2 Calgary restos make it into EnRoute's Top 10 for 2006!
JG posted EnRoute's annual top new restos in Canada list and two Calgary spots made the top ten- and FOUR made their new "next 25" (which are akin to honourable mentions) list- this made six extolled out of 35, the same number as Toronto and Montreal and one more than Vancouver! Anybody who says Calgary hasn't arrived isn't paying attention!
The top 10, from JG's herald column:
1. Nu, 1661 Granville St., Vancouver, B.C., 604-646-4668
This year's winner combines cutting-edge West Coast style and a fabulous view of False Creek with an innovative menu of pork belly, goat-cheese stuffed chicken wings, fresh seafood and classic creme brulee.
- 2. Capo, 1420 9th Ave. S.E., Calgary, 403-264-2276
This 32-seat restaurant showcases Giuseppe Di Gennaro's sumptuous take on classic-contemporary Italian cuisine. Capo is a triple-E restaurant: exact, exquisite and expensive.
- 3. Dayboat, 5033 Rustico Rd., Hunter River, P.E.I., 902-963-3833
The best of PEI's seafood is served in chowders, under citrus glazes, in dumplinged stews and simply raw and fresh in what star chef Michael Smith says is the best restaurant in the Maritimes right now.
- 4. Cava, 1560 Yonge St., Toronto, Ont., 416-979-9918
This Mediterranean-influenced wine and tapas bar has become instantly popular in the neighbourhood surrounding Yonge and St. Clair in the heart of Toronto.
- 5. Rare, 1355 Hornby St., Vancouver, B.C., 604-669-1256
The first address to appear on the enRoute Best New list twice (Bis Moreno rated No. 2 here in 2003), Rare aims to hang around longer. The October menu features rabbit roulade, an Aldergrove capon and crab combo and a blackberry clafoutis.
- 6. Pintxo, 256 rue Roy E, Montreal, PQ, 514-844-0222
Small in size, but big in flavour, Pintxo's tapas impressed enRoute's reviewer. The food is Spanish with strong Basque overtones, the wines are Spanish too, and the prices are as lofty as the Plateau address.
- 7. Harvest, 106 Bridge St., Picton, Ont., 613-476-6763
Situated on the shores of Lake Ontario near Kingston, Picton is loaded with history and great access to Ontario produce. Harvest does a form of "country cuisine" that features duck rillette, local fruit, nuts and vegetables, and wines and ciders from just down the road.
- 8. Treadwell, 61 Lakeport Rd., Port Dalhousie, Ont., 905-934-9797
Moored at the St. Catharine's end of Lake Ontario, Port Dalhousie is being revitalized with farm-to-table eateries such as Treadwell. Named after the father-son team that own and operate the eatery, Treadwell features local products, including an array of Niagara wines.
- 9. Joe Beef, 2491, rue Notre Dame O, Montreal, PQ, 514-935-6504
Smaller than Capo at just 25 seats, Joe Beef is named after a real 19th-century Montreal saloon-keeper. Apparently the room is small, but the servings are huge and well-prepared, and the atmosphere itself is worth the trip.
- 10. Saint Germain, 115 12th Ave. S.W. (Hotel Arts), Calgary, 403-290-1322
The stylish Canadian-French restaurant attached to the Hotel Arts comes in for praise for its meats, its seafood and its desserts. Their dedication to local and seasonal products is admirable, too.
I think they March 05 was too late to assess for the 2005 edition, I'm not sure- Mercato was certainly around in time for the 05 edition too, so maybe EnRoute takes a long time to compile these rankings... apparently the same judges have to eat at every nominated resto, among which there are dozens all across the country (eg at least 8 were nominated in Calgary- noms com from food writers and restaurateurs in their respective cities). Gilchrist was NOT a "judge." And this is NOT a reader's poll or some other ridiculous example of ballot stuffing.
Anyway, this is the top new restos for the 2006 edition- it doesn't mean the top new restos that actually opened in 2006.
Let me be more specific. Decent, good Italian food is easy to get. Great, perfectly prepared Italian food is hard to find.
I love Mercato. My wife had a sausage pasta (sorry, name escapes me) and it was absolutely delightful. I had their potato crepe thingy and it was absolutely divine. It really deserves a larger space.
You think so? I've not wanted for good Ital here- but yeah Capo is a must- their ravioli bolognese is just perfect.
The four restos on the "next 25" were Mercato, Alexis Bistro, Velvet, and Tribune. They also will have (I say "will" because the list doesnt come out until Nov 1 officially but it's been leaked in the Herald and, I just saw, the Nov-Dec City Palate) a best of new "places to drink" and on that list are Belgo and the Mercury- presumably since the Merc is in a new location it qualifies as "new."
Absent surprises- Ei8ht and Raw Bar, just based on good reviews.