Brave the cold: Toronto’s winters can be delicious

After 17 years, Winterlicious still brings people out of their home

Morgans on the Danforth restaurant
Morgans on the Danforth is once again participating in Winterlicious  Francis Paul/Toronto Observer

Winterlicious is a boon for Toronto’s foodies — and also for restaurants.

Midwinter is a slow time for dining out in Toronto. To fill their dining rooms, more than 200 restaurants are providing fixed-price meals that range from$23 to $53 in the annual festival known as Winterlicious.

With Westerly winds making the temperature feel like -20C, Torontonians and tourists would be inclined not to venture out this Sunday evening. Good food and reasonable prices provide motivation.

Kevin Smith, manager of Morgans on the Danforth, says the event has improved his bottom line. “During winter, business would normally be down because of weather, but Winterlicious does a good job bringing customers into the restaurant.”

The marketing plan of Winterlicious is to simplify the reservation process. One-click on its website accesses all participating restaurants and the fixed priced menu with the promotional cost.

As expected from one of the world’s most culturally diverse cities, this Toronto festival provides menu options from many nationalities. Italian, East Indian, Greek, French, Thai and Malay meals tempt the adventurous diner.

Morgans on the Danforth provides a menu that may be more familiar with those who prefer traditional North American cuisine. Kevin Smith says “from my observations steak is what customers get the most.”

For those who are more adventurous, Winterlicious offers 13 special culinary experiences. These are more expensive, ranging in price from $75-$150. The diner still avails of a full four-course meal at a fixed price.

A Winter Escape at David Duncan house offers a Scotch Tasting Dinner complete, with five different scotches. The main courses feature lamb, short ribs and other and other favourites of Scotland.

Feed your soul — a Lousiana Experience is offered at Cirillo’s Academy. The chefs have prepared gumbo, shrimp etouffee and bananas foster bread pudding. Every diner brings home a “Feed Your Soul” apron.

A short walk on the Danforth features seven competitors of Morgans. These include the Mambo lounge which offers pre-revolution Cuban dishes. If more inclined to traditional Spanish fare, Tapas At Embruto may be more to your liking.

In 2018 about 27.5 million tourists visited Toronto resulting in $10 billions in revenue. The busiest season was the summer and programs like Winterlicious and Toronto Light Fest provide off-season options for tourists.

Allen Harrison has just finished a fixed price meal at Morgans on the Danforth. “Winterlicious is a good way to get people out of the house during winter as during the wintertime there is not much to do,” he says.

For tourists and Torontonians like Allen, what could be better than delicious food?

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Posted: Feb 11 2020 6:30 pm
Filed under: Events Food News