These are Canada’s best new restaurants of 2018
Canada’s best new restaurant is tucked away in Ontario’s Niagara Peninsula, on top of a giant black barn.
On Thursday, Air Canada’s enRoute magazine named The Restaurant at Pearl Morissette Canada’s best restaurant of 2018. Located in Jordan Station, Ont., chefs Daniel Hadida and Eric Robertson offer a changing prix fixe menu, inspired by seasonal ingredients and local produce.
The annual list of the country’s top 10 new restaurants is boiled down from a larger list of 30. Each year, one food critic visits each new restaurant under a fake name, recommended by a panelists of chefs, industry experts, food critics, food writers as well as previous best restaurant title holders.
To be considered, each spot would have to be open in late spring of 2017 to early June of this year, and the review process takes about a month. This year’s top 30 list included a range of restaurants from coast to coast, from Vancouver to Montreal to Halifax. But once again, like last year, no East Coast restaurant was featured in the top 10 list.
Last year we also saw Edmonton take up three spots on the top 10 list, while in 2018, it was trendy spots in Toronto as well as smaller towns in Ontario leading the way.
And while a lot of these restaurants have fixed menus or strict rules around reservations, Canadians can also check out some of the country’s other best spots, including this year’s list of the 100 Best Restaurants or local lists of innovative, local and delicious food.
Hungry? Check out this year’s top 10 list below:
10) The Courtney Room
Credit: Leila Kwok
City: Victoria, B.C.
Located in downtown Victoria, The Courtney Room is a new extension of city’s The Magnolia Hotel & Spa. The restaurant has a lower-level more casual bar and brasserie, as well as an upstairs fine dining room. The dining room offers delicious starters and mains, as well as a tasting menu ($88 per person) that features fresh seafood and house-made dessert.
9) Sand and Pearl
Credit: Nicole Hynes
City: Picton, Ont.
If you’re looking for this year’s best seafood contender, head over to chef Suzzane Barr’s oyster bar. Down the road from Sandbanks Provincial Park, the former diner is your ideal after-beach food spot: steamed clams, Fogo Island crab legs and a hot buttered lobster roll.
Credit: Daniel Wood
City: Edmonton, Alta.
Chef Ryan Hotchkiss is the mastermind behind Bündok, a new eatery that specializes in seasonal small plates that range from $6 to $18. Located in the Ice District of Edmonton, Bündok is open for brunch, lunch and dinner.
Credit: Ali Kaufman
Giulietta is an Italian eatery that serves up fresh pasta, pizza and meat dishes created by celebrated chef Rob Rossi. The College Street restaurant has an impressive cocktail menu made from Italian spirits, as well as an extensive wine list. The calamari fritti is $22; swordfish with braised chickpeas is $33; pizzas start at $20.
Credit: Paula Wilson
This neighbourhood no-reservations French bistro is the laid-back sister restaurant of upscale Alo. Owned by chef Patrick Kriss, Alo features contemporary takes on classic diner eats at more accessible price points: the popular Aloette burger and fries is $20, and the beef carpaccio is $18. From Monday through Friday, Alo has happy hour drink specials from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Credit: Bob Deutscher
Avenue offers “elevated” takes on classics like beef wellington ($43), perogies ($25), and chicken wings ($15). The Regina hotspot is the newest creation from the Grassroots Restaurant Group, which is owned by Top Chef Canada Winner Dale Mackay, chef Nathan Guggenheimer and restaurateur Christopher Cho.
4) St. Lawrence
Credit: Chris Giannakos
If you venture out all the way to the west coast for Québécois French cuisine, enRoute suggests making a stop at St. Lawrence. Crafted by chef J-C Poirier, the menu is “haute country cooking,” serving up re-imagined classic dishes. You can expect everything from traditional meat pie to grilled hanger steak to a long list of beers.
Credit: Dominique Lafond
You come here for the classics: pizza, pasta and salad. Located on Notre-Dame Street West, this casual Italian hotspot includes a custom wood-fired oven and a natural wine list. Under a $25 price point, comfort food seekers can expect five pizzas, a small collection of antipasti and a hefty dessert list.
2) Vin Mon Lapin
Credit: Alison Slattery Two Food Photographers
Chefs Marc-Olivier Frappier and Jessica Noël take on seasonal cuisine at this no-reservation restaurant on Rue Saint-Zotique Est. Guests can expect natural wine, locally produced foods with French classics like shaved foie gras.
1) The Restaurant at Pearl Morissette
Credit: John Cullen
City: Jordan Station, Ont.
Located in the province’s Niagara region, The Restaurant at Pearl Morissette offers a changing multi-course menu inspired by French cooking. And while they don’t offer a la carte, restaurant-goers can expect one set menu of five-plus courses for $88 per person. And because it is in the midst of wine country, you can expect Pearl Morissette wines as well as other producers. And as the menu does change (and can change if you have dietary restrictions), one distinction does stay the same: any parties of six or more will have to book the entire restaurant for service.
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