You know it, you love it. Now in its 12th year, Winterlicious has over 200 restaurants participating across the city, offering 3-course prix fixe menus for both lunch and dinner. Prices range from terrifyingly cheap $15 lunches (the word "bargain" doesn't do it justice) and not at all terrifying (see what I did there?) $45 dinners. This is a great excuse to check out restaurants on your "To Do" list that you might not normally have occasion to try. Remember to call ahead to ensure you get a table, restaurants have been taking reservations since mid-January and popular spots (*cough, cough* Canoe) will get snapped up quickly.
2. Toronto Tea Festival - February 1 & 2
Nothing sounds better on a cold winter's day than a warm cup of tea, amirite? If that idea sounds like your cup of tea (I COULDN'T RESIST!) then you should head to the Bram & Bluma Appel Salon of the Toronto Reference Library for the second annual Toronto Tea Festival. This event will feature guest speakers, tea ceremonies, exhibitors and, most importantly, tea tastings. Last year's festival was so well attended that this year an extra day was added so that everyone can get their tea bagged (so to speak). Tickets are $15 for a single day or $25 for a two-day pass.
3. La Poutine Week - February 1 to 7
Taking place in multiple cities that have embraced the curd (Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City & Ottawa), La Poutine Week Toronto will see 23 popular restaurants around the city add a special poutine dish to their menus, ranging from $8-$10. Think over the top ingredients. Think poutine PLUS brisket or ribs or pulled pork, or, if you're feeling even more exotic, try your poutine topped with lobster. Believe it or not, there are even some veggie options. Check out the full listing on the La Poutine Week website and don't forget to vote for your favorites. A winning poutine will be crowned for each participating city.
4. Latkepalooza - February 9
Speaking of food competitions, do you have an amazing latke recipe? Do you think your latkes would beat out all other latkes in a no holds barred latke competition? Are you willing to make 5 dozen of your latkes to prove this point? Then get in touch with staff at Caplansky's Delicatessen and show us whatchu got. They'll provide the apple sauce & sour cream, spectators will provide the appetites. Also? Free event! Woo!
5. Valentine's Day Sweets & Chocolate Tour - February 9 and February 14
I must admit I am not a hearts and flowers kind of gal. I don't like going out for Valentine's Day dinner because it feels like you're involved in everyone else's foreplay and that really creeps me out. What I do enjoy is finding a fun and different way to mark the occasion and if you're the same, I suggest booking a Tasty Tour for you and your love. For $30/person you get a guided tour of sweet spots (ha!) in Kensington Market, complete with samples along the way. Très romantique but not at all cliché.
6. Mad for Marmalade, Crazy for Citrus! - February 22
Of COURSE Toronto has a marmalade festival! And of COURSE it's been around for 7 years! I absolutely love that every kind of food gets its turn in the spotlight in this city. No sarcasm, it's the best. If marmalade is your thing, then head over to historic Fort York for the 7th annual Mad for Marmalade, Crazy for Citrus! festival. Early bird tickets are available for $45 before February 7th and are $50 after that. Tickets get you access to workshops, speakers, vendors, refreshments (including a "Citrus Lunch") and a spot at the main event: the marmalade competition. This city rules.
7. Grilled Cheese Fest - February 28
Last but certainly not least is a brand new food event, Joylister's Grilled Cheese Fest at Roy Thomson Hall. Read that again. There is a GRILLED CHEESE festival happening at ROY THOMSON HALL. Allow me once again to state for the record that Toronto is my favorite and this bizarre marriage is case in point. It's a pretty safe bet to guess this first-time event is going to be a huge hit. Tickets are $39.99/person and will get you all-you-can-eat grilled cheese sandwiches from "Toronto's Top Grilled Cheese Masters", gourmet soup pairings and 3 drink tickets to sample local beers (or non-alcoholic beverages). The vendor list is solid and the menu looks incredible so all I have left to ask is... why haven't you grabbed your ticket yet? I will see you there!
|(image courtesy of Joylister)|