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Winterlicious 2012 menus are out - anything CH worthy?

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Saw the list of restaurants participating in this year's Winterlicious. Some of the usual restaurants and some new ones... anything looks appetizing or worthy of trying to this Chowhound group?

http://wx.toronto.ca/inter/se/restaur...

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  1. I might use it as a chance to try out Scarpetta as I see they are featured this year and they have their signature dishes on the menu. Polenta for starter and spaghetti for main . I just realized I missed out on a $50 prix fix that ended Oct 6th there that included additional food and wine pairing. Oh well!

    Looks like some new spots on this round of 'licious though. I don't think I did any last summer but usually I would do 2 or 3. I am sure there will be a lot of debate about whether or not it is worth it like there always is when the 'licious topic comes up but it would be nice to focus on finding the "needles" in the haystack so to speak. Good spots that are solid bets for you dining dollars.

    11 Replies
    1. re: ylsf

      FYI, Scarpetta signature Sundays offers the same menu I think. I remember that the Sunday menu has the polenta and spaghetti and is $35. So if that's what you're interested in trying, you might be better off going on a Sunday instead of during Winterlicious. (no matter when you go, it's definitely worth going just for the polenta - so good!)

      1. re: ggom1

        Oh great, thanks for the heads up on that. Yeah, will likely do a normal Sunday instead then!

      2. re: ylsf

        I went to Scarpetta with a group of 6 last night. I had the polenta, spaghetti and coconut panna cotta - all were very good. The only thing that irked me was an 18% gratuity included that we only found out about at the end.

        1. re: danniii

          why is that a problem? Almost all places charge 15 to 20 percent for a larger group. Was your service bad?

          1. re: JennaBean

            Service was adequate. I'm just not used to mandatory gratuity for less than 8 people.

            1. re: danniii

              I think at may places it is six people or more. Marben, Beast, Le Select, Cava, just to name a few. If you are concerned with such a thing you should always check in advance. In a group of six or more I think you should expect autograt unless otherwise stated.

              1. re: danniii

                We had an enjoyable lunch at Frank in the AGO today. There were 3 of us and a 15% gratuity is added to ALL bills.

                1. re: T Long

                  Must be a winterlicious thing - I go to Frank frequently and have never seen an "autograt". Probably to ensure that the servers don't get stiffed by what may be perceived as a ... More frugal clientele.

                  1. re: justxpete

                    If so, that's a terrible thing to do imo. Maybe they just started a new policy because of their cheap regulars...

                      1. re: justxpete

                        Pan on the Danforth has been adding 15% gratuity to the bill,

        2. its funny...
          i just took a look at Bymark's dinner and wondered: "for $4 more, is there any difference in taste or value between that and Ruby Watchco?"

          1. I liked past 'licious meals at Mistura, and have found their 'licious meals to be one of the better values, as the top level of 'licious dinners go.

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            Mistura
            265 Davenport Rd, Toronto, ON M5R1J9, CA

            2 Replies
            1. re: prima

              Totally agree with the Mistura rec. It's my go-to 'licious spot. The pasta is always great and they really know how to take care of their customers.

              1. re: Hondapendragon

                Went to Mistura last night for Winterlicious and was not disappointed. Delicious and very inspired food (squid ink braised calamari was a bit daunting to look at but was so tender and flavourful) as well as attentive service. Definitely the best 'licious we had this year.
                Also made it to Peter Pan for lunch... Sweet pea risotto was surprisingly tasty. They were pretty busy so service was a bit lacking.
                Cafe la Gaffe on Baldwin for dinner was also very busy but my app of beef carpaccio and main of chicken breast were both good, not fantastic. 2 others had the steak and were very disappointed with it.
                We also made it to Zucca Trattoria and were very pleased with it - Started w sausage and chestnut patties with polenta and the ceviche - both very good. Then had the lamb and artichoke parpadelle and the steak. Parpadelle was obviously made in house, very nice flavour and the steak was perfectly cooked with.... wait for it.... duck fat roasted potatoes. SO GOOD.

            2. Any of these for lunch: Biff's, Bymark, Jump, Canoe.

              1. Has anyone made some reservations or know of some good menus?

                2 Replies
                1. re: .alias

                  Senses menu looks really good this year

                  1. re: .alias

                    Was at Ouzeri On the Danforth this evening for Winterlicious. I was impressed with the size of portions and the attentive service. Mind you it wasn't that busy. The vegetarian mousaka was very flavourful. For starters we each had Mezes which consists of taramosalata, humus, melitzanosalata served with grilled pita. The better half had the souvlaki and it was pretty much what you would expect. Desert was a coin toss but I selected the Loukomades and was not disappointed. I have heard that Winterlicious portions could be a little cut back at some places however we were both stuffed. Our server put the Winterlicious menu right out and encouraged us to order from it. All in all, good meal and excellent value. $25pp