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WINTERLICIOUS -- is out, new price ranges

Winterlicious begins Jan 30 -- new price ranges go up to $30 lunch and $45 dinner...any takers?

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  1. Interesting... I was just reading an article in Saturday's Star about how Toronto restauranteurs (eg. Marc Thuet and Marc McEwan) are dropping prices. In fact, if I remember correctly, Thuet is now offering a $48 four-course menu. In that context, a $45 Winterlicious meal doesn't seem too appealing...

    The article, if anyone's interested:

    http://www.thestar.com/living/article...

      1. I don't think that's outrageous, but it is getting pretty high. Generally speaking in guidebooks they say 50+ is considered very expensive. My bigger problem is that less than half of the restaurants that participate in Winterlicious don't have food that commands that price point, so it's no longer really a deal.

        Toronto's great at taking really awesome ideas and driving them into the ground

        1 Reply
        1. re: stephen.p

          "Toronto's great at taking really awesome ideas and driving them into the ground"
          Well said ($15 corkage fee is a prime example of that), why do we have to make an event out of prix fixed menus? The Summer/Winterlicous are dreadful for both the staff and the customers. People would be much happier skipping the bruschetta and grilled salmon and order what they really want. I one really wants to save money, just go to Chinatown.

        2. I just scanned the list quickly. It looks like some like Canoe are offering the $30/$45 price point, but much more than half seem to be offering dinner at the usual $35 and some at $25. Had a really good experience with Crush last Winterlicious and they're offering a $35 dinner that looks to be worth that.

          1. Most of the ones I've enjoyed in the past have jumped to $45, with what appear to be skimpier menus.

            1. Attendance would've dropped even if they'd kept prices as they were. The popular places might still get booked but this has FAIL written all over it.

              1. I read the star article about the apparent "stock market has crashed" Thuet $48 fixed menu, but when I called the restaurant they still quoted the old fixed price menu of somewhere around $80.00 pp...

                1. the best places on it are amaya(s) and 93 harbord and quince, for my $25, anyway.

                  1. Has anybody done the 'culinary events' side of Winterlicious?
                    link: http://www.toronto.ca/special_events/...
                    I went to one at Didier last year that was a lot of fun, but I'd really like to hear if people's experiences at the other events were good.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: graydyn

                      The one at Splendido was wonderful. Colborne, not very memorable.

                      1. re: graydyn

                        This year's crop of culinary events looks pretty great... Dining in the Dark and Food + Fashion are sold out, but Lorenzo Lotto's 'Under a Winter Sky' and the Artisanal Brewers event at Todmorden (among others) seem pretty cool.

                        It looks like the 'warm up' series in the WinterCity Festival also have some neat food related events: http://www.toronto.ca/special_events/... ,,, poetry, prosecco and pasta - yum!

                      2. I find that winterlicious is too rush a service and most time the food is sub-par cooked in volume instead of a personal level. I went a few times but stop going since last year and one of the waiter in Tundra said that I could get a better deal during normal weekdays (prix fixe menu).

                        To me food is only one of the many components of a wonderful MEAL!!!

                        I hope most of you agree, especially never on a date on a licious...makes you look cheap.

                        1. Not only do a lot of these Winterlicious restaurants give us lackluster menus/food and shoddy service, but jacking up prices to $45 is in my opinion insulting and spits in the face of the spirit of the event...however I applaud places like Quince (one of my favorite Toronto restaurants) for taking a stand and offering a solid menu at $25

                          1. so far my list, all $25 dinners

                            citizen
                            93 harbord
                            7 numbers
                            cambalache
                            amaya
                            veritas

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: Suresh

                              Summer/Winterlicious was a wonderful idea in its first year, not too bad in its second, and has been in free fall ever since. Most places that participate are a brawl. All most of those three-course prix fixes mean now is that you get a free dessert, and as someone who rarely orders dessert anyway, I'll once again be going to restos that DON'T do Winterlicious this time round - thus avoiding the frantic atmosphere that invariably accompanies the event. Though, as has been pointed out above, Quince and a couple of other places have always done it as right as they can (under the hectic circumstances) at an attractive price - if you like your restaurant desserts.

                              1. re: juno

                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/526486

                                Here is the beginning of a list of restaurants that are not participating in Winterlicious/Summerlicious.

                                1. re: juno

                                  i stand by it as a "way in" for us foodies on budgets

                                2. re: Suresh

                                  add five doors north and quince

                                  $25 at amaya and 93 harbords is a steal and totally worth it

                                  1. re: LemonLauren

                                    Yes exactly, and people are way too quick to judge that service will be surly at restaurants during this festival. It's the same rant every year.
                                    Last year I hit 12 restaurants during winterlicious, and only had 1 bad experience (sopra).

                                    1. re: Suresh

                                      Well said, all I ever to is diss the "liciouses" when they come around. I can choose to skip them, others can choose to enjoy themselves at them. I still think prixe fixes should be more of a norm though and not a special event.

                                    2. re: LemonLauren

                                      $10 at Amaya wouldn't be a steal. It is by far the most overhyped and overrated restaurant this side of Spendido.

                                      1. re: evansl

                                        Got some specifics about your experience with Amaya?

                                      2. re: LemonLauren

                                        I think LL's comment is valid, the only problem I have had (especially with the Summer version) is turning up not wanting to partake in the licious menu but being crowded out by budget grubbers!

                                    3. I had a great experience at Corner House last year and it looks like they have a very similar menu this year. The venison stew with spaetzle was amazing and has turned me into a spaetzle-making fiend. Too bad that they dropped the strawberry dessert rissoto. Would definitely recommend this at $35.

                                      Celestin at $35 looks pretty attractive. I've been during non-licious time and enjoyed myself very much. Does anyone have any experience wtih Celestin during winterlicious?

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Carruthers

                                        Went to Celestin for one of the 'liciouses 2 or 3 years ago and the food was fabulous. I don't recall any service issues, but I think we did the second seating, which is usually better because you won't get rushed out.

                                        I agree that the menu looks excellent this time around also.

                                      2. I'm headed to Quince on Monday for their delicious sounding $25 Winterlicious menu. Has anyone been?

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: Yum2MyTum

                                          I went on Saturday and it was great. Service was friendly if a little bit slow, but that was to be expected since we had a pretty big party. The gnocchi was definitely the winner out of the mains: light and pillowy with nice pieces of brisket to match. People also seemed to love the lamb shank, huge portion but not terribly heavy. For sure worth the $25

                                          1. re: batbon

                                            Great! Thanks batbon. Did anyone with your party try the salmon? I'm a sucker for fish done right and with the wood burning oven, I'm very tempted to try it.

                                            1. re: Yum2MyTum

                                              No probs, unfortunately, the salmon was probably the weakest out of the mains. It was slightly overcooked and the piece that I tried from my friend was a bit fishy...

                                              1. re: batbon

                                                Yikes! Thanks batbon. I'll avoid the salmon...