Summer is definitely my favourite time of year for a food-focused road trip.
But when it comes to Toronto, I always time those escapes around Summerlicious!
With over 200 participating restaurants, foodies can discover three-course prix fixe lunch and dinner menus at some of Toronto’s best.
Running this year from July 5 to 21, there is still time to try out my recommendations below!
Although the food is important, resting after a day filled with food is key to getting through a real foodie trip.
Having heard of a food-centric room, I reached out to my new friends at the Gladstone Hotel.
Their “Surreal Gourmet” room was designed by my friend and Food Network personality Chef Bob Blumer!
A short ride to the fourth floor in the hand-operated elevator, I was immersed in a food culture themed room like no other.
Marshmallow pillows, swiss cheese lighting, food character artwork and a set of Shun knives to name only some of the features of this room.
I’d be willing to bet that there is no food-focused room like that anywhere else in the World! (If you know of any, please comment below)
Here were my picks, in order of consumption, for this Summerlicious 2019:
1. Northern Maverick Brewing | Beer Cuisine, Bistro, Canadian | 115 Bathurst St | $23 Lunch | $33 Dinner
Kale & Chard Salad – A delicious take on the classic caesar with amazing house-smoked lardons.
Maverick Burger – Flavourful dry-aged freshly chopped chuck patty cooked to a perfect medium for a phenomenal juicy burger.
Upside Down Peach Cobbler – Delicious oat crumble and peach compote atop a twist of soft-serve.https://northernmaverick.ca/
2. The Chefs House | Canadian, Contemporary | 215 King St E | $23 Lunch | $33 Dinner
Cured Arctic Char – Precisely cured arctic char with beautiful acidity from the pickled cucumber and an amazing mustard vinaigrette.
Crispy Skin Ontario Trout – Cooked to perfection and served atop a smoked pepper hummus.
Lemon Semifreddo – Similar to a frozen mousse, this hit the spot as a perfect summer dessert.http://www.thechefshouse.com/
3. Bacchanal | French | 60 Sudbury St | $53 Dinner
Foie Gras Crêpes Suzettes – A modern take on a classic French desert – the foie gras parfait worked perfectly with the Grand Marnier sauce.
Steak Frites – A French classic flat-iron steak served with Café de Paris butter.
Paris Brest – Light and crispy choux pastry with an amazing hazelnut mousseline.
Tuna Tomato – Confit Tuna served with kumato tomatoes and a delicious black garlic aioli.
Sea Bream à la Plancha – Perfectly seared Sea Bream atop artichokes barigoule, Marcona almond and romesco sauce.https://www.bacchanal.ca/
4. Blu Ristorante | 17 A Yorkville Ave | $53 Dinner
Truffled Beef Carpaccio – An Italian classic, with delicious crispy capers and house pickles.
Truffle Wild Boar Ragu – Perfectly prepared and cooked sweet potato & ricotta gnocchi and an amazing ragu.
Tiramisu – Delicious and creamy – just like you would expect.https://www.bluristorante.com/
That may be all for Summerlicious, but my trip didn’t stop there!
I also planned to take in a Blue Jays game one night during my visit, so I popped into the Sportsnet Grill that is located in the Toronto Marriott City Centre.
An amazing experience to say the least.
Joined by my friend, Cliff McArthur, Top 12 on this season of MasterChef Canada, we enjoyed some great cocktails along with some amazing food.
I’m talking about slow-roasted dijon crusted AAA prime rib and a beautifully cooked pan seared salmon.
Dining at a window seat, hearing the live stadium commentary over the speaker system, and dining on great food like this – mind-blowing!
The Sportsnet Grill is surely a top pick for enjoying a Jays game and for amazing food.
But my food discovery at the Rogers Centre was far from over.
I was invited to discover the amazing food services at the Rogers Centre that are provided by Aramark.
Their new menus and food offerings focus heavily on food items that include much, much more than just hot dogs.
I’m talking about items like Fried Chicken with a Honey Butter Sauce and Cornbread Waffles, and of course some amazing vegan options like their 32 Ingredient Salad.
My friend Chef Zane Caplansky is also currently operating a Pop-up restaurant that features his classic Smoked Meat Sandwich, Potato Latkes and more.
Not to mention that Zane will be launching his new mustard line-up that is like no other, with direct online ordering on his website coming soon.
I capped off my trip with brunch with amazing views atop the Bisha Hotel at Kōst.
The vibe is that of a beach club in a tropical destination but with amazing views of the CN Tower and the Rogers Centre.
I got to try two items which included the Green Chorizo Eggs Benedict with Roast Potatoes and the Ahi Tuna Steak Sandwich.
Both dishes were extremely flavourful, perfectly cooked and seasoned to perfection.
Kōst is also a great spot for late-night drinks and nighttime city views.
Summer is a great time to visit the City of Toronto.
I challenge you to try out all of the amazing food items I got to discover.
Ciao for now!