Summerlicious has arrived again in the city, kicking off on July 6th and feeding hungry diners through to the 22nd. The prix-fixe extravaganza sees about 180 of Toronto's top restaurants serving up three-course lunches and dinners for $15, $25, $35, or $45 fixed prices. Talk about a notable deal, right? So, to help you navigate through the best bets, here's your Notable Top 10 Summerlicious Restaurants...
Benihana in the Royal York
Benihana is a beautiful Japanese bistro/steakhouse where the food is the star and the teppan cooking techniques part of the whole experience. Try the $45 dinner – a great price for this spot – with their famed Teriyaki proteins as mains, their onion soup as an app, and some awesome cheesecake to finish your meal.
The Shore Club
Another spot known for steak – and seafood as well – The Shore Club is resplendent fine dining. Here you can power lunch for only $25 during Summerlicious, with options like grilled romaine salad with smoked bacon, a trio of beef tenderloin sliders, and a decadent chocolate creme brulee.
A Yorkville mainstay that underwent some big changes but just over a year ago, Mistura is renowned for its excellent execution in both its menu and its service. The $45 dinner here offers up four options per course, like apps ranging from chilled cucumber and melon soup with crisped prosciutto to orecchiette with charred tomato, mains of herb-laced Ontario lamb leg and pan seared orata fillet, and desserts of white chocolate panna cotta or fruit tart with chantilly cream.
Claudio Aprile's gastronomical powerhouse is renowned for inventive cooking techniques and illustrative plating...so it's a wonder that he made it part of Summerlicious this year. (Not to mention it's like the only time you'll be able to get a meal this cheap here!) For the $45 prix fixe dinner, choose from plates like rock hen with romesco sauce, popped corn soup, heirloom tomato tart, and caramelized banana dulce de leche.
Kirei Sushi + Bar
This Church and Adelaide Japanese sushi/izakaya has flown rather under the radar. We're unsure why, but you can check it out for yourself from the 6th to the 22nd. The $25 prix fixe dinner sees a chef's selection of sushi, yuzu creme brulee, and enoki mushroom and beef rolls.
This enoteca on Avenue Road is to die for. The room is small but sweet, with a little edge to it that brings something casual to this otherwise fine dining-style menu. For Summerlicious, they're doing it right offering calamari fritto, tagliolini verde, polenta bombolini, and sweet pea soup with prawns...among other tummy-rumbling choices.
One of the city's best restaurants for beautiful atmosphere and equally impressive cuisine, Lucien on Wellington is a must-try, especially when you can get three courses for a great price. The inventive $20 lunch offers up cured beef carpaccio, fetuccine with tiger shrimp, and tiramisu with hay creme fraiche.
Boehmer has an eclectic room that can reach frenetic levels on packed nights, and the menu is just as exciting. Look at the Summerlicious menu with forest mushroom soup and herbed creme fraiche, chive gnocchi with cherry tomatoes, and a drool-inducing banana bread pudding with butterscotch and coconut cream.
Centro Restaurant and Lounge
Centro recently celebrated 25 years of serving Torontonians fine dining experiences, with Mediterranean fare that's awe-inspiring. Try the charred scallop ceviche, or the polenta cake with herbed breaded artichoke, or the black forest macaron sandwich...all part of Centro's $35 Summerlicious dinner menu.
Parts & Labour
Hipster haven Parts & Labour is known the city-wide for an alternative atmosphere with really solid grub. They're another restaurant doing Summerlicious properly, composing an interesting selection for newcomers and returning patrons alike. Ox tongue with watercress and mustard, Cornish hen with kale and a demi glace, chocolate mousse accompanied by banana and marshmallow are all part of this innovative Summerlicious menu.
Photo courtesy Parts & Labour