20 restaurants to eat at during Summerlicious 2014
Summerlicious 2014 will take place July 4th to 20th, and even though it's still a few weeks away, it's not too early to start drooling over three-course prix fixe menus - the reservation lines open tomorrow (Thursday, June 19th). Now in its 12th year, the celebration has become a way to experience old favourites at a discount, or discover newcomers to Toronto's diverse culinary scene without taking an expensive risk.
Here's a round-up of what to expect from Summerlicious 2014.
HOW IT WORKS
Over 200 restaurants will participate in Summerlicious this year offering three-course prix fixe meals for lunch (priced at $15, $20 or $25) and dinner (which comes in at $25, $35 or $45). Reservations, handled directly through each restaurant or via OpenTable (when available), are a must at the most popular venues, though walk-ins at lunch can sometimes be squeezed in
NEW THIS YEAR
This year's lineup of restaurants includes 21 first-time participants, including notable new additions like:
- Osteria dei Ganzi (menu) - Dine on Italian classics inside a historic mansion.
- L'ouvrier (menu) - Contemporary Canadian food on Dundas West.
- Pukka (menu) - Robust modern Indian cuisine with a wine list to match on St. Clair.
- Weslodge (menu) - An opulent trophy room on King West that specializes in new American cuisine.
- Lamesa Filipino Kitchen (menu) - A perfect introduction to Filipino fare.
- Rock Lobster (Ossington) (menu) - Home to lobster rolls and raw seafood towers.
Considering usual prices and popularity, you might want to book your table ASAP for these highly sought-after spots.
- Momofuku Daisho (menu) - Inspired Asian fusion on the third floor of the Shangri-La Hotel.
- Canoe (menu) - The Financial District culinary hot spot from Oliver and Bonacini.
- Cafe Boulud (menu) - A contemporary French dinner menu from renowned chef Daniel Boulud.
- La Societe (menu) - A French bistro with a prime patio overlooking the Mink Mile.
Popular restaurants returning for another year include these well-versed eateries:
- Fabbrica (menu) - Mark McEwan's restaurant devoted to authentic Italian cuisine.
- Nota Bene (menu) - David Lee's posh spot on Queen West.
- MoRoCo Chocolat (menu) - A chic Parisian restaurant and dessert lounge in Yorkville.
VEGETARIAN AND VEGAN OPTIONS
Meatless eaters will find the prix fixe program especially tantalizing this year thanks to a slew of menus that make vegetarian and vegan fare more than just an afterthought:
- Grasslands (menu) - The vegan restaurant on Queen St. West wades into Summerlicious for its first time this year.
- 93 Harbord (menu) - An upscale Middle Eastern restaurant that excels at meat-free options.
- Windup Bird Cafe (menu) - The College St. cafe named for a Murakami novel will offer at least two vegan entrees on its prix fixe.
CHEAP BUT GOOD
Here are some top picks in the most reasonable Summerlicious price range of $15/$25 (for lunch and dinner, respectively).
- Momofuku Noodle Bar (menu) - Another member of the Momofuku family specializing in ramen.
- Tabule (Yonge) (menu) - Look for deals at this Middle Eastern restaurant's midtown location.
- Milagro (Yonge) (menu) - A midtown cantina that celebrates the culinary traditions of Mexico.
- Museum Tavern (menu) - Looking onto the Royal Ontario Museum, this tavern boasts a delectable menu and prime view.
Did we miss any? Add your favourite Summerlicious picks to the comments below.