After last year's snub where not one B.C. restaurant featured on enRoute's prestigious Best New... list, Vancouver restaurants are showing this year that when it comes to great food, B.C is where it's at by bagging two places in the top ten. Also proving that Vancouver really does have the best street food in Canada, Vij's Railway Express has scooped the inaugural People's Choice award.
The top ten restaurants were judged by noted food writer Andrew Braithwaite. "We're very proud of the strong regional representation from coast to coast this year," said Ilana Weitzman, editor-in-chief, Air Canada's enRoute magazine. "And I love that the People's Choice Award went to a food truck from one of this country's great chefs." "This year's search wasn't just about what was on the plate," explained Andrew Braithwaite. "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."
1. Bar Isabel, Toronto: "looks, feels and tastes vaguely Castilian but does far more than ape a menu straight out of Madrid."
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, Nfld. and Labrador: "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."
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.
· enRoute [Official Site]
· Vij's Railway Express [Official Site]