HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
Brewing beer, curing meat, or making cheese? Tell us about it

WINTERLICIOUS -- is out, new price ranges

Dean Tudor Dec 15, 2008 02:15 PM

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

  1. y
    Yum2MyTum Feb 3, 2009 09:06 AM

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

    4 Replies
    1. re: Yum2MyTum
      batbon Feb 3, 2009 11:29 AM

      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
        Yum2MyTum Feb 3, 2009 01:55 PM

        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
          batbon Feb 3, 2009 08:35 PM

          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
            Yum2MyTum Feb 6, 2009 11:59 AM

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

    2. c
      Carruthers Jan 20, 2009 08:55 AM

      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
        torontofoodiegirl Jan 20, 2009 01:33 PM

        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. s
        Suresh Jan 16, 2009 05:47 AM

        so far my list, all $25 dinners

        93 harbord
        7 numbers

        9 Replies
        1. re: Suresh
          juno Jan 16, 2009 07:17 AM

          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
            sloweater Jan 16, 2009 08:07 AM


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

            1. re: juno
              LemonLauren Jan 16, 2009 08:30 PM

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

            2. re: Suresh
              LemonLauren Jan 16, 2009 08:30 PM

              add five doors north and quince

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

              1. re: LemonLauren
                Suresh Jan 17, 2009 06:07 AM

                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
                  chef_vagabond Jan 19, 2009 05:20 AM

                  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
                  evansl Jan 19, 2009 04:49 AM

                  $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
                    childofthestorm Jan 19, 2009 02:48 PM

                    Got some specifics about your experience with Amaya?

                  2. re: LemonLauren
                    Squeakycheese Jan 19, 2009 06:32 PM

                    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. w
                  wonton_noodles Jan 15, 2009 08:56 PM

                  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. b
                    billyli Dec 26, 2008 07:07 AM

                    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. g
                      graydyn Dec 24, 2008 06:47 AM

                      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
                        Negaduck Dec 24, 2008 09:22 AM

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

                        1. re: graydyn
                          gfunk Jan 25, 2009 02:21 PM

                          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. l
                          LemonLauren Dec 23, 2008 03:21 PM

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

                          1. j
                            jgloverwork Dec 23, 2008 02:24 PM

                            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. n
                              Negaduck Dec 16, 2008 05:35 AM

                              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. t
                                tjr Dec 15, 2008 06:35 PM

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

                                1. a
                                  abigllama Dec 15, 2008 05:23 PM

                                  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. s
                                    stephen.p Dec 15, 2008 05:12 PM

                                    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
                                      chef_vagabond Jan 16, 2009 04:40 AM

                                      "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. d
                                      Dean Tudor Dec 15, 2008 02:37 PM

                                      I forgot the URL --


                                      1. t
                                        torontofoodiegirl Dec 15, 2008 02:31 PM

                                        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:


                                        Show Hidden Posts