By Gloria Hong

As mentioned in my post yesterday, Winterlicious is a great time to try something new, exciting or that restaurant you always thought might be too expensive to try. Below are 5 of my top picks for this year.

.

.

.

5. Trevor Kitchen and Bar

38 Wellington St E
416-941-9410
Winterlicious Menu

While I try not to repeat restaurants for Licious, Trevor manages to entice me year after year. The warm atmosphere of this historic war bunker is the perfect setting to catch up with old friends over good food and drink.  With a variety of vegetarian options and more menu options than other restos, it’s a pretty failsafe choice for your group.

My menu pick: Port braised beef cheeks with sunchoke risotto & shaved frozen foie gras.

4. earth Bloor West

2448 Bloor St W
416-763-2222
Winerlicious Menu

What can I say, I just like the ethos of this place. Strongly committed to local and seasonal, their ever changing menu always makes me want to go back and try something new. And for a $25 dinner, I think it’s one of the safest bets this Licious.

My menu pick: Welsh Rarebit – Confit pork, aged cheddar béchamel, focaccia toast, radish apple slaw

3. Colborne Lane

45 Colborne St
416-368-9009
Winterlicious Menu

Colborne Lane is where you are going to get your ultimate food “experience”. The menu is full of delightfully beautiful dishes, chocked full of molecular gastronomy techniques. While some of the ingredients and techniques are not familiar to all, it’s for that exact reason you should try Colborne Lane.

My menu pick: Braised pork belly + fermented black bean + lily bulb + maitake mushroom + chicharon

2. Splendido

88 Harbord St
416-929-7788
Winterlicious Menu

Another top Toronto restaurant, Splendido is definitely on my list this year. They don’t participate every year so when they do, it’s a mad dash to see who can book their reservation first!

My menu pick: Confit Peking Duck Leg with Okanagan Plum, Sweet & Sour Turnip

1. Canoe

66 Wellington St W, 54th Floor, Toronto Dominion Bank Tower
416-307-3322
Winterlicious Menu

My top pick for Winterlicious is Canoe. Predictable yes, but oh so delicious. Outstanding service and sensational views are second to truly spectacular food. There is a reason it’s so hard to get a reservation at Canoe during Licious, but keep trying! And don’t forget lunch – a great alternative if you can’t get a dinner reso.

My menu pick: All of it. Seriously.

And because you made it all the way to the end, I’m throwing in a bonus selection.

The Chef’s House (George Brown College)

215 King St E
416-415-2260
Winterlicious Menu

George Brown calls the Chef’s House their “living lab” – where culinary students are preparing your meals. The open kitchen provides a high energy environment which is just a prelude to the delicious food. You can feel the passion and focus – and watch it on the screens that stream a camera feed from the kitchen.  The food is well executed and beautifully plated, worthy of any gourmet dining room in the city.

No matter where you dine, I hope it’s delicious. Bon appetite!