Hey there!

Can’t believe the first month of 2018 is already gone.

It’s Winterlicious time in Toronto.

Winterlicious(Summerlicious) is a food festival held each year in Toronto since 2003, starting with the last week of January and ending at the beginning of February(winter months). Typically is considered the slowest and poorest time of the year in the restaurant industry in terms of customer attendance. The restaurants are offering two weeks of limited prix fixe menus at a discount rate compared to usual prices. Toronto city special events department selects the restaurants, which will participate each year by certain rules (such as clean health inspection record, price standards, good reviews from restaurant review guides, however, the chain restaurant are not allowed to participate). This event is highly competitive among all the restaurants in Toronto because those which are not selected will suffer losses during the festival time.

I think it’s a great chance to find a new restaurant in Toronto and try out their limited 3-course menu (includes appetizers, main dish, and dessert), excluding drinks and gratuity. The current price starting from $23-$33 for lunch and $33-$53 for dinner (the prices are higher than the last year).

I know, I am probably a bit late on this post, however you still have time until February 8th to check out premium-class restaurants in Toronto (there are over 200 participants this year).I would recommend taking advantage of this offer and discover a new place in our city.

This year I had a chance to try out the menu at Sassafraz Restaurant. I always wanted to go and check out what is inside that yellow house in the heart of historic Yorkville. Sassafraz specializes in a French-inspired Canadian cuisine. Their elegant dining room with a waterfall at the back of the restaurant is definitely worth a visit.

On Saturday, I headed there with 2 of my friends for the lunch. We were nicely greeted by the waiter and got a table with the Yorkville street view. The lunch price at the restaurant is $28 per person and $43 if you’re planning coming there for the dinner.

I looked over their menu on the website, so I already knew what I wanted to try. Also, the great thing is that 3 of us went there, we had a chance to try out all appetizers and desserts from the limited menu. Our appetizers included Baby Spinach and Kale salad, Escargots and Bacon Skillet, and Beef Short Rib Poutine (my favorite one) with a warm bread basket. For the main course, I ordered Paccheri Pasta(smoked chicken, oyster mushrooms, arugula, pine nuts, herbed ricotta, porcini cream). I loved it, especially the size of the portion (not too big, not too small). Both of my friends ordered Ontario Pork Tenderloin( barley risotto, bbq Brussels sprouts, cipollini onions, apple cider jus) and they loved it as well. They were also serving Arctic Char (green peas, butternut squash, Yukon gold mash, tarragon lime cream), Harrison Co-Op Chicken Breast (white asparagus cauliflower purée, mosaic barley, grilled green asparagus, hemp hearts, truffle oil), and vegetarian option Thai Coconut Vegetable Red Curry (tofu, jade pearl rice, bell peppers, heirloom carrots, kale, Thai basil).

Here are the photos of the dishes, which we tried:

Escargots and Bacon Skillet, Baby Spinach and Kale salad
Paccheri Pasta(smoked chicken, oyster mushrooms, arugula, pine nuts, herbed ricotta, porcini cream)
Ontario Pork Tenderloin (risotto, bbq brussels sprouts, cipollini onions, apple cider)

The disappointment came after we got our desserts, recently I started to be so skeptical and picky (it’s hard to impress me), even though the quality and flavor of the chocolate in Flourless Chocolate Cake was high, but it didn’t change the overall impression. The cheesecake and cheese board were just okay.

Flourless Chocolate Cake (passionfruit, mint gel, barley ice cream)
Cheesecake (macerated cherries, chocolate ganache, shortbread crust, ginger snap tuile)
Gotham City Cheese Board (truffle honey, dried apricots, house flatbreads)

In conclusion, I recommend this restaurant because of their service, relaxed atmosphere, appetizers and main course options. Also, after lunch or dinner, you can have a nice walk around Yorkville area.

Thank you for reading! If you already visited any of the restaurants, please let me know in the comment section below.

Enjoy your day, smile and discover Toronto! <3