- Address: 100 Adelaide St E, Toronto
- Visited: 02/03/2014, Dinner, 2 people
- Cuisine: Seafood
- Rating: 4.0 5.0 Excellent, worth every $
4.5 Good, food & value
4.0 Good, but $$, would re-visit
3.5 Meh, good $, would re-visit
3.0 Meh, would not re-visit
2.0 Did not like $$$ [$] <20; [$$] <40; [$$$] <80; [$$$$] >80
The organizers of Winterlicious are brilliant to hold the event in February. After a long winter in Toronto and a month after the holidays it’s easy to hibernate. 2014 especially has started with cold winter weather and personally I’m starting to count down to spring. So having a reason to get dressed up, leave the house and eat an amazing meal is a welcome light in the midst of dreary weather. I started this year’s Winterlicious adventures with a return visit to Starfish being enticed by their 3 course $35 oyster dinner.
Atmosphere: Large booths occupy one side of the restaurant across from the oyster bar and smaller tables for two fill the area between. I love the plentiful seating at the bar to watch the live shucking action. For a Monday night, I was surprised at how busy the restaurant was, even during Winterlicious. The noise level was lively but not loud and there wasn’t any background music to compete with. With the intimate lighting, I would highly recommend Starfish for a romantic date out.
Service: Walking into Starfish, I was greeted and brought to my table. The host offered to take my jacket but I was carrying too many things (lunch bag, purse, gloves, hat, etc) and flustered from running to the restaurant (because I’m always running “just 5 minutes” late) to get all my things in order to hand off. Once my friend arrived, water and bread was served while we looked over the menu. It was a busy night and after placing our order I was warned of a wait for the oyster meal, and it was quite the wait. My seafood platter didn’t arrive until my friend was basically done her entree. All three “courses” were shucked and arrived at once. I would’ve preferred if the appetizer oysters came out first but it was easier to dress all the oysters at once.
Food: I was there for the oysters but I was happy to share and I’m lucky all my friends have gotten used to sharing their meals as well. My friend ordered the haddock fish cakes, rainbow trout and sticky toffee pudding. While I waited for my meal, I snuck bites from her plates. I loved every component of the fish cake dish as evidenced by our very clean plate afterwards. The haddock was flakey, the roasted beets sweet, the sweet onion jam tangy and the perfect pickled green bean. I tasted a bite of the rainbow trout and almost wished I’d ordered that instead. The flesh was pink, moist and the skin was a beautiful crisp.
When the server arrived with our oysters, I was eager to dig in. I always taste one oyster undressed before adding lemon juice, seafood sauce and horseradish. Between the three types of oysters, my favourite were the Sawmill Bays. They were sweet, not too fleshy and were easily slurped in one try. Next, I enjoyed the Kumamotos followed by the Green Gables. The Kumamotos were the “dessert” oysters and I was expecting a sweeter taste, but they were actually very mild, needed a few bites and had a rich almost creamy flavour. The Green Gables were classic PEI flavour, salty and fresh. This was my first time trying out raw clams and they had the strongest seafood flavour of the night. They were much chewier than the oysters and musclely.
Our meal ended with a slice of The Sticky Toffee Pudding and oh my, it was a good piece of pudding. The cake itself was moist, warm and not overly sweet, perfect for soaking up the generous spread of toffee. I’m glad I don’t have access to this dessert on a daily basis because my dress pants are still snug from the holidays.