A summerlicious weekday lunch break with coworkers. A nice dining space with elegant yet modern decor. A very open spacious restaurant so you don’t feel crowded with other diners, with a nice glass patio for those wishing to soak in the sun and people watch the financial district streets. For a high-end global hotel chain’s restaurant, I was looking forward to great things here, however the quality of the food fell short for me in this meal, especially in the main courses. My steak was severely dry and hard to chew, and others at my table mentioned their food being overly salty or just plain bland. What an unfortunate thing and hopefully we can just chalk it up to the busy season of licious in the summer, but now I’m not sure if I want to take my chances here again.
Good bread was provided at least!
The corn soup was fresh and full of strong corn flavours.
Good and pretty, but the ingredients were nothing special and had nothing more to it than what you see.
A tasty appetizer but also what you expect and no surprises here.
Terrible – the cook on it looked a medium rare, but it ended up being dry and impossible to chew apart. A plate that I did not actually want to finish eating. No flavouring either.
The tuna and couscous was very bland with no sauce to help it out.
Large portion but pasta was overly salty. It’s like they forgot to flavour everything else and then decided to go all out here.
Oh thank god for desserts because this was probably the best part of the meal and was actually tasty, interesting, and well sized to make up for the lack of appetite in the main course.
Hmmm… looks like a pile of melting poop but turned out to be tasty as well for those who like their desserts on the darker side. Presentation definitely needs work though haha. Adding a flower petals does not make poop suddenly pretty.
Decided to take the seafood loving parents here to try it, after having a good run with the food during their Winterlicious opening (review also available). They definitely worked out their seating with not being overbooked this time, however I felt they didn’t deliver as well on the food aspect. It could be their menu items seemed a little weaker than last time as well. Instead of focusing on their forte which is seafood, they brought in more generic things that you could really get at any other restaurant all around. Wasn’t as worth it this time, and hopefully they will stick with their stellar seafood dishes on the norm.
A simple but tasty gazpacho soup. Could maybe be a bit less watery in texture though.
Good but seems a bit skimpy to only provide 1 little fried oyster… could probably use 2 – 3 as an appetizer as it wasn’t that large. I think they tried to give it an asian twist with the sauce but unsure if they went well together.
This was probably when the avocado toast hype JUST started surfacing, so when I think about it now, it’s really just a bunch of veggies on smooshed avocados on a piece of whole wheat toast. Of course it was tasty but I could make it at home yes.
Had to throw this in for the lack of strong seafood items on the menu, something fresh and tasty for a summer meal!
This was a nicely cooked thick cut of tuna. Quality was definitely there, but lacking a bit in terms of uniqueness since I feel like a lot of other nice restaurants serve this exact thing.
This pasta dish overall was not the best – you can see the sauce was a little too watery and drowning it out. I did find the crunchy toppings an interesting touch and the flavours were there, just not well put together as a whole dish.
I’m not really sure what happened here, but they really should stick to their seafood. Would not have ordered this if we didn’t want to try one of each, but the meat was quite dry and the dish itself was boring in flavours – not the place to get something of this style (try a carribean or jamaican restaurant instead).
Quite a simple fruit based dessert – what you see is what you get here.
The combination of the honey, cream, and fresh fruit actually made for a great ending to this summer meal.
Chocolate cherry cake in a jar basically! Tasty and fun but nothing to get excited about. Their previous licious menu was definitely better.
Restaurant: The Chase Fish & Oyster
Licious: $23 Lunch // $38 Dinner
Recommended Attire: Casual
I’ve always wanted to sit out on the patio at Auberge and I finally got the chance to do this during this licious meal. The patio area is so well fenced in and decorated that you would have no idea the restaurant is actually in the middle of a typical corporate business park in the city. You just feel like you’re transported to a peaceful quiet garden on a lovely sunday afternoon. Service, as always, was impeccable. And food, as always, was top notch. I don’t think I’ll ever not love to dine here! No patios in the winter, but cozy interiors to be had I guarantee you (check my older winterlicious reviews if you’re curious)!
Soup’s croissant was super buttery and flaky – bakery perfection! The soup had a good sourness to it with a bit of a kick. Very refreshing and summer appropriate.
The croquette’s tartar sauce was very tasty and went well with the very soft pork meat.
This was cooked to perfectionnnnn. That is all.
The lemon was very subtle, pretty much non-existent in flavour. A very veggie-full dish for sure. Felt light but also very filling as ravioli normally is. The salty crunchy stuff was a great addition to mix up the textures and tastes.
A super refreshing dessert with minty coolness and a citrus heavy sauce.
Although it looks like a pile of soil, this was pretty much your typical dark chocolate mousse underneath. Simple and good.
Restaurant: Auberge du Pommier
Licious: $25 Lunch // $45 Dinner
Reservations: Definitely required.
Recommended Attire: Business / Cocktail
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!!!
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 :)
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~
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 :)
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.
This salad was exactly what you’d expect. A salad – refreshing, crunchy, healthy :) Freshly sliced pears :9
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
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!
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.
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!
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
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.
Very casual and relaxing environment. Look at that young high school girl attire that I’m even sporting there… =_=”
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,
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 :)
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
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.
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!
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 :(
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.
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.
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
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…
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!
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
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.
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
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),
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.
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!
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!
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
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
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.
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
A sweet and soft sorbet. Not overly icy. Lovely cold finish to a summer meal! Full of blueberries and blueberry flavour :)
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
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.
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.
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!
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