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Summerlicious 2010 edition

Hey all,

Once again we are in another season-licious installment. After a first-time bad experience long ago, followed up by reading what seemed to be only negative reviews here I've stayed away for years.

But I AM the eventual optimist, actually had a look on the official city website and am curious again. Is it possible to have a novel, reasonably-priced meal that would entice me to return to that restaurant during the rest of the year? Or will it be a foodservice-assembly-line experience about turnover where all I am is a few measly bux for the owner and a nuisance to the staff?

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  1. I'm not from the area, but local friends took us to Byzantium on Saturday night and the summerlicious menu was huge (6-7 apps, 6-7 mains, 3 desserts) and all 4 of us were very pleased with our dinners for $25.

    9 Replies
    1. re: L2k

      We'll see. We generally stay away but have decided to make a reservation at Lucien. Never been and looking forward to it. Hopefully I will be pleasantly surprised and maybe even reformed.

      1. re: millygirl

        Lucien was great for me
        I had the Tomato water gazpacho, steak, and the rice pudding. The gazpacho was great. Straightforward but light and well executed. The steak was done with filet which was kind of dissapointing and it was a little overcooked. I can understand it's not gonna be really red inside but it was a bit tough for sous vide filet. The rice pudding was spot on and was topped with puffed rice that really brought needed texture to the dish.

        Overall good value for $45 for lucien.

        -----
        Lucien
        36 Wellington St E, Toronto, ON M5E1C7, CA

        1. re: CoffeeAddict416

          Maybe I'm just nitpicking here but "disappointed" and "a little overcooked" doesn't sound like a great meal to me.

          1. re: millygirl

            $ 45 ? For 2 ? What was included for that price? Was it + tip and drinks? I'd like to know more.

            1. re: lamaranthe

              I've never heard of a steak cooked sous vide?? I imagine it would be real diffecult to control the doneness.

              1. re: gogomiser

                you can cook just about anything sous vide and if you know what you're doing it is possible to control the doneness but it requires many rounds of practice - trial and error!

                1. re: JennaBean

                  sous vide wouldn't be my first choice of methods to cook a steak but to each he's/her own I guess.

              2. re: lamaranthe

                I believe CoffeeAddict was referring to the $45/3 course meal.... that is per person, excluding drinks, tip and tax.

        2. re: L2k

          We had an excellent meal at Byzantium last night. Large portions, delicious food and excellent service. Neighbourhood standbys are usually a safe bet for 'licious good times.

          There were five of us, everyone was happy with their food but the curried chicken with egg noodles and fresh veggies was outstanding.

        3. Just back from a delicious experience at Starfish. Our first time at Starfish and lucked into their Summerlicious lunch menu as that was not the reason we went. Their 4 oyster (so fresh!) starter alone would have been $11.00 on their normal menu, but we had those plus perfectly cooked rainbow trout mains and dessert (so-so strawberry shortcake) for only $20. each. Count this as a big thumbs up as a Summerlicious experience.

          4 Replies
          1. re: T Long

            Good for Starfish!! Great for you...

            1. re: Full tummy

              I thought of going there for dinner, but found that their lunch and dinner Summerlicious menus are exactly the same! I am not going to pay almost double the price just for dining at night.

              1. re: Teep

                I noticed that the menus were similar too. I suspect the dinner portions are more generous than at lunchtime.

                1. re: Teep

                  Isn't nice to be able to read menus and compare?

            2. Did Bymark for Summerlicious lunch last Friday. It was OUTSTANDING. For Summerlicious they just may leave out an ingredient (i.e., no quail's egg on the variegated aspargus salad...no biggie for me), but some of the dishes you'd see on their regular menu. The dessert was small but perfect. Everyone was thrilled with their meal, and the service was as usual excellent.

              4 Replies
              1. re: MeMeMe

                Did Crush for dinner on Friday and it was fantastic. One of more interesting menus for 'licious.
                Seafood trio was very tasty, oyster, poached shrimp & grilled calamari, followed by the orzo salad and then the doughnuts. Delicious.

                1. re: Pebbles

                  Just returned from dinner at Edward Levesque's Kitchen. They were unprepared and the place was PACKED with two wait staff working very very hard.
                  I was delighted with my choice of grilled calamari, the burger and the carrot cake.
                  My friends were equally happy with their vichysoisse and fattoush salad.
                  Definetely not one of our best experiences but then again we have been doing this for 5 years (both winter and summer).

                  -----
                  Edward Levesque's
                  1290 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4L1C4, CA

                  1. re: domesticgodess

                    domesticgodess, if you are down to places like Edward Levesque's I would serioulsy consider quitting the entire S/Wlicious events. LOL!! Just kidding. I am happy that you were pleased with your selections.

                    I've had a couple of really BAD scary visits there in terms of both food and service. Don't know where he gets his meat but the last time, hubby's veal chop was inedible for the gristle. I can't believe he still packs them in.

                2. re: MeMeMe

                  We got last minute reservation for two at Bymark for tonight (Wednesday night). I got the reservation by calling, despite no availability on their online reservation system. When we got there at 6:15 pm, a few tables were free. By the time we left at 7:30 pm, about half the tables were free.

                  We started with the seared tuna and spicy tomato soup with shrimp. Both were good. Mains were gnocchi and lamb. The lamb was cooked to perfection and melt in your mouth. Dessert was banana cake with caramel sauce and chocolate eclair with chocolate gelato. The banana cake was very good while the eclair was ok.

                  We also order a lobster poutine from the regular menu. While tasty, we found the lobster to be tough!

                  Overall, good service with good food.

                  -----
                  Bymark
                  66 Wellington St. W, Toronto, ON M5K 1J3, CA

                3. Try Caju. It was a first time for us, and a real find for Brazilian cuisine. Will return for more!
                  Attentative,friendly, service, albeit on the slow side, perhaps maybe because it is summerlicious time.
                  Any other great finds will be much appreciated to hear about.

                  1. I usually try to avoid summerlicious as well as have had poor experiences in the past. A friend organized a dinner at the Drake last weekend..menu looked really good. We ended up ordering some things off the menu, as well as a few bottles of good wine. I still felt like the server treated us rather poorly cause some of us did stick with the summerlicious menu. I have to say that the food items were NOT impressive..what looked good on the menu translated to pretty lame on the plate. Unfortunate...now I have no desire to return for their regular menu.

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