Summerlicious 2014 – Michael’s on Simcoe

Michael’s on Simcoe was a restaurant where I was not involved in the decision making process. Haven’t really heard of this restaurant before and I only decided to accept going here because my family decided they wanted to try something new and chose this restaurant based on the menu items. Hrrrmmm, some quick research showed this restaurant to be pretty nice looking, and its main focus on steak. Nothing bad about it so we gave it a try.

The decor of the restaurant was definitely really nicely done. Pretty rounded booths with comfy couches and chairs, and your typical fancy restaurant’s super dim romantic lighting style. The night that we went, we were seated at a booth where you can see their crazy “meat locker” fridge from. Definitely lots of different types of fancy meats. We went on a weekday night, and had a few tables around us, mostly having business dinners or couples eating after work. The restaurant never filled up throughout the night. Interestingly, most of the tables there were not there for Summerlicious. Many seemed to be ordering off their regular menu and drinking wine. Which is also when I noticed that their regular menu items were not that pricey at all considering this was a $45 dinner restaurant. By the end of the meal though, I kinda wish we had ordered from the regular menu instead…

In terms of service, the waiters were nice and accommodating as you would expect from fancy restaurants. However, the one biggest complaint I would have about this place is that everything was SO SO SO SO SO S-L-O-W-W-W-W-W-W-W. Even with just a few tables around, the wait time between each course was incredible to the point that we really ran out of chat topics and started looking around to see when food would show up. They also forgot to bring our bread at the beginning of the meal until I asked :( . I think I noticed that the service was also much better towards the other tables that were ordering copious amounts of alcohol… which I understand but I also think is unprofessional of them. The one thing that pissed me off the most was the fact that I had to ask them 3 times before I was provided the bill. The meal took SO long that we didn’t have enough time on the street parking meter so we really had to get outta there. We ended up having to go get the car while I sat there and waited, and waited, and waited…. and waited for the bill. Credit card in hand tapping on the table by the end of it. I’m pretty sure it was 20 minutes from the first time I requested the bill until I was finally able to pay for it in the end.

So what about the food?

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Dining environment with dim fancy restaurant lighting, and a meat fridge over there!
Dining environment with dim fancy restaurant lighting, and a meat fridge over there!
Some nice decor surrounding the rounded booth area I sat in
Some nice decor surrounding the rounded booth area I sat in
Your typical menu
Your typical menu

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The bread was warm and soft, and I enjoyed the fact that they brought out a little plate of a variety of things to go with your bread. The pickled veggies were tasty and added a nice touch. I had a bit of trouble getting a good amount of both the vinegar and olive oil without getting my bread soaked in the olive oil by dipping, so I ended up having to use a spoon to get an even amount of that xD

Bread with an array of condiments - olives, pickled vegetables, balsamic vinegar & olive oil
Bread with an array of condiments – olives, pickled vegetables, balsamic vinegar & olive oil

The calamari and the sauce were both really good. The sauce was very flavourful without tasting only like tomatoes. The calamari was soft and chewy without being hard to bite through. Wanted to use the bread to wipe up all the leftover sauce on the plate but also didn’t want to fill up on bread before the rest of the meal -_-

Appetizer - Tomato Braised Calamari
Appetizer – Tomato Braised Calamari

The crostino bread stick thing sitting on top was a good bonus addition to the soup which also made it look much more than just regular soup. The cheesy crostino was yummy and tasted even better when dipped into the soup to be softened up a bit. The soup itself was alright as a chilled soup, but I felt that it was a little bit too strong with its tomato-sourness and whichever spice was used to give it the spice “kick”. It wasn’t spicy per say, but there was just too much of a sour/spice mixture that I didn’t really want to continue drinking it after a bit. Wouldn’t be a recommendation from me unless you like that kind of flavouring in soups.

Appetizer - Vegetable Gazpacho Soup
Appetizer – Vegetable Gazpacho Soup

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The sauce/accompaniments for this dish was what got me excited about trying it. Especially the “wildflower honey” and “peach salsa”, sounds right up my alley of sweetness! And those sauces indeed did deliver! The sweet touch to the pork loin was great on this savory dish and went well with the rest of the sides on the plate. The meat was pretty giant too, with a bit of fatty fat that I cut off, but still cooked well. I wouldn’t say it was cooked perfectly in that it was a thick slab of meat and did get a little bland after a bit if there wasn’t anything to eat it with, but I still enjoyed this dish for the most part. I loved the little fried polenta blocks! For the longest time I was trying to figure out if they were potatoes or a type of cheese because they were really soft and mashy in the center and had an interesting texture I couldn’t pinpoint. But I just looked it up and learned about a new food hehe! Pear salsa was an excellent sauce that I’d put on any of my food.

Entree - Ontario Pork Loin roasted with Wild Flower Honey
Entree – Ontario Pork Loin roasted with Wild Flower Honey

Being marketed as a steakhouse, I would think their steak should be their best. However, it was unfortunate that I didn’t feel this way about this steak dish. Everything was generally mediocre about it. Just steak, nothing special. Kind of like going to a typical chained restaurant for steak like The Keg and having steak there. Everything was very normal about this dish. You get a good portion of meat though compared to the usual Summerlicious restaurant steaks though. Meh~

Entree - Wellington County California Cut Striploin
Entree – Wellington County California Cut Striploin

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Was really happy to try this dessert when it first arrived from its presentation that seemed to be bursting with fruit and flavour. Started out with the top layer along with a bit of that mascarpone, which was really light and tasty, and blended well together with the fruits. Then we reveal what’s deeper down into the cup and we see lots of reds and berries and whatnot. Which I sort of expected coming from a fruit dessert, but what I didn’t expect was how friggin sour this thing turned out to be. There was absolutely no sweetness to it by the time you got past the mascarpone. The crumble was just chunks of hardness mixed in with the face-scrunching sourness of the fruit/jam. Then the rarest thing happened with a Summerlicious dessert dish… NOBODY wanted to finish it. It was the dessert that actually ended up being half leftover and uneaten to be brought back to the dump :( . Sorry fruits but we really couldn’t take all the sourness. :( :( :(

Dessert - Ontario Fruit Crumble with Vanilla Whipped Mascarpone
Dessert – Ontario Fruit Crumble with Vanilla Whipped Mascarpone

Inside the Fruit Crumble
Inside the Fruit Crumble

After getting past all the whipped creamy stuff and abundance of strawberry and jam… finally dug up the cheesecake which was hiding and camouflaging in underneath the layers of stuff. You really couldn’t tell about what was the “cheesecake” and what was the cream other than the fact they taste different in your mouth. The texture and looks were identical in the dim lighting. The cheesecake part worked out in terms of taste if you like them in the soft whipped creamy-like format rather than a solid cake style… but all the strawberry and stuff to go with it was once again too sour as a dessert. This restaurant really likes to over-sour their desserts to leave you with a sour impression eh? =P

Dessert - Bella Casara Ricotta Cheesecake
Dessert – Bella Casara Ricotta Cheesecake

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Most people was dressed in work outfits the night I was there. The decor of the restaurant was very fancy-like, but I felt it to be more of a business casual to business type of dress environment given the service and food.

Dress Style - Business Casual
Dress Style – Business Casual

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I will not be back to this restaurant for a Summerlicious event unless there is some drastic change to it and everyone recommends it or something. I really felt like this is not a restaurant you want to go for Summerlicious, where you want to be trying high quality foods that are generally out of your price range on a normal day. I feel like they really didn’t care about their Summerlicious dishes and it was just a way for them to charge you $45 for something that’s not even worth more than $45. In fact, I saw them bring out their regular menu dishes to the other tables, and I think those looked much more appetizing and probably tasted better in terms of the meat used? Their regular menu dishes aren’t even overly expensive for a steakhouse… so if you really want to go here I’d say just order from their regular menu. Don’t waste your money on Summerlicious here.

Sour foods and long waits make me saaaad,
Dreamz*

http://michaelsonsimcoe.com/
Restaurant: Michael’s on Simcoe
Winterlicious: $25 Lunch // $45 Dinner
Reservations: Reservations are probably not even required for this restaurant on a weekday. Not much hype here and not a famous licious restaurant.
Attire: Business Casual

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