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Canada: Get ready to sample Toronto's cuisine at Winterlicious

January 09, 2013|By Jay Jones
  • The restaurant at Toronto's Drake Hotel is just one of nearly 200 eateries offering prix-fixe menus during the city's Winterlicious Festival.
The restaurant at Toronto's Drake Hotel is just one of nearly 200 eateries… (James Andrew Kacahn )

Reservations are scheduled to be taken beginning Thursday for Toronto’s Winterlicious, one of the world’s biggest food festivals.

From Jan. 25 through Feb. 7, 191 restaurants throughout Canada's largest city are set to serve up three-course, prix-fixe meals at prices between $15 and $45. The festival also includes 14 culinary events.

In the last decade, participating restaurants (new ones are added each year) have served 3.7 million meals at promotional prices.

For example, the Drake Hotel is offering a $20 lunch. Appetizers include organic Ontario kale salad and potato soup with escargot and parsley. Grilled Pacific salmon and Ontario flank steak are among the entrees. Dessert may be Black Forest cake, pear upside-down cake or a selection of local cheeses.

Dinners are only slightly more expensive. For $35, the Frank Restaurant at the Art Gallery of Ontario will offer such dishes as Nova Scotia clam chowder with buttermilk bacon biscuits, mushroom risotto and bourbon pecan pie. (Prix-fixe prices do not include taxes or gratuities.)

Visitors seeking more than simply a good meal can choose from the variety of culinary events.

On Jan. 25, the Chefs' House, a "learning restaurant," will host an experience it is calling "Take the Highland Way." For $120 (tax and tip included), participants can celebrate Scottish poet Robert Burns with a five-course meal, including wine and a "wee dram" of whiskey. Professional chefs are to teach how to make haggis, and guests will be able to take their finished dish home with them.

At the Campbell House Museum, diners are to be served a 19thcentury cocktail, the shrub, and a three-course meal, also from the 1800s, created by food historian Liz Driver.

After dinner, a theater troupe is to present a play about the life of a domestic servant working in upper Canada during the War of 1812.

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