Winterlicious is back with 130 restaurants participating. For $15 or $20 for lunch and $25 or $35 for dinner, foodies get a three-course meal including appetizer, main, and dessert. Too bad most restaurants play it safe by offering the standard soup or salad, chicken or beef, and cake or ice cream. Although the food is rarely bad, boring food at nearly $50 a head (after taxes and gratuity) is pretty hard to swallow. Luckily, some chefs are treating Winterlicious like a couture show at Fashion Week and presenting innovative and clever fare.
Highlights after the jump!
5th Elementt: Blackened shrimp & scallops, served with avocado chaat and spicy jack fruit coulis.
Café Maroc: Maftoul (hand rolled “Moroccan Cigars”)—hot crispy pastry stuffed with a mixture of mildly spiced beef, cashews, and raisins—topped with chipotle aioli.
Old Mill Inn: Almond crusted Canadian Brie, served with dried fruit chutney, apple salad, and a maple-shallot vinaigrette.
Edward Levesque’s Kitchen: Seared scallops with parsnip puree, grilled leeks, and sweet & sour golden beet compote.
Rosedale Diner: Pulled pork poutine spice-rubbed, braised in an Ontario maple & tomato jus, with in-house smoked chipotle sauce, Québécois cheese curds, and demi-glace gravy.
Victoria’s: Seared organic salmon on a spicy shrimp Cajun-Creole nage with tomatoes fondue, sweet corn, yams, okra, and peppers.
Canoe: Quince bread pudding, pumpkin seed crumble, and nice spice ice cream.
Pan: Strawberry milfe—home made sweet layers of phyllo pastry filled with fresh custard and strawberries—sprinkled with icing sugar.
Pangaea: Maple roasted apples with katifi (shredded phyllo dough), crème fraiche, maple pecans, and snap cookie.
Winterlicious runs from January 25 to February 7. Reservations can be made starting on January 11.
Photo of scallops on lentils by jhritz.