Taste of Burlington Summer 2013

It’s confession time - I live in the West End of the GTA where there are a phelethora of good family style restaurants, but when I'm in the mood for something else I jump in my car and make the 30-40 minute drive to Toronto. Sometimes I go further west to Niagara-on-the-Lake when I want a bit change from the Toronto scene. Last week I found out that just 20 to 30 minutes away from my house there is a vibrant culinary scene in Burlington, Ontario.  Who knew?

Taste of Burlington 2013 (c)OliveandRuby.com

From July 21 to August 5, 2013, 24 participating restaurants, in Burlington, will offer 3-course prix fixe lunches for $15 or $20 and dinners for $30, $35 or $40. This year participating restaurants were also been challenged to take part in the Eat Local program and create dishes using locally sourced ingredients for their menus. At the sold out launch event, 19 of the 24 participating restaurants showcased a small sample of the dishes that will be featured.  

Taste of Burlington 2013 (c)OliveandRuby.com

In preparation for the event, I did some reading about the Burlington food scene, and was pleasantly surprised to learn that Burlington’s local chefs have worked very hard to make the city a dining destination in Southern Ontario.  You can find a wide variety of ethnic and Canadian cuisine dining options that rival those found in any major metropolitan city.  Voted the best city of its size in Canada, Burlington’s is home to over 300 hundred restaurants that range from casual to fine dining.

Taste of Burlington June 2013 (c)OliveandRuby.com

While I valiantly attempted to try every dish presented, in the end I sampled 14 of the 19 options available. Enjoy!

My Top Picks 
Stone House - Lunch not available: Dinner $40
Vegetarian, Gluten free & Children’s options available
They served: Hoisin Glazed Pulled Pork Tacos

Taste of Burlington June 2013 (c)OliveandRuby.com

West Plains Bistro - Lunch $20: Dinner $40
Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten free & Eat Local options available
They served: Coffee and Ancho Braised Beef Short Ribs
Taste of Burlington June 2013 (c)OliveandRuby.com
Eatalia - Lunch not available: Dinner $35
Vegetarian & Gluten free options available
They served: Grilled Tomato and Asiago Stuffed Jumbo Ravioli with Sun dried tomato pesto
Taste of Burlington 2013
I had to remind myself not to have more than one serving of this, because I had other dishes to try. 
Pluckers Wing and Crab Shack - Lunch not available: Dinner $30
Children’s options available
They served: Pluckers own Crab Cakes with a caper aioli sauce and house made coleslaw
Taste of Burlington June 2013 (c) OliveandRuby.com
Crab cakes are my go-to appetizer item, and these did not disappoint.  Not only did Pluckers serve full-sized portions at this event, but they were filled with crab and a whole host of other delicious seasonings.  
The Contenders
Queen’s Head Pub - Lunch $20: Dinner $30
Vegetarian, Gluten free & Children’s options available
They served: Sweet Potato and Pork Belly Phyllo Dumplings with a ginger and thyme honey drizzle
Taste of Burlington June 2013 (c)OliveandRuby.com
Anything wrapped in phyllo tastes amazing. Sweet Potato wrapped in phyllo is my new favourite thing. These delicious flaky pastries did not disappoint, and there were several people - including yours truly - who were seen having more than one. Just sayin’!
Celli’s Osteria - Menu not available
They served: Porchetta sliders with iceberg lettuce, spiced pepperonatta and tomme cheese
Taste of Burlington (c)OliveandRuby.com
Hello! They got me over to this table just hearing the words Porchetta, but I was a little disappointed at this offering. The taste of the Porchetta was lost in the slider under the lettuce and the other ingredients. All I could taste was the bread so discarded the bun and the ingredients and found the moist porchetta underneath, and that was delicious.
Ivy Bar and Kitchen - Lunch $20: Dinner $40
Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten free & Eat Local options available
They served: Braised Pork Belly and Roasted Peaches on in-house Pork Rind
Taste of Burlington June 2013
While the presentation was beautiful, I’m afraid I didn’t taste the pork in this sample at all. All I tasted was the overwhelming sweetness of the peaches. It might have been the piece that I got because I checked with some of the other bloggers there, and they did taste the pork in their sample.
Paradiso - Lunch $20: Dinner $35
Vegetarian, Gluten free, Eat Local & Children’s options available
They served: Peppered chicken liver & Andouille Sausage Pate with mushroom ketchup on olive oil crostini
Taste of Burlington June 2013
I am not a fan of liver of any kind, therefore I’m not a huge pate lover but I tried this dish and I feel pretty safe in saying, if you love liver and pate you’ll love this dish.  
Red Canoe Bistro - Lunch $20: Dinner $40
Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten free & Eat Local options available
They served: Spiced Summer Vegetable Gazpacho with marinated scallops
Taste of Burlington 2013
I’m not a huge fan of gazpacho so I stepped outside my comfort zone on this one.
Rose Garden Restaurant - Lunch $15: Dinner $35
Vegetarian & Children’s options available
They served: Sweet & Spicy Shrimp on a bed of julienne Asian vegetables in a sweet and spicy glaze
Taste of Burlington June 2013
SB Prime- Lunch not available; Dinner $30
Vegetarian, Gluten free & Eat Local options available
They served: Dry Ribs & Roasted Cord salad
Taste of Burlington June 2013
Walker's Fish Market - Lunch $20: Dinner $40
Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten free & Children’s options available
They served: Fish Tacos
Rayhoon Persian Eatery - Menu not available
They served: Tachin which is Crisp saffron rice layered with chicken
I had heard great things about Rayhoon before I got here, so I was really looking forward to trying their food and it did not disappoint. I will definitely be visiting them during the prix fixe event.
Honey West - Lunch $20: Dinner $40
Vegetarian & Gluten free options available
They served: Pulled Pork Wontons with Apple and Bacon Relish
I didn't get to try samples from Downtown Bistro & Grill, Pepperwood Bistro, Purple Heather, Water St Cooker, and Ye Olde Squire because I was so full I couldn't get anything down. It was a great event and I was very happy to have attended.
I've made a list and will definitely be checking out a couple restaurants during that 2-week period. You can find more information about the event here.


Disclosure: I received a free ticket to attend the event and was asked to write a review as compensation. The opinions/review of the event are entirely my own (Rhonda of Olive & Ruby).



Copyright © 2013, Olive & Ruby. All rights reserved.

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.