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Summerlicous 2011 – Rosewater

Rosewater
19 Toronto St., Toronto
416-214-5888
http://www.rosewaterroom.com/

Summerlicous: $20 Lunch

They’ve changed the name from “Rosewater Supper Club” to just “Rosewater”

 

Warm Asparagus Salad with Rhubarb Jam Crostini
Warm Asparagus Salad with Rhubarb Jam Crostini, Baby Greens, Hollandaise
When you eat all the separate parts together, it’s very tasty. 
Rosewater Strip loin Burger:
Monterey Jack, Caramelized Onion, Chipotle Mayo, Country Style Fries
This may look like any other burger, but the beef was moist and flavourful and the country style fries rocked!
Thai Pesto Glazed Salmon:
Cucumber Dynamite Roll, Tender Greens, Carrot and Ginger Essence
This dish was just ok. Although the fish was cooked nicely, the flavours were too mild.
The dynamite roll seemed out of place on the plate and didn’t taste good. 
Roasted Apricot Galette: Vanilla Cream, Candied Almonds, Strawberry Coulis 
Rosewater knows how to do desserts! The presentation alone was enough to impress me, but the flavours are what really what blew my mind. This was a stunning dessert that I want to have again.
Raspberry Cream Tart: 
Chocolate Whipped Ganache, Caramelized Chocolate Cocoa Nibs 
Again, the presentation on this dish was superb! This elegant dessert was creamy and rich, with a nice balance of chocolate and raspberry flavours. 
This was so pretty, it deserved a second photo!
As you can see, we really enjoyed these desserts!
Overall: We had a really positive experience at Rosewater. The food was good, the building is beautiful and the staff were friendly. Aside from the noise level in the restaurant, we have no real complaints. If you haven’t been here before, it’s worth checking out! 
 
Restaurant’s Hours:
Lunch: 11:30am to 2:30pm Monday to Friday
Dinner: 5:30pm to 10:30pm Monday to Saturday


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Summerlicious 2011 – Portico

Portico

Cambridge Suites Hotel
15 Richmond St. E., Toronto
416-601-3774
Summerlicous: $20 Lunch
Pretty decor
Comfy Seats
Roasted garlic & tomato soup with creme fraiche, sea salt crostini:
This was tasty, and it was nice to have a selection of crisps to go with it. 


Black & Gray Cocktail:
The vanilla vodka was lost in this drink, overpowered by the fresh lime and blackberries.
Cherry Cow Cocktail: This stuff is dangerously strong!
It’s a combination of  Kahlua, Chambord, Creme de Cacao, Cream & Sour Cherries
Braised beef short ribs, mushroom polenta, blistered tomatoes & pan reduction:
This was a nice dish. The beef was delicious!


Maritime shrimp & scallop risotto with garlic lobster butter & basil oil:
Not my favourite…


Vodka vanilla soaked berries, white chocolate ice cream with fresh mint:
This dessert was a light and refreshing end to the meal. 


Cherry brulee with mascarpone cream, chocolate crackle:
That black stuff is some sort of preserved cherry,  I think. It had a strong, almost bitter, flavour to it and I did not enjoy them. The rest of the dessert was lovely though. 


Overall: M.L. had a nice lunch, and I want to eat the short ribs and polenta again!
 
 
Restaurant’s Hours:
Couldn’t find them on the website… :S


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Just Greek

Just Greek Restaurant
3004 Bloor St. W., Toronto
416-239-5000
www.justgreek.ca

Greek Salad: nice feta & plump olives
Phyllo Shrimp: crunchy with a spicy sauce
Just Greek's Chicken Souvlaki
Chicken Souvlaki: marinated chicken, fresh tzatziki
Mediterranean Bread: roasted veggies topped with feta & oregano
Moussaka: layered eggplant, zucchini & ground beef with potatoes
Overall: This big restaurant has good food and a nice decor. Best dishes were the Med. Bread and Phyllo Shrimp. Worse dish was the Moussaka (just a personal preference). They also have pretty good fries too. You should check out this restaurant if you’re in the neighbourhood, there’s lots of parking near by as well. 
 
Looking for a 2nd opinion? Check out the review on the Toronto Life website: http://www.torontolife.com/guide/restaurants/greek/just-greek/
 
 
Restaurant’s Hours:
Monday – Thursday & Sunday: 11:30pm – 10pm
Friday – Saturday: 11:30pm – 11pm

Take-out available from 11:30am – 9:30pm

BLD Restaurant Calamari


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Summerlicious 2011 – BLD

BLD Restaurant

36 Toronto St 
416-777-0253
International Cuisine
“BLD Restaurant is located in the St. Lawrence and Financial District in “Old Toronto” in the historical milkcamps building. Daily features are made with locally sourced products lettting the food speak for itself. Everything is made in-house daily from the freshest ingredients possible.”
 
Summerlicious Price: $20 (+ tax & tip)
 
Grilled Calamari
pickled fennel | orange segments | pea shoots | spicy chorizo oil
 
Verdict: The acidity of the pickled fennel really works to balance the flavours in this dish. Without it, the calamari is very plain. Although I personally prefer crispy calamari to grilled, I did enjoy this dish. 
 
Cucumber Gazpacho
yogurt | mint 
(vegetarian/vegan without yogurt)
 
Verdict: My lovely lunch companion T.F. had this soup as her starter. As you can see, it’s not the prettiest dish… the flavours were also quite strong and, although it wasn’t listed as a main ingredient, T.F. was pretty sure there was a fair bit of cilantro in this soup (which she doesn’t care for). 
 
Short Rib Grilled Cheese
BBQ dry rubbed braised Wellington County beef short rib | Fontina | 5 yr old Canadian cheddar | crisp fried shallots | grilled pain de mie | served with salad
 
Verdict: Words cannot properly express how amazing this sandwich is!! You NEED to try this if you like short ribs. The meat was delicious… and so tender…. I will forever dream of this sandwich… *sigh*  The salad, however, was bland. 
 
Grilled Prawn Sandwich
wild white prawns| avocado | tomato | arugula | grilled sourdough | chipotle lime aioli | with house salad
 
Verdict: Another amazing sandwich!! The photo does not do it justice. T.F. and I shared our sandwiches so I can honestly tell you how yummy this is! The shrimp is grilled nicely, the avocado was perfectly ripe and the spice of the chipotle makes this sandwich addictive… I want one right now! Again, the salad was less than yummy. We both wished it had more acid in the salad dressing. 
 
 
Bread Pudding
crème anglaise, fresh berries
 
Verdict: T.F. loves  bread pudding, and this one did not disappoint. The texture was lovely, and the portion size is good for a dessert that can be a bit on the heavier side. 
 
Chocolate, Orange Tiramisu 
with fresh berries
 
Verdict: This is a lovely, light dessert that has a pretty topping of chocolate and orange zest. 
 
 
Rooibos Vanilla (front) & Quangzou Milk Oolong
 
Verdict: T.F. and I both love a good cup of tea, so we were excited when our server told us about their tea menu featuring whole leaf organic teas. I had the Rooibos Vanilla which tasted of vanilla and almonds (I love almonds). T.F. had the Quangzou Milk Oolong which smelled like gym socks at first, but becomes sweet and creamy with the addition of milk. 
 
Watermelon Martini (careful, this one is strong!)
 
 
Overall Verdict: BLD is a great place to have a enjoy a meal with a friend of two. 
 
The decor is interesting too, there was an old film being projected onto the glass panels which was pretty cool. This restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner most days (as indicated by the name “BLD”). 
 
I very much recommend that you go and try the prawn sandwich at this restaurant, it’s amazing!! 
 
I didn’t see the short rib grilled cheese on the regular menu…I might have missed it but just in case, you have 4 days left of Summerlicious to get your hands on one of these!! 
(It really deserves a spot on the main menu, if it isn’t there already) 
 
HOURS
Mon – Tue Breakfast 8am – 11am
Lunch 11:30am – 2:30pm
Dinner closed
Wed – Fri Breakfast 8am – 11am
Lunch 11:30am – 2:30pm
Bar menu 3pm – 6pm
Dinner 6pm – 10pm
Bar menu 10pm –
Saturday Bar menu 4:00pm – 6pm
Dinner 6pm – 10pm
Bar menu 10pm –
Posted by: S.A.


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Summerlicious 2010 – Kultura

Kultura

www.kulturarestaurant.com
Address: 169 King Street East, Toronto, ON M5A 1J4

 
DISCLAIMER: The executive chef of this restaurant is Roger Mooking. I do know Roger personally, but that does not affect my opinions of this restaurant. *EDIT: Roger Mooking is no longer affiliated with Kultura Social Dining (Dec. 10 2010)



Sleek and modern, the decor combines elements of wood, glass, exposed brick and an interesting use of light. The music is front and center here. It’s not the calm ambient music you find at other restaurants, instead the music is loud (not blaring though) and they play popular songs that you could sing along to (I tend to dance in my seat…)

What We Ate: 
(The full menu for Summerlicious at Kultura can be found here)
 
Appetizers

Mediterranean Chicken Samosas: Asiago Cheese, Sage & Spiced Apple Gari Chutney



– Palak Paneer Naan: Truffle Oil, Jalapeño, Peppered Honey (vegetarian) – (no photo, sorry)
– Complimentary dish: I think they were poppodom chips with a mango chutney… (no photo)

Sushi Pizza: Pickled Daikon Radish, Japanese Pepper, Tuna, Spicy Mayo


Mains

Mushroom Orecchiette: Pasta with a Pinot Noir Pear Chutney and Aged Cheddar (vegetarian)


Beef Striploin: with Red Miso, Sunchoke Tater Tots, Tomatillo Salsa, Honey Sriracha
(Photo Credit: Dianne)


European Sea Bass: Shredded Snow Peas, Sansho Pepper, Cassava, Ginger, Sour Dashi



Desserts

Doughnut Holes: with Chocolate and Caramel Dipping Sauces

 


Flourless Chocolate Cake: Chocolate Pudding on top, Caramel Parfait, Frozen Lemon Curd on the side


Sorbet Trio: daily assortment, we had Berry, Ginger, Apple (vegan) 



Drinks
– Breakfast at Tiffany’s Cocktail
– Coke (or Pepsi?)


There were 4 of us at dinner. We all shared, so I was able to taste everything 🙂 

Price: 
$35 per person, for the 3-course meal. Drinks are extra. (Summerlicious pricing)

My Favourite Item…
I’m torn between two items, so I’m going to pick both: one sweet, one savoury.


Savoury: Mushroom Orecchiette
This dish combines the sweetness of pears, the earthiness of mushrooms, and the richness of cheese to create a creamy, delicious pasta that I absolutely love. The portion size is small, but it’s so rich that you wouldn’t want much more than that.


Sweet:  Flourless Chocolate Cake
This dessert combines my love for lemon with my cravings for chocolate. I took forever to finish eating this, because I was savouring every bite. It’s rich, creamy, tangy, sweet…*sigh*


Other Items…
– The apple sorbet was outstanding. It could have made it to my favourites list too, to be honest. It was tart and refreshing, and I want to eat a bowl of this while sitting outside in the sun…
– The Mediterranean chicken samosas are crispy and have a tasty ground chicken filling inside. Also, my brother would like to have a jar of the spiced apple gari chutney at home, so he can eat it whenever he wants…
– The sushi pizza wasn’t very pizza-like, but it was pretty! Tasted good too 😛
– I’m generally not a fan of store-bought or franchise-coffee-shop doughnut holes…they’re either heavy and cloying, or so tough they could be used as golf balls. The ones at Kultura are light with a crunchy coating of sugar, and I enjoy being able to dip them in one of both of the sauces served with them. Yummy!!
The staff here are friendly and professional. They explain everything they serve to you, and check on your table often enough to be helpful but not so much that they are in your face. 
 
If you like tapas, sharing plates and the idea of social dining, then you should definitely check our Kultura. It’s not the kind of restaurant where you go to have a big meal. The portion sizes are small and the idea is that you order a bunch of items to create a full meal that your table can share*. It is pretty pricy, so we only go on special occasions or during the Summerlicious (or Winterlicious) events. But when we do go, it’s worth it!
*Note: During Summerlicious, each person just picks 1 item per category as part of their prix fixe meal.  
 

Interesting Thing: 
There is no sign that says “Kultura” at the entrance of the restaurant. It’s very easy to miss it! Look for glass-front with a red pole in the middle. I wish I had taken a photograph to show you… 


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Summerlicious 2010 – Big Daddy’s

Big Daddy’s Crab Shack and Oyster Bar


Cuisine: Cajun Seafood

Website: http://www.bigdaddys.ca/ 
Address: 212 King Street West, Toronto

This place is so cozy! Lot’s of artwork on the walls featuring jazz musicians, hanging baskets and embossed copper tin tiles on the ceiling.

What We Ate:

(The full menu for Summerlicious at Big Daddy’s can be found here)LUNCH (for 2 people)

Appetizers
– Cup of Chowder: served with oyster crackers


– Coconut Chicken: with charred jalapeno and orange dipping sauce


(Photo Credit: T.Floyd)


Mains
– Wild-Caught Coastal Shrimp Boil: 5 large shrimp boiled Louisiana style and dusted with Creole spices, served with chorizo sausage pieces, corn on cob, seasonal vegetables, red skin potatoes and roasted jalapeno garlic butter



– Cheese and Asparagus Stuffed Ravioli: In a basil garlic fondue, topped with a ragout of mushrooms and served with garlic toast.

(Photo Credit: T.Floyd)

 

Desserts
– Molten Brownie:  served with bourbon chocolate sauce and vanilla ice cream



– Triple Berry Crumble:  mixed berries covered with a buttery granola and served warm with ice cream 

(Photo Credit: T.Floyd)

DINNER (for 4 people)



Appetizers
– Popcorn Shrimp: with smoked tomato & pepper dipping sauce
– Clam Chowder: served with oyster crackers
– House Salad: mixed greens with Big Daddy’s Vinaigrette


Mains
– 8oz New York Striploin: with sweet potato fries, seasonal vegetables and a red wine cracked pepper sauce
– Fettuccine Natasha: tossed in a smoked salmon roasted red pepper vodka cream sauce


Desserts
– Lindt Chocolate Ice Cream
– Mississippi Mud Pie: their own creation of baked marshmallows, served warm with chocolate drizzle
– Apple Crumble: Served warm with cinnamon sugar and vanilla ice cream


Price: 

$15 lunch, $25 dinner (Summerlicious pricing)

My Favourite Item…
Their clam chowder is absolutely delicious! It’s creamy and rich, and not too “fishy”. I ordered it on both my visits. 


Other Items…
– The coconut chicken skewers were moist and crunchy, went really well with the dipping sauce.
– The popcorn shrimp is also very tasty, has a great sauce
– The best dessert out of all the ones we tried was the Mississippi Mud Pie. It’s sweet and decadent!
– The lindt ice cream is also really good

 
It’s definitely worth a visit, there are some really nice items on the menu.Hope you’re enjoying the Summerlicious posts! – S.A.