Winterlicious 2017: My Top 10 Picks

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Hey Toronto Foodies!

As some of you may know, a Top 10 list was not published for Summerlicious 2016. Sadly, I was too busy last year to write one but I did try to participate and go to a restaurant. I will write a separate post about my experience on that. Anyways, I am determined to make time and have a list out for you all as we enter into the new year. Hopefully, foodies will find it useful.

This year, I was actually invited to a Winterlious media preview at Lee Restaurant with speakers that included Chef Susur Lee, sponsors, and Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre). I’ve never been to the restaurant before, so this was a nice opportunity to visit and taste a bit of their menu offerings. I will likely create a brief post about it too, but check my Facebook page if you want to see some of the pictures.

As usual, the prix fixe menus vary from $18, $23, $28 for lunch but have increased slightly at $28, $38, $48 for dinner. Here is a list of my suggestions below:

1) Scaddabush Italian Kitchen & Bar
Price: $18 Lunch/ $28 Dinner
Note: This place surprised me! I wasn’t expecting it to be as good as it was cause Scaddabush is a chain restaurant. It is no Canoe or Richmond Station but at least steps above a Pickle Barrel/Moxies. Considering the menu prices, I think this would be a great deal and that’s why I am putting it at the top. I recently went with coworkers and feasted on some pretty good food. The lunch and dinner menu are very similar so if you haven’t been before, I suggest trying their lunch menu to test it out. Some regular menu items I would also suggest is Naked – Fresh Mozzarella and 3-Cheese Charity Bread. Seriously, get the Fresh Mozzarella! Everyone raved over it. lol.

2) Red’s Midtown Tavern
Price: $18 Lunch/ $28 Dinner
Note: This was on my top picks cause a friend went here a while ago and said it was alright. Reviews also look good.I like the price point and menu looks interesting with offerings of Kale Salad, Butternut Squash Soup, Shrimp Ravioli, Steak Bibimbap, and Japanese Cheesecake, etc. I am doing my Winterlicious lunch here, so I will let you know how it goes.

3) Diwan
Price: $28 Lunch
Note: I’ve never been but this restaurant is located at the Aga Khan Museum. As a new addition to this year’s Winterlicious and if you haven’t been to the museum before, I think this would make for a lovely museum and lunch day for friends, family or dates.

4) Estiatorio Volos
Price: $23 Lunch/ $38 Dinner
Note: I’ve walked by this place a few times and it’s always packed with the business crowd on weekends or after work hours. I’m kind of curious about it and if you don’t eat greek food often, this place might be a nice place to try with friends, coworkers or dates.

5) Drake Hotel
Price: $23 Lunch/ $38 Dinner
Note: A pretty safe bet, I’ve been here a few times. I like their lunch menu more and would eye the butternut squash, avocado toast, and salmon benny. Yum!

6) Insomnia
Price: $18 Lunch/ $28 Dinner
Note: This was on my past Winterlicious 2016 pick but it is still a solid choice. Still very popular with long line ups and I have been to this place a few times. I love their Charlotte Eggs Benedict! If you go for lunch, I would eye the Eggs Memphis, which is already $14 on their regular menu. So $18 for a 3 course is a pretty good deal. If you decide on dinner, the Fried Chicken ‘N Waffles has a lot of buzz.

7) Lee
Price: $48 Dinner
Note: As I mentioned above, I went to the media preview here. I got to try a few things and from the menu I would recommend the Thai Fried Chicken. It has a bit of a zing and is quite good. I probably would avoid the Pineapple & Passionfruit Popsicle for dessert though, I didn’t try it but it looked quite small portion-wise. Interior of restaurant is very pretty and upscale. Definitely a place to wine and dine.

8) Love me Tender
Price: $23 Lunch/ $38 Dinner
Note: Never been but reviews are good. Menu for both lunch and dinner look solid. If you are a meat eater, this could be the place for you! Some menus items include a burger, salmon filet, sirloin, prime rib and chicken.

9) Brassaii Restaurant and Lounge
Price: $48 Dinner
Note: Went here for a holiday work event and this place is nicely decorated. The food was good but I think it depends on what you order. I got to try a variety of salads, roast beef, lasagna, mac n’ cheese, etc. However, the food I tried is probably different from the regular menu cause my company made it more of a buffet style. Still, their regular menu is more pricey so this Licious menu could be a good opportunity to visit if you haven’t been before.

10) Mildred’s Temple Kitchen
Price: $38 Dinner
Note: Unfortunately, they are only doing dinner this year. I’ve been to their restaurant for lunch and it is a solid brunch spot. Great place for friends, family or coworkers.

* Honourable Mention: Benihana Japanese Steakhouse at $48 for dinner. It is located at the Fairmont Royal York so definitely an upscale restaurant and while a splurge, still a good deal given that their Licious menu is similar to their regular group menu for 8 people that costs $60-75 per person.

To check out menus, please click here.

Hope this helps!

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