Top 10 Restaurants for Winterlicious 2018


Winterlicious is back. With over 200 restaurants to choose from and less than two weeks to fit it all in, it can be overwhelming to know where to start.

Let me help. Here are my top 10 picks in alphabetical order:

1. Antler

You had me at “Bruce County Venison Ragout, Ricotta Cavatelli.” Actually, any of Antler’s local and wild foods.

I’m usually partial to carnivore delights (hello Wild Game Country Terrine with fruit chutney, pickles, fresh bread), but here the veg (Wild Mushroom Tarte Tatin with sorrel pesto), and fish (Maple Glazed Lake Huron Rainbow Trout with roasted cauliflower, winter greens, and fried capers) options are just as compelling.

$53 Dinner + taxes and gratuity

1454 Dundas St. W.


2. Banu

I went to Banu for the first time last year and I was amazed by the fresh, aromatic Iranian fare and the cool calm of the room’s white and aqua décor, as if sitting poolside on a hot summer’s day.

Can’t go south this winter? This might just be the next best thing.

$23 Lunch + taxes and gratuity | $33 Dinner + taxes and gratuity

777 Queen St. W.


3. Browne’s Bistro

While Browne’s Bistro attracts a usually older set, the sleek dining room and owner/executive chef Jude Patrick Jacob’s well-executed classics will appeal to those looking for a refined meal.

Jacob’s known by his regulars for his Atlantic Salmon (topped with citrus-herb-lime infused butter, new potatoes and seasonal vegetables), available during both lunch and dinner service, and Angel Hair Pasta (with grilled chicken, sundried tomatoes, red onions, roasted garlic in a light olive oil-herbed tomato sauce), available for dinner.

$23 Lunch + taxes and gratuity | $33 Dinner + taxes and gratuity

1251 Yonge St., Unit 101


4. Canoe

Experiencing Chef John Horne's inspired regional Canadian cuisine is a good idea no matter what time of year, even during the frenzy that can be Winterlicious.

Not convinced yet? Foie Gras Parfait is available for both lunch and dinner service.

$33 Lunch + taxes and gratuity | $53 Dinner + taxes and gratuity

66 Wellington St. W., 54th Floor, TD Bank Tower


5. Coppi

Italian restaurant Coppi may be an older restaurant, but they’ve managed to modernize where needed, while still keeping tradition.

Take their made-from-scratch fare, including a ton of seafood, and nary a single pizza on the menu. Or the extensive wine list including roughly 120 labels, with 90 per cent from Italy and many from Piedmont.

And the spacious dining room with glass tables set far, far away from one another, so you can actually catch up over a meal without distraction for once.

p.s. After Winterlicious, go back for their staples, both done tableside:

- Risotto finished in a massive wheel of Parmigiano Reggiano

- Pesce al Sale - salt encrusted steamed fish.

$28 Lunch + taxes and gratuity | $43 Dinner + taxes and gratuity

3363 Yonge St.


6. Hawker Bar

How have we gone this long without Chef Alec Martin’s Brined, Smoked, and Fried Chicken Drumsticks with pickled vegetables? Shrimp Laksa (vegan option also available) or Chili Sambal Stingray?

His vibrant Southeast Asian food is just what our taste buds need right about now.

In need of something more soothing? Order the Herb and Chicken Congee (Tofu option also available) and Master Stock Braised Beef Cheeks.

Just be sure to leave room for the Pandan Banana Fritter.

$23 Lunch + taxes and gratuity | $33 Dinner + taxes and gratuity

164 Ossington Ave.


7. Le Notre Bistro

I want everything on the menu - Tartare De Boeuf made with Ontario farmed & naturally raised beef, French classic seasoning, organic mustard seedlings; and Escargot with brandy, shallots, garlic, compte, and gramolata, to start. Then mains of Saumon À L'oseille, Steak & Frites, and Gnocchi Buerre Noisette (vegetarian) - how to choose?

And having never been to this French-inspired bistro before just slightly off the beaten track, is all the more enticing. 

$43 Dinner + taxes and gratuity

538 Manning Ave.


8. Mambo Lounge

I’ve been going to Mambo Lounge for years and it’s always a good time. My go-to dinner order - Bistec a la Plancha - Grilled AAA NY Strip Loin served with yucca fries (best in the city), fresh vegetables, and jus – just happens to be on the menu for this year’s pre-fixe event too.

Between that and owner Andres’ mojitos, it will be a night to remember. Or forget, depending on how many drinks you knock back.

$33 Dinner + taxes and gratuity

120 Danforth Ave.


9. Peoples Eatery

Peoples Eatery is a restaurant I’m always trying to get back to. Chef Dustin Gallagher’s Licious menu sounds just as tantalizing as his regular line up.

Selections include: General Tso-Fu; Jamaican Braised Beef with yams, rice and peas; and Sea Bass with black bean sauce, snow pea leaf, and miso eggplant.

See you there.

$43 Dinner + taxes and gratuity

307 Spadina Ave.


10. The Queen & Beaver Public House

 People often think of British food as bland, but doesn’t have to be. The Queen & Beaver Public House’s owners Jamieson Kerr and Executive Chef Andrew Carter, (also owners of another other Brit destination The Oxley in Yorkville, as well as The Wickson Social and brand new Mad Crush Wine Bar on College) ensure it’s never a bore.

Comfort food such as lunch options Steak & Mushroom Pie with Cheddar Mashed Potatoes, and Pheasant & Smoked Ham Hock Melt with Young Leaves, were made for snowy days like this.

Or keep to your new year’s resolutions with healthy choices for dinner with Harissa Spiced Raw Kale Salad (vegetarian) with dates, roast almonds & Manchego and Crispy Atlantic Salmon with Leek & Celeriac Gratin.

Either way, there’s Sticky Toffee Pudding (vegetarian) with vanilla ice cream awaiting you.

$23 Lunch + taxes and gratuity | $33 Dinner + taxes and gratuity

35 Elm St.