It’s Winterlicious! The ‘Licious series is a bi-annual two-week long prix fixe bonanza anticipated by eager foodies in Toronto in the winter (Winterlicious) and over the summer (Summerlicious). Participating restaurants create three-course prix fixe menus for lunch and/or dinner available exclusively at this time. It’s great promotion and value, and encourages a lot of people to try new cuisines or visit restaurants that might otherwise be an expensive treat. This year’s Winterlicious events run from January 31 to February 13.
A group of friends and I made it to Tabülè (2009 Yonge Street) for a great Sunday dinner. The Mediterranean/Middle Eastern restaurant’s Winterlicious menu offers more food choices than most other restaurants and can be found here ($15 for lunch; $25 for dinner). The restaurant is located midtown almost halfway between the Davisville and Eglington subway stations on Yonge Street. There’s a second location downtown on Queen Street.
THE ARAK (HOUSE)
a traditional Lebanese liquor distilled, made from grapes and flavoured with anise seeds
I had a long weekend of proofreading work and decided I deserved a drink. The liquor was strong! It was my first time encountering anise-flavoured anything, and it’s very black licorice-tasting.
COMBINATION PLATE (vegan)
humüs, babaganüj, tabülè and falafel
I loved this! I had two pitas with this which filled me up before I even got to my main dish. I’m not all that familiar with Middle Eastern cuisine, but I thoroughly enjoyed all of the flavours on this plate.
My friends enjoyed the lentil soup, hallum salad, and kubbeh.
juicy skewers of middle eastern spiced ground beef and lamb served on a bed of garlic tomatoes
I was immediately overwhelmed with how much food there was. I generally expect restaurants to serve smaller portions than normal for Winterlicious menus (and this might still be the case here… I don’t know), but this was definitely more than I was expecting. The meat in the tomato sauce was great, and I couldn’t believe how good the rice tasted! I had to get my leftovers to go.
angel hair filo layered with custard and topped off with rose water syrup
Sorry this photo turned out blurry! I got too excited to take another shot. I really enjoyed this dessert – especially the custard – and quickly forgot how full I was to finish it completely. I always have a second stomach reserved for dessert. :) This was nicely portioned and served at slightly warmer-than-room-temperature. It didn’t feel like a particularly heavy dessert either.
Overall, I enjoyed this restaurant and would recommend it. The servers were great and the thing they pour water for you with is pretty mesmerizing, though would spill onto the table a few times. They also have bellydancing entertainment on Saturdays, so that would definitely be the time to go!