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10 Best Dishes at Toronto Restaurants in 2014

10 Best Dishes at Toronto Restaurants in 2014

How to narrow down thousands of gratifying forkfuls into one definitive list? Easy. These are the dishes I’d order again and again, in descending order of deliciousness.

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The Top Food Trends and Who Does Them Best: French Cuisine

It’s time to rediscover buttery, sublime Gallic cooking

The Top Food Trends and Who Does Them Best: French Cuisine

Ici chef J. P. Challet sneaks booze into every other dish, including this billowing dessert soufflé with Grand Marnier custard

Traditional French restaurants never went away, but they certainly lost their appeal in the last decade, eclipsed by fusion cooking, molecular gastronomy, the tyranny of artisanal versions of Kraft Dinner and a thousand other fads. Now it seems every other cook is back to simmering sauces for eons, perfecting the timing of a soufflé and paying homage to Escoffier. I suppose there were only so many communal tables and foraged salads we could stomach before we craved rich terrines and formal service again. Even white-linen establishment standbys like Scaramouche, where I spotted Maple Leaf magnate Michael McCain and family silently dining one recent weeknight, and Auberge du Pommier, where the chef, Marc St. Jacques, has reinvigorated the menu with complex preparations of game and foie gras, are packed once more.

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Five food fads we love

Five food fads we love: Cloakroom
The Return of the Cloakroom

After recessionary years of hanging our puffy coats on the backs of chairs (and inevitably seeing them trampled by wait staff), new places like The Chase, Café Boulud and Drake One Fifty graciously check them at the door.

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Martha Stewart grosses everyone out with her shockingly bad food photographs

(Image: Martha Stewart/Twitter)

(Image: Martha Stewart/Twitter)

Schadenfreude is the best. Especially when the target has made a career out of flaunting her military-style perfection, like domestic whiz Martha Stewart. Earlier this month, a leather slacks–clad Stewart sashayed into King West restaurant Edulis and proceeded to live-tweet her meal with a series of photos. Grainy, ill-lit, unappealing photos. It turns out Stewart is a really, really bad food photographer. So bad, in fact, that her followers have begun to cry out in protest, question her sobriety and circulate an intervention-style petition requesting that she “get the help she needs.” Here are the pics that have caused the most fuss—and Martha’s characteristically cool response to the backlash. [via Buzzfeed]

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Recipes

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Recipe: the earthy and elegant chicken in hay from locavore bistro Edulis

Toronto Life Cookbook Recipe 2012: Chicken Baked in Hay
Toronto Life Recipes | Entrees
CHICKEN BAKED IN HAY
By Michael Caballo
Edulis

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Trend We Love/Hate: ever-longer tasting menus

Trend We Love/Hate: Tasting Menus

Engaged in a never-ending game of friendly one-upmanship, the city’s chefs started launching ever-more elaborate tasting menus this year. Don’t get us wrong: we love the creativity on display. But when a tasting menu lasts four hours and costs $200, dinner feels like a hostage situation that ends when we pay our own ransom. Below, Toronto’s longer tasting menus, ordered by the number of courses.

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Restaurants

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The Dish Power Rankings: Terroir-ism edition

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Toronto Life’s roundup of the restaurants with the biggest buzz, the longest lineups and the toughest tables to snag.

The seventh annual Terroir Symposium brought a raft of international food stars to Toronto—and rearranged this week’s top restaurants. Further down, the first reviews for Chantecler’s new tasting menu shoot it up the list.

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Trend We Love: tableside ceremony

Trend We Love: tableside ceremony

Chefs are perfecting their tableside manner and bringing a bit of ceremony back to dinner. We heartily approve.

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Trend We Hate: hay

Trend We Hate: hay

Despite its wholesome pastoral associations, hay, with its eau de barnyard flavour and unpleasant chew, is probably better suited to horses than humans. Here’s where we ate it this year.

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Food Events

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Seven big ideas from the food world insiders at this year’s Terroir Symposium

Terroir 2013

The vibe at the Terroir Symposium this year was decidedly touchy-feely. Hundreds of chefs, restaurateurs, wine experts, activists, writers and all-purpose food enthusiasts congregated yesterday at the Arcadian Court for talks and panels about the stories and memories behind the food they eat. The impressive roster of speakers ran from Toronto eminences like O&B’s Peter Oliver to up-and-coming out-of-towners, like the editors of the hot new food magazine Fool. But the highlight of the day was the keynote address from the revered Danish chef René Redzepi, of Copenhagen’s Noma, which ended the symposium with a standing ovation. Below, seven things we learned at Terroir VII.

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Restaurants

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Flavour of the Year: Five tips for preparing vegetables from the city’s top chefs

A miracle has occurred in this meat-obsessed city: vegetables have shown up on menus. Here, five top chefs offer easy tips for home prep.

Flavour Craze: Garden Party

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Restaurants

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The Dish Power Rankings: April fools edition

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Toronto Life’s roundup of the restaurants with the biggest buzz, the longest lineups and the toughest tables to snag.

A long running powerhouse prepares for a three-week break and David Chang spills the beans on where he eats in Toronto.

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Restaurants

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The Dish Power Rankings: Brandon Walsh edition

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Toronto Life’s roundup of the restaurants with the biggest buzz, the longest lineups and the toughest tables to snag.

The top two restaurants swap positions this week, and Patria rockets back on the list after an excellent celeb spotting.

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Restaurants

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Best New Toronto Restaurants 2013

Best New Restaurants 2013

One thousand three hundred and eight. That’s how many restaurants opened in 2012—more than triple the year before, and the year before that. Toronto is in the middle of a restaurant boom that’s changing the way we eat, drink, date, schmooze, celebrate and generally revel in the city. The shimmering Momofuku triplex has dignified business execs devouring pork ssäm with their hands, and couples happily—gratefully—shelling out $400 for 10-course tasting menus. Downtowners are piling into rowdy izakayas for after-work sake and Sapporo, while Brit pubs are, to the amazement of every Firkin-going anglophile, becoming destinations for refined dining. Canadiana is no longer just a term for moose-print sweaters and maple leaf mittens, but a bona fide big-city cuisine borne of chefs obsessed with heritage meat and wild plants, preferably foraged in the Don Valley. Yes, Toronto is so flush with new places to eat that keeping up with them has become a full-time job. This year, Toronto Life’s critics were busier than ever, stuffing our faces, snapping photos on the sly and analyzing every last aspect of the dining experience. After much debate, we winnowed down 1,308 establishments to the top 10. Here, our annual ranking of the most innovative, interesting and delicious new Toronto restaurants.

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Restaurants

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The Dish Power Rankings: Best New Restaurants edition

The-Dish-Power-Rankings

Toronto Life’s roundup of the restaurants with the biggest buzz, the longest lineups and the toughest tables to snag.

Our annual Where to Eat Now issue lands on newsstands today, crowning a new restaurant as the city’s buzziest. Elsewhere, the already-packed OddSeoul gets a boost from Drake.

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