Alternalicious: a roundup of Winterlicious 2013’s prix fix rebels

Alternalicious: a roundup of Winterlicious 2013’s prix fix rebels

Bent’s braised spiced short ribs, one of the critic-endorsed picks on their Susurlicious menu (Image: Karolyne Ellacott)

Winterlicious can be a double-edged sword for diners. Yes, there’s the prospect of great deals that you’d never get otherwise—except during Summerlicious—but the crowds are thick, the servers are frazzled and the ’licious menu doesn’t always measure up to the usual fare. For years, some restaurants have opted to keep the deals but skip the chaos, responding to Winterlicious with prix fixes of their own. We’ve rounded up the best of them below.

• Susur Lee and sons are offering Susurlicious, a $35, three-course prix fixe at Bent. The menu is a collection of critic-endorsed, all-star dishes, including their tuna and watermelon ceviche and braised spiced short ribs. Available from January 25 to February 7.

• Local Kitchen and Wine Bar’s chef Fabio Bondi and sous-chef Kyle Rindinella are offering a $35 three-course prix fixe inspired by their studies in Italy, and they’ve brought in a ringer (George Brown intern Allesandro La Pianta) to help pull it off. Bondi’s pickled mackerel and blood orange kicks things off, followed by La Pianta’s ricotta orchietti with boar sausage and Rindinella’s duck breast secondo. Wine pairings are $25. Available from January 24 to February 2 (excluding Mondays).

At $62, Scaramouche’s Lobsterlicious is actually pricier than its city-wide counterpart; but on the other hand, it’s a mere $62 for a three-course lobster feast at Scaramouche. Keith Frogget’s menu feautures six different takes on lobster, including scallops with lobster reduction and the classic butter-poached. A choice of three (lobster-free) desserts follow. On now until February 7.

• Nota Bene’s chef David Lee has designed a three-course prix fixe in conjunction with Veuve Cliquot, pairing a Southwest-inspired tuna ceviche with Veuve’s yellow label, crab- and lobster-stuffed lasagna with their rose and a classic apple tart tatin with their demi-sec. It’s the costliest Alternalicious menu in town ($79), but still a deal for those with Champagne tastes. Available until the end of January.

• Delux has spent January celebrating its fifth year on Ossington with an anniversary menu. As at Bent, diners are treated to regular menu items at a licious-like price. Appetizers, mains and desserts are priced at $10, $20 and $5, respectively, and can be ordered individually. Available until the end of January.

• Elm Street Italian stalwart Oro is offering its three-course Orolicious promotion at $30 and $45, respectively, for lunch and dinner, until February 7. We recommend the lunch option, though; the menus are identical.

Increasingly, online coupons are replacing the usual Alternalicious menus, letting buyers recoup limited-time deals over longer periods of time.  Noce, whose sister restaurant Aria is among the official Winterlicious participants, has a four-course meal for $45 on TeamBuy right now (although it’ll only be up for one more day). Mildred’s Temple Kitchen in Liberty Village is offering two deals: a $49 four-course for two, or a $129 four-course for four.