The Dish Power Rankings: Winterlicious Kick-Off Edition
In this week’s roundup: The cut-rate food frenzy officially begins, and Aragorn enjoys his meals in fun shapes.
The 54th-floor stalwart set up a dedicated Winterlicious phone line—which crashed when two-thirds of the city tried to call in at the same time.
The new Winterlicious contender’s online system was equally clogged (although some spots are still available—mainly lunches and Sunday-night dinners). A possible consolation for disappointed diners: Shōtō just launched a more budget-friendly $95 dinner menu (“budget friendly” being a relative term).
3. Nota Bene
Possibly your best midday bet for a cut-rate festival meal, at least according to USA Today’s roundup of Toronto’s top lunch destinations.
4. The Carbon Bar
Meanwhile, James Chatto called Nota Bene’s Southern spin-off “absolutely brilliant.”
5. The Spoke Club
The King West club hosted David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen (who enjoyed a dessert in hockey-puck form), as well as Jermain Defoe, Toronto FC’s new Drake-endorsed soccer star.
6. Bar Isabel
Mid-Winterlicious might be a good time to score a reservation at the non-participating hotspot (although you’ll still have to wait a few weeks for a weekend table).
7. Drake One Fifty
This place is pretty great—or it totally blows. Depends on who you read.
The bad news is that January 22 marks the midtown bistro’s last-ever Rijsttafel (an epic, 15-course Indonesian feast beloved by diners in-the-know), and tickets are already sold out. The good news: the owners are launching a casual Indonesian snack bar just down the street.
9. Von Doughnuts
When it comes to doughnuts, Toronto’s food nerds have spoken.
The Dundas West wine bar just might be the coziest, happiest, most sepia-hued winter retreat in the city—if you can snag a table (on Thursday, there was practically a line out the door).
Honourable Mentions: Joanne Kates loved La Cascina; Chantecler’s lunchtime congee got an effusive informal shout-out from the Globe’s Chris Nuttall-Smith; and The Depanneur diner on College West earned the top spot on U.S. dude-blog Thrillist’s roundup of Toronto’s most underrated restaurants.