[Recap] Winterlicious 2016 – The Chase Fish & Oyster

The Chase F&O was a newcomer to licious during the Winterlicious 2016 event, and a rather new restaurant in Toronto as well. It was a bit confusing at first because there’s two parts to this restaurant. The Chase itself is actually located upstairs in the same building. However, winterlicious was only running for The Chase Fish & Oyster – the seafood specialized restaurant that’s on the bottom floor. The two restaurants actually have entirely different menus too. So I think a lot of people were confused about where they were eating when booking for licious, including myself, thinking I was going to The Chase and not knowing this one was a little different! However, the menu looked just as good and there’s a lack of seafood specialty restaurants on the licious list anyway, so was very excited about trying this place out.

The problem with being new to anything, is that sometimes you aren’t prepared for what’s to come. I definitely think they overbooked themselves during this event and didn’t realize the sheer amount of people who show up to licious events. We made and confirmed our reservations for our group long before our licious dining date, but they were clearly running behind that night. There was a lot of people waiting, and we ended up waiting a full 30 minutes (at least) before we could be seated. That’s unfortunately the worst situation you could put in front of a bunch of hungry foodies after they get off work. To make matters worse, their kitchen was likely backed up too, and everyone was busy… so it was a slow night of dining… a lot of waiting… and food coming out slowly. However, being the professional restaurant that they are, we were kindly offered complimentary cold dishes to help ease our wait a bit. And let’s have the full food review:

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Love the vibe and decor – perfect for a seafood restaurant while still keeping it classy.
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Drinks - Powder Monkey (left), Tropical Mint Punch (right)
Drinks – Powder Monkey (left), Tropical Mint Punch (right)

Our drinks were the typical cocktails served at restaurants. A little refresher to start off the long night of waiting xD

Complimentary (probably for the long wait) - Seafood Platter
Complimentary (probably for the long wait) – Seafood Platter

Because they knew the food was taking forever, we were offered a complimentary seafood dish of cold items that we would gladly accept! These don’t require much prep and no cooking so they were a good idea to keep diners happy while waiting! Some nice BC and PEI oysters, with some snow crab legs too! What a nice freebie!

Extra Menu Order - Tuna Nachos
Extra Menu Order – Tuna Nachos

I can’t remember if we ordered these due to hunger or if they provided more food for us while we waited. But these seafood nachos had aioli on half, and something else on the other half because we had an egg allergy in the group. Tasty nachos! I think of it as a high class version of nachos because of the ingredients XDDD Very asian inspired version of nachos too with the taro chips which are some of my fave!

Extra Menu Order - Oyster Po Boy Slider
Extra Menu Order – Oyster Po Boy Slider

Another extra food item which was a seafood version of a classic pub dish. Again taking the cheap dishes loved by all and making it classier and “fishier”! Thoroughly enjoyed their rendition of the slider! Bite size (a couple of bites for me) of crunchy and tasty deep fried oyster in a baby burger!

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Appetizer - Lobster & Tomato Bisque
Appetizer – Lobster & Tomato Bisque

The soup was quite tasty, but also spicy! It was a bit on the more oily side, but very flavourful and nice and warm.

Appetizer - Salmon Tartare
Appetizer – Salmon Tartare

The salmon tartare was super delicious! Can’t go wrong with cold raw salmon right? The bread was a bit too thick and hard for this dish’s accompaniment though! Would have liked something thinner so it doesn’t take away from the tartare main affair.

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Entree - Pan Seared Arctic Char
Entree – Pan Seared Arctic Char

The char was a tad bit overcooked, but still a tasty cut of fish with a strong buttery flavour on it. The vegetables accompaniment was light and went well with the fish by adding something a little different.

Entree - Braised Beef Brisket
Entree – Braised Beef Brisket

The brisket was very soft and tender, and I especially enjoyed the crispy stuff! Very happy that this restaurant doesn’t only do seafood, but does their meats well too!

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Dessert - Caramelized Banana Sundae
Dessert – Caramelized Banana Sundae

The bananas drenched in toffee caramel is very tasty of course! The ice cream is just regular vanilla scoops of plain normal “peasant” ice cream though. lol.

Dessert (vegan) - Fruit Bowl
Dessert (vegan) – Fruit Bowl

What can I say? This is a bowl of fruit… rather berries… for the vegans :D

It appears that I’m missing a photo for a Chocolate Cake dessert on the menu, but I have notes that the cake was very dry and dense… more like eating a stale-ish cupcake. But the peanut butter ice cream that went with it was delicious!!! I guess the cake wasn’t good enough to deserve to make it into my photos… haha whoops.

Dessert - Donuts
Dessert – Donuts

The donut was kinda like a regular Tim Horton’s donut, but with an apple filling! Another incredibly filling dessert item!

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Missing attire pic again :( Was too dark and cold after the long table wait.
Attire: Business Casual

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Although this restaurant seemed to have a bit of trouble with their first licious event, their food was still very tasty and kept up to the standards. They made up for their issues by providing complimentary dishes to keep everyone happy which is an extra plus for them for incredible service! The seafood is at a high quality and I would definitely come back to enjoy their food again. There’s a good portion of food and the environment is so nice and modern. I would love to try their sister restaurant upstairs which is well known too. They are quite pricey but it doesn’t seem like they’ll be joining the licious scene. In the meantime, The Chase F&O have figured out their overbooking issues in licious events since then, and the novelty seems to have worn off so you can dine more comfortably without such a long wait now! Highly recommend this place for a good seafood pick!

Fishy Out,
Dreamz*

http://www.thechasefo.com/
Restaurant: The Chase Fish & Oyster
Winterlicious: $23 Lunch // $38 Dinner
Reservations: Seemed like they were overbooked at their first licious run. Definitely put your’s in early as they are popular.
Recommended Attire: Business Casual

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