Thursday, February 12, 2009

Winterlicious Round-Up, Part II - Bang For Your Buck

My Winterlicious adventures wrapped up this week with dinner and lunch at Canoe and Globe Bistro respectively. Four meals later, and a few dollars poorer, my stomach is still digesting the four lovely meals I’ve had over the past two weeks. In general, I’m quite satisfied with the four restaurants I went to. There were some high and not-so-high points, but thankfully there weren’t any huge disappointments.

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I’ve been to Canoe twice already, once for Summerlicious last summer and again last November. The biggest disappointment that evening (at least in my opinion) was the Lobster and Miso Minestrone. It’s a great idea in theory, but I found the amount of miso they used made the soup far too salty, and I ended up drinking a really salty, tomato-ey broth that I just didn’t find all that great. The white bass was the highlight of the evening though. It was beautifully cooked—just barely cooked through to really highlight the soft and delicate texture of the fish. It was beautifully seasoned, and the sweet shrimp stuffing added another layer of flavour to the dish, while the barley added some texture and bite. The quince apple crumble was good, but was missing a “wow” factor. I often love in-house made ice creams because I love seeing what wacky and creative flavours chefs would come up with. The crumble was topped with a subtly-scented rosemary ice cream, which was really nice (although I would have minded it there was a bit more rosemary flavour to it!). I had a bite f my friend’s warm sticky date pudding though, and it was incredibly amazing! So rich and decadent, and the caramel toffee sauce was to die for.

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The last restaurant I tried out was Globe Bistro, right by Danforth and Broadview. I’ve been wanting to try out Globe since last September. I often walked by the restaurant and was attracted by its modern and classy d├ęcor when I stared into the floor to ceiling windows. I was happy to find the restaurant listed as one of the restaurants participating in Winterlicious. What was even better was that the prices for the prix-fixe menu were incredibly reasonable (pretty much a steal!), charging $20 for a three-course lunch.

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The crab croquette I had for the appetizer was crispy on the outside with a light and slightly creamy interior, and was delicious with the fried caper aioli (so good!). I had the confit duck leg as my main, and the creamy navy beans complimented the tenderness of the duck. The meal ended with a pear frangipane, subtly sweet with a slightly tart cranberry sorbet.

So I return to the question I brought up last week: Are the price hikes worth it? While I’m not thrilled with the $10 hike in most places, you’re still getting a great deal considering it would normally cost up to $100 per head at such establishments as Canoe and North 44°. And while the increase in prices may have caused a little rumble and grumble amongst fans at the beginning, it certainly hasn't affected the popularity of the event, even sparking some restaurants to extend the event until the end of February. Cheers to another successful Winterlicious!

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Full Winterlicious menu for Canoe and Globe Bistro.

You can check out more of my Winterlicious photos here.

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