Winterlicious…a great way to discover places I would not normally visit. Will not visit because they are too far, because they are nearby but not noticeable enough, because I’ve never heard about them…lots of reasons to miss a potentially great spot. We visited Wish display at the recent Interior Design Show opening night so when the place came up in the winterlicious list, the decision making process was quick.
Light pink, very clear
Hidden between a Japanese restaurant and a hotel, Wish is easy to miss – Charles East around Yonge is a very condensed area to begin with. Their winterized entrance was a hard plastic swing door along with a transparent polyethylene curtain leading straight into the dining area. This section appears to be the covered version of their summer patio and lots of light along with soft couches and street furniture makes it fill very warm despite minus 20 on the street. I sat in the closed up section which does look more like an actual café.
Floral with some citrus
A lot of somewhat distracting details start to catch my attention as I settle down. There is a deer head above me, a huge letter R next to the bar and a street wall imitation (with windows and rustic bricks) occupying the far side of this tiny space – a bit of an overload.
Longer than typical legs
The Winterlicious menu is straightforward, three choices per course. It took me couple minutes to figure out what I want: Mini Pate with Crostini and Onion Jam, Baked Salmon with Quinoa Salad and a Cream Coconut Tart for dessert. The lemon infused water appeared on the table before I took off my coat. That’s where the swiftness ended unfortunately. Each other item took progressively longer in making its way to the table.
Fruity, berry taste
A very neatly arranged jam jar along with four slices of crostini and a small taster plate of onion jam and grain mustard was my first course. A truly enjoyable experience for an appetizer! The pate was dense inside and of perfect consistency. The onion jam was a bit too difficult to eat with the large fork provided. There was a lot of pate so I quickly ran out of crostini. Not amused by a thought of eating fatty pate on its own, I asked for more. To my surprise, waitress made a smiling proposition to give me four more pieces for $1. I said yes while thinking of how odd it is to charge for this. At any rate, it took too long for the crostini to arrive so once I got my second course I let the waitress know that I will be fine without. The Baked Salmon paired with quinoa salad was good! Cooked just the right amount of time, quinoa was shaped on my plate and sprinkled with citrus. I believe some cranberries were mixed into it as well. The salmon itself was also nicely prepared but could use a bit more spice. The later was fixed with some salt and pepper promptly added to the plate. I cannot say I found the Coconut Tart particularly interesting – a simple creamy desert with a crumply crust.
A great potential, but needs some refinement. Somewhat of a confusing aftertaste
I liked the place overall. It does seem very tiny and overloaded inside. At the same time, I am pretty confident that in the summer and with their patio properly functioning, the feel will be completely different. The food was good, but the service a bit lacking (might be due to Winterlicious). We will be back here in a few months to take a look again. Maybe a dinner this time, with ma cherie.
Overall... a young rose Pinot Noir