My friend and I had dinner here afew days ago. It’s close to St Lawrence market in a quiet neighborhood. It has a rustic decor with fairly dim lighting. Winterlicious dinner is $25 + tax & tip.
We both got the crispy Quebec brie for the appetizer. It’s a panko breaded brie drizzled with a sweet tomato chutney. The panko breaded brie was bite sized although when I initally saw that it was only 4 pieces, I thought it could be slightly bigger in portion sizes. However the brie with the chutney was tasty.
My friend got the stuffed portobello mushroom for her main. The mushroom is stuffed with sweet potato, roasted red peppers, zucchini, red onions and goat cheese and topped with balsamic greens.
I had the chicken and waffles for my entree. It looked quite small but was deceptively filling. The chicken and waffles is a crispy southern style breaded chicken on top of a square of waffle with a sausage gravy on the side and topped with crispy okra and sweet red peppers.
We both got the Grand Marnier creme brulée with toasted almonds. It had a really thick, hard to break crust. My friend found it gritty and not smooth tasting. I like the orange flavour to it.
Overall, it’s not the worst restaurant I’ve been to but it’s not the best restaurant either.
My friend and I had dinner here afew days ago. It’s close to St Lawrence market in a quiet neighborhood. It has a rustic decor with fairly dim lighting. Winterlicious dinner is $25 + tax & tip.
My friends and I had dinner here afew days ago. The lighting was initially bright but it dimmed when it got abit later. It has two levels so while it may seem small, it’s a fairly large restaurant. Downstairs has a set-up where you could have a private function with leather couches, throw pillows and a private bar so it feels like you’re partying in your own basement.
A friend had the salmon chowder with potatoes and chive oil. I had a spoonful and it was quite delicious.
Another friend had the roasted carrot and beets salad with avacado and crispy quinoa.
Another friend and I had the octopus terrine with white miso coleslaw. A terrine is sliced food that has been prepared in advanced and given time to cool before serving. I had expected more octopus slices however the octopus goes well with the white miso coleslaw. I preferred the octopus escabeche at Parts & Labour compared to the octopus terrine here.
A friend had the duck confit with Perth County smoked bacon and a bean cassoulet. Duck confit is duck leg that’s deep fried slowly at a low temperature. A cassoulet is a stew or casserole that’s slow cooked.
Another friend had the grilled flat iron steak done medium rare with smoked onion puree, red wine jus and root vegetable pave. He felt that the gravy overwhelmed the steak.
Another friend got the grilled mackerel with charred rapini, roasted tomato, cannellini bean puree and a tomato vinaigrette. She thought that the mackerel was cooked well and that the meat was fall of the bone, so to speak.
I had the crispy skin arctic char with roasted cauliflower, du Puy lentils and pickled fennel. Arctic char is a fish and the taste and texture is similar to salmon. My arctic char had some undercooked to raw parts.
The only other time I had arctic char was in Kitchener at Wildcraft for a friend’s birthday party back in 2012. I think I preferred that arctic char compared to the one at Quince since it had sweet, salty and sour elements as opposed to tasting elements of salty, kind of bland and a sour sweetness.
For dessert, two of my friends and I shared the butterscotch banana budino, pumpkin almond torta and chocolate bread pudding while another friend just got the butterscotch banana budino.The butterscotch banana budino is topped with whipped cream and sprinkled with toffee crunch. It’s the best dessert of the three.
The pumpkin almond torta is accompanied by spekulaas spice, creme anglaise and chantilly cream. It’s a tasty dessert that’s not too sweet.
The chocolate bread pudding with a berry compote and honey creme fraiche reminded me a chocolate lava cake but without the molten lava. My friend thought that the berry compote overwhelmed the chocolate bread pudding. Overall for dessert, the butterscotch banana budino is the tastiest followed by the pumpkin almond torta.
I also got B52 coffee while my friend had tea. B52 coffee is coffee mixed with several kinds sweet liqueurs.
My university friend and I decided to do our annual Winterlicious meal at Parts & Labour. It’s on Queen St West between Lansdowne and Roncesvalles so it’s quite far west for somebody who works at the edge of Scarborough. It’s a very spacious restaurant with mainly communal tables and modern rustic decor. I initially thought it would be a much smaller restaurant. There weren’t alot of people having dinner on a Tuesday night. The servers were very helpful and courteous. The lighting was quite dim however the noise level was alright. Parts & Labour has an extensive alcohol selection.
My friend and I decided to split both the appetizers and desserts. For appetizers we had the steak tartare and the octopus escabeche. The steak tartare includes capers, dijon mustard, aioli, shallot and skinny French fries. Steak tartare is minced raw beef that’s well seasoned and served with some type of starch. I found the steak tartare to be quite salty and sour tasting however the french fries were a good accompaniment to the tartare when eaten in the same mouthful.
The octopus escabeche includes giardiniera on top of sourdough bread. It was also quite salty. Escabeche is a Spanish dish in which the fish is marinated, fried or poached and served cold. The octopus was poached and served warm rather than cold. Giardiniera is a pickled vegetable and olive oil relish. It compliments the octopus.
My friend got the porchetta with hot peppers, rapini, lentils and garlic chips. My friends remarked that it looked like an Asian dish rather than an Italian dish. I had a bite of her dish and the porchetta was very delicious with the perfect amount of fat to meat ratio and goes very well with the lentils and garlic chips. The porchetta was more delicious than the pork belly I had at Five Doors North.
I got the 1/2 cornish hen with butternut squash, Brussels sprouts and white beans. It was quite salty however the cornish hen had a very nice crispy skin with juicy meat.
For dessert, my friend ordered the Chocolate Terrine with Chantilly cream and raspberries while I had the olive oil cake with condensed milk. The chocolate terrine is reminiscent of a combination of chocolate pudding and flourless chocolate cake. The chantilly cream is whipped cream that has been made light and fluffy.
The olive oil cake was light and dense. The condensed milk gave it an extra dimension.
Overall, I would come back to try their P&L burger.
My high school friends and I decided to eat dinner here. Neither of my high school friends had tried any winterlicious/summerlicious restaurants before so I recommended Five Doors North to them to ensure a good first impression. Service is as impeccable as always. Winterlicious dinner is $25 + tax & tip and you could order rosemary focaccia bread for an extra $1.
All three of us had the crispy pork belly. It comes with butternut squash mash and a caramelized apples and sweet onion reduction. The portion was smaller compared to last year’s crispy pork belly however it was just as scrumptious. The skin was crispy with a decent layer of fat and melt in your mouth meat.
For the main, both of my friends had the pumpkin seed crusted salmon while I got the grilled chimichurri skirt steak. The pumpkin seed crusted salmon comes with mango and smoked red pepper salad. My friends enjoyed it. One of them like that the mango was sweet and balanced the salmon well.
My grilled Ontario chimichurri skirt steak comes with crispy tortilla strips, avocado mousse and black bean sauce along with a tomato and lettuce salad. The skirt steak was slightly tough but done just right at medium rare and the black bean sauce was a good accompaniment to both the salad, crispy tortilla strips and the steak. The tomato and lettuce salad was also tasty on its own.
My friends and I decided to split the dessert so we had the flourless chocolate cake, vanilla creme brulee and banana chocolate chip bread pudding. The flourless chocolate cake is made with dark chocolate and topped with blackberries with a blackberry coulis sauce. It was very delicious.
The vanilla creme brulee was as scrumptious as always.
The banana chocolate chip bread pudding comes with bourbon creme anglaise and the pairing is delectable.
Overall, I recommend you try this restaurant if you’re ever in the Yonge/Eglington/Davisville area whether for Winterlicious/Summerlicious or even on a regular night.
My university friend and I decided to have lunch at Ouzeri today. We sat at the patio out front. The inside is fairly large as well. The service is much to be desired. Our mains came soon after our appetizers. We only had a few bites of our appetizers before our mains arrived. We had to borrow table space from the next table since our table couldn’t fit both our appetizers and our mains at the same time. We also waited for awhile to get and pay our bill while the table near us got their bill settled before us even though we got our bill first and they sat down for lunch when we had just finished our appetizers. We also weren’t able to get our water refilled until the end of our meal. Summerlicious lunch is $15 and tax & tip. My friends got the soupa avgolemono for the appetizer, Rosemary chicken pie for the main and Yiaourti for the dessert. I got Mydia for the appetizers, calamari for the entree and Bailey’s creme caramel for dessert. Soupa Avgolemono is a broth of chicken, rice, celery, whipped egg and lemon. My friend thought it was OK. Chicken Rosemary pie is tender pieces of chicken breast, onions and mushrooms slowly stewed in a rosemary and feta cheese sauce and enveloped in a filo pastry and served with a side of rice, potato and tzatziki sauce. My friend thought it was good. Yiaourti is pressed Greek yogurt topped with nuts and honey poached figs. My friend enjoyed it. Mydia is mussels steamed in red wine with garden vegetables, herbs and garlic and dowsed in Mediterranean red sauce. I enjoyed it. I thought it was more flavourful compared to the mussel appetizer served at Byzantium due to the herbs. Kalamari is a choice of with grilled or deep fried calamari served with tzatziki sauce, rice, spinach, and potatoes and garnished with a lemon wedge. I choose the grilled calamari and it was tasty. The calamari here is just as good as the calamari at Destingo. The Bailey’s creme caramel was nice.
My friends and I had dinner here last night. This was a fairly impromptu dinner because we weren’t initially planning on eating here for Summerlicious. I had found out that Destingo serves rack of lamb for dinner for $25 and that was the sole reason why we decided to eat here. The patio out front is quite large however my friends and I were fortunate enough to get a table by the kitchen. We got to see the chefs at work. Summerlicious dinner is $25 and tax & tip.
My friend got the soup of the day for her appetizer, rack of lamb for her main, coffee panna cotta for dessert. The soup of the day was cream of mushroom. My friend said it was reminiscent of the one we had at DT Bistro. Two friends got the grilled calamari for appetizers, rack of lamb for the entree and tiramisu for dessert. The tiramisu was delicious and made with real alcohol.
I had the grilled calamari for the appetizer, rack of lamb for the main and coffee panna cotta for dessert. The calamari is comprised of grilled calamari, Kalamata olives, capers and a side salad. The calamari was chewy and yummy. The rack of lamb is comprised of tender New Zealand lamb in a fresh mint sauce and it’s served with roasted vegetables. I had it done medium rare. I thought it would be a whole rack of lamb rather than a few pieces of the rack of lamb. Overall it was quite delicious. The coffee panna cotta is garnished with a slice of strawberry, afew blueberries and icing sugar. The coffee panna cotta was delicious.
Overall if you’re wandering around Queen West and in the mood for Italian/western food with delicious desserts and a nice selection of wine then Destingo is the place for you.
Two of my university friends and I had dinner at Five Doors North last night. I had raved about this restaurant to one of my friends. Summerlicious dinner is $25 + tax & tip. We sat near the front of the restaurant near the tiny patio out front. We had noticed that their specials included elk. We were tempted to try the dish rather than go with the fix prixe menu.
While waiting for our other friend we got the rosemary foccacia ($1/person) and a pitcher of sangria ($39.96). The sangria isn’t as good as the one I had in Toledo, Spain. It’s not as sweet as I would have preferred it however the alcohol is quite strong. The fruits used include green apples, oranges and limes.
One friend ordered the baked goat cheese polenta for the appetizer, grilled black tiger shrimp roasted corn salad for the entree and creme brulee for dessert. Another friend ordered the baked goat cheese polenta for the appetizer, Miami ribs for the entree and creme brulee for dessert. I ordered the grilled asparagus salad, Miami ribs and creme brulee. I was interested in the corn, sweet potato, coconut chowder however I decided to go with salad since a friend and I were splitting a pitcher of sangria.
The Grilled Asparagus Salad is comprised of grilled asparagus, arugula, Olive Oil Poached Tomatoes, Gorgonzola Cheese and Chianti Vinaigrette. The grilled asparagus was tasty while the tomatoes surprised me since I expected it to be warm or cooked rather than cold since the asparagus is cooked. I never had Gorgonzola cheese before and I discovered that it has a really strong flavour since it is an Italian blue cheese.
The baked goat cheese polenta is baked goat’s cheese with polenta, sundried tomato paste and pesto on a bed of arugula. One of my friends said that the sundried tomato is only on half of the polenta. Quality control for the polenta could be improved since we were all under the impression that the sundried tomatoes, like the pesto, would cover the whole area of the polenta rather than just a portion of it.
Szechuan Marinated Miami Ribs comes with coleslaw. My friend thought it was too sour while I thought the coleslaw has a strong something to it. The ribs were good albeit too charred along the edges. I think I prefer their baby back ribs from Winterlicious compared to the Miami ribs.
Grilled Black Tiger Shrimp Roasted Corn Salad comes with Chipotle Aioli. My friend enjoyed it.
The creme brulee was delicious. The custard was nice and creamy while the top was a bit hard and crunchy.
I am definitely coming back here soon to try their elk if they still offer that dish. Overall, this is becoming my favourite midtown restaurant.
My friend and I came here for Summerlicious lunch ($20 + tax & tip) today. While the decor is very nice and it makes me feel like I’m in a Victorian-era high tea restaurant, the food is lacking while the service could be better. At first it was difficult to flag down a waitress to place our order and getting water refills can be trying at times. I felt that the servers were attentive to all other tables but ours since people who sat down after us were able to place their order before us even though we were already ready to order. The food took awhile to come although we were forewarned about it. We spent 2 hours eating lunch at MoRoCo Chocolat and it was not because we were ever so slowly eating. The hostess had told a couple that they were fully booked from reservations so they couldn’t be served without reservations while I was waiting for the table but while my friend and I were waiting for our food, I noticed a number of empty tables around our table. I was attracted to MoRoCo Chocolat because their Summerlicious menu on the Summerlicious website states that the restaurant will be offering beet tartare with goat cheese and shallot mousse and champagne style terrine for the appetizers, lamb shank chocolate fettuccine for the entree and cheesecake, campari granite with candied citrus salad and pistachio marcaron and lychee and white chocolate frozen parfait for dessert. I chose to come to MoRoCo Chocolat from the myriad of restaurants offering Summerlicious lunch menus in Yorkville to try the lamb shank chocolate fettuccine because it’s the first time I heard of chocolate pasta. I was sorely disappointed.
The Summerlicious menu onsite is soup, kale salad or goat cheese salad for the appetizers, quiche, truffle mac & cheese or beef sliders for the entrees and berry cheesecake, dulce de leche mousse cake or lemon custard flan for dessert. I wanted the goat cheese salad and it was already sold out at 12:30pm so I got the kale salad cause the leek and potato soup didn’t interest me. My friend got the kale salad as well for the appetizer while we decided to split the entrees. We got the quiche and the truffle mac & cheese. For dessert we both got the dulce de leche mousse cake. The kale salad was one of the most disappointing salads I’d ever eaten. I could make a better homemade salad. The ingredients also weren’t 100% fresh. The kale salad comprised of kale, pine nuts, parmesan cheese, dried cranberries and a lemon Dijon vinaigrette. The quiche came with a dijonaise green salad on the side. The quiche was fairly tasty although it was on the small side. The truffle mac & cheese is composed of Truffle bechamel, fontina and cheddar cheese topped with buttery panko. I couldn’t taste the truffle at all but overall it was alright. The dulce de leche mousse cake was absolutely delicious. It’s a chocolate mousse cake with dulce de leche and white truffle filling and dusted with graham crackers and chocolate and caramel syrup and garnished with a thin piece of chocolate. I had considered coming to MoRoCo Chocolat for afternoon or high tea but after this Summerlicious experience I’m inclined to stick with their desserts. Overall, I would only recommend this restaurant for their dulce de leche mousse cake.
Last night my friends and I ate dinner at Shibui Robata Bar. Shibui Robata Bar is owned by the same owners as Copacabana and they share the same hostess station. Shibui is located on the ground/basement floor while Copacabana is located on the upper floor. The lighting at Shibui is romantic while the decor reminds me of the ocean and being at a trendy beach-side bar. The washrooms have an interesting mural of beach pictures. The overall theme of the place is ocean. We sat at a booth table in the back corner. If you’re able to get a seat by the bar, you would be able to watch the chefs cook. The service was friendly and attentive. Summerlicious dinner is $25+tax & tip. Being a party of 7, tip was already added onto our bill so we paid $34.06. A word of warning, each bottle of water is $1. On the Summerlicious website, the summerlicious menu says that there is prime rib eye, asparagus and Eel Oshi Zushi roll however at the restaurant, the menu doesn’t state prime rib eye or eel oshi zushi roll (you can’t get it when ordering from a Summerlicious menu) and they ran out of asparagus at 7:30pm.
A friend had the Kinoko Salad for the appetizer, Shibui Salmon Maki, pork belly and corn for the mains and mango gelato for dessert. The Konoko Salad is Soba noodles, enoki mushroom, ponzu dressing, daikon, carrots and cucumber. Shibui Salmon Maki is a sushi roll comprised of spicy salmon and tempura flakes with salmon on top. It’s quite good from the piece that I had. The pork belly is marinated with shichimi pepper. I thought it was quite delicious from the piece I had while my friend wasn’t satisfied with the meat to fat ratio. She didn’t think it was as good as I did since there was more meat than fat. The corn is marinated with yuzu butter sauce and it was quite good from the piece I had.
Another friend had the Chilean Sea Bass Dumplings for the appetizer, sashimi, lamb chop and sweet potato for the entrees and Passion Fruit Mousse for dessert. He thought the dumplings had a really fishy smell to it. The sashimi is a trio of salmon, tuna and snapper sashimi. My friend liked how fresh the sashimi is. The lamb chop is marinated with a spicy Korean miso glaze while the sweet potato is marinated with red miso sauce.
A third friend had the Crispy Rice with Salmon for the appetizer, Pirikara Ebi Maki, filet mignon and sweet potato for the mains and mango gelato for dessert. The crispy rice with salmon is pan-seared sushi rice topped with salmon and garnished with a slice of green pepper. My friend thought it was delicious. The Pirikara Ebi Maki is a sushi roll comprised of avacado, cucumber, chili mayo sauce and crispy fried shrimp on top. The filet mignon is marinated with Shichimi soy sauce.
A fourth friend had the Kinoko Salad for the appetizer, Shibui Salmon Maki, pork belly and cremini mushrooms for the entrees and Passion Fruit Mousse for dessert. The mushrooms are marinated with teriyaki sauce.
A fifth friend had the Kinoko Salad for the appetizer, Sushi Nigiri, filet mignon and mushrooms for the entrees and Passion Fruit Mousse for dessert. My friend thought the soba was very soft and smooth and the ponzu dressing was zesty for the Konoko Salad. Sushi Nigiri is a trio of salmon, tuna and snapper sushi.
A sixth friend had the Chilean Sea Bass Dumplings for the appetizer, Shibui Salmon Maki, scallop and sweet potato for the mains and Passion Fruit Mousse for dessert.
I had the Chilean Sea Bass Dumplings for the appetizer, Pirikara Ebi Maki, filet mignon and sweet potato for the mains and Passion Fruit Mousse for dessert. The rabota dishes all came with a daikon/radish in a fancy shape and cucumber topped with carrots. It was quite tasty.
Although the a la carte prices are on the pricey side. I may come back again to try other things on the menu.
My university friend and I went to have dinner at Byzantium last night. Byzantium is located on Church St. near Wellesley. The decor is nice while the lighting is on the romantic side. There’s a patio at the back of the restaurant. The service was very friendly. My friend had raved about this restaurant to me earlier this year since she came here for Winterlicious. I was interested in her description of an alcohol dictionary at Byzantium. The alcohol dictionary wasn’t as thick as I first thought it would be but the alcohol selection is very extensive. Unfortunately it doesn’t list the price but conservatively, expect a martini to be roughly $11. Summerlicious dinner is $25 + tax & tip. There’s alot of choices (7 each) for appetizers and mains while there’s only 3 options for dessert.
My friend got the salad of legend for the appetizer, baby back pork ribs for her entree and strawberry mousse for dessert. She also got French martini ($9.52) and Sex on the Beach. French Martini comprises of Absolut Vodka, Chambord and Pineapple Juice. The French Martini was quite nice and sweet from the taste I had. Sex on the Beach comprises of Absolut Vodka, Peach Schnapps, Orange Juice and Cranberry Juice. My friend enjoyed both drinks. The salad of legend is a caesar salad with roasted garlic. The salad legend is simplicity at its finest. It’s composed of romaine lettuce, pieces of parmigian cheese, flatbread, house dressing and roasted garlic. My friend loved it. The baby back pork ribs is composed of slow baked pork ribs that are glazed with a sweet onion and chipotle sauce and served with sweet potato pakoras and summer slaw. The ribs were quite good with a nice tangy taste albeit the edges were charred. The sweet potato pakoras were delicious. My friend thought the ribs were on the spicy side.
I got the Mediterranean mussels for the appetizers, the lamb burger for the main and key lime pie for dessert. I also got James Dean ($11.28) and Pearl Necklace ($11.05). The James Dean Martini comprises of Absolut Citrus Vodka, Cointreau, Brewed Green Tea, Fresh Grated Ginger and Simple Syrup. It’s very interesting. It has a very strong ginger taste while the green tea might as well be non-existent. I’m now curious about the taste of Yellow Jacket which is Jack Daniels, Kahlua, lemon juice and ginger. The Pearl Necklace is classified as a creamy martini. It’s comprised of Absolut Vanilla Vodka, Crème De Cacao, Frangelico, Butter Ripple, White Godiva and Cream. At first I thought there was tapioca pearls in my drink. It was nice and sweet although the creaminess faded after the first sip. The Mediterranean mussels dish comprises of mussels with onions, fennel, tomato, garlic, wine and herbs. The mussels were quite good albeit the mussel pieces themselves are tiny. The lamb burger comprises of an 8 oz lamb patty with red onion marmalade and goat cheese, pickles, tomatoes, lettuce, red onions and 3 onion rings. It comes with a side of arugula drenched in oil and fries. I had the lamb patty done medium rare. The lamb burger is absolutely scrumptiously delicious. I was full from just the lamb burger. After the burger I had at W Burger Bar, this is the second best burger I’ve ever eaten. The key lime pie felt like melted ice cream. Dessert is not Byzantium’s forte. I wanted to try their creme brulée trio but I wasn’t allowed any substitutions even though all of their desserts are the same price.
I would come back to Byzantium to try their Sunday prime rib special and their kangaroo fillet.