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 menu 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.
My final Winterlicious review in Yorkville was at the legendary Windsor Arms Hotel. I was joined by my friend Maxime for dinner at Prime. The restaurant is a modern steakhouse, its burning fireplace lighting two rooms of tan leather, dark wood and a collection of paintings by Canadian artist Charles Pachter. In the kitchen, certified dry-aged Kobe, organic lamb and beef steaks are prepared in an infrared broiler. Prime’s wine programme features a selection of the world’s finest, they have received the Award of Excellence by Wine Spectator for the past two years. The Windsor Arms has outfitted itself with a vegan chef, an unusual but welcome addition to a traditional steakhouse.
My most memorable moments at dinner included a glass of Windsor Arms Hotel Chardonnay, Steak (each bloody piece) and the phenomenal Chocolate Peanut Butter Bombe sweet finish.
We enjoyed (* notes my favorites):
Wild Mushroom Soup *
truffle oil croutons
reggiano, double smoked bacon
10 oz Char Grilled New York Striploin (21 Day Dry Aged) *
cremini mushroom and herb pomme puree
Crusted Tempeh Steaks, Spiced Sweet Potato Coconut Mash
steamed greens, caramelized onion, cherry tomato relish
Chocolate Peanut Butter Bombe *
milk chocolate peanut butter mousse, chocolate glaze, caramelized peanuts
Raw Raspberry Cashew Cheesecake