Now that the glow of the holidays has passed and we’ve all once again resigned ourselves to winter’s endlessly dark and cold days, what better a time to go out and eat? If you’re going to survive the season, you need to stop lying to yourself about those “New Year’s Resolutions” and recognize that delicious, warm food (and wine!) paired with spending time with your loved ones is all that will save you from winter’s grip. To help aid in this endeavor, we’ve rounded up some of the best new winter menus we love!
Bloke & 4th
Given the perma-hot clientele and supper club atmosphere at Bloke & 4th, you’d almost never even know it was winter! They recently had well-known Toronto Chef Trevor Wilkinson join them as the head of their kitchen, and the winter menu he created looks fabulous! Bloke & 4th changes their menu every season, and this one is featuring on-point options like Beef Cheek & Black Truffle Pappardelle, Ratatouille & Quinoa Risotto, and Bourbon Chocolate & Caramel Pie. Almost makes you not want spring to come. Almost.
Drake One Fifty
Drake One Fifty, the new kid on the block who’s already one of the coolest kids in school (insert Mean Girls reference here), has a savory winter menu out that totally has us salivating. Between the House-Made Perth Sausage, the Slow-Braised Pork Rib, and lots of seasonal veggies like Horseradish Potatoes and Beetroot, we’re positively giddy over it! Well, as giddy as one can be in the throws of Seasonal Affective Disorder anyway.
Gilead Wine Bar
Jamie Kennedy’s brand new Gilead Wine Bar in Corktown has a menu so seasonal it would be a crime not to have it on this list. Each dish has a suggested VQA wine pairing to enhance the experience and we’ve got our eyes seriously trained on the Roast Beef with Marrow Toast and Bordelaise Sauce (paired with a 2010 Creekside Estate Winery “Broken Press” Syrah).
Our favourite taste of Italia on Queen West, Lo Zingaro has made some winter menu additions that feel like a warm Tuscan breeze. Everything on their menu is homemade and fresh, with a delicious Winter Salad including roasted beets, heirloom carrots, and parsnips for those still recovering from Nonna’s holiday feasts. Or screw the diet and warm up with their new Risotto di Funghi (house cured pancetta, mixed mushrooms, and Parmigiano Reggiano) or N’Duja Pizza (made with spreadably-soft n’duja spicy sausage).
Splendido on Harbord Street is staple of the area and our foodie hearts. They’ve got a new 12-course winter tasting menu that captures all the flavours of the season. Given the impeccable presentation, ingredients, and atmosphere, what better a way to ride out a winter’s night than an experience like Splendido?
Yours Truly’s philosophy of having a different focal ingredient that changes on the daily for each 5-course menu means this restaurant is pretty much always on the seasonal trend. That is something we can definitely get behind, year-round.