As much as foodies look forward to Toronto’s two weeks of fine and affordable dining each year, some local restaurateurs are equally happy to keep up the annual Winterlicious tradition.
Vito Marinuzzi, co-owner of 7 Numbers Danforth, can’t keep the excitement out of his voice as he talks about his plans for this year’s festival of prix fixe lunches and dinners.
“We’ve always had great success with Winterlicious,” he says. “It plays into the family-style menu we offer.”
For the two weeks from Jan. 31 to Feb. 13, the Greektown restaurant expects to draw 500 to 700 diners for its Italian fare.
“That’s about 30 percent more than normal for two weeks — and in a usually slow period,” Marinuzzi says.
Most importantly, new customers are introduced to 7 Numbers, which has been on Danforth Avenue for 17 years, he adds. “We usually gain some diners we haven’t seen in the past.”
More than 200 restaurants are hosting Winterlicious across Toronto. About 20 of them are in the east end area covering the communities of Riverdale, East York, Leslieville and Beaches.
Reservations can be made now online or by phone. (See the numbers for the local places below.)
Eateries are presenting three-course prix fixe lunch menus in their choice of $23, $28 or $33 categories, and dinner menus priced at $33, $43 or $53.
The fixed-price menus in the east end feature a wide diversity of international cuisine, including Italian, Mexican, Cuban, Brazilian, Greek Mediterranean, Spanish, French, American — and even Canadian. Local styles include traditional, vegetarian, tapas, fusion, gastrohouse, and more.
Marinuzzi says 7 Numbers, which is open only for dinner, will be offering its usual Winterlicious menu but with some revisions to accommodate changing tastes. He’s adding some vegan and vegetarian choices, as well as an octopus salad appetizer, and pasta fagioli (a pasta and beans dish), along with the restaurant’s usual specialities.
Here’s the list of Winterlicious restaurants in this area:
7 Numbers Danforth, 307 Danforth Ave., 416-469-5183
$33 dinner, Italian and Vegan/Vegetarian
Il Fornello Danforth, 576 Danforth Ave., 416-466-2931
$23 lunch, $33 dinner, Italian and Vegan
Mambo Lounge, 120 Danforth Ave., 416-778-7004
$23 lunch, $33 dinner, Cuban
Morgans on the Danforth, 1282 Danforth Ave., 416-461-3020
$23 lunch, $33 dinner, Bistro, Gastrohouse and International
Rodeo Brazilian Steakhouse, 95 Danforth Ave., 416-465-0969
$43 dinner, Brazilian
Sarah’s Cafe and Bar, 1426 Danforth Ave., 416-406-3121
$23 lunch, $33 dinner, Bistro, Canadian and International
Soula’s Modern Greek Cuisine, 500A Danforth Ave., 416-778-0500
$23 lunch, $33 dinner, Greek, Mediterranean and Seafood
Tapas at Embrujo, 97 Danforth Ave., 647-705-7880
$23 lunch, $33 dinner, Spanish and Tapas
Queen Street East
Barrio Cerveceria, 884 Queen St. E., 647-352-0884
$23 lunch, $33 dinner, Mexican and Tapas
Core Restaurant, 896 Queen St. E., 416-519-8101
$43 dinner, Canadian, Contemporary and French
Il Ponte, 625 Queen St. E., 416-778-0404
$28 lunch, $43 dinner, Italian
La Sala, 1975A Queen St. E., 416-694-0004
$33 dinner, Italian
Prohibition Gastrohouse, 696 Queen St. E., 416-406-2669
$23 lunch, $33 dinner, Contemporary, Fusion and Gastrohouse
Veloute Bistro and Catering, 2343 Queen St. E., 416-696-7392
$53 dinner, French and Italian
Other East End
The Beech Tree, 924 Kingston Rd., 416-699-4444
$33 dinner, Bistro, Contemporary and Fusion
The Civic, The Broadview Hotel, 106 Broadview Ave., 416-362-8439
$33 lunch, $53 dinner, Canadian, Contemporary, International
Jawny Bakers Restaurant, 804 O’Connor Dr, 416-285-1165
$23 lunch, $33 dinner, American and International
Maple Leaf Tavern, 955 Gerrard St. E., 416-465-0955
$43 dinner, American, Canadian and Steakhouse
Via Mercanti Gerrard, 1501 Gerrard St. E., 647-352-2206
$23 lunch, $33 dinner, Italian
For information about Winterlicious in the midtown area (Leaside, North Toronto and Forest Hill), see the article and restaurant listings here.
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