Last night Toronto rolled out the red carpet to celebrate this year's enRoute Magazine's 'Canada's Best New Restaurant' for 2013. The night's festivities kicked off early as revelers and food lovers descended upon the swanky loft of the STORYS building bringing glitz and glam reminiscent of a September film festival kind of evening.
With Toronto's very own Bar Isabel taking the number one spot there was much to celebrate. Owner and chef Grant van Gameren dished out mountains of fried chicken served with buttermilk sauce, graciously accepted congratulatory comments and reveled in the win. Other list makers brought their A-game dishes including cod cakes and fresh caribou flown in from Newfoundland courtesy of Fogo Island Inn. The night was not complete until every partygoer tried one (or more, no ones judging) of Electric Mud's buttermilk pies with whipped sour cream and shaved pecans. Cracking the list at number ten, owner and chef Colin Tooke was not shy about his love/hate relationship with the Toronto food scene, "it's a city of haters, but we embrace it."
As for the intoxicants, bow-tied bartenders whipped up an array of gin, tequila and whiskey cocktails. The drinks kept flowing as the night drew to a close, plaques were handed out to the chefs and many a photo was taken. Notably absent from the soiree was David Chang and his New York City offshoot Momofuku Shoto which did the city proud coming in at second place on the list. However, Shoto could be seen projected on the wall in a short film directed by John Cullen, shot behind-the-scenes at the top three restaurants. The film, which played throughout the evening, will also run onboard Air Canada flights.
Update: Mitchell Bates, Shoto's Chef de Cuisine, was indeed there to celebrate! Apologies for missing him.
— Hana Hussein
· Canada's Best New Restaurant [~E~]