HOME > Chowhound > Ontario (inc. Toronto) >
What are you cooking today? Tell us about it
TELL US

Winterlicious Menus are up: Jan 25 - Feb 7, 2013...

d
Dean Tudor Dec 11, 2012 08:07 PM

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

Flail away...

  1. f
    frostie Feb 5, 2013 04:16 PM

    I ventured to dinner at Colborne Lane ($45) and Creme Brasserie ($35) this year - I was quite impressed with both restaurants, but my expectations for Winterlicious are never really that high.
    The service at Creme Brasserie was excellent, and the food was not bad either - the roasted Cornish hen was very moist and flavourful! Duck salad and tiramisu were good as well. Definitely recommended for regular menu and 'licious events.
    Colborne lane was great as well, with good service and food. The service was a little below par, but the food definitely made up for it. The pickled Irish salmon was the best dish in my opinion. This one is also recommended!

    1. d
      Dean Tudor Feb 4, 2013 08:31 PM

      Just back from 93 Harbord...

      $25 for supper (no lunches).

      Started with apps: roasted eggplant (ok), three four inch calamari grilled with tentacles (fab), moved on to Irish organic salmon (three inches thick, tasty melt in your mouth, rawish in middle), lamb steak tagine (melt in your mouth again), both sided with grilled baby bok choy and couscous or rice. Dessert was walnut baclava or berries. Great deal for price.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Dean Tudor
        l
        LemonLauren Feb 6, 2013 10:07 AM

        always thought this was one of the best Licious deals along with Tabule!

      2. a
        ace123 Feb 4, 2013 07:43 AM

        I was pleasantly surprised by the $15 lunch at Against the Grain. Good food and good service. Free parking on the weekend and after 6pm on the weekdays.

        1. b
          bringonthelbs Feb 3, 2013 09:58 PM

          Had dinner at Globe last night. Thought it was off the grid enough that things would be comparable to a regular night there, plus they had more than the standard "chicken/salmon" on the menu.

          Service was great. Attentive without being overbearing and funny to joke around with. The food was okay.... not great, but just okay. The portions though were definitely Winterlicious-ized. The apps were great in flavour but small in size. The seared tuna was fresh and nicely dressed, but two pieces about 1" x 1" just wasn't enough. The pork croquettes were amazing - if on the regular menu they would be a regular occurrence - but there were only three tiny little balls.

          Mains were the braised short ribs and mushroom fettuccine. Ribs were fine but again small in size - about 1 rib. Maybe a little less tender than desired but still quite good. Fettuccine had an incredible assortment of mushrooms and a strong woody taste to boot. A little on the oily side, but a winner all around.

          Overall, a good but basic dinner but for Winterlicious a little overpriced. Two Winterlcious dinners + a lower priced bottle of wine was $160. I think we could have gone to Earth for regular price and spent less with larger portions and maybe a little more love put into the food.

          1. d
            Dean Tudor Feb 3, 2013 06:46 PM

            Just back from lunch at Toula. Exemplary service, food portions substantial. Salads meagre, croutons dreadful, but lots of smoked salmon, crispy cornish hen well napped, three slices of veal tenderloin (very tender), their famous "affogato" dessert, tiramisu. Well worth $20 a head for lunch, and great view of the city from the 38th floor of Hotel Westin Harbour Castle.

            Did I say we had a lot of food for lunch? Five knots of bread too..

            1 Reply
            1. re: Dean Tudor
              y
              ylsf Feb 3, 2013 08:28 PM

              Interesting. THis place is on my "do not go to list" based on past reviews (mainly 'licious reviews).... Maybe I will re-consider it for lunch in the future.

            2. Food Tourist Feb 2, 2013 10:26 PM

              Canoe. Amazing. Go.

              1. r
                rstuart Feb 2, 2013 07:08 PM

                Just had another great meal at Biff's. I'd never tried it before, but I think that I saw it recommended on last year's Summerlicious thread. Anyway, very glad I went.

                1. chocabot Feb 2, 2013 06:41 AM

                  We tried Crush as walk in at lunch. The room seemed dated but cozy and there were enough other tables to consider it busy.

                  The 'licious menus were not given out unless requested though otherwise service was very attentive and genuinely friendly.

                  Comped bread quality was only ok but at least warm.
                  Starter soup and salad well portioned and certainly better than average.
                  Main beef cheek on barley risotto with sweet potato was definitely the highlight and perfectly executed.
                  Sticky toffee dessert was not too sweet which i generally prefer, but needed more spice or sweet (!)

                  The suggested red was well chosen as well.

                  For $20 Crush was worth it.

                  1. Sooeygun Feb 1, 2013 06:38 AM

                    Well, I had my first truly bad 'licious experience. Didier last night. I want to start by saying I rarely send food back and I have never left a restaurant mid-meal.

                    Appetizer was country terrine. Delicious with a nice side of greens with a dijon dressing that complemented the terrine perfectly.

                    Mr. S had the duck for main course. Nice crisp skin, tender meat. Very tasty. I had the salmon (salmon wrapped around a filling of salmon mousse and veggie garnish) on something that I never got to and beurre blanc. After my first bite, I got the filling which was cold (not even room temp), mousse still runny.

                    Finally got the attention of someone to take it back (service was not great overall). Mr. S asked that they take his meal and keep it warm.

                    Plate comes out again (same piece of salmon) and this time it was barely body temp in the centre. I flipped the top off to be sure and the mousse and salmon at the bottom where it wrapped around were only half cooked.

                    Finally got attention of a server (you would think that someone might have wanted to check to see if my meal was now okay, but no). I told him that I had really lost interest in this dish and asked if I could get something else. He said he would send over our waiter (who I had not seen since ordering...all food was delivered by runners). I heard him telling this to someone around the corner, but our waiter never returned.

                    Waited and waited and finally Mr S (whose food was sitting in front of him getting cold) asked me if I wanted to leave. He went to find our coats and while he was gone my salmon arrived again...same piece of salmon, reassembled. Server said if I still had a problem, the chef suggested mussels. I said that we were actually going to leave. Mr S came back and asked that the server get the manager to meet us at the front.

                    Some guy in a ball cap came out of the kitchen (I'll call him the chef; he didn't introduce himself). Mr S explained the situation. Chef said 'I would expect you will pay for the food you have eaten'. No apology, nothing. It was never our intention to pay nothing. We paid and left.

                    The only person who apologized was one of the runners who looked after getting us the bill (and he said earlier he was new). In fact, while we were paying the bill, our waiter started to walk into the bar, saw us and turned around and went another way.

                    When I first sent my meal back, I said to Mr S that I didn't mind a mistake, but the true test was how they dealt with that mistake. I'll give them an 'F' for that test.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Sooeygun
                      y
                      ylsf Feb 1, 2013 11:30 AM

                      Yikes... Curious then, how much did they charge you for the food? Just for the normal menu price of the apps and for Mr. S's main? (not sure if he ate the duck)...

                      I have read really bad service reviews in the past for Didier and stuff like this is the reason why it is on my "do not go to ever" list..... I don't know if they are limited to 'licious issues either...

                      1. re: ylsf
                        Sooeygun Feb 4, 2013 07:20 AM

                        Menu price for the apps, drinks.

                        Except for a visit to Acqua several years ago, all of my 'licious experiences have been good. Sometimes the service is a little rushed if the restaurant is packed, but at Didier, the restaurant was mostly empty (we were alone when we arrived and by the time we left, there were about 4 other tables) and I saw 4 guys working in the dining room.

                        1. re: Sooeygun
                          estufarian Feb 4, 2013 12:48 PM

                          Four guys working!
                          That's up 300% from my experience!

                          1. re: estufarian
                            Sooeygun Feb 4, 2013 02:13 PM

                            There could be 40 guys, but if they are all ignoring your table, it's not much better.

                      2. re: Sooeygun
                        t
                        TeacherFoodie Feb 1, 2013 03:35 PM

                        Also had Winterlicious at Didier (last year) and was not pleased with the service. I felt like we were a nuisance for the servers.

                        Sorry you had a bad experience. That seems to be an unfortunate theme with Winterlicious.

                      3. m
                        mammoth Jan 31, 2013 03:40 PM

                        Had a nice lunch with a friend on Sunday at Banu. We were not really familiar with Iranian food so we wanted to check it out. We each ordered something different so we could share and taste each other's dishes. We started with the Potage (noodles, lentils) and Mirza Ghasemi (eggplant). Both were very good although my friend thought the Mirza was burnt. I guess she wasn't used to smoked eggplant. Next we had the Koobideh (stew) and the Aab Goosht (kabob). The stew was okay (the preserved lemon gave it a sharp flavour). The kabob was really tasty and our favourite. We both had saffron, rose water, and pistachio ice cream for dessert which was good as well.

                        The small restaurant was filled with mostly middle eastern diners. Most of them looked like they were ordering from the regular menu. The service was excellent and our waiter took the time to explain to us how to eat the food. I really liked the quaint atmosphere and the flavours of the food and would go back to try more.

                        1. h
                          HelloBeautiful Jan 31, 2013 02:23 PM

                          Had a really nice lunch today at La Fenice on King St. I had the prosciutto and melon appetizer while my SO had the mussels. Both simple and tasty, really great portion of mussels in a garlic-herb broth with plenty broth leftover for dipping bread into. For mains we had the fettuccine with shrimp and peas in a truffle ragu... It had great flavour, the pasta was perfectly cooked and the peas were a nice textural element. My SO had the chicken cacciatora which had nice flavour and texture throughout. Chicken was juicy and tender. For dessert, they were unfortunately out of the amaretto mocha tartufo which was disappointing as this would have been my first choice, and replaced it with vanilla ice cream (boring...) Instead, I had the raspberry sorbet which was delicious and my SO had the assortment of biscotti which he enjoyed. Overall service was great, perhaps a little slow, and it was a nice experience and a restaurant I would return to.

                          1. c
                            cheesymama Jan 31, 2013 11:43 AM

                            Linda Modern Thai for lunch, beef short ribs were great, very flavourful and nice heat. Tried all desserts, banana fritter was my fave. Service was great.
                            Dinner at Rally, there were 7 of us. Fish tacos were tasty, other apps were soup or salad. Southern fried chicken was really good, others at the table enjoyed the jambalaya, but the rice was cooked separately and served under all of the saucy components. When one of the owners stopped by the table and realized that we hadn't ordered the ribs (we all assumed someone at the table would have!) he sent over a plate of them so we could try them and they were great. I will most likely order them the next time I go. Desserts were all really good, beignets were my favourite (served fresh and hot) with red velvet cake a close second. The pudding was good as well, thick and rich chocolate flavour.

                            1. g
                              gregoryyyz Jan 31, 2013 11:01 AM

                              Just a heads up, if you chose Aria Ristorante based on menu, check again as they had Lunch and Dinner menus switched! Went for lunch today for my only Winterlicious pick: no Cornish Hen, no Risotto with short ribs, no filet of branzino....these are now at dinner ...Winterlicious website now updated but NOT on restaurants own:
                              http://ariaristorante.ca/winterliciou...

                              1. p
                                piccola Jan 30, 2013 01:27 PM

                                I have dinners booked at The Chef's House and Southern Accent - anyone been there for Winterlicious?

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: piccola
                                  d
                                  Dean Tudor Jan 30, 2013 04:32 PM

                                  Southern Accent -- not southern enough, blandish food.

                                  Chef's House -- always modest in price anyway since it is George Brown cooking school. Why waste a 'licious meal period? Go another time, choose another place instead. The food's good, but you can have it again outside the 'licious period.

                                  If you want low price, try Quince or Lisbon By Night or Earth Bloor (all $25 at night, $15 at lunch).

                                  1. re: Dean Tudor
                                    p
                                    piccola Jan 30, 2013 08:26 PM

                                    I've done Quince and Earth Bloor. As for the two I've booked, well, they're among the few with interesting vegetarian options (beyond the usual pasta primavera, which is a total cop out). Most of the pricier restaurants have boring vegetarian menus - except for Prime, which didn't appeal to my significant other.

                                    1. re: piccola
                                      d
                                      Dean Tudor Jan 31, 2013 12:19 PM

                                      There are vegetarian options at Frida...My wife had them yesterday at lunch. They looked and tasted fab. They are not normally open for lunch, which is why we went...

                                      1. re: piccola
                                        p
                                        piccola Feb 4, 2013 06:15 PM

                                        I ended up having to cancel Chef's House because I was sick. Southern Accent was OK. The service was lovely and attentive but the food was underwhelming, despite the promising descriptions.

                                        1. re: piccola
                                          Food Tourist Feb 5, 2013 01:25 PM

                                          Almost every restaurant in the world has "promising" menu descriptions (or God forbid, photos!) Southern Accent isn't impressive to begin with (non-licious).

                                          1. re: Food Tourist
                                            p
                                            piccola Feb 5, 2013 05:42 PM

                                            As I mentioned earlier, very few restaurants have "promising" vegetarian menus, which was my main factor in deciding where to go. Having never been to either of these places before, I didn't have much to go on.

                                  2. t
                                    Ted Richards Jan 30, 2013 11:40 AM

                                    Went to Scarpetta on Sunday, and had what was probably the best 'licious meal we've had yet. We usually find that one or two dishes are good, but the others are mediocre. This time, all three courses were good.

                                    The polenta was as good as everyone says, and the accompanying truffled mushrooms were quite nice. My wife had the braised short ribs, which was also quite good (in fact she preferred it).

                                    For mains, I had the pork tenderloin, which was lovely and cooked just right (slightly pink and juicy). My wife's roasted chicken was almost as good.

                                    The chocolate cake I had was the best chocolate dessert I have had anywhere, although I didn't find that the accompanying gelato added anything. The cheesecake was very tasty too.

                                    Service was good and attentive, and they expertly decanted the '89 Barolo we brought with us.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Ted Richards
                                      t
                                      TeacherFoodie Jan 30, 2013 02:06 PM

                                      I'm glad you had a good experience. It's good to know there is somewhere to go for a positive winterlicious experience. I was at Scarpetta a while ago and am remembering some of what we ate (we did a tasting menu) as I read your report. Makes me want to go back. I agree about that chocolate dessert. Amazing!

                                      1. re: Ted Richards
                                        acorn Jan 31, 2013 10:28 AM

                                        There is a new Chef de Cuisine there now called Gaetano Ferrara. He is one to watch I think.

                                      2. p
                                        pakmode Jan 29, 2013 11:28 AM

                                        Lunch at Starfish.
                                        They seated me at the bar even though plenty of tables remained empty throughout my short stay.

                                        The bartender never made eye contact or communicated with me once. A server took my order.
                                        First course. 4 PEI oysters. Meh.
                                        Second course: A tiny morsel of Seabream over a very uninspired sweet potato puree.
                                        Dessert: A very pedestrian sticky toffee pudding - which Starfish translated to be dry molasses pound cake with a butterscotch sauce.

                                        A very disappointing meal.

                                        1. Sooeygun Jan 29, 2013 06:35 AM

                                          Dinner at Auberge du Pommier on the weekend. Food was very good, service was great and not rushed.

                                          I had the leek and cabbage soup to start. Lovely and light tasting. Pot-au-feu for main course. Veggies were undercooked, but the beef short rib was tender and flavourful. Mr.S had the pork chop. He said there was too much sweet on the plate with red cabbage, sweet potato and bacon jus all having sweetness.

                                          Dessert was the sticky date pudding. Loved that. Wished I had more.

                                          And we got two $25 gift cards for a future visit this year.

                                          1. Breadcrumbs Jan 29, 2013 06:24 AM

                                            Lunch at Bymark was a disappointment. Service was the primary culprit but food failed to impress as well.

                                            Bymark advises of a time limit they impose on reservations to ensure they are able to turn tables and accommodate other Winterlicious diners. Not a problem from our perspective. We arrive 5 mins early and are seated promptly.

                                            Drink orders are taken immediately. It takes 25 mins from that point for a server to attend to our table. Prior to that he did drop by to tell us he’d be right with us.

                                            Soup course arrives in good time. A flavourful parsnip puree that didn’t benefit from the slices of raw chilis strewn about. The chilis were potent and sliced too large so instead of imparting a subtle warmth, they attacked your palate and left one guest grasping for her water. The soup is poured tableside atop the already plated raw chilis, cress and prawns.

                                            Some of us have dined on Bymark’s burgers in the past and quite enjoyed them. The Winterlicious Street burgers were underwhelming and overdone. The meat did not appear to be seasoned at all so the only real flavour came from the minimal amount of pepper relish. There was a disproportionate amount of bread for the small sized burger as well.

                                            For dessert it was the tablespoon sized ball of caramel ice-cream that accompanied the spice cake that really shone. The cake itself had a somewhat rubbery texture and someone commented it reminded them of a boxed snack cake. One guest had the panna cotta and really enjoyed it.

                                            This is the second disappointing ‘licious experience I’ve had at Bymark (I didn’t make these reservations) and I personally wouldn’t do ‘licious here again.

                                            1. y
                                              Yq214 Jan 28, 2013 08:36 AM

                                              My boyfriend and I went to Fred's Not Here last night. The environment was okay but seemed a bit old. I remember 4 years ago I came here with my friends during Winterlicious and loved it. My medium rare roast beef was rich and flavourful, but my boyfriend's rare New York strip loin appeared to be overly charred. We asked for a new order and the waiter was happy to do so. Overall, not as good as I remembered but still not bad. I probably wouldn't go back for Winterlicious again.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Yq214
                                                d
                                                DDD Jan 28, 2013 08:07 PM

                                                Usually avoid the licous fests as well, but happened to go to globe earth (Bloor west), and had a good value lunch. They were busy but both the service and kitchen kept up well. For apps , we had the smoked white fish and beet salad - both were very good, mains were beef short rib and mushroom pasta (I believe taglietteli), bot were also tasty. Dessert was flourless chocolate cake-not bad at all, but not stellar. All in all, fantastic value, my only quip is the wine list by the glass - all Ontario, with no solid satisfying full bodied red to stand up to the short rib. I respect the Ontario wine thing, but please have at least one or two other options where needed.

                                              2. Ediblethoughts Jan 27, 2013 04:54 PM

                                                I tried Sotto Sotto (Village location). Not impressed that they switched up the fish, from albacore to sword fish. No flexibility on providing a less mercury-filled fish for the Winterlicious menu.

                                                Overall, first time at SS and nothing wowed me (tried stuff off the Winterlicious also). Won't be back.

                                                1. Food Tourist Jan 26, 2013 08:40 PM

                                                  Avoid licious at Splendido. They were mediocre in every possible way this evening. Such a disappointment. Not fine dining. Seriously, if you have a Splendido licious reso, cancel it.

                                                  19 Replies
                                                  1. re: Food Tourist
                                                    T Long Jan 27, 2013 07:40 AM

                                                    Too bad about your recent experience. Could you elaborate a bit on specifics of what irked you so much. Have you been to Spendido during regular times?

                                                    1. re: T Long
                                                      Food Tourist Jan 27, 2013 07:46 AM

                                                      Basic service - had to ask for cocktail menu and the server didn't offer any suggestions, like "your main course is tiny, so I recommend you order one or more of the sides listed!" (that would have been ideal advice). The duck main is overly salty. The porchetta appetizer was pretty decent as was the chocolate chile dessert (the sorbet with that dessert is incredible). Every other dish was tiny or mediocre in taste and quantity. The cheese plate comes with an interesting meringue but also a stick of celery. They didn't rush us out, which was nice, and they did comp 3 glasses of wine after accidentally charging us for 3 bottles and valet parking, none of which we had. I haven't been to Splendido for a couple of years, but yes, I've been there in the past for full menu and champagne cart and all the "extras". Server never checked on us during main course so we didn't have the chance to say "too salty, too small, bring us sides". Bottom line is it felt like the typical mediocre Winterlicious that I normally avoid like the plague - and $45 was taking advantage of us.

                                                      1. re: Food Tourist
                                                        r
                                                        rstuart Jan 27, 2013 09:41 AM

                                                        wow.. and to think that I was really disappointed that we didn't get into Splendido! Went to Loire instead, which was only $35, and had a truly wonderful meal (the type where you try very hard not to lick the plate, since you're in public). In fact, my only complaint about the meal was that it was so loud in there my dining companion and I could barely hear each other speak! I will definitely be going back to Loire..

                                                        1. re: rstuart
                                                          prima Jan 27, 2013 10:03 AM

                                                          Glad to hear Loire was a good meal. I've had both Loire and Tati on my list for a while. I'll have to try to make it to Loire this year.

                                                          I think it's best to stick to the less-raved-about restaurants during Winterlicious. The whole event was supposed to be used to draw people into restaurants during a slow month. I don't understand why Splendido would even bother with Winterlicious, since they already draw plenty of business in January and yearround. At least a few of their servers sound like they're adjusting the service level in accordance with the bill.

                                                          While I've generally been lucky with service during Winterlicious in the past, the service issues I've had, have been at well-regarded, relatively hyped-up restaurants that wouldn't have trouble getting reservations in Jan with or without Winterlicious.

                                                          While I understand some servers expect Winterlicious customers to be on the cheap side when it comes to tips, I think some servers at some of the more hyped-up restaurants are used to getting bigger tips from bigger bills, and just don't feel like providing the same level of service to someone who is paying $45 plus tip and tax for a 3 course prix fixe dinner. The true gems are the restaurants with servers who deliver good service to any customer, regardless of whether the customer orders a Winterlicious meal or off the regular menu, and regardless of whether someone orders wine or tap water. Some Winterlicious customers might be using Winterlicious as a go-see, or maybe for a special occasion taking place during Winterlicious, and might tip better than some disillusioned servers might expect. ;-)

                                                          1. re: prima
                                                            T Long Jan 27, 2013 10:54 AM

                                                            "The true gems are the restaurants with servers who deliver good service to any customer, regardless of whether the customer orders a Winterlicious meal or off the regular menu" - totally agree. I would think less of a place if I experienced different level of service between regular and 'licious. I have to say though that I've not had any service degradation because of 'licious as yet. I guess I must just be lucky...or I choose my restaurants better;)

                                                            1. re: T Long
                                                              r
                                                              rstuart Jan 27, 2013 03:27 PM

                                                              I have had excellent service in the past at Canoe and Bymark during Summer/Winterlicious.. despite the fact that those servers no doubt make much less than usual those times of year!

                                                            2. re: prima
                                                              y
                                                              ylsf Jan 27, 2013 05:48 PM

                                                              On Splendido's website there is still a link to an article from back in 2006 about 'licious events. I know it was under the previous owner but maybe they should re-consider what they said back then :

                                                              ''A lot of people call us to ask if we are part of Winterlicious and when we say we're not they say, 'Thank God,' '' says Yannick Bigourdan, co-owner of the equally spiffy Splendido, which, rather than go with the flow and try and do the nearly impossible and sell a top-end meal at $35, opts out altogether. Which makes the place something of an oasis for those rare flush locals who actually enjoy spending what they can afford more than hunting down a bargain.

                                                              http://splendido.ca/press/25/

                                                              If you can't execute winterlicious well, then, don't hurt your reputation and try to do a mediocre version of it.

                                                              BTW, the "confit of duck leg" on the menu was changed at the restaurant. It was served .... in a square and then fried all around. I don't know the technical term of it, but, it was not on the bone but pulled from the leg which made it dry too. Just some garnishes, no sides. Salt was definitely the overwhelming flavour. Unfortunate because I normally love duck confit.

                                                              1. re: ylsf
                                                                s
                                                                szw Jan 28, 2013 10:16 PM

                                                                terrine

                                                                1. re: szw
                                                                  y
                                                                  ylsf Jan 29, 2013 11:42 AM

                                                                  Is it still a terrine if it is fried all around? Didn't have the texture of a typical "terrine" that I have had. It was not soft like a terrine but dried out.

                                                                2. re: ylsf
                                                                  mnajji Feb 4, 2013 01:36 PM

                                                                  Agree the confit was very salty and kind of dry... not very "fine dining" but I found the crunch satisfying.

                                                                  The porchetta was excellent though and I loved the mustard/herb sauce it sat in.

                                                                  Overall I thought the food was best here over Canoe and Chiado.

                                                                  I would probably go again at full sticker.

                                                              2. re: rstuart
                                                                d
                                                                Dean Tudor Jan 27, 2013 04:34 PM

                                                                Re: Loire -- Rstuart, bring your ear plugs with you next time!!! ...

                                                                1. re: Dean Tudor
                                                                  r
                                                                  rstuart Jan 28, 2013 04:37 PM

                                                                  yes... SO loud!

                                                                2. re: rstuart
                                                                  Food Tourist Jan 27, 2013 08:50 PM

                                                                  Glad you enjoyed Loire - Brendan and the staff there really try hard to make the experience the best it can be. Though their food isn't the best in town, and they always seem to be offering some discount or group buying coupon, they seem to be surviving well. What did you eat?

                                                                  1. re: Food Tourist
                                                                    r
                                                                    rstuart Jan 28, 2013 04:42 PM

                                                                    I had the arugula and radicchio salad, the pearl barley risotto with goat cheese sauce ( with mini bok choy instead of cabbage... v good!), and the warm banana bread pudding with coconut ice cream. My dining companion had the soup and beef bourguignon.

                                                                    1. re: rstuart
                                                                      d
                                                                      Dean Tudor Jan 29, 2013 05:16 PM

                                                                      rstuart, I went to Loire for lunch today. Fab food, quiet as a church, half full. The salad and the terrine were great, as was the skate and the beef cheeks. Pastry tough under the lemon but the nougat glace was superb. The menu itself seemed better than the regular lunch, which had apps at $9, mains at $18 or so.

                                                                      1. re: Dean Tudor
                                                                        r
                                                                        rstuart Jan 29, 2013 05:44 PM

                                                                        My friend also had the beef cheeks and loved it. Glad I didn't get the lemon tart after all!

                                                                3. re: Food Tourist
                                                                  f
                                                                  farmgirl1836 Feb 3, 2013 05:47 AM

                                                                  We went to Splendido last night -- had never been there before. We were a bit concerned after reading your post. But, we were very pleasantly surprised. We found the staff extremely attentive, but not pushy. We were asked four times during our meal by three different servers if we were satisfied and if everything was to our liking. My husband had the soup and I had the porchetta. Both were good. The bread was delicious. We shared the salmon and the duck and were happy with both. Neither of us like salt and nothing was oversalted. Yes, maybe we could have used the brussel sprouts, but we forgot to order them. The two desserts we ordered were very interesting and delicious -- we each had some of each others. It's definitely food that we don't get at home. There were these little "rice cakes with tamarind" on the plate with the salmon that were absolutely scrumptous and vegetables with the duck were caramalized and added a lot to the dish. The sauces with both the salmon and the duck were wonderful additions. Even my glass of wine was very good. We were glad we didn't cancel and we look forward to going back. I guess that's what makes the world go round. Different people; different opinions. Cheers!

                                                                  1. re: farmgirl1836
                                                                    Food Tourist Feb 3, 2013 07:41 AM

                                                                    Sounds like they stepped up their game after hearing the first round of negative comments one week prior (we had also left a detailed comment card). Glad to hear you enjoyed!

                                                                    1. re: farmgirl1836
                                                                      h
                                                                      hungryabbey Feb 4, 2013 06:44 PM

                                                                      Glad to see it improving. Hopefully my non-WL will be good in a few weeks as well.

                                                              3. prima Dec 12, 2012 10:18 AM

                                                                I might try
                                                                Didier http://wx.toronto.ca/inter/se/restaurants.nsf/Winterlicious/F751A90039FFEE1D852575AC0057D823?OpenDocument,
                                                                Coppi http://wx.toronto.ca/inter/se/restaurants.nsf/Winterlicious/0E65FE29AAE73A6C852572D5007757E1?OpenDocument ,
                                                                Via Norte http://wx.toronto.ca/inter/se/restaurants.nsf/Winterlicious/C8F91A610D6901B685257953005F7326?OpenDocument or
                                                                Lisbon by Night http://wx.toronto.ca/inter/se/restaurants.nsf/Winterlicious/05915CAD7850EB8685257729007183F7?OpenDocument

                                                                Pan's $25 dinner menu looks like a good deal. http://wx.toronto.ca/inter/se/restaur...

                                                                For sticky toffee pudding lovers, looks like quite a few places are offering it as a dessert (C5, Starfish, Crush Wine Bar, Via Norte, I'm sure there's others)

                                                                10 Replies
                                                                1. re: prima
                                                                  d
                                                                  Dean Tudor Dec 12, 2012 12:48 PM

                                                                  I'm not a fan of desserts, so I usually try those places with cheese as an option, such as Quince or Pangaea or Biff's. Jump looked good, so did Chiado. Splendido (new this time) looked ordinary, no pizazz. So did La Societe.

                                                                  1. re: Dean Tudor
                                                                    prima Dec 12, 2012 02:15 PM

                                                                    Habits Gastropub offers a selection of Monforte cheese as an option on their $25 dinner menu. http://wx.toronto.ca/inter/se/restaurants.nsf/Winterlicious/5BC695DCB496C42585257AA8004806C8?OpenDocument

                                                                    The Drake also offers a selection of Monforte cheese as an option with their $20 lunch or $35 dinner: http://wx.toronto.ca/inter/se/restaur...

                                                                    The Drake's lunch menu looks good to me, esp. the Perth Pork Tacos and the Drake Black Forest. So happy to see a contemporary take on Black Forest. And so tired of boring old Creme Brulee. ;-)

                                                                    1. re: prima
                                                                      d
                                                                      Dean Tudor Dec 12, 2012 08:23 PM

                                                                      Thanks for pointing out more cheese options; I did not look at those menus for Habits or the Drake.

                                                                  2. re: prima
                                                                    e
                                                                    EverymanJack Dec 12, 2012 04:08 PM

                                                                    not to be "that guy" but I've never had a satisfying winterlicious meal.

                                                                    1. re: EverymanJack
                                                                      prima Dec 12, 2012 04:54 PM

                                                                      I haven't done Winterlicious for a long time, but I was very happy with the gnocchi at Noce the last time I did Winterlicious. Hopefully this thread will help sort out the places offering the most interesting meals and the best deals.

                                                                      1. re: EverymanJack
                                                                        f
                                                                        Flexitarian Dec 12, 2012 05:11 PM

                                                                        I too have found the crowds, sub-par or rushed service, smaller portions, food not necessarily always prepared as well as it might have been otherwise, etc just not worth saving a few dollars. But, that's just me. Your mileage may vary. Having said that I might pop in for a lunch here and there to someplace I have never been just to get a sense of the place but only if it's very convenient. Never a dinner.

                                                                        1. re: Flexitarian
                                                                          d
                                                                          Dean Tudor Dec 12, 2012 08:22 PM

                                                                          The only places I go for dinner are those that have no lunch, such as 93 Harbord. And then I go at 5:30 or 6, out by 7 or 7:30. I avoid crowds, just try for the food.

                                                                          I try to stick with the cheese option for dessert because I have low tolerance for sweets. Basically, Winerlicious and other prix fixe meals are two courses with a free dessert thrown in. Any money they make is in the beverages (water, coffee, tea, booze).

                                                                        2. re: EverymanJack
                                                                          t
                                                                          TeacherFoodie Dec 29, 2012 01:56 PM

                                                                          I have to agree. I find service to be not as good during winterlicious and do my best to avoid the restaurants doing winterlicious during this time. I've been to a few restaurants during this and have never been satisfied. The best was a French restaurant in Yorkville that has since closed. Too bad. It's also interesting that they almost never offer their regular menu items, so I feel I'm not getting a true sense of the restaurant. I would look for good deals in the city - check with the hounds! Apparently Splendido has a great prix fixe lunch menu in December. For a cheaper offer, Mengrai $16 lunch special.

                                                                        3. re: prima
                                                                          g
                                                                          graydyn Dec 13, 2012 06:28 AM

                                                                          I've done Didier and Coppi in years past, and they were both great meals.

                                                                          1. re: graydyn
                                                                            prima Dec 13, 2012 01:01 PM

                                                                            thanks for letting me know. :-)

                                                                        Show Hidden Posts