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***OFFICIAL winterlicious REVIEW THREAD***

madnezz

TRIBE Member
Well, let's hear it! how did you guys find the restaurants you've gone to so far???

Here are my reviews, even though i have two more to go to (Pangaea and Jump):::

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Bouchon - $30

Food - 5.5/10 - appetizers were just OK. My entre (scallops and shrimp) was decent, although my friend's beef was poor, apparently. The redeeming factor was THE CREME BRULE!!! my god, that was heavenly.

Service - 5/10 - we had a quirky waiter that seemed pretty spaced out. Not having cutlery served before the entre was a problem, and serving dessert before lattes is also a disgrace!

Atmosphere - 6/10 - nice wooden basement, but it was way too hot in there. Homey feel to it though.

Return visit? - I will only go back because I'm still salivating over that creme brule.

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Fred's Not Here - $20

Food - 6/10 - shrimp and crab soup to start was pretty good, although heavy on the pastry cover. Filet of Sole entree was definetly lacklustre, and the noodles on which it rested tasted like plastic. Sherbert desert was run-of-the-mill.

Service - 7/10 - efficient, especially for a large group, but we were definetly treated like a winterlicious crowd. I would have liked to be offered some espresso before dessert was served!

Atmosphere - 7/10 - nice warm hues with a strangely gothic feel. Good use of the space, and the open kitchen is a nice touch.

Return visit? - I'd go back if I was in the area, but I probably woudn't make a point of it.

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Filet of Sole - $20 (+$6)

Food - 5/10 - mussels appetizer was served almost cold, and they were definetly overcooked. Half a lobster with gnocci for the entree was decent, although I could have eaten more than half a lobster (there was an extra charge for this meal). Gnocci got good reviews all around. Dessert was delish (creme caramel and chocolate mousse), although the presentation of the mousse could be better! Finally, the lattes were garbage!!!!

Service - 8.5/10 - very friendly server with a good attitude! She took care of everything quite professionaly, only she was a little slow to clear the table.

Atmosphere - 6/10 - pretty trendy place with a cool octapus fixture on the ceiling.

Return visit? - not likely.

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Indian Rice Factory - $20

Food - 7.5/10 - Pakoras to start were slightly disappointing, but the entre made up for it. Delicious butter chicken with basmati and decent naan. The rice pudding was nice, but the mango lassis definetly need work.

Service - 8.5/10 - Very attentive and friendly. This guy had impressive stacking skills! (he cleared about 20 dishes away at one time!)

Atmosphere - 6/10 - also a very trendy atmosphere, with hints of Indian decor. The mix didn't really work, and the framed carpet on the walls was a little off-putting.

Return visit? - Yes, I look forward to checking out some other items on the menu!

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On the whole, the experience has been slightly disappointing, but you can't go wrong for a $20/$30 menu.

So where did you guys check out so far??? I'm very curious to find out how some other restaurants fared...

- Laura
 
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Stop Bill C-10

mutslaster

TRIBE Member
lunch at fred's not here:

appetizers: i had the vegetarian dumplings with "wow wow chili sauce." they were ok-- tasty, but mostly cabbage and onion, no interesting texture in the filling. the sauce was good.

main: i had the smoked brisket, which i thought was great. the crispy fried shoestring potatoes, along with the celeriac/potato mash and the brisket made for a good mix of flavour and texture. also tried the deer ragout, which i found a bit too heavy and while tasty, not particularly interesting in flavour. would have liked a more tomato-ey base and bigger chunks of meat.

dessert: trio of sorbet-- very good but i couldn't finish them. the mango was my favourite.

all in all it was a great deal for 10 bucks, but the meal was considerably less enjoyable because of the service. our server was sloppy, he didn't clear our dishes for ages and when he did, did so carelessly and improperly, never refilled our waters or asked us if we wanted more drinks, spilled half of our chili sauces all over the plates for our appetizers, and basically made some sarcastic comment when we asked for the bill about how he had just enough time to clean up our table and whisk another winterlicious lunch party through. thanks for makin us feel like cattle, asshole.

tomorrow night we're going to centro, i am fuckin PUMPED.
 
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Pyrovitae

TRIBE Member
i took my parents to cafe california for lunch today. $10.

appetizer - had the bruschetta and it's damn hard to screw up bruschetta. it was good. my dad smiled at me and my mother and i knew he was going to find fault with the meal (even before we got there, my mother and i had to convince him to try something new aside from swiss chalet.) he made a comment about the how we'd probably leave hungry as the portion size was less than generous.

main - shrimp and beef thai style stir-fry. the flavour was pleasant, but the shrimp were small, (they looked more like packaged salad shrimp,) and sparse. the rice was aromatic but a bit dry. my dad's meal - chicken mediterranean - was a skimpy portion, his fears were justified. his serving of chicken was smaller than a deck of playing cards and there were literally four carrots on the side and a few roasted potatoes.

dessert - choice of bread pudding or creme caramel. the creme caramel was bit disapointing, the texture was nice but it had a slightly bitter flavour, as if it were made of aspertame. the bread pudding was *much* nicer, (i had a bite of my mum's) but it was a tad burned on one side.

overall experience - 5.5/6 out of 10. not the best meal i've had by far but it was nice to try some winterlicious fare.
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
The service is going to suck, since they are used to getting big ass tips on minimum $150 tables.

And, the food is going to be subpar, since the restaurants don't really want your cheap asses in their anyway, i.e. if you can only afford to eat there when it's cheap, they don't really want you there.

Suckers.
 

madnezz

TRIBE Member
^^^ You'd think they'd try their best during this promotional time to make patrons want to come back!!!
 
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Chris

Well-Known TRIBEr
Brass Rail,
Sunday night with Nikki Benz, was quite the night, does this count for a Winterlicious REVIEW
 

Lil'Timmy

TRIBE Promoter
I did winterlicious @ Edo last week, it was fine. I mean, these restaurants, it seems, cater to specific clientelle. So yeah, you aren;t going to get the 30 dollar swordfish for cheap, but its nice to try something different for once.

I myself probably will never go back to EDO because it was friggin expensive.
 

Big Cheese

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by PosTMOd
And, the food is going to be subpar, since the restaurants don't really want your cheap asses in their anyway, i.e. if you can only afford to eat there when it's cheap, they don't really want you there.

the food is going to be the same as it usually is, although BOH staff probably won't care too much, really they should.


If the food is good, one would not think twice about dropping more the next time around, which is why some places strive to kick it up a notch, so you will come back when there is no promo

it may be cheap, but it's an chance to build repeat business and catching them 'suckers' during a citywidepromo
 
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emiwee

TRIBE Member
Brasserie Aix ($20 dinner)

The food was okay, but not anything you couldn't find at a ton of other restaurants in the city. Carrot ginger soup, steak and frites, chocolate cake for dessert. It was worth it for $20, but I really don't think I would ever go back again. Plus, we had to sit right near the kitchen (and I could see all of the goings-on in there... which I really don't care to see).

The Strip House ($30 dinner)
Good steak, fancy crab and lobster soup with puff pastry on top (yum!), and bananas foster for dessert (with a little umbrella!). It was good, nothing spectacular. The best part was that it was a birthday dinner, we didn't have to pay for the booze (someone else we went with did), and the birthday celebrations went really well.

Truffles ($30 dinner)
OH MY GOD! Easily one of my favourite restaurants in the city (and somewhere that I would certainly pay full price for). And they do not disappoint during Winterlicious. No wonder they get sold out each time, and pretty damn fast too. Creamy chive, leek and potato soup (or salad with pears and stilton, yum!) to start. I had the arctic char on carrot risotto, it was creamy and dreamy. The other people I went with had the cornish hen with brioche, and were very very pleased. Dessert... some apple caramel cream goodness. Just yum.
(I made two reservations for Truffles this year... going again tonight!!)

Still have Indian Rice Factory coming up on Wednesday... looking forward to that.
 
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Booty Bits

TRIBE Member
i have really mixed feelings about winterlicious...
on one hand, its a great opportunity to dine at some of the nicest restaurants in the city, but on the other hand, you dont get the full experience.
i enjoy it as its own particular thing... not as a true showing of the chef's abilities, more of a chance to do something a bit different without breaking the bank.
i think its important to not walk in there with the same high standards you would normally have for some of these high-end joints. its the only way to walk out not disappointed.
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
Originally posted by madnezz
^^^ You'd think they'd try their best during this promotional time to make patrons want to come back!!!

Why do they want peope who can only afford to pay between $6 and $30 back?

They don't give a shit about you. If there are patrons beside you spending $150 a plate, and it is busy, who is going to get the better service all around? You? Haha...

I worked in restaurants fot ten years-- I know how it works... even if you consciously try to not make it count, your subconscious treats people differently, depending on the amount of money you perceive you will make from them.
 

aether

TRIBE Member
I did winterlicious lunch at Fred's not here on Saturday. I wonder if I had the same server as mutslaster (tall white guy with a soul patch). He seemed to be trying to pull off this 'hip, sarcastic' thing, which didn't really fly.

My meal was good, but not spectacular. The potstickers were the most interesting thing on the lunch appetizer menu... (caesar salad?.. *yawn*). They were okay, but a bit boring. The brisket was really tasty, although it was a bit strong for a breakfast :) (but that's my fault). I tried the other dishes at my table and I liked the venisson dish, and the fish was well done although not terribly exciting either.

I've enjoyed Fred's not here much more on a regular night, but that's to be expecteds. $10 was a really good price for what it was.
 

janiecakes

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by aether
I did winterlicious lunch at Fred's not here on Saturday. I wonder if I had the same server as mutslaster (tall white guy with a soul patch). He seemed to be trying to pull off this 'hip, sarcastic' thing, which didn't really fly.

yep, that was our server.

i agree, it didn't fly.
 

Big Cheese

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by PosTMOd
I worked in restaurants fot ten years-- I know how it works...

you know how it works?

then it's the server, not the food...

some let that reflect on the food when they shouldn't (not you, just imo)

i'm sure most places don't revamp the entire menu JUST for the event

take what food items you have left from the regular menu, throw some new promo plates together, impress these people enough so they wanna come back and spend $$$

your not getting their best food, but a taste of what the place has to offer

so you DO come back
 
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zee

TRIBE Member
*shrug*

I had a great time for Winterlicious and I even went to the less popular $20 restaurants

Overall the food was pretty good. The main course was nothing special but the appetizers and desert were amazing.

And we had really good service. Our waiter was quick and friendly. Plus we were given complimentary appetizers apart from the set menu.

All in all, for $20 it was a really good deal.
 

HMHA

TRIBE Member
Innocenti Restaurant and Bar- $20

Food - 7/10 -
appetiser: warm scallop salad on mixed greens in curry vanilla vinaigrette wasn't warm at all.
entrée: homemade gnocchi with exotic mushrooms in parmesan cream sauce is their specialty and your best choice. it is a little rich but well worth it.
desert: Innocenti tiramisu, espresso and kahlua soaked ladyfingers layered with mascarpone cheese and chocolate. mmm mmm good. not to sweet and with just enough chocolate kick.

Service - 7/10 - late with our table, but overall had a good experience. friendly staff could have been slightly more informative, although did make some wine recommendations that were only so so.

Atmosphere - 6.5/10 - kindy boring and relatively unimaginative. could do more with the space and lighting.

Return visit? - probably not.

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The Corner House - $30

Food - 8/10 -
appetiser: seafood salad with shrimp, bay scallops, octopus and calamari in a charred lemon vinaigrette was served cold. it was ok, but lacked excitement. the sweet roasted red pepper soup with Basil and Goat cheese swirl was excellent.
entrée: crackling roasted cornish hen with crimini mushrooms, candied pearl onions and roasted root vegetable was very tasty. it was roasted to perfection, with a golden shine. the beef burgeon left something to be desired, but contained good quality ingredients.
desert: burnt hazelnut mousse with chocolate flatbread and brandied cherries. nuff said.
all in all.. the food was very good, but the portions were small.

Service - 9/10 - some of the best service i've experienced in a long while. our server was attentive and helpful and even took our wine back in exchange for one of his recommendations, that turned out to be superb.

Atmosphere - 8.5/10 - great ambiance. cozy warm house that has been transformed into a restaurant. great for a date or intimate meeting.

Return visit? likely.
 

janiecakes

TRIBE Member
Originally posted by Booty Bits
i enjoy it as its own particular thing... not as a true showing of the chef's abilities, more of a chance to do something a bit different without breaking the bank.
i think its important to not walk in there with the same high standards you would normally have for some of these high-end joints. its the only way to walk out not disappointed.

that's the way i'm looking at it. and it's worked for me so far.
 

rejenerate

TRIBE Member
I've only been to Jalapeno's for a $20 dinner so far...I don't think the food was in any way sub-par...I believe it was the whole regular menu as it was quite extensive. Plus we paid for alcohol on top of the $20, as well as a tip...so if they don't care about service, they should, because they're still getting something. Plus word of mouth is incredibly powerful.

I'd go back and pay the full price, especially because it's really close to where I live.

~jen
 

PosTMOd

Well-Known TRIBEr
Originally posted by Big Cheese
take what food items you have left from the regular menu, throw some new promo plates together, impress these people enough so they wanna come back and spend $$$

your not getting their best food, but a taste of what the place has to offer

so you DO come back

Well, apparently, judging by what's been reviewed here, they ARE changing something. Or there are just a lot of mediocre restraurants in Toronto.

Or, are you saying that they are NOT giving the BEST FOOD in an attempt to get people to come back? A taste of their mediocrity should bring the cheap ass people back? For some reason, that doesn't sound right.

You be the judge: subpar food and service to bring people back, or subconscious subpar food and service because nobody likes a cheap ass?
 
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