Winterlicious 2015 – Biff’s Bistro

And running the last Winterlicious review in here right on the wire, just as the first day of Summerlicious starts this year xD. The last restaurant to be reviewed during my Winterlicious is Biff’s Bistro, under the O&B restaurant franchise. This one is a bit under the radar as it isn’t as upscale as some of the others, but still at a convenient location in downtown core. It’s also in the style of a French bistro cuisine, and they also have a nifty patio open in the summer months! Biff’s also runs in all the licious events with the rest of the O&B restaurants, and is at a lower price range, so don’t expect it to be as high quality and fancy as some of the others. I had never been to this restaurant before, so this was my first time trying it out with a group. I went with pretty standard expectations for a restaurant and it definitely met it with good quality food. However, I found their presentation to be slightly lacking and not consistent. We had ordered the same plates where the sizing and placements were different. That would be something nice to look for that differentiates them between a restaurant with higher quality chef standards. Nonetheless, here’s the photo reviews!

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Nice comfortable booths in a large restaurant. With some nice French style decor.
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Pretty standard regular bread… not exactly freshly warm, and nothing special to write about.

Bread & Butter
Bread & Butter

Pretty standard looking soup as well. This was full of apple flavour though, almost in a thick apple sauce like texture. A very tasty a different style of soup though for Winterlicious :)

Appetizer - Parsnip & Apple Soup
Appetizer – Parsnip & Apple Soup

Good tasting smoked salmon. Very standard accompaniments plated nicely (yet inconsistent with another plate at the table). Good tasting food, but also nothing too special and also something that you can likely put together similarly from home. Enjoyed the dish for what it was worth though~

Appetizer - Cured Pastrami-Style Salmon
Appetizer – Cured Pastrami-Style Salmon

A very filling salad full of lots of different ingredients and textures. A good mix for a salad :) Exactly what you’d expect from what it looks like!

Appetizer - Mixed Grain Salad
Appetizer – Mixed Grain Salad

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Didn’t get a chance to personally sample the chicken leg, but reported as a good tasting dish with ample flavouring. It was also of a good size, but I felt the accompaniments were pretty normal for this dish, which is what could have changed to bring it to the next level of goodness.

Entree - Chicken Leg Confit
Entree – Chicken Leg Confit

A very heavy, yet soft and tender mix of beef and veggies in a cornmeal-like stew. First time finding out that Carbonnade Flamande is actually a type of beef and onion stew made with alcohol, originating from Belgium. Very interesting flavour-wise, but a little heavy and too mushy for my likes. Quite enjoyable trying out this type of dish for the first time though!

Entree - Simmered Beef “Carbonnade Flamande’
Entree – Simmered Beef “Carbonnade Flamande’

Definitely a different type of item on a Winterlicious menu from the other restaurants. It was done very nicely, with the crepe being the right thickness so the insides did not fall out, while still ensuring it you didn’t have too much “crepe” in each mouthful. Definitely a good vegetarian dish that was very filling but fresh at the same time. Flavour-wise it was what you’d expect as well, but I thought the sauces and mixture of vegetables was picked out to complement everything on the dish nicely. So that it didn’t feel like you were just eating a gross plate of vegetables at all xD

Entree - Stuffed Buckwheat Crêpe
Entree – Stuffed Buckwheat Crêpe

A very generous portion of fish here! Didn’t get a chance to sample it with my picky cooked fish eating expectations =P but it looked to be nicely seared on the outside and still soft in the center. Reported to be delicious, but I’m unsure if the accompaniments and little sauce is enough to flavour the large piece of fish fully. But since I did not sample it personally, I can’t give more info :( But it does look very nice doesn’t it???

Entree - Roasted White Fish
Entree – Roasted White Fish

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First time having a Bavarois as well, which is similar to a pudding dessert. This dessert tasted very… interesting. It wasn’t strongly cherry flavoured, but it did have an egg pudding texture and softness to it. I’m not too sure about that sauce either… apparently this dessert had pork involved in it too? Honestly, the colouring isn’t too appetizing to me, and the flavours were very subtle. Not my kind of dessert for sure… needed to be more powerful.

Dessert - Warner’s Cherry Bavarois
Dessert – Warner’s Cherry Bavarois

This was definitely more of what I’d expect in a dessert. Lots of new food terms in this review, but a Chômeur is a maple-based dessert originated in Quebec! The sweetness in the apples and maple sap definitely put this dessert in the right sugary direction. Loved the soft spongey cake-ness and was a wonderfully filling and warm final dish for Winterlicious xD

Dessert - Amanda’s Apple Maple Chômeur
Dessert – Amanda’s Apple Maple Chômeur

Yaaaaaa… your typical cheese plate. Nothing fancy or special about them cheeses and accompaniments here. Kinda standard supermarket available stuff.

Dessert - Cheese Boutique Selection
Dessert – Cheese Boutique Selection

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A pretty standard downtown restaurant here. Can definitely go in a casual or business casual attire. Dressing up too much would actually put you a little out of place given the crowd dining here.

Dress Style - Casual
Dress Style – Casual

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And all in all, that completes the Winterlicious review series!!! Finally!!! Biff’s Bistro is a nice comfortable restaurant if you’re looking for something a little more budget friendly while providing good quality food and service. But not quite the place if you’re looking for something more unique in flavouring and high-end. This would be a nice spot to stop by in the summer I think, when the patio is open and I’ve seen some pretty nice summer dessert offerings in past Summerlicious menus that would make me drool!

I hope you enjoyed the reviews, and hold on tight because shortly incoming will be this year’s Summerlicious reviews already! Stay tunedddd in!

Foodie loves,
Dreamz*

http://oliverbonacini.com/Biffs-Bistro.aspx
Restaurant: Biff’s Bistro
Winterlicious: $23 Lunch // $35 Dinner
Reservations: Do make a reservation before arriving for lunch and dinner on weekdays even, as it is in the part of downtown where many people can easily get to after work. But they aren’t a top spot for licious, so I wouldn’t be
Attire: Casual / Business Casual

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