20 last-minute picks for Winterlicious 2017

Hop on these reservations while they're still available


Winterlicious 2017 is nearly upon us, with Torontonians chomping at the bit to chomp on some fine dining at a budget-friendly price.

With the promotion (January 28-February 9) kicking off in just a few days, it’s to be expected that many of the choicest restaurants taking part would be already booked up. (Resos at Canoe, for example, are long, long gone.) If you hustle, however, you may still be able to get reservations at these top-notch eateries.

Pro tip: Fridays and Saturdays around 7 pm are booked up for many of these spots, so opt for a weekday (or look for earlier or later times on weekends).

Bent

Susur Lee’s funky Dundas West kitchen’s $48 dinner slate includes wild mushroom gnocchi, jerk spiced ribs and grilled octopus with chimichurri. (Menu / reservations)

Big Crow

It’s more chill than some of the other ‘Licious offerings, but the menu prices at Anthony Rose’s BBQ shack also tend to add up – so keep things restrained with a $38 menu of baked potato soup, smoked drummies with white BBQ sauce and maple-mustard trout. (Menu / reservations)

Bymark

The $28 lunch and $48 dinner menu at Mark McEwan’s Financial District kitchen are positively mouthwatering: Rabbit tagliatelle, juniper duck breast, Ontario burrata with roasted grapes and crostini and pistachio-topped eclairs for dessert. (Menu / reservations)

Carens

Never turn down an opportunity to eat one of the city’s most marvelous mac and cheeses. If that’s not your jam, other options (a very reasonable $23 at lunch and $38 at dinner) include French classics like boef bourguignon, coq au vin and moules frites. (Menu / reservations)

Carmen’s Steak House

A $48 fee will get you steakhouse classics like French onion soup, Caesar salad, or 6 oz. Canadian filet mignon at this Toronto institution. (Menu / reservations)

Chiado

This Portuguese seafood spot is all about the options: Six starters and six entrees on both their lunch and dinner menus ($28 and $48 respectively). Standouts include lobster bisque, grilled sardines with lemon, grilled octopus and roasted capon breast with piri piri. (Menu / reservations)

Colette Grand Cafe

The $28 lunch menu and $48 menu at the stately Colette veers away from heavy French eats for a Mediterranean menu of lamb tagine, BC cod, truffle-cauliflower soup and braised pork with rapini. (Menu / reservations)

Drake Hotel

The Drake’s menu, at a reasonable $23 (lunch) or $38 (dinner), features rotisserie chicken with polenta, salmon Benedicts and local pan-seared trout. (Menu / reservations)

Frings

Yep, that Frings! Taste for yourself if Drake’s restaurant is the real deal with a $48 dinner menu featuring grilled octopus, ponzu salmon crudo and skirt steak. Early evening resos are booked up but night owls might have luck with 9:30 or later seatings. (Menu / reservations)

Indian Street Food Co.

Chef Hemant Bhagwani does novel takes on Indian classics at his uptown kitchen. Their ‘Licious menu (one of the most budget-friendly at $18 lunch, $28 dinner) includes masala prawns, mutton sloppy joes, and a selection of daily curries. (Menu / reservations)

Lena

If you haven’t basked in the Art Deco splendor of Anthony Walsh’s Argentinian restaurant, now’s your chance. The $28 lunch menu and $48 dinner menu feature four options per course, including caldo verde, seared mackerel, or red wine poached eggs with mushroom-chickpea stew. (Menu / reservations)

Lee

Thai fried chicken and seared yellowfin tuna feature on the $48 dinner menu at Susur Lee’s King West kitchen. (Menu / reservations)

Lisa Marie

Get some bang for your buck out of this chill Queen West spot with a $28 menu that includes Korean fried chicken, ceviche nachos and Alabama tailgaters (for the uninitiated, that’s beef tenderloin with cheese and kimchi, wrapped in bacon. Dang.) (Menu / reservations)

Loka

House-cured meats are Loka’s thing, so naturally their $38 dinner menu features shaved lonza and pork belly – but vegetarians are taken care of with mushroom cream pappardelle and a local vegetable tasting plate. (Menu / reservations)

Momofuku Daisho

Chow down on plates like roast beef buns, pork shoulder steaks and roasted parsnip salad ($28 lunch, $48 dinner) at this Winterlicious favourite. (Menu / reservations)

Momofuku Noodle Bar

Do you wanna eat coconut-chili-pumpkin ramen, smoked chicken ramen, pork buns and Milk Bar’s famous soft serve? Yeah, you do. Noodle Bar is making it happen for $18 at lunch and $28 at dinner. (Menu / reservations)

One

Another Mark McEwan favourite, Yorkville’s swanky One, is offering dishes like heirloom squash ravioli, Moroccan-inspired arctic char, Cornish hens and braised beef short ribs for $28 at lunch, $48 at dinner. (Menu / reservations)

Parcae

The Winterlicious dinner menu ($38) at the Templar Hotel’s moody restaurant has a decidedly Italian bent: duck ravioli with burnt mascarpone, lamb pappardelle with scamorza, and deep-fried lamb brains for the adventurous. (Menu / reservations)

Tabule

Hit the Yonge St. location of this Middle Eastern kitchen for kebabs, dips, lentil soups and salads at $18 for lunch and $28 for dinner. (Menu / reservations)

Thoroughbred

For $23 at lunch and $38 at dinner, snag burgers, heirloom brown-butter squash, kung pao cauliflower and hen of the woods gnocchi with Jerusalem artichokes. (Menu / reservations)

Note: Availability is as of January 23, 2017.

nataliam@nowtoronto.com | @nataliamanzocco

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