This posting is for anyone that has ever suffered through a substandard summerlicious/winterlicious dining experience. I think it would make sense to compile a list of the best restaurants NOT participating in summerlicious.
Think of it as an oasis in a desert of rushed service, tiny portions, and substandard preparation.
531 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M5A1V1, CA
1158 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4W2L9, CA
37 Prince Arthur Ave, Toronto, ON M5R1B2, CA
669 Queen St W, Toronto, ON M6J1E6, CA
Jacobs & Co
12 Brant Street, Toronto, ON M5V 2M1, CA
619 Mount Pleasant Rd, Toronto, ON M4S2M5, CA
57 Adelaide St E, Toronto, ON M5C1K6, CA
974 College Street, Toronto, ON M4Y, CA
Here are a bunch of places on my to-go list (plus a few I've been to) that are not on Summerlicious. These are all over the map in terms of type, budget and geography.
Abbot on the Hill (I know pubs aren't on Summerlicious but still)...
By The Way (I know this will get dissed but I like it)
Carens Wine Bar
any of the Jamie Kennedy restos
Lai Wah Heen
Niagara Street Cafe
Rebel House (again, a pub)
(NOT a chef)
111 Queen Street East, Toronto, ON M5C 1S2, CA
1068 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4W2L4, CA
354 King St E, Toronto, ON M5A1K9, CA
2009 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4S 1Z8, CA
Lai Wah Heen
108 Chestnut St, Toronto, ON M5G 1R3, CA
Niagara Street Cafe
169 Niagara St, Toronto, ON M5V1C9, CA
896 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4M, CA
By The Way
400 Bloor St W, Toronto, ON M5S1X5, CA
9 Church St, Toronto, ON M5E1M2, CA
93 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1G4, CA
40 Wellington St E, Toronto, ON M5E1C7, CA
96 Tecumseth St, Toronto, ON M6J2H1, CA
946 Royal York Rd, Toronto, ON M8X2E5, CA
Abbot on the Hill
1276 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4T1W5, CA
82 Ontario Street, Toronto, ON M5A 2V3, CA
2150 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4S 2A8, CA
158 Cumberland St, Toronto, ON M5R1A8, CA
134 Avenue Rd, Toronto, ON M5R2H6, CA
169 King St. E., Toronto, ON M5A 1J4, CA
856 College St, Toronto, ON M6H1A2, CA
503 College St, Toronto, ON M6G1A5, CA
STEAK (the restaurant) was absolutely awful.. the most bland and chewy steak i've ever had.. it was basically them giving you a big slab of tasteless meat.. even the fries were bad... the only thing good was the key lime pie... but that you can get anywhere... the soup was a bit weird tasting as well... will not return even if they paid me.
I'm not looking to bash restaurants that participate in Summerlicious. I'm trying to find great restaurants to go to during Summerlicious that are NOT participating. Why? Like pinkskittles, and others that post on Chowhound, I am usually disaapointed with the Summerlicious experience - even at restaurants that I am normally quite happy to go to the rest of the year. My experience with Summerlicious is that most, but not all, restaurants are more concerned with cashing in on the Summerlicious craze. The result: rushed and harried service with meals that are not as good as they usually are leaving me feeling disappointed.
Where is one to go in early July?
i love banu on queen west. fabulous if you like organic meat. ezra's pound is good for smoked salmon.
neither of these places are pretentious w/ small portions, but the latter is a little more laid back, it's a cafe.
live organic food bar is nice fresh for summer.
summerlicious isn't too bad, i like it, but i always feel disappointed by the places i go to..