With Winterlicious 2008 coming to an end, I just want to share some of the good and ugly moments I've experienced for the past 2.5 weeks.
I actually got to try 4 licious places (2 lunches & 2 dinners). i know it might sound a lot, but with the crazy discounted price tag on a 3-course menu, I just couldn't pass the opportunity. My SO and I mainly tried to book higher end places for previous -licious events. But this year, we decided to hit less popular and more local restaurants. Here are our reviews on them
Souther Accent ($25/person, dinner) - restaurant prepared hummus to go wtih the bread, good idea but it failed miserably. Hummus was bland and watery, it kept on dripping off the baguette slice. Soup with hush puppies were good, but not great~ Soup was slightly warmer than room temperature and the hush puppies were stale. the 2nd app smoked salmon wtih crostini was unmemorable. Mains were suffering the same fate as the soup, warm, not hot~ On the bright note, jambalaya did packed some heavy punch with the creole spice. The kitchen had obviously pre-made most of the orders already. Pecan pie was slightly warm, again, like all of the food that night. Verdict: will not return even for regular menu, I hope the in-house psychic predicted that one coming
5th element ($15/person, lunch) - apps chosen were blackened shrimp & scallops and baked french lentils. Great use of the spices, enjoyed both very much. The crust for the baked french lentils were a bit soft and stale, you know it's been placed under the heat lamp for awhile. Grilled bengali salmon and tandoori chicken were done perfectly. Desserts were decent but not great. Verdict: one of the best -licious deal ever, i believe. will definitely return for regular menu.
Oliver & Bonacini Cafe Grill ($15/person, lunch) - apps were Grilled calamari and Creamy potato & leek soup. Also ordered the mushroom soup on top. The mushroom soup was WAY better than the grilled calamari and the potato soup, which was just potato and leek swimming in excessive amount butter and cream. The salmon for main was great, but the turkey meatloaf was oversalted with the gravy. sticky toffee pave was the highilght of the lunch. chocolate torte tasted worse than the 2-bite brownie from Loblaw's. Verdict: will return to sample regular menu items, but need to be impressed for the 2nd return.
Greg Couillard's Spice Room & Chutney Bar ($35/person, dinner) - apps were Jamaican jump soup and the salad. Amazing soup, but the following main and the dessert couldn't surpass the soup. mains were Chicken Bangkok & Osso buco. coconut rice was overcooked but the chicken was super tender. Fettuccini in osso buco was way undercooked and veal shank was tough to cut. For the dessert, couldn't really taste the chipotle spice, the complimentary banana pudding put the chocolate cake in shame. Verdict: if the jump soup is from the regular menu, i expect great things from the regular menu, will return.
Any other positive or negative experiences for this year's winterlicoius?