Fred's Not Here

After a few year's of Winterlicious attendance, there have been good meals and not-so-good meals, but one thing always remains the same... I make a reservation at Fred's Not Here EVERY time.

Fred's serves up the best $25 dinner value around, hands down, with a 3-course menu that offers 8 appetizer choices, a whopping 9 entree picks and 3 desserts to round off the meal.

The only tough thing about the experience is choosing which to have! To solve that problem, I brought along 5 other friends who like to share...

Seated, we make the usual mistake of half-filling up on bread. But it's so easy with the choice of french baguette, whole grain loaf and spicy cornbread.


First up, appetizers. While a couple folks ordered lovely fresh salads, the appetizer menu contains one of the key reasons I choose to come for the dinner menu instead of lunch: Baked Lobster & Crab Soup.

The soup is one of those wonderfully balanced seafood soups that just enough sea and just enough food -- if you know what i mean. Not 'fishy' at all. It is served in a ceramic pot and topped with baked puff pastry that grows into a croissant-esque lid in the oven. SO damn good.

A variety of entrees were ordered including "Grilled Jumbo Gulf Shrimp & Atlantic Salmon Filet w/ Arborio Rice Cooked in Aromatic Shrimp Stock, White Wine, Baby Spinach Grana Padano & Butter" (the whole descrip was worth cut & pasting), Grilled Veal T-Bone w/ Celeriac Potato Mash, Pan Roasted Pistachio Crusted Venison Scaloppini "Mushroom Marsala", and Grilled "Alberta" New York Strip Steak w/ Yukon Gold Frites & Roquefort Butter.


All were fantastic. Notables were the the tender jumbo shrimp that surely lived up to its name, being the biggest shrimp I'd ever seen in my life, and the venison, which was a surprisingly tender and delicious dish with the pistachio and mushroom infused sauce.

Dessert saw the boys ordering warm cranberry bread pudding (more like bread loaf) with coconut ice cream and white chocolate while the girls split between love of chocolate and craving for ice cream -- mousse or a fruit sorbet trio.


The mousse, I'm told, was a bit like eating nutella right out of the jar -- which to me would seem weighty, but no one left even a smudge on their glass. The fuit sorbet was probably the best way to end the meal with a nice freshy mix of lemon, raspberry and mango flavours.


Fred's Not Here - 321 King Street West, (416) 971-9155

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