Seven days of dinner deals
In this year of scrimping, more and more Toronto restaurants are offering once-a-week meals that allow diners a cheap feast on a slow night. From Monday to Sunday, we list the best places to hit each evening.
MONDAY: Zucca Trattoria, three-course prix fixe
The meal starts with a simple salad and ends with a tower of hazelnut meringue, but the main is where it hits its high: house-made ribbons of tagliatelle with chanterelle mushrooms and smoked Niagara speck. At $25, the menu can transform the week’s start into a glorious event. Zucca Trattoria, 2150 Yonge St., 416-488-5774.
TUESDAY: Amuse-Bouche, Tapas Tuesdays
With both food ($5–$10 per plate) and wine ($5 per glass) marked down, this deal is a double-edged pleasure. We recommend the syrah (Three Winds, 2007) paired with duck confit shepherd’s pie, grilled elk medallions on ancho jus and smoky hazelnut-crusted haddock. For a decadent finale, try the creamy cherry-almond-pistachio parfait. Amuse-Bouche, 96 Tecumseth St., 416-913-5830.
WEDNESDAY: Corner House, three-course prix fixe
The crackling Cornish hen is oven-roasted and boneless, sure to please even the pickiest diners. The lobster bisque, caesar salad and phyllo-encased chocolate cheesecake seem like bonuses on the $35 menu. Corner House, 501 Davenport Rd., 416-923-2604.
THURSDAY: Café du Lac, Maple Ribfest
The sauce-drenched pork or venison short ribs at this Quebec-themed restaurant completely overshadow the soup or salad that make up the dinner deal ($30). Wash it all down with a beer from La Belle Province’s famed McAuslan brewery ($6). Café du Lac, 2350 Lake Shore Blvd. W., 416-848-7381.
FRIDAY: Eight Wine Bar, Buck an Ounce
From 5 to 9:30 p.m., wine lovers can sample select below-$50 bottles for just a loonie per ounce. Potential choices include the palate-tickling Frattina prosecco and the intense, award-winning Les Jamelles 2005 mourvèdre. Yes, it’s Friday’s new way to pre-drink. Eight Wine Bar, 8 Colborne St., 416-350-8188.
SATURDAY: The Ceili Cottage, Cottage Pie Night
Cottage pies are Ireland’s answer to our shepherd’s version. Ground beef or mutton comes smothered under a thick layer of mashed potatoes ($10). It’s the perfect comfort food for a chilly weekend night. The Ceili Cottage, 1301 Queen St. E., 416-406-1301.
SUNDAY: Oddfellows, Pierogi Night in Canada
This is one of those instances when a great restaurant is associated with the phrase “all you can eat.” Trade in $15 for an endless supply of potato and cheese pierogies, all served with such fixings as homemade applesauce, braised red cabbage, sour cream, bacon and kielbasa. Wash it all down with some appropriately cheap vodka ($3). Oddfellows, 936 Queen St. W., 416-534-5244.