Reservations are open now for the city of Toronto's annual prix-fixe promotion
By Natalia Manzocco
Jan 11, 2019
Ufficio's Insalata D'Ivana
Start your engines: Reservations are now open for the 2019 edition of Winterlicious, the city’s wildly popular annual prix fixe promo, which runs from January 25 until February 7.
Diners tend to take advantage of Winterlicious (and Summerlicious, its warm-weather counterpart) to check out higher-end spots – but there are plenty of neighbourhood joints and newcomers on the roster as well. Check out the city’s website for a full rundown of the 192 restaurants participating.
Here’s a few of our favourite picks for the 2019 Winterlicious season.
Rediscover this long-running Danforth spot with a $33 dinner menu that includes duck breast spiducci, orecchiette with pancetta and pecorino, veal lasagna and a daily fish special. Menu / reservations
This surprisingly modern Union Station spot does so much more than pasta: Their ’Licious menus ($23 lunch and $33 dinner) include options like white anchovy crostini, black tagliatelle with mushrooms, pan-seared pickerel with celeriac and dulce de leche bomboloni. Menu / reservations
Auberge Du Pommier
A Winterlicious staple, O&B’s French spot is offering $33 lunch and $53 dinner prix fixe menus that include local duck terrine with cherry preserves, smoked salmon with dill gremolata, cornish hen or gnocchi with applewood-smoked cheddar. Menu / reservations
Bar Buca (Portland)
The original Bar Buca is offering a selection of snacks on a $23 lunch and $33 dinner menu. Top picks: garlic bread nodini with rosemary sea salt, grilled calamari and a stewed rabbit and polenta dish. (Note: Bar Buca’s no reservation policy is still in effect during Winterlicious!) Menu
Did you know the name of this place is a reference to founder Mark McEwan? Mind blown. Flaunt your newfound knowledge over a $33 power lunch (or $53 dinner) of harissa steak tartare, roasted bone marrow with escargot and baguette toasts, braised rabbit tagliatelle or pan-seared scallop-crab ravioli. Menu / reservations
Café Boulud is one of many restaurants participating in Winterlicious.
Dine like the upper crust at Daniel Boulud’s handsome Four Seasons brasserie. The $33 lunch and $53 dinner menus include grilled kale salads, herbed branzino, steak frites and rainbow trout with truffle polenta. Menu / reservations
If you haven’t checked out Mike Bradshaw’s College St. kitchen, now’s the time: His $33 Winterlicious dinner menu features dishes like confit pork belly, seared trout and an Earl Grey crème brûlée. Menu / reservations
Make that day trip to the Aga Khan Museum you’ve been putting off, and dig into a $33 pan-Middle-Eastern lunch menu of short ribs with hummus, roasted beet salad with labneh and spiced walnuts, grilled sea bass and chicken biryani. Menu / reservations
The Drake mother ship is once again on the Winterlicious roster with $28 lunch and $43 dinner menus. Among the highlights: pastrami salmon lox, beer cheese soup, sea bream with a smoked cauliflower purée, a roasted lamb sandwich with Gruyère and a salted caramel tart to finish. Menu / reservations
Get to know new head chef Othón Gayosso’s style of Mexican cooking with a $23 lunch/$33 dinner slate that includes tomato-guajillo tortilla soup, cauliflower tacos, grilled carnitas burritos and tequila flan for dessert. Menu / reservations
A new twist on the Fornello you know and love: The pizza chain recently launched a series of vegan dishes, which feature prominently in the $23 lunch and $33 dinner Winterlicious menus. Try an avocado caesar salad, vegan lentil bolognese, pizza margherita and vegan hazelnut gelato – or go old-school with cheesy pizzas and a linguini di mare. Menu / reservations
Anthony Walsh’s art deco stunner in Saks Fifth Avenue rarely fails to impress. Leña’s $28 lunch and $43 dinner Winterlicious prix fixe features modern takes on Latin American flavour, including guajillo veal meatballs, a charred iceberg wedge salad, piri piri half chicken and a dulce de leche torte. Menu / reservations
Maple Leaf Tavern
For a cozy night out in the east end, look no further than the $43 dinner menu at Maple Leaf Jesse Vallins’s prix fixe menu includes their stellar house burger, plus smoked duck sausage, sauteed perch and sticky toffee pudding. Menu / reservations
Craving chi-chi sushi? Miku’s $33 lunch prix fixe is a steal of a deal, featuring chef’s choice sashimi and a sampler platter that includes blowtorched albacore sushi and soy-glazed short rib. And the $53 dinner slate, featuring sablefish and lobster tail (plus even more sushi), might even entice you to go twice. Menu / reservations
Curious about Guy Rawlings’s all-Canadian, all-the-time kitchen on Queen West? This $43 dinner prix fixe offers a good primer, with dishes like bread, butter and charcuterie (all house-made), dry-aged beef or roasted duck leg with salt-roasted celeriac and maple ice cream with salt-cured foie. Menu / reservations
Check out O&B’s brand-spanking-new trattoria at Bayview Village with $23 lunch and $43 dinner prix fixe menus. Highlights: Roasted pumpkin soup with toasted pistachios, bruschetta with olive-oil-poached tuna, chicken cacciatore and a roasted pork loin with olives. Menu / reservations
Always a fun destination for cocktails and novel Asian small plates, Alvin Leung’s Spadina eatery is offering a $33 prix fixe slate that includes torched salmon belly, suckling pig with barley risotto, veggie japchae and pig trotter bao. Menu / reservations
Snag some of Toronto’s most reliably delicious Mediterranean eats for $23 at lunch and $33 dinner. The broad menu of classic eats includes lentil soup, a combo plate of mezze, lamb basterma, salmon kebabs, baklava and more. Menu / reservations
The Carbon Bar
Fancy BBQ always makes for a great night out, but the $43 dinner menu at this luxe Queen East spot features some interesting left turns. In addition to smoked wings with “carnage hot sauce,” there’s also brown butter steamed cod and a Nikkei-style ceviche. Menu / reservations
Pescatarian Italian is the name of the game at this Dundas West kitchen. Highlights from the $28 lunch and $43 dinner menus include chef Ivana Raca’s house salad (shaved brussels sprouts, pickled mushrooms, hazelnuts, ricotta and truffle), plus porcini agnolotti and a grilled branzino. Menu / reservations
Alphabetically last (but certainly not least) is this stylish east-end wine bar, making its ’Licious debut with a $43 dinner menu that features beef carpaccio with beets and horseradish, carrot agnolotti with maple butter and tiramisu or flan for dessert. Menu / reservations
Natalia came to NOW as the food writer in 2015 before taking over the lifestyle desk in 2019. She has written about food, style, technology, life and travel for the National Post, Sun Media, blogTO and Metro. She enjoys thrift stores and bad puns.