As summer reaches its climax, Torontonians take to the streets for the best of music, wine, beer, art and food. Summerlicious is the epitome of summer festivals for foodies and winos alike, allowing just about anyone to enjoy the finest restaurants Toronto has to offer, 181 of them, to be precise. With such a volume of participating restaurants, Torontonians can easily fall prey to high-end restos serving small portions that are big on flavour, but low on benefits – leaving patrons with grumbling stomachs, and disappointed reviews. Luckily for us, many restaurants look to this time for the ultimate in experimentation and culinary delight – offering prix fixe menus with enough scrumptious food to fill you up and bring you joy.
One of the best Oyster joints in Toronto, Starfish Oyster Bed & Grill located on Adelaide, just East of Church, offers the sort of Summerlicious menu that leaves you wanting to make a second reservation during the event’s two week spurt.
On the first night of Summerlicious, I had the pleasure of dining at Starfish, the fish lovers paradise, and I must say that the $35 meal is certainly worth it. If you’re a seafood lover, you should definitely visit this quaint spot, Summerlicious or not.
The seafood tower proved to be a popular choice, as I saw the inspired stack of oyster, clam, mussel, prawn, sashimi and crab fill each table surrounding us – and consequently, ours too. This little tower of the sea’s creatures was tasty and fun to devour, but most importantly, fresh as can be! Other appetizer options include a Spanish style tomato, cod and chorizo chowder, or house smoked haddock fish cakes.
Unlike many Summerlicious locations, our mains were filling and well proportioned. The PEI mussels and house cut fries are the classic choice – and made just as one would expect, with white wine, garlic, lemon and herbs. Why mess with a good thing, right? I chose the Irish organic salmon with risotto, which was delightful. Important to note that the risotto is not what one would typically envision (rich, creamy), this has a tomato base with barley, peas and basil, much better suited to a fish ensemble.
Desserts were definitely edible but nothing to rave about. I would suggest the sticky toffee pudding (or STP as they call it) over the poached apricot with raspberry reduction and vanilla ice cream, which wasn’t too exciting (although the ice cream and reduction alone were lovely together).
Other menu options are marked at “Special Summerlicious Prices” so if you’re looking to order a dozen Oysters, you may as well take advantage while the price is right.
For more information on participating Summerlicious restaurants, click here.
Summerlicious ends July 22!
Starfish Oyster Bed & Grill
100 Adelaide Street East