When winter’s grey and yucky, eat food.

CiaoWinterlicious_side2eviteFebruary in Toronto means several things.  It used to mean grey skies, grey slush, grey clothing, and grey faces.  That hasn’t changed, except for the grey slush – snow has not made much of an appearance this year.

But aside from that, February in Toronto also means a potential culinary pick-me-up: Winterlicious.  Now in it’s tenth year, the city-wide festival means prix fixe meals at restaurants across the city.

Prices for 3-course meals range from $15-25 for lunches, and $25-45 for dinners.  Some of the restaurants I wouldn’t be caught dead entering, some I’d feel like a yokel if I entered, and some are comfort places.  I’ve had some very, very mediocre experiences at Winterlicious (and Summerlicious, and Veggielicious), because some restaurants use the event to offload their menus’ crappiest items on unsuspecting customers who just want a good deal.

But if you pick your venue well and do your research, then it’s a great way to get a taste of cuisines or restaurants you wouldn’t normally go to.  This year I went with a tried-and-true comfort, where the food was unoriginal but good, and where I could soak in the informal atmosphere of a restaurant I hadn’t attended in a long time.

It’s strange, the psychology of choosing a meal with friends.  Do you go spend the money, good value, on a known quantity, and risk boredom?  Or do you risk your wallet (and tax, and tip), and go somewhere new?

Does your city have something like Winterlicious?  Are you adventurous when dining out?

– Jean AAR

5 thoughts on “When winter’s grey and yucky, eat food.

  1. LeeB.

    Seattle does have Restaurant Week a few times during fall and winter and my co-workers and I do try a couple of places. The price is usually 3 courses for $15, and at restaurants that sometimes are very pricey. Fortunately the courses offered are smaller portions off the regular menu and the desserts seems to be the most popular.

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  2. Leigh

    I never heard of this but after doing a search I found one of my nearby cities did it in Jan.

    I don’t eat out much and tend to just order the same thing. Boring I know.

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  3. Blythe

    Denver’s Restaurant Week is at the end of February/beginning of March (it’s two weeks). It’s $52.80 for two people (because we’re the mile high city- 5280 ft) or half that for one. I always like to try someplace new where where I would usually be paying more than $52.80 for my husband and me.

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  5. Marin Hickok

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