Did you vote for Canada’s best new restaurant? This past August and September, we gave you the chance to support your favourite spot from the list of 35 nominees for our new People’s Choice Award, created in partnership with Jaguar Land Rover.
Over 45,000 votes were logged during those two months. While we supplied the restaurants with promotional postcards to hand out to diners, there were some playful bootleg versions, like the one from Toronto’s Richmond Station that featured a cow as the campaign mascot. Chefs in Calgary boosted their numbers with television appearances, while the Vancouver restaurants launched a Cook the Vote initiative, gathering for a packed night at Pidgin to encourage the community to vote with their fork (and sample nibblies from the local nominees.) The result: an alternate Top 10 produced by some great regional jostling and community support. After all, the evolution of this country’s culinary scene ultimately happens every time one of you walks into a restaurant to try something new.
After some ingenious social media efforts and a Bollywood-style flash mob, Vij’s Railway Express captured the vote. Congratulations to our first-ever People’s Choice Award winner! We met up with the man behind the truck, Vikram Vij, at the Savour Stratford Festival in September to talk a little bit about how his food truck is different from his other restaurants (See the audio slideshow below). And kudos to the rest of our Top 10 People’s Choice Award Winners (in order): The Acorn (Vancouver), Ça Va Bistro Moderne (Victoria), Richmond Station and Bar Isabel (a Toronto tie), Bar Bounya (Montréal), Market (Calgary), La Planque (Québec), Fogo Island Inn (Joe Batt’s Arm, Newfoundland), Canteen (Edmonton) and Burdock & Co. (Vancouver). − Ilana Weitzman, editor-in-chief
- 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.
See More >