Toula Ristorante & Bar
Last night I took advantage of "Winterlicious" to dine with friends at Toula, an Italian, fine dining restaurant located on the 38th floor of the Westin Harbour Hotel in downtown Toronto.
Winterlicious, a restaurant event which usually runs for 2 weeks between January and February, offers a great opportunity to try a restaurant of this calibre at a price that is affordable thanks to fixed menu pricing, in this case $35. This includes an appetizer, entree and dessert, and although the choices are usually limited they give a good indication of what is normally on the menu.
At Toula the choices were enticing and the whole group found it difficult to decide as they all sounded terrific and delicious. After much debating I finally settled on my choices, while enjoying a tasty red pepper spread with bread which had been brought to the table and a good glass of Pinot Grigio. My appetizer, a lobster tail on a saffron risotto cake was good but small and the tail was difficult to remove from the shell. Friends chose the smoked salmon appetizer and the caprese salad, and they were a good size and looked delicious, probably better choices. For my entree I chose the Rib-Eye steak with wild mushroom gravy, roasted potatoes and asparagus. The meat was butter tender and cooked to my liking, medium, and the sauce was delicious, as were the vegetables, so much so that I just had to sop up the juices with some bread, yummy! My friends were also quite happy with their choices, beef tenderloin, squash ravioli and lobster pasta. Dessert was again a difficult choice, I opted for the delicious cappuccino cheesecake with berry sauce which went fabulously with my cappuccino. Friends chose apple strudel with a chocolate sauce and Crema Veneziana (creme brulee), which I sampled and liked very much. And we were quite surprised when Limoncello shots arrived at the end of our meal on the house! A sweet ending to a great meal.
The restaurant is circular and offers great panoramic views of the lake and the city, and there was also live entertainment thanks to a very talented musician and singer. The service was very attentive and our waiter was professional, friendly and accommodating to the needs of our group of ten women, not an easy task. We all enjoyed the dinner and concluded it was the best "Winterlicious" dinner we have had to date. Toula is an excellent restaurant choice for dinner with friends, out of town guests or a romantic date night, but be prepared to spend at least double the cost of the Winterlicious $35 price. Still...I would highly recommend this restaurant if you are looking for a great fine dining experience.
*PS...the restaurant also offers a Sunday brunch, which I think would be a great way to enjoy the restaurant and views at a more affordable cost