93 Harbord (93 Harbord Street) (Winterlicious)
February 11, 2010

Went for Winterlicious, which was the only option available. Lentil soup was tasty, a little over spiced for my delicate palate, but certainly not bad.

Chicken tagine was pleasant, but a little too lemony. The presentation (not something I normally notice) of this dish was particularly ridiculous: the chicken and bok choi were slopped onto the plate and accompanied by a perfectly molded little mound of couscous.

Dessert was bad. ‘Poached figs’ were dried figs. Almonds were overly roasted and poor tasting. The yogurt was ok.

The lighting in the restaurant, as per the trend, was too low.

Not recommended: there are much better places on Harbord.

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Cafe Victoria (37 King Street East, in the King Edward) (Winterlicious)
February 6, 2010

Fine for $20, but nothing special. Vegetable martini with balsamic reduction (vinegary red pepper gazpacho I think) was a pleasant start to the meal. I think the soup of the day (cauliflower) would have been nicer, but I was intrigued. The balsamic reduction didn’t taste particularly balsamic.

Seafood stew for main course was pleasant, the seafood was fairly average, but well in line with what you’d expect for a $20 three-course meal. I opted to have it with an orzo, tomato, olive and caper salad, which was nice but I ended up leaving a lot of it as I was in danger of succumbing to a grease and salt overdose.

Banana and chocolate cake tasted nothing like chocolate but was surprisingly banana-y and very pleasant.

Globe Bistro (124 Danforth Avenue) (Winterlicious)
February 6, 2010

We went here for Winterlicious and were quite impressed, a really good deal for the price. The atmosphere is nice, although the lighting is a little too low (a common theme, it seems). We both had scallops (two fairly small ones) for starter which were nicely seared and served with the requisite bacon (nice and crispy) and some good sunchoke and orange purees. For main, braised beef short rib, which was also very pleasant, although paired with a strange muscovado-based puree which didn’t do anything for me. Dessert was slightly less successful; I opted for the whisky toffee pudding over the cardamom apple tart, figuring neither were likely to taste much like whisky or cardamom but that the toffee pudding was likely a safer bet, which turned out the be the smart move. The highlight was the chocolate and oatmeal stout (which gave the chocolate an extra bitterness – something I like very much) mouse (foam?) that topped the pudding. The lady chanced the cardamom apple tart, which did not pay off and she sent it back. The server was very polite at this point and readily allowed the substitution of the apple for the toffee without making any fuss.

I’d be glad to go back and pay full price one day.