Tuesday, 31 January 2012


Bymark is an culinary jewel in the heart of the financial district of Toronto. Famous for their $35 burgers and exquisite food prepared by celebrated chef Mark McEwan, it's considered a sign of wealth & prestige to dine here. And luckily for the business crowd who can expense client lunches to their companies, they can afford to really wine and dine their clients at this classy venue. For the rest of us, there's Winterlicious (thank goodness!) otherwise I don't think I could stomach spending more than $25 for lunch and even more for dinner. The Winterlicious menu for lunch is $25 (excl. tax and tip) and dinner is $45. We chose to do lunch since they were offering up their normally priced $35 hamburger for $25 with two additional courses. What a deal!

Roasted root vegetable salad with grapefruit segments & white balsamic dressing was good, but not worth $19 on the regular lunch menu. It was great as part of the Winterlicious line-up though! Great appetizer to really whet the appetite.
Crisp crab cakes with celery root & apple remoulade
As you can clearly tell, it was very artistically presented. The crab cakes were perfect! Crispy and golden brown on the outside and meaty inside. Good portion size, but not enough of the sauce/mayonnaise for me to dip my crab cakes in. The celery root salad was really nice - refreshing and tasty. I found that there was a little too much onion in my salad, thereby making it too tangy.

Ahh...the Bymark 8oz USDA Prime Burger with brie de meaux and grilled king oyster mushrooms

Burger was huge! The Winterlicious take was slightly different than the regular menu burger which has grilled portobello mushrooms and your choice of tempura onion rings, rocket salad or crisp frites. 
Something else I wasn't expecting - the waiter asked how I would like to order my burger. So I ordered medium rare which was perfect! There was lots of juice in the meat and it soaked the bun since the patty was almost too big for the bun. This made the bottom part of the bun slightly soggy but still absolutely delicious altogether. The bun was lightly buttered and toasted inside while the outside remained the same. Inside there was also some red kale leaves besides the brie and grilled king oyster mushrooms - great combination because it was simple and they all went very well together. 
I'm not too sure I'd pay $35 for the burger - but $25 made this burger well worth it!

We weren't given an option for the side and received the crispy frites which lived up to their name. They felt like they were the ends of the full fries which is not the part of fries that I enjoy. Very brown and very salty so I didn't particularly enjoy them. The dipping sauce of spicy mayonnaise was too spicy so I ordered a non-spicy mayonnaise which turned out to be really good! It was like a garlic mayo similar to tzatziki but a lot smoother (reminded me of the tzatziki sauce I tried at McEwan's supermarket uptown which is amazing by the way - I would totally recommend it even with the $7 price tag) 
Apple crostata with caramel crunch ice cream
The crostata was slightly difficult to eat with a spoon since the shell was harder than I expected. However, it reminded me of warm apple pie and the caramel ice cream on top just melted and oozed onto the spoon when I was taking a bite. I wasn't a big fan of the almost burnt caramel/sugar brown thing on top of the ice cream (I assume that's the "crunch" in caramel crunch ice cream) but the dessert overall was good!

Orange Nanaimo Brownie with Toasted Meringue
The dessert was rich and decadent and vaguely reminded us of an orange Lindt dessert. Very nice! 

Gingerbread cake with sweet potato mousse and maple walnut fudge
I'm not a fan of gingerbread, but even I admitted this was really good - very moist and it held true to the gingerbread taste. The sweet potato cream was interesting, not what I'm used to seeing done with sweet potato and it added a nice touch to the gingerbread cake. I LOVED the maple walnut fudge - I could eat a block of the delectable fudge - WOW! Best part of the cake for me!

Winterlicious here is a great deal! Bymark doesn't disappoint. Good for your wallet and great for your tastebuds. Yum!

Website: http://www.bymark.ca/

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