What would make Winterlicious doubly better? I must say it’s when you go to a restaurant participating in this mouth-watering event with a very good friend and you split all of what you order right in the middle. You get double the satisfaction, double the lip-licking, double the experience.
I have scoured countless menus for a few weeks before the event started. My eye was pulled into a dead stop the moment I read duck fat fries at Prohibition Gastrohouse’s Winterlicious menu. I have always wondered about it but haven’t had the chance to try it. I peruse it further the list and I see duck confit. Ah-ha! Reason number two! I continued to read and I see a pimped Mac and Cheese, apparently served with Black Truffles, Blue Elizabeth, Gruyere and aged Cheddar. Usually I always go for something apparent and familiar. But my curiosity got the better of me and I get my friend Jojo to come with me for the experience.
We finally went Tuesday night and we spot the pub’s signage rather easily. It stands out because of its simple, black and contemporary curb appeal. Walking in, the ambiance seems relaxed and upbeat at the same time. I particularly liked the B&W mural on the side wall to the right upon entry through the door. The place was about 3/4 full on a Tuesday night, with people coming and going in a steady stream as we dined. We were initially handed the regular menu but I had my heart set on the Winterlicious menu that I saw online.
Making a pact with my friend, Jojo, to split everything halfway, we chose the Wedge Salad (Iceberg Lettuce, Heirloom Tomato, Wild Board Bacon, Shave Spanish Onion, Organic and Unpasteurized Blue Elizabeth, Creamy Dressing), Mini Haute Poutine (DF Frites, DF Frites, Duck Confit, Marinated PQ Curds, Duck Gravy & Red Wine Jus) for starters. For our mains, we order Slider Trois (Bison topped with Mostard a di Ciliegie, Duck Fat Confit Pork Butt topped with Napa Slaw & Baby Arugula, Fresh Sucked Crab, Panko Encrusted topped with Guacamole, Bread & Butter Jalapeños, served with Duck-Fat Potato Chips) and Mac et Fromage (Vesuvio Pasta, Black Truffles, 4-Yr Cave-Aged Gruyere, 5-yr Cheddar, Organic & Unpasteurized Blue Elizabeth, Shallots, Parmesan-Truffle Oil Brioche Crust). For dessert we chose Triple Layer Brownie Cake (Vosges Caramel Toffee Brownie, Balkan Yogurt & Whipped Cream Frosting) and Chocolate Mascarpone Mousse (El Dorado 15 Rum Infused, Strawberry Coulis, Isigny Ste Mere Whipped Cream). Thank God with menus being posted online. I don’t think I would remember all the detail with how many flavors they pile on their dishes. :)
I was expecting the food to take a few minutes to be prepped but our appetizer arrived very quickly. Quite a good surprise. It was rather late and my tummy was grumbling. The two starters balanced each other out, the salad refreshing to the palate after a mouthful of the rich and decadent poutine. In the midst of our conversation, the sliders and the Mac et Fromage arrived. In this part, Jojo and I had differences in opinions. While I enjoyed the juiciness of the bison slider, Jojo took preference over the panko-crusted crab pattie slider. Ah well, there are no losers to the contest on this meal. Those side DF-fried potato chips I would probably buy by the bag if they decide to sell it retail style. The earthy taste of the Mac et Fromage grows on you, belatedly realizing how I absentmindedly kept on eating it as I was deep in conversation with Jojo. Dessert came a few moments later. While the Chocolate Marscapone Mousse was so pleasing to the palate, Jojo and I was finally in agreement that the better dessert was the Triple Layer Brownie Cake. From the tartness of the icing on the top, to the fudgy chocolatey brownie layers absolutely sold to me.
Such was a good meal that Winterlicious night. I wonder if Summerlicious would come early with the crazy temperature Toronto is getting. Hrrrmmnnn…things for a foodie to ponder.