Every winter over a hundred fine dining restaurants in Toronto offer prix fixe (fixed price) lunch and dinner menus as part of "Winterlicious", which also includes special culinary-themed events. If you want in on the Winterlicious Prix-Fixe promotion, reservations are highly recommended and easy to make.
In 2013 restaurants will begin accepting reservations from American Express cardholders on Tuesday January 8 and from everyone else on Thursday January 10.
There are also 14 tied-in culinary events taking place, and tickets for those events went on sale on December 13, 2012.
Time Required: Varies.
- Choose Your Dining Companions
The huge variety of cuisine available during Winterlicious is wonderful, but it also means there's a lot of room for disagreement. You should decide early who you want to Winterlicious with, so you have plenty of time to find a restaurant (or restaurants) that will suit all of your party's tastes.
- Decide on a Day and Time to Dine
In 2013, Winterlicious runs from January 25 to February 7.
- Pick Your Prix Fixe
In 2013 there are three price categories for Winterlicious lunch and dinner menus:
Lunch $15, $20 or $25
Dinner $25, $35 or $45
Those prices generally include a starter, entrée and dessert, but do not include beverages, taxes or tips. Be warned - many restaurants will include the tip as a gratuity charge right on your bill, and the percentage they calculate it at will vary. You may want to ask the restaurant about their gratuity policy when you call.
- Select Your Restaurant(s)
Now that you know how much you and your dining companions are planning to spend, you can all visit the City of Toronto website where the Winterlicious Prix Fixe menus are posted online. There are helpful icons on the site to let you know which restaurants have vegetarian options and which are wheelchair accessible.
- Make the Call
Call the restaurant you're interested in directly, using the number provided with the online menu. Be sure to specifically mention that you want to make a "Winterlicious reservation", and don't forget to double-check any details that are important to your group such as the gratuity policy or allergy information.
- Show Up
If you won't be able to make your reservation, you must give at least 48 hours notice to cancel.
- Winterlicious is presented by American Express, so if you have an AmEx card you can use front-of-the-line privileges to start making your reservations a few days earlier than everyone else.
- Create a restaurant "short-list". That way if the first one you call isn't able to give you the time you'd like or accommodate other needs, you won't feel pressured to make a reservation you're not happy with.
- Once you've made the reservation, print out the online menu and bring it with you or be ready to access the website on your phone. Sometimes the online menus have more detail on your choices than the restaurant's printed menus.
What You Need:
- Internet Access to Browse the Menus
- A Phone to Reserve your Spot
- A Winterlicious-Ready Appetite