Summerlicious 2009 toronto

Heating Up For Summerlicious 2009

It is that time of year again Toronto gastrophiles - Summerlicious 2009 reservations start TODAY (even though it feels like mid-April out there).

But before you jump up from your computer in a panic, take a quick read through this preview to get the full run down. Or, if previous 'Licious experiences have left a bad taste in your mouth due increased prices, poor service and sub-par food, take a peak to see if any of the newest restos to join the fold can renew your interest.

In its seventh year, Summerlicious has now swelled to include 150 restaurant participants. Like Winterlicious, price points for the prix fixe menus have been expanded to $15, $20 and $30 for lunch and $25, $35, or $45 for dinner.

There are 12 new restaurants in the brigade this summer. Notables include Didier, who is doing the refined French thing at Yonge & St. Clair. Chef Didier Leroy was recently bestowed the honour of "Master Chef Of France," a title shared by only 400 chefs worldwide and only three in Canada.

Down on King East is Kultura, the tapas style hotspot for drinks and dining. In the same hood is Lucien, located on Wellington Street East, where ethno influence meets molecular gastronomy.

Venture further west and you'll hit Chef Susur Lee's reinvention of his namesake Susur, now called Madeline's at King West & Portland. Take a stroll a few doors down and you'll find Marc Thuet's reinvention of Bite Me (now called Conviction), where ex-cons rule both front and back of house, and Thuet with his gang of reformed misfits will be featured in a new reality television show this fall on CityTV.

Aside from the new additions, be sure to check out how new chefs at Far Niente (former Colborne Lane chef Frank Romano has taken over) and Four (Stadtländer protégée Matt Rosen has taken over) are doing in their new digs. And of course old top-rated favourites like Canoe, Bymark, and Sassafraz will always fill up pretty quickly.

Summerlicious runs from July 3 - July 19, 2009. A full list of participating restos can be seen here.

Photo by MeeaBird from blogTO's Flickr pool.

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