Canada’s award-winning inflight magazine, Air Canada’s enRoute, is pleased to announce the Top 10 list of Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2014, as well as the winner of the Air Canada enRoute Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2014 People’s Choice Award. On a month-long culinary journey that took noted food writer Andrew Braithwaite from Tofino, British Columbia to St. John’s, Newfoundland, he discovered a group of chefs, sommeliers and restaurateurs who continued to explore this country’s terroir and redefine what it means to dine out in Canada.
The Top 10 restaurants in order are:
1. Wolf in the Fog (Tofino): “On the extreme west coast of Vancouver Island, where rainforest meets ocean, you stumble up a flight of stairs and into a soaring cedar-clad room above a surf shop where chef Nick Nutting leads a crew trained in the precise details of fine dining.”
2. The Farmer’s Apprentice (Vancouver): “Each small plate – more often, a bowl – conjured by owner David Gunawan is a precise jumble of textures and flavours. Digging in is a sort of black magic.”
3. Le Vin Papillon (Montreal): “Long-time Joe Beef guru Vanya Filipovic fills massive chalkboards with organic wines to run with a vegetable-focused cuisine from boyfriend and chef Marc-Olivier Frappier.”
4. RGE RD (Edmonton): “The heart of Blair Lebsack’s kitchen is a wood-burning oven that consumes birch and maple at 700° F, curing honey ham and smoking Salt Spring Island mussels or even dehydrated local milk during the off-hours.”
5. Mallard Cottage (St.John’s): “Todd Perrin spent two years restoring a heritage property in Quidi Vidi Harbour for this brilliant mash-up of fine dining and comfort cuisine on the outskirts of St. John’s.”
6. Bar Buca (Toronto): “Rob Gentile’s restaurant likes to pretend it’s a simple bar for sipping Barolo. You’re here to drink, sure, but you’re also here to eat things like tiny fried smelt dusted with fennel salt.”
7. The Chase (Toronto): Chef Michael Steh doesn’t lean on molecular trickery or audacious ingredients to wow. His food is more direct and more delightful than that, in an atmosphere that makes you want to say yes to things.
8. Ayden (Saskatoon): Top Chef Canada winner Dale MacKay gambled that Saskatoon was ready for lime- and lemongrass- and ginger-dusted chicken wings. Ayden isn’t about showing off Prairie cooking to the world – it’s about bringing the world home.”
9. Légende (Quebec City): Northern Quebec is the culinary hunting ground that Frédéric Laplante mythologizes at his capital-city bistro. Cornish hen gets a boreal accent from balsam fir fleur de sel.”
10. Edna (Halifax): Jenna Mooers’ North End bistro digs up treasure from the fertile soils of Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley and hauls it out of the brisk Atlantic waters.”
Shot behind-the-scenes at the top three restaurants, short films directed by John Cullen and Chris Muir can be viewed onboard Air Canada flights and on http://enroute.aircanada.com/canadas-best-new-restaurants-2014/. Winners will be profiled in the November issue of Air Canada’s enRoute.
The Top 10 restaurants will officially receive their awards during the annual Canada’s Best New Restaurants Gala celebration on November 20 in Toronto.
Voted by the people for the people
In partnership with lead sponsor Jaguar Land Rover Canada, Air Canada’s enRoute encouraged Canadians to select their favourite new restaurant on eatandvote.com. Ayden, the Saskatoon restaurant from Top Chef Canada winner Dale Mackay, received Air Canada enRoute Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2014 People’s Choice Award. The contest offered a chance to vote to win a trip for two to the 2014 Canada’s Best New Restaurants gala event in Toronto, with the use of a vehicle.
“The quality and diversity of this year’s restaurants are incredible, and provide our readers with a resource for where to dine in cities like Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto, St. John’s, Edmonton, Halifax, and Saskatoon,” said Louise McKenven, Senior Director, Marketing, Air Canada. “Pairing our annual feature with a compelling in-flight video series of the top three restaurants will provide Air Canada passengers with a full course of dining options from coast to coast.”
“This year’s search proved the diversity of Canadian cuisine and that chefs are continuing to further the culinary experience,” explained Ilana Weitzman, editor-in-chief, Air Canada’s enRoute magazine. “Once again we went looking for good people who’ve dedicated themselves to delivering memorable experiences. There was a clear favourite in Dale MacKay’s restaurant Ayden, which ranked in our Top 10 and took the lion’s share of Canada’s votes on eatandvote.com.”