Now before I start this post, I want to say that I’ve never been to Winterlicious or fine dining before, so this was my first experience. I’ve always wanted to go to both because Winterlicious is a great time to try new, expensive restaurants for a discounted price. And I always thought the serving sizes of regular family restaurants can be quite big, so this was a fun change of pace.
My Picks from Splendido
Victor’s Foie Gras Parfait
Apple, Celery, Raisin & Brioche
As the name insists, I ordered a Foie Gras Parfait. I will admit, I was a little overwhelmed by the selection on the menu for Splendido because often dine at these types of restaurants. So a lot of what was given as a selection was quite foreign to me. I actually had to google everything and take a look at the pictures haha. The one thing I did know, though was foies gras. But that’s only because I wrote an article about foies gras donuts for work the other day.
This appetizer was quite small in size, hence fine dining, but it did have a lot of flavour. The foies gras has a very smooth consistency, so the fork or knife cut through it quite easily. It has a salty, meaty taste to it that lingers on your tongue after. However, because it was so powerful in taste, I wish they gave a larger portion of bread. I found it hard to eat on it’s own after I finished the bread.
As for the apple, celery, and raisin mix on the left, it was amazing. It’s a good combination with the foies gras because it really refreshes your tastebuds. It was very sweet, almost like a dessert. The apple was soft, almost like it was baked. The crumble felt nostalgic, like eating apple pie at a picnic. This is definitely one of my favourites out of this whole dish.
Smoked Pork Belly
Sweet Potato, Beet & Granola
This dish was quite interesting, but was still worth the pick. The pork was served as a square chunk on top of a sauce that tasted like it was marinaded with the pork. The sauce I felt was definitely what gave the dish it’s flavour. It was packed with flavour and wasn’t greasy at all.
The pork has about a 5mm thick layer of fat laying on top of the meat. I’m not huge on pork fat, but it did add texture and juiciness to the dish. The fat was soft and a little gooey, contrasting the firm meat under. At the very bottom, it was also crispy and you could feel the crunch as you cut through the pork. The meat and the sauce were very savoury.
On the side there’s a small chunk of sweet potato. The sweet potato was very soft and smooth when I took a bite out of it. It has a mild salty taste to it, ensuring it doesn’t contrast the rest of the dish too much. I used it as a palette cleanser at the end, to help prep me for dessert.
Chestnut Mousse & Caramelized Cream
Overall, this dish had a very lush taste. I find that the cake is best eaten with the ice cream and mousse together. The cake had a slight tart taste, the pear on the plate was a kick, and the ice cream and mousse harmonized everything. I recommend this dish to anyone visiting Splendido for Winterlicious. It’s a fantastic way to end the night.
The environment at Splendido was very clean and Anthropology– inspired. There hung small bulbed string lights on the ceiling and a long middle island between tables decorated with tree branches and little ornaments. You could definitely tell the theme was gold, brown, and white. I expected the place to offer more seating options, but it wasn’t cramped. I assume the small seating arrangements allowed time for quality food to be made.
The waiters were very kind. Sometimes they did take a while to attend to us, but it wasn’t a huge issue because we didn’t have anything we needed in particular. The pacing of the food is definitely different from regular restaurants with more of a wait. However, because these are smaller dishes, it was a good pacing, allowing us to get full from each plate.
I went with Linda, or PinkBeanieful on Youtube, as well as two of her other friends.