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Best New Restaurants 2012

Best New Restaurants 2012

Ten spots that surprised us, delighted us and made us grateful to live in this restaurant-obsessed city.


No. 1 YOURS TRULY
Chef Jeff Claudio
YOURS TRULY

When a chef comes to this city by way of some of the world’s most celebrated kitchens—New York’s Per Se, Copenhagen’s Noma, Chicago’s Alinea and Blackbird—Torontonians have astronomical expectations.
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No. 2 ACADIA
Chef Matt Blondin
ACADIA

The cuisine is billed as Acadian—the cooking of South Carolina and Louisiana married to the briny flavours of the Maritimes, refracted through modern French techniques. If it sounds high-concept, that’s because it sprang from the mind of chef Matt Blondin, who came up through the modernist kitchen at Colborne Lane during the molecular gastronomy craze of the early aughties.
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No. 3 ARIA
Chef Eron Novalksi
ARIA

Aria offers a much-needed master class in seduction, dazzling us with set dressing before the food even arrives.
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No. 4 KERIWA
Chef Joseph Aaron Bear Robe
KERIWA

On the ceiling of Toronto’s only Native Canadian restaurant, dangling feathers bounce to the bass of Motown hits. On the walls: photos of a man in full Aboriginal regalia dancing through the streets of modern Paris. We get it: Keriwa blends the traditional and the contemporary, the rustic and the urban.
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No. 5 ORTOLAN
Chefs Damon Clements and Daniel Usher
ORTOLAN

Down the street from Bloor West’s notorious House of Lancaster nudie bar, in a scruffy 26-seat hole in the wall filled with high-priced hipsters (cashmere toques, silkscreen Ts), two young chefs are reviving local, seasonal cooking for a city of diners who now yawn when they hear the phrase.
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No. 6 BARQUE
Chef David Neinstein
BARQUE

There’s no limit to what chef-owner David Neinstein will load into his magnificent smoker: pork shoulder, beef ribs and whole chickens, of course, but also pineapple for dessert and lemons for his bourbon sours.
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No. 7 F'AMELIA
Chef Maurizio Verga
F’AMELIA

Torontonians will bid themselves into bankruptcy to live in a neighbourhood with a good school, a dog park and a relaxed little restaurant just up the street. Todd Vestby and John Dawson, best friends since high school, may well have upped Cabbage­town housing prices by opening the quintessential trattoria around the corner from their homes.
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No. 8 MODUS
Chef Bruce Woods
MODUS

Chef Bruce Woods made his name at Centro, that once-great standard-bearer for Italian cuisine in Toronto, before decamping to Brassaii on King West. Now, after two years of cooking for the bottle service and Ed Hardy crowd, he’s returned to the simpler pleasures of refined service and hushed rooms at Modus, his new Bay Street power restaurant.
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No. 9 VOLOS
Chef Reza Parsia
VOLOS

The slick Greek estiatorio on the northern edge of the Financial District bears no trace of the motherland’s economic distress.
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No. 10 MIDEASTRO
Chef Benny Cohen
MIDEASTRO

The loungey Yorkville room hums with well-to-do regulars enjoying the back-slapping hospitality of owner Leon Goldstein. Chef Benny Cohen, a Moroccan Jew who grew up in Israel, draws on all sides of the Mediterranean to produce the city’s most accomplished Middle Eastern food.
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(Images: Raina and Wilson)

BEST NEW RESTAURANTS 2012No. 1No. 2No. 3No. 4No. 5No. 6No. 7No. 8No. 9No. 102012
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