Every summer and winter Toronto foodies get hyper excited about the Licious Season. Reservations are made with urgency as diners take advantage of the incredible value and exclusive prix fixe menus offered at over 175 of the cities top restaurants. I have always been a hesitant Licious fan as as I am typically more keen to eat off a restaurants regular menu in order to get a better appreciation of the depth of its culinary repertoire. Some love Licious, searching out the best menus and getting great value for their money. Others have horror stories of Licious gone wrong (where restaurants put out a sloppy mediocre menu). I think we can all agree the publicity for Toronto restaurants is exceptional but not every apple in the bowl is as ripe as the next.
This past Winterlicious I coordinated five reviews with the Bloor Yorkville BIA to showcase some of the best Licious menus the city has to offer. As many of you know I moved to Yonge and College this past summer from the West End. With Yorkville a short walk north from my apartment this culinary assignment allowed me to discover five new restaurants just a hop skip and a jump away.
Lucky met me at my apartment on a Sunday evening, we chit chatted and enjoyed a few glasses of wine before heading over to Creme Brasserie for dinner. The restaurant is tucked away in the Renaissance Courtyard off Cumberland Street. The space features stunning crystal chandeliers and cream coloured walls. The menu is a compilation of simple, elegant French inspired classics with an emphasis on flavour and quality ingredients. I was so impressed by the execution of both of their entrees: cornish hen (which featured roast pork belly so it was a given I had to try that) and steak frites. I hope to return in the spring and summer as they have a beautiful patio space! Glass of wine, sunny day and you are set.
We enjoyed (* notes my favorites):
Shaved Root Vegetable Salad
red and yellow beets, turnips and carrots in hazelnut vinaigrette
Pickled Fig and Triple Cream Brie Crostini *
Roast Cornish Hen *
confit pork belly, caramelized onion, fennel, spaghetti squash, walnut and cranberry wine jus
Steak Frites *
strip loin, frites, shallot jus
Creme Brule *
tahitian vanilla custard, wine poached plums, cookie
strawberries, bananas, caramel, cointreau