winterlicious 2015

20 restaurants to eat at during Winterlicious 2015

Winterlicious 2015 is fast approaching, and while the two-week-long, city-wide prix fixe festival doesn't kick off until January 30, 200 participating restaurants have already released enticing menus. Reservation lines will open tomorrow on Thursday, January 15 - start planning now.

Here's a primer of what to expect from Winterlicious 2015.

HOW IT WORKS

Participating restaurants will offer three-course prix fixe lunch menus (priced at $18, $23 or $28) and dinner menus (priced at $25, $35 or $45). Reservations are strongly advised, and can be made directly with each restaurant.

NEW THIS YEAR

There are 25 first-time participants this year, of which a few are particularly noteworthy. They include the following:

  • Cluny (menu) - Decadent French fare in the Distillery District.
  • Luckee (menu) - Susur Lee's new dim sum palace at the SoHo Met.
  • The Saint Tavern (menu) - A modern take on the classic American tavern.
  • Marben (menu) - Modern Canadian cuisine with a dash of Spanish influence.
  • Hawthorne Food & Drink (menu) - Hearty and heartwarming dishes with a focus on local and sustainable ingredients.

HOT TICKETS

Considering the usual prices and unwavering popularity, these are the places you might want make reservations at - pronto.

OLD FAVOURITES

Seasoned participants returning this year include these highlights.

VEGETARIAN AND VEGAN OPTIONS

Meatless eaters can partake in the prix fixe menu program, too. Here are some of the standout vegetarian/vegan-friendly options.

  • Grasslands (menu) - All-vegan options on Queen West.
  • Banu (menu) - Iranian cusine highlighting veg-friendly fare like nan o paneer or eggplant stew.
  • Osteria dei Ganzi (menu) - Italian fare that'll bring meat-eaters and vegetarians together.
  • Pukka (menu) - Forward-thinking Indian cusine including ample vegetarian options.

CHEAP BUT GOOD

Here are some top picks in the most reasonable Winterlicious price range of $18/$25 (for lunch and dinner, respectively).

  • Insomnia (menu) - The Annex restaurant will feature brunch instead of lunch, and comfort foods at dinner.
  • Lil' Baci (menu) - The bustling eatery on Yonge will showcase hearty Italian fare.
  • Momofuku Noodle Bar (menu) - Pork buns and ramen grace this prix fixe menu.
  • Bindia (menu) - The Indian bistro in St. Lawrence Market goes above and beyond the norm with a choice of at least half a dozen mains.
  • Destingo (menu) - Casual Italian dining on Queen.

EVENTS

The Winterlicious Culinary Event Series offers 15 ticketed food experiences designed to educated and indulge. Tickets are already on sale.

  • Speakeasy at the Palais Royale - A roaring twenties-inspired evening featuring champagne cocktails and a four course meal.
  • Celebration of the Black Truffle - Rosewater's Supper Club presents a five course menu featuring the Diamonds of the Perigord.
  • The Tin Chef - A friendly "secret ingredient" cook-off at Mildred's Temple Kitchen between a roster of foodies, none of whom are professional chefs.
  • Street Market - Food stations at Spice Route will recreate the vibrant sights and alluring smells of a South Asian Street night market.

Did I miss any? Leave your Winterlicious picks in the comments.

Photo of Marben by Jesse Milns.


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