We’re on to the second day of our Summerlicious guides, and since the weather is being everso dreadful, we’re thinking about those great joints where you can cozy on up, stuff your face, and drench your thirst with great drinks. So, where can you score cool and comforting meals during Summerlicious 2013? Read on for our six top spots…
It’s no secret that we adore Habits Gastropub here at VTV HQ. A true gastropub if ever there was one, there’s a calming ambiance that’ll help you shake off the day’s worries the second you pop a squat at the bar. Summerlicious is a great time for Habits to show off its foodie virtues and attract in the detractors. Start with the Fior di Late salad with fresh Monforte cheese, Ontario heirloom tomatoes, and balsamic reduction. Move on to the Ontario rainbow trout with oven-dried cherry tomatoes, and roasted fennel. And top your dinner off with a luxe lemon-mint panna cotta and bumbleberry coulis. Now those are habits we condone!
Czehoski – Summerlicious 2013 Menu
The caj-cool (yeah, that’s caj as in casual) spot that is Czehoski is a favourite almost any night of the week. Good grub? They got it. Cold drinks? You’ll never be parched here. And for Summerlicious this year, they’re showcasing some of their whimsical European charm. A Polish Scotch egg can be had from the apps, while a squid cabbage roll takes the Euro staple to a whole new level. And for dessert? How ’bout some summer-appropriate cotton candy? Now that’s how you make a cool and comforting Summerlicious menu!
In case you’ve never been, L’Unita is one hell of an amazing Yorkville restaurant with tons of charm and heart. You can get lost in the menu and wine list for hours… and that’s never a bad thing. So it goes without saying that we had to include them in our Summerlicious rundown. We’re looking at the West Coast clams with zucchini, peperoncino and garlic toast; the grilled local lamb sirloin ‘alla romana’ with chickpeas, roasted zucchini and mint; and the ricotta fritters with fresh blueberries, ricotta cream and orange zest. Now that’s a trio worthy of the name Destiny. (Take that, Queen Bey!)
For those who are blithely unaware, Canyon Creek on Front is much more than your average chop house. Sourcing locally and seasonally as best as they can, and with some absolutely prime meat suppliers, Canyon Creek’s Summerlicious lunch is one not to miss. Why? How about a shrimp gazpacho salad, to start? Or the roast striploin sandwich with chimichurri roast beef, arugula, and horseradish sour cream on a house-baked sesame bun? Or the chocoholic pot de crème with dark roast coffee and Lindt 58% dark chocolate custard to finish? Not fuel enough to get you down there? Well, that’s just one combo you can make from their $15 lunch menu. How’s that for convincing…?
Smith – Summerlicious 2013 Menu
Ah Smith… one of our favourite brunch spots in the city is also our indulgent dinner pleasure. The decor here is stunning, with both dining rooms (up and downstairs) having unique characteristics, and the back patio is oh-so-darling. Their Summerlicious menus are fit for any picky eater, but the dinner is what has us all aflitter. We’re thinkin’ we’ll start with the Albacore crudo, or maybe the steak tartare with butter crostini. Then we’ll give the roasted salmon with shiitake mushrooms and bok choy a try, or maybe the steak frites with shallot jus. For dessert, you ask? We’re sold on the Smith bread pudding with salted espresso caramel and candied pecans. Smith, ya done made us happy, y’hear?!
Band the troupes and head over to East York to check out Rally Sports Bar and Smokehouse. This place is so underrated it kills us. They’re all about prime ingredients and making as much of their menu from scratch as they can. Plus, for those who love sports, you’ll have a killer view of the screens from pretty much any seat in the house. But don’t let the action distract you. You’re at Rally to eat your face off during Summerlicious, and here’s how to make the most of your night: Start with the tuna taco that sees five pepper-crusted Ahi tuna lightly seared and topped with green mango, cucumber slaw and salsa verde; then pile on the happy with a dose of Southern fried chicken alongside house-made mash and topped with house-made sausage gravy; finally, dig into a slice of home-cooking with their apple tart a la mode. Underrated? Not anymore…