By Andrew Braithwaite Photos by John Cullen
From Vancouver Island to Fogo Island, and many points of dry land in between, this year’s bumper crop of new restaurants continued to redefine what it means to dine out in Canada. But our appetite in 2013 wasn’t merely limited to what chefs plated atop grandma’s so-old-it’s-cool-again wedding china.
For this year’s Top 10, we went looking for good people who’ve dedicated themselves to delivering that memorable experience: the host who commands a small room with charm and humility; the sommelier who helps make navigating a wine list a game instead of a chore; the server who thinks hard about how to pace the parade of small plates that increasingly rule our nights out; and the chef-as-auteur who takes a collection of dishes and transforms it into a menu. People we can root for. And we’ve proven we’re more than willing to stand in line – or to navigate Kafkaesque reservation websites – in order to spend time with them.
We celebrated the Top 10 along with the People’s Choice Award winner at the Canada’s Best New Restaurants gala in Toronto on November 12, 2013. See below for pictures and video from the event.
- BUTTER PLUS: Adding fat to butter? Whether duck fat (Supply and Demand) or barbecue drippings (Electric Mud BBQ), we say the more, the merrier.
- FOOD-FRIENDLY REDS: Versatile, high-acid,low-tannin red grapes,like zweigelt, lacrima, frappato and gamay, have moved to the top of the sommelier’s speed-dial list. Don’t call us, cab sauv, we’ll call you.
- LAMB BELLY: The new pork belly.
- SMALL PLATES, SMALLER TABLES: If you’re going to ask us to order four dishes per person to share, you’d better have a plan for where to put them. Yes, we are still working on all of these
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