My blog has moved! Redirecting...

You should be automatically redirected. If not, visit and update your bookmarks.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

making winter as de-licious as possible

It sounds too good to be true, restaurant's you can't afford with three-course menus and dishes laced with French names.

Did you say mushroom veloute, duck rillete and potato souffle, all under $35? And then they get you, always with the creme brulee.

I have sat through many of these menus, but never without wary taste buds. Having lived and dated a chef who knew the ins and outs of Winterlicious and Summerlicious, it is only natural for me to be apprehensive.

It's not a coincidence most menus will feature items like couscous, pasta and cheap cuts of meat. Restaurants used to an expansive budget for food are forced to tighten their belts like the economy is crumbling and make your cheap piece of steak look as good as it can. And while most chefs can pull this off with a little creative flair, a lot of it is made in bulk to prepare for the masses. So if you're food doesn't taste fresh off the grill, it probably isn't.

Even the waiters I know cringe at the thought of it. Their usual dining crowd disappears as penny pinchers walk in the door, leaving behind smaller tips and smells of cheaper perfume.

The Star and torontoist wrote some helpful pieces on Winterlicious, with a few pointers on what's worth your winter budget.

On the bright side it's a great chance to check out some new restaurants, eat like the French with several courses and dine at prices you can afford. I have had Winterlicious meals not worth talking about, and ones that leave melt-in-your-mouth memories in the back of my mind.

My only problem is that if my meal is cheap, I usually overcompensate with wine or martinis, thus enhancing my meal but also killing the budget aspect. So this year I will be making delicious meals at home, enjoying the fruits of my labour, and a bottle of wine to my leisure.

Quartet of shrimp


Blogger Medio Pomelo said...

Ahhhhh, that's a heavenly looking picture in the end... It is great to spoil yourself with quality cooking and a bottle of good red at home, but still... it is simply fab to do the same in a restaurant... I certainly cannot resist doing it every now and then, especially right after payday.

10:59 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home