I find very little to look forward to in January and February. There is nothing worth celebrating – Valentine’s Day is just ok, and I have my period anniversary but that’s no cause for joy. The days are cold and dark, and my arthritis flares up when it gets this chilly. Also, I get so damn tired of wearing the same boots every single day. By the end of winter I never want to see wellies again! I sound like a crotchety old crone, don’t I?
Well if there’s anything that can turn a crotchety crone into a happy (well-fed) lady, it’s Winterlicious. Bring on the menus.
For those of you not in Toronto, Winterlicious is a two-week long food festival that takes place in over 200 restaurants across the city. It’s a chance for restaurants to create scrumptious prix-fixe menus to draw newcomers in, and for foodies to go totally crazy on Instagram 🙂
I have two ways of picking which restaurants I will visit during this magical time in Toronto:
- I choose old favourites where I know I’ll be getting good value for my $$$
- or I choose hip new establishments, so I can see if they’re worth the hype
If a restaurant can impress me during Winterlicious, I’ll definitely be back throughout the rest of the year!
Auberge du Pommier ($28 Lunch / $48 Dinner)
This one is a bit of a tradition for my mom and me. We love to go for lunch during Winterlicious and Summerlicious 🙂 it’s great value and wonderful service, and actually a great restaurant for people-watching!
The Chase Fish and Oyster ($23 Lunch / $38 Dinner)
The lunch and dinner menu are very similar, so I’d opt for lunch on this one. Azim and I went last year for his birthday and had a lovely experience. The food was delicious, the service was friendly and professional, and the restaurant itself is very pretty.
Smith ($23 Lunch / $38 Dinner)
For me, Smith is that reliable restaurant that I know I can bring my friends to and we’ll have a great time. They make excellent cocktails, the space is intimate and well-lit, and the food is always good. I’m eyeing the salmon tartar, steak frites, and broken chocolate mousse cake…
Wickson Social ($18 Lunch / $28 Dinner)
I confess, this only made it onto my list because it’s fairly new to my neighbourhood and I’m curious to try it! It comes from the same family as the Queen and Beaver and the Oxley – both favourites of mine. Their cocktail list is 100% made for me – there is not one listed on the menu that I wouldn’t drink!
Leña ($28 Lunch / $48 Dinner)
Ok, this is the super hip new restaurant I’ve been dying to try for ONE reason: it’s insanely gorgeous. Every time I walk by I’m entranced by the stunning art deco bar. I think just sitting at it would make me happy. Winterlicious is the perfect chance for me to see if their food is good enough to make it worth visiting again and again.
Casa Loma $65 Dinner
This is considered a Winterlicious special event! For $65 with taxes and gratuity included, the castle will host a Canada 150 themed buffet. There will be English roast and poutine. I emailed my Dad right away because this is right up his alley 🙂
Do you have any fave restaurants I should check out? xox