Toronto’ s 20 Victoria Restaurant is Air Canada’s Best New Canadian Restaurant 2022.
Chef Julie Hyde and her team made a splash with quick, no-nonsense cuisine with perfect six-course tasting menus, served in an elegant dining room and patio, the Air Canada press release stated.
Quebec is also looking good with Mastard (2nd place) in Montreal, which showcases Quebec’s local products (…) and fresh seasonal ingredients. Restaurant Alentours, in the Saint-Sauveur district of Quebec City, ranked 10th.
Ontario stands out with no less than 5 establishments (including 3 in Toronto) and Alberta with two good addresses in Calgary.
We will still have to discover North Saanich, a municipality of 11,000 inhabitants 92 km south of Vancouver, to eat at Fox & Monocle (9th place).
Nancy Matsumoto, an award-winning culinary journalist specializing in regenerative agriculture, traveled across Canada from east to west for a month to dine at more than 30 restaurants selected by a panel of experts. The secret? She could not reveal her identity or her mandate.
What are the criteria?
From the culinary vision and quality of ingredients on the menu to the trappings and team spirit that surround it, every element factored into an equation that savours deliciousness above all. Ultimately, it all came down to one meal.
– explained Air Canada in a press release.
The complete list
Here is the complete list of Air Canada’s Best New Canadian Restaurants 2022 along with a short review for each address, as written by enRoute:
- Restaurant 20 Victoria (Toronto, Ontario): Two years after the abrupt closure of Brothers Food & Wine (No. 8, 2017), a reshuffled team led by chef Julie Hyde and sous chef Jenna Reich shows us the way back from the pandemic-born land of the fast and casual with pitch-perfect six-course tasting menus.
- Mastard (Montreal, Quebec): Chef Simon Mathys’ passion for Quebec terroir is palpable in dishes like the thick, ruby-red slice of tomato from La Ferme des Quatre-Temps resting in a pool of camelina oil, adorned in herbs and flowers and doused with smoked beef fat—Matsumoto’s favourite of the year.
- Mimi Chinese (Toronto, Ontario): Executive chef David Schwartz and head chef Braden Chong present hyper-regional renditions of Chinese cuisine ranging from deep-fried, sesame-showered shrimp toasts from Guangdong to a four-foot-long, chili oil-slicked take on Shaanxi belt noodle, scissored tableside.
- Perch (Ottawa, Ontario): For those with a passion for refined, but anything but stuffy tasting menus, the Perch is a gift from chef Justin Champagne-Lagarde that promotes sustainable agriculture and food waste-free cooking. A concept that is perfectly illustrated by its tasty compost broth, concocted from daily vegetable scraps.
- Một Tô (Calgary, Alberta): “Crunch” could be its own category on the menu of this Crescent Heights Vietnamese spot, judging from the crackly crab pork and taro spring roll and the grilled cheese served with a pho broth dipping bowl.
- Heart’s Tavern and Bar (Kimberley, Ontario): One visit to this dream version of a roadside tavern and you will want to come back for the silky slices of house-smoked fish or fat spears of Meyer lemon-spiked asparagus served alongside a generous wedge of Château de Bourgogne cheese.
- Fonda Balam (Toronto, Ontario): Chefs Julio Guajardo and Kate Chomyshyn turbocharge tacos and their birria subset with their sublime quesabirria con consome, oozing corn tortillas filled with braised beef, mozzarella and aromatics.
- Major Tom’s (Calgary, Alberta): 40 floors above Calgary find a steakhouse reimagined for the modern age, delivering crispy egg halves topped with pepperoni jam, extra-terrestrial prime rib, alongside cocktails like All the Way Up—Matsumoto’s pick for best cocktail of the year.
- Fox & Monocle (North Saanich, British Columbia): The culinary talents of chef Ross Bowles and pastry chef Tracie Zahavich come together in offerings like cod and potato pithivier and B.C. spot prawns served with roasted red peppers and crunchy polenta cubes.
- Restaurant Alentours (Quebec City, Quebec): Only ingredients sourced from within 150 kilometers are considered fair game for chef Tim Moroney’s inventive and delicious tasting menus (wine, ethically produced salt, yeast, milk and cream are the exceptions).
While you’re waiting to dine at these establishments, Air Canada enRoute brings you the most memorable dishes from the 20-year history of this annual ranking in Canada’s Best New Cookbook.
Would you like to cook some of those yourself? The book also contains Canadian recipes from Canada’s top chefs.
Will you try these restaurants? Remember to use your American Express Cobalt® Card card to get 5x points on your dining out.