Winterlicious 2015: North 44

Winter’s addition of the city’s best eating opportunity is back! Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about Winterlicious. With over 200 restaurant’s participating, this two week long culinary event is an amazing opportunity to try some new spots and experience an extensive range of cuisines.

Although there were many enticing options to pick from, this year, I selected North 44 for my Winterlicious experience. As the first of four Toronto restaurants owned by Chef Mark McEwan, North 44 is known for its elegant dining experience and menu.

The Vibe.

North 44 has been a dining institution in Toronto for the past 20 years. With a stylish dining space and open concept kitchen on the first level, and another smaller chic dining area above, this restaurant  exudes elegance and romance in a cozy and intimate way. The service was excellent and attentive though not too aggressive. This is a great spot for a classy dinner… and even better when you get a great deal out of it from Winterlicious!

The Food.

One word that I would use to describe the food at North 44 is refined. Definitely a gourmet experience, with an extensive list of wines and four waiters bringing out your food at once. The food has been described as upscale, continental cuisine and it lives up to those expectations.

The Dish. 

To start:

What I like to call, the classiest cesear salad I’ve ever eaten. This consisted of romaine hearts with parmesan crisps, chunky herb croutons, pancetta, and a classic vinaigrette.

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The Main:

Soy Glazed East Coast Salmon with beluga lentils, sitting on a bed of  brussel sprouts and  heirloom carrots, with a decadent citrus butter. Now 99% of the time I am not a fish person. I’m not the biggest salmon fan and I normally wouldn’t opt for it in a restaurant. But here, I have encounter the other 1%.

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This salmon was cooked to perfection and the hearty lentils on top accompanied with the earthy root vegetables and bright sauce, made for a spot-on balance of flavours.

Dessert:

My confession for this meal is that I think dessert was my favourite part. Read the description and you’ll understand why: Dulce de Leche Cheesecake with dark chocolate sauce and vanilla cream.

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While eating this cheesecake it was as if everything else in the world paused for a second. The creamy decadent cake, paired with just the right amount of chocolate and caramel sauce, accompanied with the light vanilla cream was the perfect dessert bite.

Visit North 44 for your next special dining experience: north44.mcewangroup.ca

And try out Mark McEwan’s other amazing Toronto restaurants: mcewangroup.ca @TheMcEwanGroup

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