Top 50 Restaurants in Canada 2013: Numbers 36 to 40

Report by Staff

The Top 50 Restaurants in Canada 2013 countdown continues with restaurants 36-40, which include the best eateries in Manitoba and New Brunswick, as well as an establishment that was No. 4 overall in 2012.

36. YOURS TRULY, Toronto, Ontario
Chef: Lachlan Culjak
Website: Cuisine: Contemporary
Telephone: 416-533-2243. Twitter: @YoursTruly229
2012 Rank: New entry
Price Range: $55 for four courses; $135 for the Carte Blanche menu, that includes 15 to 20 courses.
You Must Order: The gastronomic feast offered by the Carte Blanche tasting menu shows off the best of the chef’s talents. The menu changes weekly based on freshness of the products available to the kitchen.
Need to Know … from John Placko of Modern Culinary Academy: This restaurants takes risks with its unique, pick-an-ingredient menu style and food offerings. The unusual combination of ingredients and vegetable-inspired desserts reminds me of the Nordic region offerings. The execution of dishes is perfect with a good flow to the timing of the dishes.


Mark Filatow’s restaurant is the only entry from Kelowna on the Top 50 list. (Jody Robbins/

37. WATERFRONT RESTAURANT & WINE BAR, Kelowna, British Columbia
Chef: Mark Filatow
Website: Cuisine: Nouveau West Coast
Telephone: 250-979-1222. Twitter: @WaterfrontWines
2012 Rank: New entry
Price Range: Main courses range from $21-$30, with appetizers and smaller plates starting at $6.
You Must Order: For mains, tuck into a cozy curry of Green Chili and Coriander Glazed Halibut Filet ($29). Full of Asian flavours and hits of warm spice, this dish is definitely moreish.
Need to Know … from Writer Jody Robbins: Dining at Waterfront Wines is as refreshing as cannonballing into nearby Lake Okanagan. I’ll admit it, I get nervous any time I go into a restaurant with a list of accolades that take several mouse scrolls to read through. But this funky wine bar, sitting at the edge of Waterfront Park, is anything but pretentious.

Read more about Waterfront Wines

38. DESEO BISTRO, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Chef: Scott Bagshaw
Website: Cuisine: Spanish
Telephone: 204-452-2561. Twitter: @DeseoBistro
2012 Rank: New entry
Price Range: Small and large plates, with the bigger dishes ranging from $17-$29.
You Must Order: Sweetbreads ($17), made in a style reminiscent of butter chicken, with pickled cucumber, spiced yogurt, naan, and cilantro.
Need to Know … from Judge Cailin O’Neil: Deseo Bistro is the brainchild of one of Winnipeg’s many young chefs. Featuring homemade, Latin American cuisine, the restaurant has a unique tapas menu featuring everything from olives to sweetbreads and pork bellies. You can literally just eat off of the tapas menu and be satisfied. Deseo Bistro also has an extensive wine and drink list that skilfully pairs with your meal. If I lived in Winnipeg I would probably eat here a few times a week if not every day.

39. SAINT JOHN ALE HOUSE, Saint John, New Brunswick (A Public Favourite!)
Chef: Jesse Vergen
Website: Cuisine: Local-focused pub fare
Telephone:  506-657-2337. Twitter: @SJAH_NB
2012 Rank: New entry
Price Range: Dishes range from less than $10 to $32.37 for a 15-ounce Atlantic-raised beef ribeye.
You Must Order: The Lobster Roll (market price) includes 7.5 ounces of fresh lobster meat.
Need to Know … from Deputy Editor Rod Charles: You only need to speak with Vergen for a few minutes to discover his passion for not only cooking, but cooking with New Brunswick ingredients. Need convincing? We ask him to name his favourite item and expect to hear praise for the Ale House’s pricier menu options, including the Lamb Bologonese, served with Cavatelli Pasta, Fresh Mint, Parmesan Reggiano ($17.49) or Pan-Seared Haddock ($23.59). Instead, we get a surprise answer.

“Probably the one that I’m most proud of, and this is going to sound kind of funny, is our cheeseburger. … For a long time in New Brunswick, if you went to a restaurant, you would be eating beef from Ontario or Alberta or God knows where. So it was one of those things that we decided, and we changed, and we worked with a friend of mine who is an organic farmer, and we came to the realization that there are small restaurants around that would like to support the local beef producers. We’ve been serving organic beef burgers at Ale House for about five years now.”

Read more about the Saint John Ale House and how its patrons helped to get it onto the Top 50 list

40. THE BLACK HOOF, Toronto, Ontario 
Chef: Jesse Grasso
Website: Cuisine: Charcuterie
Telephone: 416-551-8854. Twitter: @TheBlackHoof
2012 Rank: 4
Price Range: Share plates, $8-$25
You Must Order: Foie & Nutella ($25). No matter how often the Black Hoof changes chefs, its best-known dish still thrills diners.
Need to Know: Grasso takes over for Brendan Olsen, who re-joins Hoof founder Grant van Gameren at the new Bar Isabel in Toronto’s west end. Geoff Hopgood of Hopgood’s Foodliner has also worked at the Hoof, which continues to attract carnivorous sorts, including Anthony Bourdain. His appearance at the Hoof was a highlight of the recent Toronto episode of his Layover series.


More About the Top 50 Restaurants in Canada 2013

Restaurants 6-10: See the video covering Toronto’s favourite and others
Restaurants 11-15: 
See the video covering 5 great chefs
Restaurants 16-20: 
See the video covering the 2013 People’s Choice winner
Restaurants 21-25: 
See the video featuring Araxi in Whistler, B.C.
Restaurants 26-30: 
See the video showing Brooklyn Warehouse in Halifax
Restaurants 31-35: 
See the video featuring Momofuku in Toronto
Restaurants 36-40: 
See the video and read about the top restaurant in New Brunswick
Restaurants 41-45: See the video for these restaurants
Restaurants 46-50: See the video covering the beginning of the countdown

2012 results, judging and more information: Visit the Top 50 Restaurants webpage for full details

Foodie of the Year Contest: is giving away a luxury getaway that includes airfare, hotel accommodations and dinner to the Top 50 restaurant of the winners choice. See details here.




Rod has previously worked for and is currently freelancing for Huffington Post Travel. He’s also written travel articles for the Toronto Star and Up! Magazine. Living in Toronto but raised in the small central Ontario village of Holstein, Rod is a country boy at heart who has never met a farmer’s market he didn’t like.

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