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Dec 31, 2006 07:53 PM

Winterlicious GOOD portions?

Since winterlicious bookings are coming up, I just wanted to know which restaurants people have had good experiences with who dont skimp on portions and service?

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  1. We haven't gone to a lot of Winterlicious (or Summerlicious) restaurants, but found both the Boulevard Cafe (last winter) and Batifole (summer) to be very good.

    2 Replies
    1. re: SusanB

      Overall, 'licious ha been fairly negative:

      Tutti Matti: very good food and friendly service.
      The Old Mill: food wasn't bad and service good
      Centro: poor food. Service good
      North 44: so-so food. Service good. Horribly overpriced drinks.
      Pangea. Dreadful food and absolutely terrible service.

      1. re: SusanB

        We went back to the Boulevard on the weekend for Winterlicious and again had a really good dinner. They didn't have the appetizer tamales on the menu (and I love tamales), but they more than made up for it with their take on the shrimp cocktail. All 4 of us ordered it. Served in a martini glass, with chunky guacamole and 3 large spicy shrimp with thin strips of crispy tortilla - it was totally delicious. My husband had the Peruvian seafood stew for his main, I ordered mahi mahi and our friends both had the lomito. All 4 of us were very happy with our choices. (There were 3 other fish on the menu, as well as a chicken dish.) 3 of us had key lime pie for dessert, 1 had flan. The dessert serving wasn't large, but after all the other food, it was more than enough. I also had a couple of mojitos - very strong mojitos so I probably should have stopped at 1!

        I really like the Boulevard. I hadn't been there in literally a couple of decades and after last year's Winterlicious, we went back last summer for my birthday dinner. I don't think they participate in Summerlicious and the patio was packed.

        We're going to Batifole next Wednesday.

      2. My experiences at both Winter and Summerlicious have been generally good. Service is usually comparable to regular times, and the portions have generally been decently sized as well. I don't think I've ever felt as if I was being served inferior portions due to the promotion.

        Best experience: Acqua - both the food and the service were fantastic.

        Worst experiences: Filet Of Sole (good service, but horrendous food) and Czehoski (unbelievably bad service, so-so food).

        14 Replies
        1. re: gregclow

          RE: Filet of Sole. Went there for Winterlicious a couple of years ago. This was one of our first experiences with the event and I really enjoyed it. The food we were served was very good, as was the "Winterlicious" wine they served. I'd go there again.

          1. re: sierramum

            Filet of Sole I believe closed down....not too long ago

            1. re: MissKMM

              Thanks for the heads up, MissKMM. I guess I won't be going there again after all, lol!

              1. re: sierramum

                One place I make sure to go to for both winterlicious and summerlicious is Fred's Not Here. Great menu, lots of choices. i believe that Fred's and the Filet have the same owner.

                1. re: debtrav

                  thats funny b/c just below someone said it was terrible. What kind of experience have you had in the past?

                  1. re: hungryabbey

                    Fred's was great 15 years ago. Freds has very poor recently. It's a big menu with many cooks, so you might get a good meal on occasion, but you would just be lucky. It has been a blah resto for a long time.

                    Fred has closed three of his other places, including Filet of Sole. Maybe Fred is actually there now and it has gotten better, but I wouldn't bother. They usually have a fixed price menu option on all of the time anyway.

                    1. re: embee

                      fair enough. Thanks for the warnings everyone, definetly wont be choosing that one as a top winterlicious pick

                    2. re: hungryabbey

                      Just had lunch at Fred's and it was great. We made a dinner reservation for Sunday and can't wait to go.

                    3. re: debtrav

                      Yeah, we found Fred's surprisingly good when we went there a couple of 'liciouses back. I remember the lobster bisque in particular being quite good. Based on my experience at Filet of Sole, I'm glad to see that the owner closed it down in favour of concentrating on Fred's & The Red Tomato.

                      1. re: gregclow

                        I went to Freds with my friends last Summerlicious, the service was average but the place was packed. As for the food, the food was excellent (it was sort of like a factory atmosphere with the same plates coming out of the kitchen!). But the portions were of good size (filling), especially liked the steak, they did it exactly the way we wanted it. I'd definitely go back there! (It was for dinner by the way, for 25 bucks, great deal)

                        1. re: sexyaznboy

                          my first licious experience at fred's was pretty good. lots of options, nice plating, great portions but it all fell apart for me this past summer.

                          the food was so ridiculously greasy, overcooked and heavy that i cannot recommend it anymore for a 'licious event. by no means am i expecting culinary excellence... but the drek i ate was horrific and i wish it upon no one else. i ended up eating what i could find edible on my plate and left this ridiculous pile of "chinese noodles" stewing in it's own drippings. someone at my table did have the steak and it was the best thing had, i'm still not sure that says very much though.

                          the service however, was delightful.

                          1. re: pinstripeprincess

                            OK, I have to ask: what possessed you to order "Chinese noodles" at Fred's Not Here?

                            1. re: estragon

                              it was the side to the duck three ways. greasy overcooked dry duck with a pile of gross noodles listed as a "chinese noodle salad"... i was really hoping there was a salad.

                              1. re: pinstripeprincess

                                mmm...I had the calamari as an appetizer which was a decent sized portion, grant it there could have been more. I didn't think it was overly greasy, and had the steak and frites for the main course and it was done well, the chocolate cake was very good but again slightly smaller than I expected, then again, I shouldn't stuff myself silly anyways! LOL

            2. thanks for the suggestions guys. any more? There are soo many restaurants doing it, I just dont want to pick a not so great one

              1. Hmmm... Waterlicious and the Bummer in the Summer... I won't go to either of these events any more because it is so annoying watching patrons who expect servers and restaurants to have ample tables for them, serve heaping portions (even though the food/labour costs during this time mean that many restaurants barely break even) and then order water with their meals (not a crime, I don't drink either right now, but really the servers kill themselves with way overbooked sections and the expectations of all diners...) On two occasions I watched as diners really screamed at two servers (different restaurants) because they felt they were receiving inadequate portions. The servers were gracious and had bussers bring extra bread and spread to the table - what else can they do? The diners then left no tips... This hardly seems fair. I'm glad to hear that some people really genuinely appreciate how hard the staff at restaurants work at these difficult times... Just another opinion on the matter.

                1 Reply
                1. re: cchrish

                  oh no I do completely understand it from a servers perspective. I too, have done the job and no matter what people think, it is NOT easy. I defiently do not expect heaping portions no matter where I go as I think this is probably a good deal. Im just wondering where I can get the BEST deal ;)

                2. My experiences from the last round:
                  Good (great menu, great service, adequate portions): North 44, Auberge du Pommier
                  Not so good (small portions, left hungry): Zucca
                  Bad (snooty service, food inadequate on all counts): Thuet

                  Overall, any Oliver and Bonaccini restaurant is a good bet. McEwen (North 44, Bymark) seems to take the event seriously as well.

                  As for the rest, I don't condone bad customer behaviour for any reason, but if restaurants are really "barely breaking even" (as cchrish says) and resent it, they don't have to take part. It is, after all a voluntary program.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: estragon

                    My experience with Auberge du Pommier last winter was different -- indifferent, gluey food, and forgetful service. Canoe, on the other hand, was spectacular in every way. Hard to get a reservation, but worth it!

                    I'm always surprised when restaurants see this as an opportunity to dish up indifferent food to large numbers of people. It would seem to defeat the purpose of introducing your wares to a public who might later return and spend some money. Surely it's important to put your best foot (and food) forward.