Eat It Up... Summerlicious in Toronto
Hungry for culinary adventure? Yeah, of course you are... Toronto's annual Summerlicious is underway, in which participating restaurants open their doors to a wider public with special prix-fixe menus. For many, it's a chance to branch out from the usual haunts and try a new place, lured by their signature dishes. For some (i.e. me), it's a chance to eat at establishments that are normally out of their (i.e. my) price range.
Participating restaurants keep separate reservations for their Summerlicious offerings, and these reservations get snatched up with alarming speed; indeed many participating eateries are already full, though some spots remain.
Foodies obsess over the online menus, often knowing what they want before they're even seated at the actual restaurant. Indeed, one can see overeager gormandizers sneaking peeks at other restaurants' menus via Crackberry or smartphone, presumably to avoid overlap from night to night- it just wouldn't do to order the chicken tonight if tomorrow's reservation looks better on the poultry front.
My girlfriend got busy with the reservations, gleefully informing me that we have a dine-namic dinner schedule for the rest of the week. We started out the other night by checking out a Moroccan scene called Le Maroc, which is part of The Sultan's Tent.. The food was delightful, though the service was rushed, even though very few tables were occupied, and the back was nearly empty (the sultan must've been lonely). Since everything was tagine-cooked slowly throughout the day, courses could be served at Burger-King speed, and some of them were. The mint tea was awesome. (Hey, I'm not a food journo, just a guy who likes to eat) The highlight item for me were the maftoul: thin pastries stuffed with spiced beef.
If you're in the Greater Toronto Area, check out Summerlicious- your stomach will thank you.