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enRoute publishes top 10 new restaurants


October 25, 2013
By Canadian Pizza

Oct. 25, 2013, Toronto – Air Canada's magazine enRoute announced its top 10 list of Canada's best new restaurants and the winner of the People's Choice Award.

On a month-long culinary odyssey that took noted food writer Andrew Braithwaite from Vancouver Island to Fogo Island, N.F., he discovered a bumper crop of adventurous chefs who continued to redefine what it means to dine out in Canada.

The top 10 restaurants in order are:

1. Bar Isabel, Toronto: "It looks, feels and tastes vaguely Castilian but does far more than ape a menu straight out of Madrid."

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2. Shoto, Toronto: "A storybook of a tasting menu, with all the typical annoying bits – the repetition of ingredients, the showy caprice, the monotonous pacing – smartly edited out."

3. Fogo Island Inn, Joe Batt's Arm, N.F.: "There's a terrific survivalist spirit bursting out of Chef McDonald's kitchen, where most everything is made from scratch."

4. Supply and Demand, Ottawa: "It's not supposed to be this easy for a first-timer… you notice all the little things that rookies Steve and Jennifer Wall are getting so right."

5. Pidgin, Vancouver: "The cuisine of Winnipeg-born Chef Ono, who ran restaurants in Beijing and Hong Kong, draws from multiple languages."

6. Carino Japanese Bistro, Calgary: "A Japanese-Italian wine bar that defies logic in the most wonderful ways."

7. Maison Publique, Montreal: "A mere 250 years after the Treaty of Paris, cooking Anglo food in Montreal is cool again."

8. Le Bouchon du Pied Bleu, Quebec City: "One of the most convivial, playful, unabashedly fun dining experiences I've had anywhere in North America."

9. The Acorn, Vancouver: "That the food is meatless is almost beside the point unless you're a foodie vegetarian who's long hankered for a compromise-free night on the town."

10. Electric Mud, Toronto: "Electric Mud is a twisted hymn to the American South."

Vij's Railway Express received the inaugural People's Choice Award as Canada's favourite new restaurant. It is a mobile restaurant inspired by an Indian rail carriage with a menu that explores regional flavours and dishes of India.

"This year's search wasn't just about what was on the plate," explained Braithwaite, in a press release. "We went looking for good people who've dedicated themselves to delivering memorable experiences. From chefs to sommeliers, these are talented people we want to champion. I think readers will be intrigued by the diversity in our 2013 Top 10 list."

Short films directed by John Cullen, shot behind-the-scenes at the top three restaurants can be viewed onboard Air Canada flights and on enroute.aircanada.com and winners will be profiled in the November issue of enRoute.