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Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Winterlicious - Nectar & Batifole are hits - longish

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Restaurants & Bars

Winterlicious - Nectar & Batifole are hits - longish

J | Feb 8, 2006 10:14 AM

After hearing great things about Nectar last year, we were set to go but never made it before this board started giving less favourable reviews. Come Winterlicious, I thought - now is the time to try it. In fact, we were pleasantly surprised. The $35 set menu provides 3 choices for each course, and each selection comes with 2 "flavours" eg. the pasta is in fact 2 small bowls, fettucine with a light oil & herb sauce, and penne with a pesto sauce; the clam chowder was one small bowl of New England and one of Boston. Both soup & pasta were good choices, although if you are hungry the pasta will satisfy - this appetizer is the size of a main! For our main courses we both had the salmon (there were also chicken & pork rib choices), which was perfectly cooked & moist, althought I would have preferred a stronger flavour to the very mild curry sauce. Dessert is a choice of hot gingerbread cake or chocolate mousse cake, both very tasty. Service was good, room is lovely (although a very trendy look and with rather impractical table ware eg. bowls with verticle sides (hard to cut the fish!) and square bowls for soup (round spoon can't get into corners). If you can tolerate that level of trendiness, it is an enjoyable evening out.

Batifole is my new fave restaurant. Located in Chinatown east, south of Riverdale (Gerrard east of DVP)- not a neighborhood I know, and quite out of the way for us, but regardless, we will be back. It is a delightful, warm & friendly neighborhood place with simple, colourful decor & tables very close together. Service was outstanding & welcoming (and great French accents from the entire staff!). The $25 'licious menu had only 2 choices for each course & at first seemed limiting. Since the regular menu is not expensive (app $8, main $16, side dishes $6), my husband ordered a la carte - fabulous dish of olives & crostini with cheese followed by delicious pepper steak with roasted vegetables, and for dessert a crepe with banana & chocolate (decadent). I ordered the 'licious menu, mushroom soup to start (good, a bit bland) and a fabulous fish (dory) which was moist & flavourful in a perfect white sauce - my husband wished he'd ordered it although his steak was also excellent. The dessert choices are a chocolate pudding or creme brule - I had the brule which was perfectly done. Overall the food was more impressive than Nectar and I love this place (did I mention that) but it is clearly a casual, neighborhood option whereas Nectar delivers that "with it" and "occasion" vibe.

I'd recommend both places

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