Restaurants & Bars

Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Winterlicious - Byzantium (with pictures)


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Winterlicious - Byzantium (with pictures)

ThomOnTheNet | Jan 29, 2006 02:51 PM

499 Church Street

We had reservations for 7:30 PM and arrived a few minutes early. The restaurant was busy, but we were taken to our table promptly.

Byzantium has two dining spaces with comfortable sitting, one at the front with large glass panels overlooking Church Street, and a more cozy and intimate space at the back. In addition, there is a long bar running the entire length of the restaurant on one of the sides. The decor is mostly modern with soft lights in the evening.

The meal started with rosemery bread, toasted sesame seed bread sticks and white bean paste. The bread was soft and had a nice rosemary scent. The white bean paste by itself was bland, but it not overpowering when served with the rosemary bread, making it a good companion. The toasted sesame seed bread sticks were quite salty, but very addictive. I rarely eat bread before meals, but in this meal my SO and I cleaned up the bread basket.

My SO had the "Roasted butternut squash puree with ginger cream & toasted pumpkin seeds" was good, tasty and perfect for a cold night, but not exceptional.

The "Crab cakes with jalepeno tartar & seedling salad" consisted of a single crab cake, which was tasty and most importantly not greasy. I could not tell there were japaleno peppers in the tartar sauce, but it all went very well with the side salad.

My SO ordered the "Honey mustard lacquered roast breast of Capon stuffed with herbed cous cous & served with glazed carrots & parsnips, green beans & a herb reduction". The capon was moist and tender. My SO didn't care for the light herbed cous cous stuffing; it made the breast of Capon drier. The general opinion is that the stuffing would suit better a rolled stuffed pork roast.

The "Maple roasted fillet of B.C. organic salmon with pine nut, cranberry wild rice pilaf, cauliflower gratin, & browned butter parsley sauce" tasted good. The salmon was prepared medium and cranberries and raisins provided an sparkle of interest in the wild rice pilaf. The brown butter parsley sauce was sweeter than I expected, but it did go well with the dish. The miniscule salmon serving size was disappointing and the pine nut was nowhere in sight.

I ordered the "Profiterole Gigantico" and my SO had the "Honey Pear Spice Cake". The profiterole was simply filled with chocolate mouse and drizzled with chocolate sauce. The spice cake had more the consistency of a pudding, and was served with crunchy pear slices on the plate with silky cinnamon mascarpone cream and caramel sauce, creating an interesting dessert. Between the two, the spice cake was the better choice.

The meal was good and the service was OK. Winterlicious dinner for two with a soda, a glass of wine and two coffees came to $63.50 before tax and tip.

Having said that, if you decide to go to Byzantium, I would highly suggest you stick with their regular menu. The soup in the regular menu is $9 and the capon or salmon both are $19, which adds up to $25, the price of the Winterlicious menu. So basically you are getting a free dessert ordering the Winterlicious menu. However, the serving size of the Winterlicious entree is about half the size of the regular entree. In my personal opinion you'll get much better value ordering from their regular menu and getting a full size entree.

Bread basket:
Roasted butternut squash puree:
Crab cakes:
Roast breast of Capon:
B.C. organic salmon:
Honey Pear Spice Cake:
Profiterole Gigantico:




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