Summerlicious 2016* Updates!

*blows dust off of the site*

Heh! I’ve reappeared again! I know the last licious event went straight to Instagram and the followup written reviews seems to be missing… but I do have my notes still for them! I’m thinking of doing shorter summary reviews of the past winterlicious event, just to get it all down for future references for everyone. But once again, I’m starting up with Summerlicious 2016 with quick photos to Instagram first and foremost (since it really is much easier on timing). Please follow along there if you want delicious photos, and check back later for my super delayed writeups ^__^” I’m not gonna promise anything but I hope to get around to something! There definitely has been a drop in the number of restaurant visits this time around, but scheduling has become more and more crazy for me with additional traveling this month, and unfortunately I’ll be giving up on some foodie times this time around! But don’t worry, I will not give up on foodie adventures throughout the year with you all! Please eat onnnnnnn!!!

The List:
Auberge du Pommier
BOSK
The Chase

Thank youuu~
Dreamz*

IG: @dreamzangel.whit

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[Recap] Summerlicious 2015 – Harlem

This is the last review I have here for my Summerlicious recaps, and as we end here, we’ll be beginning with Winterlicious 2016 very soon! I hope you all have your restaurants planned out for the next 2 weeks, and if not, don’t worry there’s still time to review, research, and pick your favourite ones :)

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Harlem is a cute little gem of a restaurant located a little further out from the usual fancy financial district line of restaurants. It sits in an intersection that’s not very populated (Richmond & Church), but with a name that’s rising in popularity due to its unique style and tastes, people definitely know where to find it. Harlem does soul food and they do it authentically well. The restaurant itself is super cozy, and has their menu on a vinyl record on regular nights (I hope they still do this because it was a while ago since I last went). This was the first time for me visiting the restaurant during the summer, and I’m super happy that I discovered their amazing patio on a beautiful sunny day when I dined there for Summerlicious! The whole restaurant is perfect where it is because it provides the right chillin’ and jammin’ kinda vibe to go with their culture of food. So let’s check out their licious run~

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Outdoor patio seating to the side of the restaurant in an alleyway area between two buildings. Closed off with a bit of roofing to block out some sun.
Outdoor patio seating to the side of the restaurant in an alleyway area between two buildings. Closed off with a bit of roofing to block out some sun.

Gorgeous artwork all over the walls of the buildings where the patio seating was.
Gorgeous artwork all over the walls of the buildings where the patio seating was.

The restaurant probably has one of my favourite unique summer patios in downtown Toronto. Because it’s not located in a busy area of the city, sitting on the streets between 2 buildings outdoors on a nice day really gives you the perfect chilling spot for lunch. You would be surrounded by all the graffiti and artworks everywhere you looked, and it was just so cultural and fun to eat in such an environment. You almost expect a Jamaican band to appear and start drummin’ on the corner of the patio under the sun! And yes, they do have overhead covering so you’re not burning your head off while enjoying your meal :)

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Appetizer - Cornbread
Appetizer – Cornbread

Unfortunately, after having the cornbread from America Restaurant (which I keep raving about in all my reviews that you’re prob sick of it now), this was somewhat underwhelming. I’m not even sure if I can find cornbread as delicious as that anywhere else… even if that wasn’t fully authentic *cries* This cornbread felt a little too dry and the taste wasn’t really there for me.

Appetizer - Pear Salad
Appetizer – Pear Salad

This salad was exactly what you’d expect. A salad – refreshing, crunchy, healthy :) Freshly sliced pears :9

Appetizer - Fried Okra
Appetizer – Fried Okra

Personally, I’m not a fan of okra so I can’t give you an accurate rating of how good or bad this was. But I’m pretty sure this tastes exactly like what it is haha. Deep fried vegetable – not too oily, not too hard. A good balance but I just don’t know what it is about okra that I just don’t really enjoy… its texture or flavour? Deep frying it still doesn’t make me like it =P

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Entree - Roasted Jerk in Coconut Bread
Entree – Roasted Jerk in Coconut Bread

I thought this dish was quite enjoyable. However, it was noted by those who can handle spicier foods that they felt the jerk chicken could use more jerk. For me, it was good enough because I can’t handle foods that are too spicy, but I understand that normally jerk foods are expected to give quite a kick! The coconut bread was super soft and yummy, and the meat was extremely tender. A perfect lunch meal sandwich!

Entree - Caribbean Curried Vegetable Stew
Entree – Caribbean Curried Vegetable Stew

The curry here was very flavourful, but everything else was mediocre in the sense that it was quite average and exactly what you see on the plate in terms of tastes. A solid curry and that’s about it.

Entree - Southern Fried Chicken and Waffles
Entree – Southern Fried Chicken and Waffles

Ahh, the chicken and waffles, a popular dish all around for this event. The deep fried chicken was very tasty. Crunchy on the outside with nice soft chicken meat on the inside. The waffles were also soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside – meaning they were freshly made! A good sweet and sour dipping sauce for the chicken, and of course the sweet syrup for the waffles! Everything delivered to expectations here!

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Dessert - Candied Plantain
Dessert – Candied Plantain

These are my favourite things that they serve here. Their plantains are warm, sweet, soft, and absolutely delicious! This would be the item that brings me back to this restaurant for a craving of this dessert :D

Dessert - Bread Pudding
Dessert – Bread Pudding

I didn’t really enjoy the bread pudding. The raisins were overpowering here, and the textures were not quite soft enough for a good bread pudding. The accompanying ice cream scoop was however very good. Soft and melty, kinda like having vanilla soft serve instead.

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Attire - Casual
Attire – Casual

Very casual and relaxing environment. Look at that young high school girl attire that I’m even sporting there… =_=”

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This restaurant is a great place to dine. It’s such a good deal because they’re on the cheaper spectrum for licious, and totally worth it! You come here to have a great time enjoying good food for a good cheap price, and that’s exactly what they give ya. I think coming here in the summer is a much better choice because you’ll get to sit at the awesome patio that takes you to another place entirely. If you’re looking for some real soul home-cooked kinda southern style dishes, this is the place to be no doubt!

Let the licious continue on,
Dreamz*

http://www.harlemrestaurant.com/
Restaurant: Harlem Restaurant
Summerlicious: $18 Lunch // $25 Dinner
Reservations: Quite a small and cozy restaurant, so not a lot of seats. A couple more seats open up in the summer due to the patio seating. Reservations recommended during busy hours, walk-ins might be acceptable. Restaurant is getting pretty popular lately though :)
Attire: Casual

[Recap] Summerlicious 2015 – Copacabana

So this restaurant is pretty well known for being around Toronto for a while now, serving a Brazilian Rodizio experience to diners. For those that have not heard of this before, it’s basically an all-you-can-eat meat festival. Waiters walk around and slice you different kinds of meat, alllll nightttt longggg, until you tell them to stop because you’re so stuffed with meats. So if you’re a vegetarian, just turn the other way now and skip this review!

Copacabana has multiple locations throughout Toronto, but the Yonge & Eglinton location is the only one that joins in for the licious events. Because it’s already a buffet style restaurant, nothing really changes for them during licious, except you get to experience it at a cheaper licious rate. So you’ll find that this particular review will be a little different. I’ll just be throwing you a bunch of photos that won’t be as pretty as your usual licious restaurant reviews. Because really, all you’re gonna get is plates of meat and their famous grilled pineapples! I didn’t really go into the details of noting down every piece of meat that came my way, so if you want the full meat menu, you’re best just taking a look at what they have listed on their site – menu here. And here, I’ll be throwing you a casual review of the experience in general, so enjoy! Warning – pictures of messily sliced meat are probably not going to be super appetizing to everyone… :D

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Blue side of the sign for SERVE ME
Blue side of the sign for SERVE ME

Incredibly casual and chill environment. They had some live musicians playing at the front of the restaurant earlier on before we got seated. As expected of this type of restaurant, you get no menu. Just a sign to tell them you want food to come to your table or not. Blue side = you’re READY TO DEVOUR.

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Drink - Blue Curacao?
Drink – Blue Curacao?

I’m sorry I didn’t write down nor do I remember what this drink I got was. It’s definitely some sort of Blue Curacao sweet liquids, with some cinnamon rimmed on the side there. Very summery and thirst-quenching. Definitely need some cold liquids to wash down the meats!

One part of the all you can eat salad bar
One part of the all you can eat salad bar

So you’re not JUST eating one part of the food group, they do have an open salad bar that you can walk to at the back of the restaurant. This is maybe half of it (didn’t want to jump in there and disturb all the diners piling up their plates with food), but you get the idea of it! There’s also an area serving some breads, cold cuts, and grapes. So there, you get a little bit of everything if you want. The salad was… pretty ordinary take out salad stuff. They had some delicious cheesy coconut breads but don’t get too much because you don’t want to get full before your real meal – the meats! Also apologies, I’m not sure why I didn’t take any pics of my salad bar plate :(

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Meat Plate #1
Meat Plate #1

So it begins. This is basically what happens if you’re a slow eater. You get all sorts of meats piling up on your plate as you race the servers to eat as much as you can before they drop the next set of meats on ya @___@ That night, they were walking around with 15 different types of meats.

Beef Ribs
Beef Ribs

These were one of their specialties of the night. They were soft but very bland. And they also got really dry if you let them sit out for a bit.

Meat Slicing
Meat Slicing

Here’s how the meats come out. And how the servers slice dangerously quickly right in front of you! It’s all very safe and cool though :) Nothing to be scared of at all, except for all the meat you’re going to be trying to eat all night x_x

Meat Plate #2
Meat Plate #2

And another plate of random meats. All of the meats were properly cooked and pretty well seasoned, but some were a tad too salty for me. I found I liked the cheesy meats more. There’s just so much meat that near the end it gets to a point where you’re just like… it’s all meat. Just so.. much… chewing.. and… similar meat taste… ahhhh…

Grilled Pineapple Slicing and Serving
Grilled Pineapple Slicing and Serving

And that’s when the grilled pineapples come in! If there was a dessert section, this would be it! Definitely what this place is known for, and definitely a relief and savior from all those meats. I probably had a little too much of these because I just kept telling them to come back and slice me more. More warm sweet fruit for me!

Grilled Pineapples
Grilled Pineapples

Look at ’em juicy thick strips of pineapples topped with a bit of cinnamon which gives them their deliciousness. Mmmm, yes they deserved a plate of their own <3

Garlic Top Sirloin & Grilled Pineapples. Followed by the NO STOP SERVING red sign.
Garlic Top Sirloin & Grilled Pineapples. Followed by the NO STOP SERVING red sign.

So my favourites of the night were these pieces of Garlic Top Sirloin, and the GRILLED PINEAPPLES (could you have guessed that?). So this is my final plate of goodies before flipping the sign over to the red side… and letting them know that I’m about to roll out full of meats.

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Attire – No photo :( But super casual at this location, just come in t-shirt and jeans/shorts. Flip flops would be welcome at this place xD

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This is definitely a fun experience to have with a group of friends. The more the better because then you can pawn your meats off to others when you realize you’re way too full to handle anymore. For sure, a more popular choice amongst boys because they love to have a lot of meat, and they can definitely handle all that meat way better than I ever could. At the end of the dining experience though, you’ll definitely expect to get the meat sweats (being realistic here ok), and you probably want to be eating salad the next day. So if you’ve got friends that love love love to eat meat? Well make sure to take them here! Make use of the licious event to dine cheaper, because otherwise it’s normally $50 – $60 for these things. In terms of the restaurant as it pertains to licous, I would come and try this place if you haven’t or if you’re really craving a meat buffet. But otherwise, it’s not really super fancy or anything too special that you can’t go to on a regular evening (you’re just paying less during licious). I would suggest the downtown Toronto location on a regular night for a party group, because it’s much nicer and classier at that one. Plus, they’ve opened a seafood style buffet in the same downtown Toronto location called Copa by the Sea that you could check out if you’re more into the ocean foods.

Once again, I apologize for my lack of detail and missing pieces for this particular review. I hope I was still able to get the dining experience across though, and that you weren’t too grossed out by my plates full of meat pictures that aren’t as pretty looking as the other reviews D: Have a meat-loving day!

Tchau (goodbye in portuguese according to google),
Dreamz*

http://www.thecopa.ca/
Restaurant: Copacabana Brazilian Rodizio
Summerlicious: $35 Dinner
Reservations: There’s a lot of people during licious, but they will probably take walk-ins if you don’t mind waiting for a table during busy hours.
Attire: Casual

[Recap] Summerlicious 2015 – Cluny

After having an amazing lunch at this place when they first joined for licious a year ago from now, I knew I wanted to go back here for a dinner meal during Summerlicious 2015. And so I did! The vibe and atmosphere at night was just as amazing as during the day. The dimmer lights at night give the place a good outdoor French bistro on a cozy street corner kinda feel. The decor of this place is still one of my favourites for Toronto restaurants. Cute little story was that I happened to bump into my best friend also having dinner here on the same night, just at a table diagonal to me! What a sweet surprise! This place is definitely the new place everyone wants to try out in Distillery District. The great thing is you can take the time to enjoy the historic attractions after your meal too :) So, let’s get right to it!

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Drinks - House Sangria with White Wine (left) and Red Wine (right)
Drinks – House Sangria with White Wine (left) and Red Wine (right)

Myself not the biggest fan of sangrias – but I liked how they had both white and red here. I’m more of a white wine kinda gal so I enjoyed the white one more. Red sangrias tend to be a little more dry and sour. But both were very tasty sangrias and filled to the brim with fresh fruits as you can see!

Drinks - Joie de Vivre (Left), Aviator (Right)
Drinks – Joie de Vivre (Left), Aviator (Right)

So, let me talk to you about my drink for a minute, which was the one on the left. This drink probably means nothing to you by name, but let me tell you that the general ingredients were amaretto, egg white, and cinnamon. If you follow my food reviews, you’ll know that I’m definitely a sweet tooth for everything. Amaretto is always a safe bet with me when it comes to alcohol because, well, sweet and smooth! But let me tell you… this drink. It is STILL, to this date… the best alcoholic cocktail I have had to drink in my personal opinion. If I had a cocktail defining me – this would be it. I can’t even begin to describe how much I enjoyed this drink because it was like drinking dessert in alcoholic form out of a fancy glass. If I could borrow Thor for a minute – please click here for what I mean in picture form. I really hope they still have it next time I go because I’m craving it… Oh. And the one on the right was a gin with Violette – not mah type of strong alcohol but it was very nice to look at xD

Quinoa Rye, Olive Bread, and Baguette with Butter
Quinoa Rye, Olive Bread, and Baguette with Butter

Wow! Don’t you love variety and choices?! Especially great because this place has a cute little bread station in the center of the restaurant where you can see all sorts of breads! Then they cut them up and bring them to you. Everything is just so cute :) I’m not sure if I had a favourite out of these, but I think I liked them all the same here!

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Appetizer - Yellow Tomato Gazpacho
Appetizer – Yellow Tomato Gazpacho

This soup actually had a little bit of spicy heat to it! Unbeknownst to me, it was a surprise, but otherwise a nice chill soup to start. Nothing in particular to note. Ooo look at that pretty dishware!

Appetizer - Smoked Trout Rillette
Appetizer – Smoked Trout Rillette

Inside the Smoked Trout Rillette
Inside the Smoked Trout Rillette

The rillette had a pretty hard shell that I had to break into to get at the fish. I’m not too sure what the shell was exactly, but it had no taste and was a bit mushy in texture like hard potatoes. It was kinda like eating clay maybe… but once I got to the fish it was much better lol. The fish itself was very flaky and a tad dry, but taste-wise it was all there. Personally I prefer these with a little more creamier sauces mixed in to prevent the fish from being too dry in your mouth. The pickled veggies on the side turned out to be VERY sour… too sour for me to enjoy =P It’s ok though, smoked trout saved the day.

Appetizer - Spinach and Buffalo Ricotta Salad
Appetizer – Spinach and Buffalo Ricotta Salad

The salad was nice and crunchy and had a good sweetness to it from the ricotta cheese. A pretty standard what you would expect kind of salad from the photo and ingredients listed. It was healthy and refreshing and a very enjoyable starter for sure!

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Entree - Braised Short Rib Burger
Entree – Braised Short Rib Burger

So I picked the burger half because I remembered how awesome their fries were from the lunch I had before. And no doubt the fries were the same and absolutely awesomely thin, crisp, and delicioussssss~ However, the ribs in the burger I found to be a little bland in taste and too dry. I think it would’ve been much better if some barbecue sauce was added to the mix. A little bit of a disappointment there, but the fries were phenomenal!

Entree - Moroccan Style Pork Shoulder Pot Roast
Entree – Moroccan Style Pork Shoulder Pot Roast

This was a very interesting dish for sure. Definitely very healthy tasting and stew-like. The pork was fatty, soft, and tender (sorry did I say healthy?). The dish overall turned out to feel very light though, while having a good hearty meaty taste from the pork. A newer kind of dish to me for this event.

Entree - Marinated Albacore Tuna Salad
Entree – Marinated Albacore Tuna Salad

The salad was slightly spicy and not too saucy. The tuna had a light fish taste. I especially enjoyed the large thick pieces. The pickled cucumbers added a nice touch to the dish as well.

Entree - Grilled Asparagus Crepe
Entree – Grilled Asparagus Crepe

The crepe was sooo thin and crispy, made perfectly. The asparagus was… well… asparagus. LOL. It’s a vegetable… that I don’t really like the taste of… and it tasted like what asparagus would taste like! So yea… that crepe…… hahaha

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Dessert - Blueberry Sorbet
Dessert – Blueberry Sorbet

A sweet and soft sorbet. Not overly icy. Lovely cold finish to a summer meal! Full of blueberries and blueberry flavour :)

Dessert - Banana Buttermilk Pudding
Dessert – Banana Buttermilk Pudding

Definitely packed this pudding with bananas because it had a very very strong banana taste. Texture was soft and mushy, with a sweet crunch from the accompaniments. Also, think western style pudding here, not the japanese style jiggly stuff. I thought this was a heavier dessert with strong flavours, but I enjoyed it. If you do not like bananas though, you probably won’t enjoy it. LOL

Dessert - French Apricot Galette
Dessert – French Apricot Galette

Look-wise, this would be the most drool worthy dessert I feel. But oddly enough, the flavour combination didn’t mesh too well with me on this one. The dried apricots were a little too sour for this dessert, and I’m not sure if it worked out overall with that sesame ice cream on top. I thought the fusion with the western pastry and the asian ice cream was a little weird and didn’t complement each other properly as a dessert. Womp womp~ I prefered to eat them separately as separate dessert things.

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Attire - Business Casual
Attire – Business Casual

The ambiance is just so nice in here! High fashion European styles would fit here for sure! But dining customer attire is pretty open and casual friendly still.

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So overall, I was still very happy with the place although not every dish was perfection. It didn’t live up to my hype in terms of food tastes from when I was last here for lunch, but it did meet my expectations as a whole. Environment is always a bonus for being so pretty, and the people being so kind. I feel the food was almost to perfection but just missing a bit here and there. I hope they will continue to improve and update their dishes because I would love to keep coming back and trying all the things they have to offer! Viva Cluny! Wait, that’s not French… Cluny… est magnifique!

Au revoir,
Dreamz*

http://www.clunybistro.com/
Restaurant: Cluny Bistro
Winterlicious: $23 Lunch // $35 Dinner
Reservations: This place is the new hip place, so make sure you make your reservations early to snag the good times. It’s pretty big so they can seat a lot, but they’re always full for this event!
Attire: Business Casual

[Recap] Summerlicious 2015 – Splendido

Ahhh, Splendido – a restaurant which has flourished in the Toronto foodie scene for so many years, and unfortunately, this would be my last review for them. Last year, they had announced that they would be shutting their doors as the owner decided to move on to new things. Read all about it here if you missed the news, but sadly they are now closed and these photos are what remains of my delicious time spent there :(

Nonetheless, I’m very glad I was able to dine here twice for licious. Both times I have had top quality food and I’m happy that Chef Victor Barry obtained such great success with Splendido, and will be moving on to greater culinary adventures! I returned here for dinner for Summerlicious after having an awesome Winterlicious the season before, so I was excited to try the new things. The meal was excellent and everything would have been wonderful except for one annoying fly that bothered our dining the whole night -_-“. Let’s have a detailed look at my last Splendido meal though :’)

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Your restaurant has made it when you have your name in the floorboards!
Your restaurant has made it when you have your name in the floorboards!

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Drink - Cucumber Basil Lemonade
Drink – Cucumber Basil Lemonade

Sounds like a refreshing non-alcoholic combination indeed, perfect for the summer right? Except that lemonade was truly… full of lemons. It was quite sour and not what I was used to for the usual sugary filled lemonades… so this was a tad too strong in sourness for my personal liking :S

Extra Order from the Tasting Menu - Uni Special
Extra Order from the Tasting Menu – Uni Special

In addition to the Summerlicious menu, they had also offered a Side Menu and Tasting Menu items. Ordering off of these would incur extra charges of course, but we decided to try it out since we were there already :) The Uni special consisted of Uni (of course) on top of a potato bun on the right, and on top of squid ink toasted brioche on the left (very accommodating to allergies). We were very excited to see the abundance of uni since this is a delicacy in Japanese sushi bars. The bread and the sauce here definitely had enough flavours to overpower the uni, which is what I believe might have been intended because many people are unsure of the unique and strong ocean taste that uni can bring. So to make it more palatable for everyone, they put together this combination. It was still very deliciously done indeed!

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Appetizer - Foie Gras
Appetizer – Foie Gras

The foie gras was suuuuper smooth and divineeee to have. It almost felt as if my appetizer plate was a dessert, the way it was presented and the ingredients that came with this. The strawberries made the dish very summer appropriate and added a freshness factor to it. Definitely love the foie gras here!

Appetizer - Salmon Sashimi with Rice Cake
Appetizer – Salmon Sashimi with Rice Cake

Because this IS advertised as salmon sashimi, so I caution you that as picky Japanese food eaters, we may have had something in mind already. But this restaurant is definitely taking inspiration from other cultures and creating its own kind of dishes, so I applaud them for this! The salmon sashimi actually turned out to be a smidge salty with the sauce, but the blend of flavours on the dish as a whole was still very tasty. And the slight subtle spiciness added by the rice cakes gave it an great additional twist!

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Entree - Steak
Entree – Steak

Those chunky looking steak pieces actually turned out to be very tender and chewy. Not difficult to eat at all. The rest was just plated with tomatoes to go give you a well balanced meal of meat and veggies :)

Entree - Salmon
Entree – Salmon

The salmon was perfectlyyyy cooked. And I can’t stress how much I love it when a restaurant FINALLY cooks my fish right. Soft and flaky and smooth on the insides. The rest of the dish was definitely very much influenced by Chinese flavours. The vegetables and the sauce definitely reminded me of food at home =P

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Dessert - Stilton Cheese
Dessert – Stilton Cheese

This cheese is known to be good cheese amongst cheese lovers. Very heavy for a final dessert. Combined with some apple jam and nutty buttery toast making this a strong finisher. Of course I haven’t acquired the taste for this cheese… but the accompaniments I very much enjoyed!

Dessert - Strawberry Shortcake
Dessert – Strawberry Shortcake

This was definitely advertised as a “cake” of some sort on the menu, but to my surprise it did not come as what you would expect for a regular cake. This was more of their own version of a broken down strawberry shortcake I guess??! There was berry gelato with a bunch of cream, and lots of strawberries. And some crumbly stuff which I guess represents the crust?! But definitely not in the usual cake form! LOL. Nonetheless, I enjoyed this broken apart cake dessert for its flavours… not because they disappointed me of my vision of real cake!!!

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Attire - Business Casual
Attire – Business Casual

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Overall, I enjoyed my time at Splendido (minus the stupid fly that somehow got in cuz it’s summer and stayed around, blegh). They always provided exceptional service and high quality dishes. I’m glad I was able to try a completely different take on the foods even though I had been here before. The meal was very satisfying and I’m definitely sad that I won’t be able to eat at such a great restaurant again! Here’s to finding new restaurants that provide the same great experience!

Clink,
Dreamz*

http://splendido.ca/
Restaurant: Splendido
Winterlicious: $28 Lunch // $45 Dinner
Reservations: Unfortunately, they are no longer open :'(
Attire: Business Casual / Business

[Recap] Summerlicious 2015 – America

As promised, I’ll be running my Summerlicious 2015 reviews while we wait for Winterlicious to start serving! Don’t forget that reservations have already opened up for all the restaurants, and some of the popular timeslots for well-known restaurants have been quickly filling up. So take the time to read these reviews if you haven’t decided what you want yet, but don’t take too long :)

As we roll back to last summer, we start off with one of my favourite repeat restaurants – America. Situated on the 31st floor of the fancy Trump Tower in Toronto, we came back expecting no less of the great food we’ve always had at this place, back from since it began as STOCK. Since we came for lunch this time around, the natural lighting really helped with the photo quality! The last time I reviewed this place, all my photos were dark and purple-y, but now you can actually see all their food with the much better lighting! Let’s begin – but first I must apologize for the captions. Because it has been so long, I no longer have the original names of the dishes, so I tried my best to just explain what they are, but I’m sure the original naming was MUCH MUCH MUCH more appetizing and way more creative… totally my fault for not snapping a photo of all the menu items IN the menu!

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Artistic ceiling and wall decor all around
Artistic ceiling and wall decor all around

Yes, the restaurant is actually really nice when it doesn’t come out all dark in photographs :D

Very stylish menus
Very stylish menus

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Drinks (left to right) - African Berry Boat, Alice Mystery
Drinks (left to right) – African Berry Boat, Alice Mystery

Some very delightfully fruity and refreshing non-alcoholic beverages to start.

Jalapeno Cornbread with Butter
Jalapeno Cornbread with Butter

This was the first thing I asked about after ordering. If you’ve read my Winterlicious review for America, you would’ve known how hard I raved about this cornbread. I’m still raving about them. They are the most delicious cornbread I’ve ever had. The end. (Check out my other review if you want more actual info about them… lol)

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Appetizer - Fried Chicken & Matcha Waffle
Appetizer – Fried Chicken & Matcha Waffle

Insides of the Matcha Waffle
Insides of the Matcha Waffle

I knew I was getting this item when I saw the words “Fried Chicken” and “Matcha Waffles” listed under one dish. They’ve put an interesting twist on a very popular soul dish – adding some japanese matcha flavouring into an already well-known dish. It’s like putting two popular foods together and creating a fusion of popularity that people love to eat! I certainly loved eating this! The dish tickled all my taste buds. I could feel the sweet, salty, sour, and spicy all in there. The matcha in the waffle was very subtle. Overall a stellar idea for a fusion dish.

Appetizer - Soup with a side of Pork Belly
Appetizer – Soup with a side of Pork Belly

I know, my fault but I have completely forgotten what kind of soup this was, and my eyes cannot tell from this photo… and I don’t want to just guess and give the wrong info! But we know it’s soup at least! The soup was very very creamy and refreshingly cold. The pork belly was super chewy and salty, which added some contrast to the soup. The vegetables added a nice crunch to the dish. Yum cold creamy smoothness!

Appetizer - Fish Salad with Pickled Vegetables
Appetizer – Fish Salad with Pickled Vegetables

Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to try this dish for myself, but I heard that it was a good standard salad. What you would expect it to taste like by looking at it.

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Entree - Pork Chop
Entree – Pork Chop

The pork chop turned out to be a bit dry since it was a very very large chunk of meat. But it was salty and had a strong good meaty flavour to it. The skin was very crunchy and crispy. All that it needed was maybe a bit of sauce to even out all that meats!

Entree - Pasta Nettle
Entree – Pasta Nettle

So the nettle part tasted (and looked) like a spinach purée to me, but I then found out that nettle is actually a very interesting type of plant (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urtica_dioica). The pasta broth was really really oily, but tasty with the large garlic pieces soaking in it. The pasta felt a tad undercooked to me, but wasn’t to the point that made it inedible. I guess I wasn’t quite expecting this kinda pasta and broth, so the dish was a little surprising. Taste was there, but didn’t really love it.

Entree - Steak with Beans and Rice
Entree – Steak with Beans and Rice

This steak was perfectly cooked – nice and tender. Probably the best made main item of the whole lunch. The sides gave it a Mexican taste and feel – with the spicy beans and rice. Not sure I love these accompaniments with a well cooked steak, but I think I just prefer to have the usual american staples like potatoes and veggies with it.

Entree - Salmon with Grape Sauce
Entree – Salmon with Grape Sauce

I liked that the salmon was topped with preserved grapes, but I didn’t like that the salmon was overcooked :( But as you know if you’ve read my reviews, I have a very specific expectation for fish cooking that most western restaurants do not meet. So I wasn’t surprised, but I very much enjoyed the presentation here that most restaurants do not do with fish dishes, and also the grape sauce was actually super duper tasty! Very interesting and unique sauce choice indeed!

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Dessert - Cheese and Chocolate and Accompaniments
Dessert – Cheese and Chocolate and Accompaniments

This plate was a great choice of sweet and salty for a dessert. The lavender crisp had a nice flavour when eaten by itself, but was sometimes overpowered by the other item’s flavours when eaten altogether. The dark chocolate with pistachios on top was a nice balance of sweet and bitter. The preserved apricot added an intense sweetness to the mix. The American cheese was of medium strength. The honey topping was what added depth to the other flavours in the plate’s combinations. [Courtesy of K2]

Dessert - Keylime Gelatin
Dessert – Keylime Gelatin

Didn’t get to try this one either :(

Dessert - Black Forest Cake
Dessert – Black Forest Cake

The cake was pretty standard. The cherries used were really fresh tasting, and the icing wasn’t too sweet. So I give it an “above average” rating for my cake standards in all black forest cakes :)

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Attire - Business Casual
Attire – Business Casual

It’s a fancy building and they certainly make you feel fancy in there. So feel free to fancy it up when you go here.

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And that sums up my review for America for the past Summerlicious season. Definitely a place to be if you’ve never been. The food is always worth it in my opinion, and it’s always nice to go somewhere that I wouldn’t normally go to for a meal (you’d know what I mean if you look at their regular prices). I haven’t posted up my upcoming list yet for the next event, but it looks like America’s lunch will be back in the mix for me and some friends :) Keep you posted!

It’s bedtime,
Dreamz*

http://americarestaurant.ca/
Restaurant: America Restaurant
Winterlicious: $28 Lunch // $45 Dinner
Reservations: Maybe cuz it’s in Trump Tower, people will hesitate from now on ;) But I’d say reservations in advance is still best, especially for popular dining times.
Attire (Lunch): Business Casual (can get fancier for dinner)

The Summerlicious 2015 Lineup

Summerlicious has already started! Have you gotten your reservations in for this year’s restaurants yet? If not, it’s still early and the event is running from July 3 – 26 this time around, so you still have a chance! Don’t miss out! Feel free to check out my past restaurant reviews to make your pick! Here is my upcoming list of restaurants I will be reviewing this time:

– America
– Splendido
– Cluny
– Copa Cabana
– Harlem

This time around, I’ll be mostly sticking to returning to some new favourites from Winterlicious, in order to check out consistency in deliciousness! But there are some new ones in there that I will be trying with friends and family so I will let you know how they go!

Enjoy this round of Summerlicious all! <3

Dreamz*

Summerlicious Website:
http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=04deaf2c85006410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD