Each Winter and Summer, the BIA staff treat themselves, by partaking in a Winterlicious and Summerlicious lunch, trying out a new Yorkville venue each time. As a small group, we love to take the lunch hour to see what our participating BIA restaurants have to offer. We’re only four of the 5.6 million who have participated in this special promotion of Toronto’s diverse culinary offerings, which generates more than $247 million in economic activity, for the local restaurant industry.
Over the 14 years, of the City’s culinary celebration, we’ve tested out a la Carte at the Gardiner, Annona, Café Boulud, Cibo Wine Bar, Kasa Moto, La Société, Living Room (Windsor Arms Hotel), ONE Restaurant, Sassafraz and Wish. Looking at this list, we realized how fortunate we are to have so many terrific options for dining in Bloor-Yorkville!
This year’s Winterlicious lunch took us to Holt’s Café.
Navigating to Holt’s Café (50 Bloor Street West) is a treat, as you travel through two flights of gorgeous colours and stunning displays of high fashion items throughout the Holt Renfrew store. Shopping and dining at it’s best!
Veering right (if you can) of the fabulous shoe department is where you will find the bright and open Holt’s Café with Bloor Street facing windows. Seated a cozy table, we watched the gentle snowfall, which added to the cheery atmosphere for our Tuesday luncheon.
From the Winterlicious Menu, we sampled the delicious Wild Mushroom Soup (served with Tarragon Foam), Vegetable Pakora (with mint gastrique) and the Cured Ontario Lake Trout – (with pickled cucumber, garlic chips, and preserved lemon).
Everyone chose the Wellington County Flat Iron (featrured picture). Served medium-rare, this just-the-right-size portion of steak came with onion jam, blistered tomato and fried purple potato. Very colourful and full of flavour.
My favourite dessert choice was the Frozen Chocolate Soufflé, with Champagne cream. Recommended by our server, and rightly so, as this was delicious decadence packed into a tiny espresso cup! My co-worker had the Ricotta Cake, with Fig jam and brittle, which resembled a Yorkshire Pudding (pictured), but tasted even better.
This Winterlicious lunch was very reasonable at $23. It seemed like a big lunch for little expense. This was the rationale I tried to give myself, as I browsed the Burberry purses on the way out. I ended up with a Clinique lipstick. My satisfied stomach didn’t cloud my rationale after all!