WINTERLICIOUS 2016

Winterlicious reservations opened this morning and by now, I think everyone’s familiar with the drill. If not, check out my previous guides/picks for Winterlicious 2015 and Summerlicious 2014. This year’s event runs from January 29th to February 11th. Lunch prices are $18, $23, $28 and dinner prices are $25, $35, $45, same as last year. So far, I have two dinners booked, a fancy date night with The Hubby and a weekday night out with girlfriends.

Where I’ll Be:

  1. Cafe Boulud – $45 Dinner / French / The “fancy” dinner
  2. Colette Grand Cafe – $45 Dinner / French / The “girls night” dinner

Recommendations:

  • Lunch – I’m looking for tantalizing menus that are similar or even more appealing relative to the dinner menu
    1. Thoroughbred Food and Drink (Past Review) – $23 Lunch / Canadian / I would order Kung Pao Cauliflower, Trout and Apple Crisp
    2. Canoe – $28 Lunch / Canadian / I would order Pickled Atlantic Mackerel, Braised Lamb Shoulder and Caramel Pumpkin Cake
    3. Bar Buca – $18 Lunch / Italian / I would order Testa and Nodini, Verdure Schiacciata and Biscotti Di Mosai and Cannoli Siciliani
Winterlicious 2016
  • Dinner – I’m looking for great atmosphere, interesting menu items and best value
    1. Auberge du Pommier (Past Review) – $45 Dinner / French / I would order Pate de Campagne, Bouef Bourguignon and GΓ’teaux aux Amandes
    2. Lee – $45 Dinner / Asian / I would order Spicy General Tao Popcorn Chicken, Slow Braised Beef and Dessert Trio
    3. Archeo – $25 Dinner / Italian / I would order Fall Caprese, Hot Smoked Ocean Trout and White Chocolate Ricotta Cheesecake
Winterlicious 2016
  • Good for Groups – I’m looking for a variety of choices, easy parking/access and a spacious dining area
    1. The Carbon Bar – $35 Dinner only / Canadian / I would order Hamachi Poke, Fried Chicken and Pork Ribs and Dulce de Leche Ice Cream
    2. Cluny (Past Review) – $35 Dinner / French / For dinner I would order the Lentil Soup, Grilled Albacore Tuna and Milk Chocolate Mousse
    3. Quince (Past Review) – $23 Lunch / Mediterranean / I would order Baby Kale Salad, Potato Gnocchi and Milk Chocolate Pannacotta
Winterlicious 2016

Check out all of my past Licious event reviews for more ideas and recommendations.  

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!

Happy Holidays!!

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas (and every other holiday celebration) and a Happy New Year!

For myself, 2015 marked many special events. This was the first year The Hubby and I celebrated as a married couple and we loved spending time with both of our families, feasting and arguing over boardgames. 2015 has been full of celebrations and amazing memories including 5 weddings, 9 countries and 1 baby. So far we’ve already booked a two week vacation for April (Hint: It’s in Europe!) and I can’t wait to see what else 2016 has in store!

Happy Holidays!!

INSTAGRAM GIVEAWAY!

Happening right now on my Instagram account! Win a $25 Gift Card for Starbucks!

#GIVEAWAY | Thank you to everyone who follows me! I can’t believe I’ve hit 2500 followers and as a way of thanks, I’d like to run a contest just for you guys!

CONTEST DETAILS:
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One winner will receive a $25 gift card to Starbucks. This contest is in no way sponsored by Starbucks. I’m simply thanking my followers with a gift I’d love to receive for Christmas.
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To Enter:
1. Follow @xiaoeats on Instagram
2. Like the Instagram post
3. Optional #1: For 1 Bonus Entry, Tag 2 Friends. (2 Tags = 1 Entry)
4. Optional #2: For 2 Bonus Entries, Repost this image and use hashtag: #xiaoeatsgiveaway
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Contest ends on December 16, 2015 at 11:59PM.
🌟Winner will be contacted the following day.
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GOOD LUCK EVERYONE and Thank you for following!
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Per Instagram rules, we must mention this is no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. By entering, entrants confirm they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s term of use.

Contest is open to Canadian residents only.

BEST DATE NIGHT

For me, the equation for a perfect date includes good food, good drinks and good conversation. A date is about spending time with another person, be it getting to know each other for the first time, getting a break from the kids or re-connecting after a busy week at work. To facilitate this, my pick for the Best Date Night restaurants in Toronto offer great food, an air of privacy and no ear-drum breaking music. I’m old, I don’t love yelling across the table all night.

1. Kwan Dim Sum


Rating/Price: 5.0 $$
Why? Elevated dim sum, lovely service, elegant interior, dishes perfect for sharing
Must Order: Shrimp Dumplings, Rice Roll
Good For? First dates, midtown location, refined Chinese food
 

2. La Carnita


Rating/Price: 4.5 $$
Why? Well priced, delicious tacos, cozy seating
Must Order: In Cod We Trust, Dessert
Good For? Casual date, dinner before another activity
 

3. The Good Son


Rating/Price: 5.0 $$$
Why? Intimate dining area, great tasting menu, good cocktails
Must Order: Charcuterie and Cheese Board, Seasonal Cocktails
Good For? Special occasions, trying to impress, foodies
 

4. Koyoi


Rating/Price: 4.5 $$
Why? Good food, located downtown, hidden gem
Must Order: Sashimi Salad, Beef Tataki
Good For? Casual date, pitchers of beer
 

5. Oyster Boy


Rating/Price: 4.5 $$$
Why? Fresh oysters, intimate seating, amazing pasta
Must Order: Oysters, Papperdelle Pasta
Good For? Seafood lovers, special occasions
 

6. Pizzeria Libretto


Rating/Price: 4.5 $$
Why? Delicious pizzas, also available for take away
Must Order: Duck Confit Pizza, Calamari
Good For? Casual date, pizza lovers
 

7. Sake Bar Kushi


Rating/Price: 4.5 $$$
Why? Intimate booths, traditional izakaya decor, many menu choices, perfect for sharing
Must Order: Ebi Mayo, Yakitori
Good For? Izakaya experience without the yelling, midtown location
 

8. Pai Northern Kitchen


Rating/Price: 4.0 $$
Why? Takes reservations, best Thai food in the city
Must Order: Squash Fritters, Papaya Salad
Good For? Casual date, dinner before going out
 

9. Bestellen


Rating/Price: 4.5 $$$
Why? Intimate seating, good wine list, wonderful service, great steak without breaking the bank
Must Order: Dry Aged Steak
Good For? Foodies, special occasions
 

Honourable Mentions:

Still TBE (To be Eaten):

Did I miss your favourite restaurant? Let me know in the comments. Last Updated: 10/02/2015