul 13, 2006 02:02 PM

            I heard seared tuna at bymark is the best. Pity they dont offer it now.

            Hmm, sorry bout that. :P It must be another restaurant I'm thinking of then. Will check earlier posts later.

            1. re: pinstripeprincess
              pinstripeprincess Jul 27, 2006 01:41 PM

              finally got my review plus photos up, if you want to see photos go here:
              http://tongueandcheek.ca/2006/07/26/r...

              i'm feeling lazy today and paraphrasing from my blog...

              Beginning with the quick arrival of an assortment of bread and an olive based spread, we dug in. My first selection was an albacore tuna carpaccio encrusted in hempseed with streaks of a rich mayo mixture. To the side sat bison grass vodka apple cider dressed greens. A perfectly thin sear surrounding each piece of tuna contained crisp bits of earthy seeds that complimented the lean meat. Heavy handed on the mayo concoction, it paired well to create a velvety texture in the mouth. The fresh greens cut through to finish a well-rounded dish.

              Our meal was arriving at a good and quick pace that I was quite happy to see my roasted striploin still hot as it was set in front of me. A perfect medium rare (a touch on the rarer side, as requested) was tender and matched with an intense Johnny Walker jus. The buttery smashed potatoes with tender crisp vegetables were a very comfortable addition. I appreciated the little pink peppercorns rolling about my plate and found their unique piquancy to be intriguingly delicious. Unfortunately, the braised beef cheek was swaddled in mediocre pastry and broke into stringy pieces lacking some flavour and moisture.

              To finish, I could hardly resist the buttermilk panna cotta in apricot puree the moment I saw it on the menu. In fact, I think it was the first item I had picked from the prix fixe. The tangy cream stood up well in the bowl before melting quite easily on my tongue. Pieces of cracked nuts provided a good textural contrast and played up to the buttermilk. Apricot purists should not be denied this puree, I think I now have a better understanding of word derivation because of it. A thick sauce eaten up with spoonfuls, it had a lovely balance in sweetness unaltered with additional sugar.

              Overall it was a very enjoyable experience for me. Our service was wonderful especially considering a last minute change to our reservation and them being so accommodating with little to no fuss. I also picked up a few wine names that I enjoyed and will be in search of on my own, I hope they weren't consignment wines. It was very professional in terms of good timing and I'm pleased, but I had always enjoyed them so it's now just a boon for me ;)

          2. re: pinstripeprincess
            f
            foodio Jul 27, 2006 04:31 PM

            Definitely agree with Czehoski, very unassuming, but excellent food...tuna appetizer was incredible. Also agree with fred's not here...the choices guarantee to find something for everyone...and for $25, can't really go wrong.

          3. re: pimentdespelette
            j
            JennaBean Jul 12, 2006 04:00 PM

            I have been to Czehoski before and enjoyed it, however, I wasn't impressed with my Summerlicious experience there last night. While the service was very good (and we tipped well to reflect that) the food was anything but. Knowing what they can produce, and what they did produce last night, I am really unimpressed. In fact, I might even call today to let them know.

          4. j
            jkm Jul 12, 2006 02:55 PM

            Great thread!

            Sorry to hijack, but I think we should post the best deals regardless meal/price.

            I think the Bymark lunch is a great value for the beef tenderloin.

            1. s
              SusanB Jul 12, 2006 04:22 PM

              We enjoyed Batifole's Summerlicious dinner last weekend. Good service, good food, good value. I'll go back.

              1 Reply
              1. re: SusanB
                jennjen18 Jul 13, 2006 02:02 PM

                What did you have at Batifole?

              2. s
                SusanB Jul 13, 2006 04:37 PM

                We both started with potted duck rillettes, served with little cornichons, mustard, etc. (There was also a vichyssoise.) My husband had the baked bass filet that was served with fennel. I had the chicken roasted with herbs and rose wine. Both of these dishes were served in little oven proof dishes - very very hot! The main course was served with frites and green salad - the 2 of us got a bowl of frites and a bowl of salad, to share. The dessert was either creme brulee or chocolate mousse. Servings were more than ample. I thought it was a great deal for $25. My husband does not drink, but I ordered both a cocktail and a glass of wine with my meal. We also had a bottle of sparkling water.

                We live fairly close to the restaurant and have often said that we should give it a try - I'll definitely go back.

                1. f
                  fickle Jul 13, 2006 05:32 PM

                  Went to Signature at the Intercontinental hotel on Bloor street for their summerlicious dinner last night.

                  Two of us had the "Chilled Champagne/Watermelon Soup with Brunoise of Honeydew & Pomegranate", I found it very refreshing but a bit on the sweet side for me. The other 3 had the "Summer Greens with Slow Roasted Olives & Grape Tomatoes, Goat's Cheese Panchetta Vinaigrette" and they all declared that it was okay, nothing exceptional.

                  For mains, 2 of us had the "Seared Moroccan Spiced Cornish Hen with Date & Almond Couscous, Roasted Beets, Tomato Jam". This was the highlight of my meal and for it alone, I thought it was worth the $25 tab. 2 others had Seared Veal Scaloppini with Cherry-Brandy Sauce, Ricotta & Basil Polenta, Crispy Eggplant Batons". The eggplant was the winner on that dish. The polenta was too dense and the veal too dry. 1 person had the " Lemon~Peppercorn Crusted Sole Filet With Garlic Roasted Creamer Potato, Tomato-Avocado Salsa" and he declared it was the most bland entree he's had in a long time.

                  For dessert, I went with the "Warm Apple-Rhubarb Pie Topped with Vanilla-Cheddar Cheese Ice Cream". Not sure what happened to my rhubarb but it didn't make it into my pie. The crust was too dense, not flaky at all and the cheese in the ice cream was too mild, barely there according to my dinner companions. The "Hazelnut Panna Cotta with Fresh Berries, Caramel Sauce & Orange Biscotti" was the better option of the two desserts.

                  I would definitely not list this menu as a "must do" but do give points for their very good cornish hen!

                  Another unexceptional summerlicious dinner was Caju on Tuesday night. One word sums it up...bland! Bland gazpacho, bland Lombo
                  (pork tenderloin with Feijão Tropeiro; sauté of beans, vegetables, choriço, pork crackling, blended with cassava flour, served with cassava chips) and if possible, bland Dark Chocolate Fondant :-(

                  1. j
                    Jenistranslucent Jul 20, 2006 01:46 AM

                    Batifole sounds very nice!

                    My best all-around experience has been at Fred's not Here - the menu selection was very broad. The Crab and Lobster bisque looked and tasted too good to be an appetizer on a $25 menu. I remember my main being good (can't remember exactly what I had - this was last year that I went), and the dessert being fantastic. It was also very nice to be treated like valued customers and not just someone in search of a deal.

                    1. s
                      sway Jul 27, 2006 01:36 AM

                      I was at the Niagara Street Cafe last week with two friends, and the meal was quite good. The appetizer was two lovely grilled sardines, very tasty, probably the best I've had in Canada. The entree was a saffron fish soup, which was nice, very tasty, but not a large portion. My friends had grilled hanger steak in a dijon sauce, which they enjoyed. They served a potato foccacia, which was dense and chewey, not necessarily in a good way. I had the hazelnut chocolate pot du creme, which was rich and decadent, my friend wasn't crazy about the rhubarb custard pudding though. I ordered a large bottle of sparkling water, which I think was around $4, which is probably the last I've paid for a large bottle in any restaurant. All in all, it was a great meal for the price. I'd recommend it for sure!

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