Restaurants

Where to Eat 2015: our ranking of Toronto’s 10 best—actually, make that ... Where to Eat 2015: our ranking of Toronto’s 10 best—actually, make that 20 best—new restaurants

By Mark Pupo | Photography by Dave Gillespie It’s official: Toronto has too many great restaurants. Trying to keep track of every new omakase sushi savant, unmarked bar run by a star chef and game-changing nouveau Asian fusion debut by a pop-up prodigy is tougher than an overdone T-bone. This year, the sheer number of excellent… Read more »

Best New Restaurants 2015: #1, Buca Yorkville Best New Restaurants 2015: #1, Buca Yorkville

By Mark Pupo | Photography by Dave Gillespie I’ve been daydreaming about Rob Gentile. I’m in love with his ricotta gnocchi, which he rolls out by hand at Buca Yorkville, his grand new restaurant on the ground floor of the Four Seasons condo tower. He dresses the airy pillows with a foam of creamy robiola… Read more »

Best New Restaurants 2015: #2, Dandylion Best New Restaurants 2015: #2, Dandylion

By Mark Pupo | Photography by Dave Gillespie Jay Carter studied at the best cooking school in town: Susur Lee’s kitchen. He worked as the master’s sous-chef for four years, then as chef de cuisine for another six, then left to become exec chef at the storied Centro. Last summer he finally struck out on… Read more »

Best New Restaurants 2015: #3, Yasu Best New Restaurants 2015: #3, Yasu

By Mark Pupo | Photography by Dave Gillespie There are only 13 seats in this narrow, gleaming white room: 11 at the counter, plus a table for two by the window. Couples on dates tend to choose the latter, but when it comes to omakase sushi, in which every passing second robs a piece of… Read more »

Best New Restaurants 2015: #4, DaiLo Best New Restaurants 2015: #4, DaiLo

By Mark Pupo | Photography by Dave Gillespie Gotta feel for Nick Liu. The young chef left the Niagara Street Café in 2012 and, for two long years, held a series of pop-up dinners, swearing he was about to unveil his own place. When it finally happened last fall, he was nearly crushed under an… Read more »

Best New Restaurants 2015: #5, Boralia Best New Restaurants 2015: #5, Boralia

By Mark Pupo | Photography by Dave Gillespie I wasn’t sure what to make of Boralia—yet another trendy restaurant on Ossington. The place, named after a moniker floated for our country during Confederation, appeared targeted at a breed of earnest CBC listeners who own cars only to transport canoes—so I wasn’t entirely surprised to enter… Read more »

Best New Restaurants 2015: #6, Byblos Best New Restaurants 2015: #6, Byblos

By Mark Pupo | Photography by Dave Gillespie The wonder of Charles Khabouth isn’t that he runs so many nightclubs and restaurants, and opens a new spot nearly every month; it’s that he does so with such exacting standards. With Byblos, he anticipated the city’s Middleterranean obsession, converting two floors of an unremarkable historic warehouse… Read more »

Best New Restaurants 2015: #7, Flor de Sal Best New Restaurants 2015: #7, Flor de Sal

By Mark Pupo | Photography by Dave Gillespie Anyone nostalgic for the Corner House’s creaky, sunflower-yellow rooms and old-fashioned gastronomy is in for a shock. Cristina Da Costa, the new owner, gutted the midtown cottage, converting it into something like an over-decorated condo showroom of frou-frou mirrors, marble slab fireplaces and vases of nodding orchids… Read more »

Best New Restaurants 2015: #8, Bar Fancy Best New Restaurants 2015: #8, Bar Fancy

By Mark Pupo | Photography by Dave Gillespie The name is wink-wink. There are no frilly drinks on offer—only bar rail, draft and decent wines for $11 a glass. Grandma-style potted plants block the front window (the entrance is down the side alley), the servers wear old tees and Jays caps, and if you want… Read more »

Best New Restaurants 2015: #9, Nana Best New Restaurants 2015: #9, Nana

By Mark Pupo | Photography by Dave Gillespie Thai empires are at war. Two years ago, Monte Wan, who owns the line-up-for-hours Adelaide West phenomenon Khao San Road, parted ways with Nuit Regular, the chef behind the three Sukhothai restaurants. Early last summer, Regular opened Pai, a restaurant specializing in northern Thai street food, on… Read more »

Best New Restaurants 2015: #10, Rasa Best New Restaurants 2015: #10, Rasa

By Mark Pupo | Photography by Dave Gillespie Mondays used to be dull before Adrian Niman came along. He and his business partner, Brent McClenahan, run a trendy catering company called the Food Dudes. Rasa is where he does his serious cooking—ambitious variations on gastropub fare, like sticky spareribs studded with crushed corn nuts, gnudi… Read more »

Best New Restaurants 2015: #11, Los Colibris Best New Restaurants 2015: #11, Los Colibris

By Mark Pupo | Photography by Dave Gillespie Elia Herrera is an anomaly: a real-deal chef running a Mexican restaurant that’s button-down sophisticated, nary a hipster graffiti wall in sight. She previously oversaw desserts at Canoe and Mistura, and at her new place directs a pastry chef’s hyperfocus upon tortillas (handmade through the day), queso… Read more »

Best New Restaurants 2015: #12, Branca Best New Restaurants 2015: #12, Branca

By Mark Pupo | Photography by Dave Gillespie An Argentine restaurant is only as good as its meat. Some of the city’s finest is slow-roasted, braised and charred to perfection in a custom-designed cookhouse in the yard behind this Brockton Village spot. Chef Kanida Chey and his helpers begin each day chopping logs for a… Read more »

Best New Restaurants 2015: #13, Yunaghi Best New Restaurants 2015: #13, Yunaghi

By Mark Pupo | Photography by Dave Gillespie When J. P. Challet moved Ici Bistro to the Windsor Arms, Yurika Ara and Yasuko Miyata took over the premises and opened Yunaghi. They hired Tetsuya Shimizu—who studied kaiseki in Japan and worked as a sous-chef at Yours Truly, the Ossington molecular gastronomy outfit that closed last year—and… Read more »

Best New Restaurants 2015: #14, Mr. Flamingo Best New Restaurants 2015: #14, Mr. Flamingo

By Mark Pupo | Photography by Dave Gillespie When I’ve had my fill of the fried chicken at Bar Fancy, I hightail it a couple of blocks north to this other cool new bar-restaurant hybrid. Chef Fan Zhang, a disciple of the nouveau Asian fusion pioneered by DaiLo’s Nick Liu (they cooked together at the… Read more »