On day 1 of Winterlicious, boyfriend and I went to Horizons, at the top of the CN Tower. I was excited to eat there as he had never been up the CN Tower before and I had read rave reviews about the restaurant. After the many steps we had to take to get up there, (including a very long wait for the elevator) we were seated. We had a great little table with an amazing city view (see above). The menu looked great online, and I was very excited about trying the different things at a fraction of the cost. Turns out, my expectations were too high.
The appetizer round was my favourite of the night. I opted for the butternut squash bisque with a dried cranberry chutney and maple crème fraîche. The bisque was delicious, creamy and full of flavor. I loved the hints of cranberry and pistachio. I’m a huge squash fan, so this was a big hit for me. Boyfriend had the smoked Atlantic salmon and goat cheese tart. Judging by his reaction, he didn’t really enjoy it. There was very little salmon, and too many onions. He definitely enjoyed the little bits of salmon more than the pastry and other fillings. Overall, his appetizer deserved a 6/10.
The boy and I are big meat eaters, so it was only natural for us to go with lamb and pork (our two faves). For the main course, I had the grilled double cut Ontario pork rack chop with mustard seed jus, and he had the rosemary braised lamb shank with roasted root vegetable, and truffle gnocchi. To be honest, it felt as if our food was precooked and frozen. His lamb, despite being very tender, was not flavorful at all. The flavor of his meal came from the root vegetables. My pork was the opposite of tender. The table shook every time I tried to cut a piece. Like the lamb, it was also very bland. A lot of salt and pepper was used in an attempt to give our meals some flavor. I also thought the vegetables were not cooked enough, too crunchy for my taste.
By the time dessert was served, we were just glad the meal was almost over. The apples in his southern Ontario Apple crumble were uncooked, and my dark chocolate lava cake was a letdown. I was glad we didn’t spend a lot of money on our food, as I would have left the restaurant very upset. My overall impression is that they gave their usual chef two weeks off. I believe events like Winterlicious are meant to attract new clients, who would otherwise be put off by the high costs. If this was Horizons’ goal, I’d say they epically failed.