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Jun 15, 2008 08:08 AM

Summerlicious 2008 must try restaurants

I'm going to Toronto during summerlicious for a weekend. Unfortunately for me, my friends aren't that rich and they don't want to have fine cuisine dining all weekend (beside, in a weekend, we NEED to have siu long pao, korean bbq, all you can eat sushi.. i'm from montreal.. it's not that great there :P) so we decided to go to one restaurant in the summerlicious list of restaurants. What would be the ONE restaurant i should try? I have been told that Canoe is a really good restaurant and that i should try it. Do you guys have other suggestions? My criteria is... good tasting food and a nice venue (not as important). Type of cuisine isn't important, i'm just compiling a list and then talk to my friends about it

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  1. Canoe would no doubt be a really good choice, but I've heard it can be tough to get reservations during the 'liciouses. Plus, they're not open to the public on the weekend, so you would have to go on Friday night.

    I've taken a quick look at the menus for Summerlicious this year and, personally, I think the menu at Celestin (which is a great restaurant, IMHO), looks very yummy but it's really a matter of personal taste. I would suggest checking out the SL menus that are posted online for each of the restaurants you're considering and see what tickles your fancy because, even if you might ordinarily enjoy a restaurant, you might not be too enthused with the 2 or 3 options they have on the SL menu.

    Some of the other restaurants on the SL list that are, IMHO, worth visiting are: Auberge du Pommier, Fat Cat, Globe Bistro, North 44, Quince, Starfish, the Rosebud, and Thuet. Some that I don't think merit a special trip are: Alize, Autogrill, Bier Markt, Cfood, City Grill, Five Doors North, Jaipur Grille, Oliver and Bonacini, Seven Numbers, the Host, and Vittorio's. Not that I'm saying that these are bad restaurants (in fact, I quite like a lot of them); it's just that they're nothing special, and if you can eat at a really top-notch restaurant for $35 I think you'd be better off.

    Let us know where you end up, and what you think.

    11 Replies
    1. re: torontofoodiegirl

      don't know if Rosebud has done Summerlicious before but they're not on the list for this year...

      1. re: JamieK

        Wow - I've now officially lost my mind... Looked at the list, and somehow imagined Rosebud was on it (perhaps Rosedale Diner and Rosewater confused me??). Thanks JamieK!

        1. re: JamieK

          They are on there, but listed alphabetically as "The Rosebud".

          1. re: nicopop

            Well, it's still quite possible that my mind has gone, but I feel a bit better having had that pointed out. Thanks nicopop.

            1. re: torontofoodiegirl

              apologies to all, the kinds of lists I usually deal with ignore the "The".

        2. re: torontofoodiegirl

          I would have to agree regarding Celestin, Auberge and Thuet. You may also wish to consider the Corner House which I've always found to be quite good, some reviews here notwithstanding, and with what many consider to be a "Chef's Chef" at the helm.

          As for Canoe, if you have an Amex, you can call early but if you do not, don't count on getting in.

          1. re: tikiliberationfront

            I was actually considering starting a thread "how to snag Canoe reservation during summerlicious."

            I do have an AMEX, but have found it utterly impossible to get through. Last year I just showed up at the restaurant at 9am on the first day of reservations, but even that didn't work (was told I must phone in).

            Anyone have any insight, other than "redial, redial, redial?"

            1. re: non sequitur

              so, the restaurant opens at 11:45am for lunch, do they start taking reservations earlier than that? if they do, does anyone know what time?

              1. re: non sequitur

                Go there.. tell them you want the regualr menu and its a business meeting.. they will find a spot for you.. then when you arrive for the reservation "under the rules of the licious" they must give you the licious menu if you ask for it..

                1. re: OnDaGo

                  Sounds like a good way to start off on the wrong foot if you ask me.

                  1. re: millygirl

                    Yes but the foot will be in the door... :-)

          2. I strongly recommend Batifole. I've been to summerlicious and winterlicious and have always enjoyed every meal. The restaurant is very casual and the tables a bit close, but the food is the star'll really enjoy eating.
            A huge list of wines from all over France.

            1 Reply
            1. re: lonestartor

              I generally like Batifole, but I was incredibly disappointed with my last visit there, and I have to say that their Summerlicious menu is extremely limited and just doesn't grab my fancy at all. Do check out menus before you pick any place.

            2. Greg Couillard's Spice Room and Chutney Bar did a fantastic menu for winterlicious, and was the bargain of the season. The jump-up soup is legendary, and he's repeating the molten chocolate dessert.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Snarf

                He may have had a temperamental past, but he's hit his stride now. Agree with the Couillard Spice Room pick.

              2. i have my eye on Veritas, Quince and Rosedale Diner this time around - for personal preferences based on menu items, only.

                i loved Five Doors North last year and Boiler House three years ago.

                1 Reply
                1. re: LemonLauren

                  I have not seen the menu from the boulevard cafe on Harbord yet but they have always had a good selection for summerlicious.

                2. wow! thanks for all the suggestions! i looked at the menu of the restaurants you guys have suggested, so far, Canoe's menu caught my attention.. it's so.. exotic and sounds great.. the dessert sounds sinful as hell hahaha North 44 sounds pretty neat too

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: mak2k

                    Trying to get through on phone right now (canoe)... no dice (30 mins now)

                    1. re: non sequitur

                      My friends and I have done Canoe twice now, as I had the time to stay on the telephone hitting redial for 3 hours (yes, that is how long it took to get through). Today, the three of us tried and just gave up after two hours.

                      Hint: when you hear the telephone ringing and ringing and ringing YOU ARE IN- DON'T HANG UP! Just let it ring and eventually someone will pick up that line and speak with you.

                      But I did manage to get through to Bymark after a half hour.

                      1. re: non sequitur

                        After much patience and persistence I finally got through and made a reservation at Canoe for dinner. I called this morning for 1/2 hour and after lunch for 1/2 hour, but at 2 pm I called again and finally got through to a tape. The tape warned about the high volume of calls and to be patient. Next the voice indicated to press 1 for a summerlicious host. Finally after about 25 minutes a live voice came on the phone and I got my reservation and she was so very cheerful I forgot about the long waits.
                        So there you go....I'm off to Canoe for summerlicious :)