I have some good news and some bad news. Bad news first. Today, the 3rd Monday of January, is apparently known as Blue Monday, the saddest and most depressing day of the year. I had no idea such a thing even existed! We’re well-acquainted with the phrases, “winter blues” and “winter doldrums”, but Blue Monday wasn’t introduced to my vocabulary until today. Stemming from holiday and Christmas debt, gloomy weather, and struggling new year’s resolutions, Blue Monday is allegedly the universal day for frowns and sad faces.
I like to keep positive the best way I can though. I may not have much money and things in life could be different, but I’m enjoying great food every day (taking advantage of winter’s comfort food offerings!), I have wonderful friends, and I have my scrapbooking and the blog which led me to all of you! So here’s the good news: Winterlicious is in 10 days and I’m planning on sharing more than one Winterlicious experience with you all on the blog!
Last year’s Winterlicious meal at Amaya’s Bread Bar was so wonderful and I’m so happy I decided on them in the end. The restaurant was so vibrant and colourful and the food was light, delicious, and a joy to eat – c’mon, who can resist basmati rice in a pretty metal bucket? It was my very first time taking part in the event and it was a total success for me. I’ve enjoyed Summerlicious several times but for whatever reason, Winterlicious never made it onto my plate until last year. It fights through the glommy January winter clouds and shines like a ray of sunshine in my book!
I don’t know if anyone else is excited as I am about this year’s Winterlicious, but I’ve been poring over the list of restaurants and the price fixe menus for over a week now! Even though the prices are very reasonable for many of the meals and establishments, I’m not at a point in my life where I can go all out and splurge on the $45 dinners or on the many amazing culinary events. If I could, I would be all over the fish-themed menu event and the chocolate one happening in February. I LOVE themed menus and the culinary events are so great because they’re a little more intimate, they’re educational, and they’re unique. It pains me not to be able to go to these, but I feel fortunate that I can at least partake in Winterlicious in some capacity.
I stuck to the $15 lunch price point and started my process of elimination from there. The only rules I made for myself this time around? I wasn’t going to choose a place I had already been to (outside of the Winterlicious program) and, as much as I loved last year’s Winterlicious at Amaya’s Bread Bar, I wasn’t going to choose Indian food simply for the sake of eating a different type of cuisine.
The process of elimination has been painstaking, but I think I’ve finally narrowed my list down to the few I really want to enjoy this year. I’m going to keep my Winterlicious picks a secret until I blog about them (ohhhh, you want to know where I’m going now so we can compare notes! I’m mean, I know. I like the suspense!), but totally feel free to share your own methods of choosing and what you want to get out of this year’s event. This year is a big one: it’s Winterlicious’ 10th anniversary! And for that reason alone, I’m determined to make this year’s experiences great ones.
Winterlicious and Summerlicious are annual price fixe food events where over 150 restaurants across the city take part in. Click here to view all restaurants and menus. Restaurants started taking reservations on the 12th, so if you want to secure your spot, give your top spot a ring.