[Update – Peoples Eatery has permanently closed. ]
We had the rare opportunity to have dinner with my older brother and his girlfriend last week. They live a plane ride away so we don’t get to see them often.
I suggested Peoples Eatery mainly because I really enjoyed it there in January, when my friend Meghan introduced it, but also because I’d seen that they were participating in the Summerlicious Restaurant Event.
“Summerlicious”, described as “Toronto’s Favourite Foodie Event“, is when, for three weeks in July, restaurants throughout Toronto offer three course prix fixe menus for dinner and, at some places, for lunch. At some of the restaurants they completely replace their usual menu with the Summerlicious one, and at others you can either have the prix fixe or select from the regular menu. Prix fixe prices are $23, $28 or $33 for lunch and $33, $43 or $53 for dinner.
There are at least three choices for each course, with the menus showcasing what each restaurant does best. Organized by the city, it began back in 2003 as a way to encourage people to try out new-to-them restaurants and to get them out during a normally slow dining-out period. When it began, 35 restaurants participated and this year there are 200.
All kinds of cuisine are included, so there is something that will appeal to anyone who likes to eat in restaurants.
There is also a cold weather cousin, “Winterlicious”, that happens for two weeks in February.
We all agreed that the entire menu offered by Peoples Eatery for Summerlicious this year was excellent!
For appetizers the choices were : General Tso-Fu, or Butter Lamb Croquettes, or Moroccan Roasted Eggplant Salad.
For the main course : Chinatown-style Steamed Sea Bass with Black Bean Sauce, snow pea leaf and miso eggplant, or Crispy Chicken Schnitzel, or Fresh Pasta with chanterelles, peas, beurre blanc and herbs.
Desserts were : Pouding Chomeur (a sticky toffee pudding), or Lemon Tart, or Chocolate and Peanut Butter pudding.
Since there were three choices for each category and there were four of us, we doubled up on the Lamb Croquettes, Pasta and Lemon Tart.
To drink, my brother, Nick and I began with a cocktail — I had a “Cherry Ginger Shandy” which was a mixture of cherry brandy, ginger beer, lager and lemon, which was nice and refreshing — and we all shared a couple of bottles of Laurent Muquel rosé.
Everything was really good, but if I had to choose my favourite from each category, I’d say the eggplant salad (and I don’t even normally like eggplant!), the pasta and the sticky pudding. Nick would pick the tofu and the chicken and my brother, the fish. So, really, it was all delicious.
The restaurant is near Kensington Market, so we went for a little walk there afterwards …
Summerlicious runs until this Sunday, so you have the weekend to check it out. If you don’t make it, Winterlicious will be here before you know it!
Thanks for reading,