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Winterlicious/Summerlicious experiences?

I tend to avoid whole Winterlicious/Summerlicious. I've heard so many negatives, I tend to only go to fine restaurant about once every two weeks, maybe three times a month if I am lucky. I've heard so many negatives from both foodies, and those in the kitchen of restaurants, that it's not worth it.

"You get what you pay for," said a friend who works at North. "How do you expect a $30 fixed menu to be as good as a $30 appetizer...it just isn't."

But there are so many restaurants that I want to try, and it seems unless I am willing to spend a few thousand, this is the only way. Is Winterlicious/Summerlicious worth it? Or is it like how my friend said? You won't get the whole experience, and you won't know how it is really like because you're paying for a sub-standard meal at these restaurants?

What's your opinions?

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  1. The previous 340+ conversations regarding Winterlicious alone available via the Search function:

    http://chowhound.chow.com/search?sear...

    6 Replies
    1. re: BodyByCheese

      I don't know about you but weeding through 340+ conversations is a daunting task that many of us don't have time for. We all know the search function is available but sometimes it just makes sense to ask again. Stonedtoronto has asked a legitimate question and I really hope someone is able to shed some light on Winterlicious/Summerlicious since I don't have any first hand experience.

      Toronto hounds have lead me to places that I never would have found on my own and for that I am very grateful. They also have a weath of knowledge they love to share. So let's let them share.

      1. re: jillybean38

        My point is that people have taken the time to make recommendations regarding Winterlicious at enormous length already. Should they be cast aside, when the answer to an inquiry is surely easily found within?

        The poster is looking for general experiences. Every single post on Winterlicious is an experience, so he/she woudn't have a hard time finding quality advice. If he/she were looking for something specific, like finding a needle in a haystack, then I would agree that using the Search isn't a good idea. But when you just want to read about other people's experiences, I stand by my suggestion.

        1. re: BodyByCheese

          I did try searching for it, but came up with nothing substantial. But your link is very helpful, thank you.

          But yes, I was looking for general experiences. I just joined CH, so I am still quite "green", so you'll have to excuse my newbie-like question. But thank you nonetheless for the search link.

            1. re: stonedtoronto

              hey stonedtoronto, don't get scared off! We need fresh blood, I mean, um, fresh perspectives on this board.

        2. re: BodyByCheese

          I find many of the responses to previous threads are old i.e. I went to restaurant "A" two years ago for winterlicious and had a horrible meal.. many first time winterlicious restaurants get overwhelmed by the crowds and cant cope but by the second time the get things working right.. also there are new places added every year and ones taken off. The best question would be what was the "Summerlicious 2008 highlights" as they would be the best indication of good winterlicious experiences..

        3. If you are a regular patron at those restaurants and try their licious menu, you are bound to be disappointed. But if you only go to those places at these events, then it is worthwhile because you are trying something new, but you still won't really be trying out that restaurant, esp. the high end ones, since it's a special "cheap" menu.

          I tried a couple without much expectation and all have been pleasant.

          1. I think the 'licious concept is designed for those that rarely if ever eat out. It's hell on wheels to those who are used to the dining experience...and I'm speaking of patrons and kitchen staff alike. There's a reason Mark McEwan refers to it as winter/summer-vicious.

            1. Sometimes it's worth it, but mostly not-so-much.

              Generally speaking I think your friend is right - a 'licious meal can't match the regular experience.... food budgets have been slashed, tables turn fast, and servers can get surly. But there are hidden gems, and the best way to find them is to start digging through that archive to which you've been directed by BBC.

              PS - we did OK at Tutti Matti.

              1. If you go to a fine dining restaurant ever two weeks how have you not been to every nice place in the city yet anyway? That's over a 25 per year.