Report by Vacay.ca Staff
The People’s Choice winner is the 16th-ranked restaurant in Canada — the Mono Cliffs Inn in rural Ontario. Owner Carol Hall, host Wayne Biegel and chef Jason Reiner take part in an announcement of their award during this segment of the Vacay.ca Top 50 Restaurants in Canada 2013 countdown. Along with the Mono Cliffs Inn, you will find the best restaurant in Nova Scotia and another foodie favourite from Calgary in Nos. 16-20.
16. MONO CLIFFS INN, Mono Centre, Ontario — People’s Choice Winner 2013!
Chef: Jason Reiner
Website: www.monocliffsinn.ca. Cuisine: French, country comfort food
2012 Rank: 29
Price Range: The pub menu generally range from $12-$24; the restaurant menu will include pricier options, including the popular Australian Rack of Lamb ($32).
You Must Order: Shrimp Linguini with julienne vegetable, capers, garlic and olive oil ($14.95).
Need to Know … from Judge Barry O’Neill of Zed Financial: Originally built as a farm house in the early 1800, this is an amazing country restaurant. Inn keeper Carol Hall from Australia makes this a warm, inviting environment. Country Style Fine Dining -Simply delicious! Chalkboard menu that features pub fare that includes homemade foods, breads and desserts. Enjoy a variety of places to eat, from the Main Dining Room to the McLaren Room with its cozy stone fireplace or the Magnolia Patio which is fully licensed. Then there is Peter Cellar’s Pub, downstairs, where the locals hang out…unbelievable atmosphere…..directed by the bartender Wayne Biegel who makes everyone feel welcome and goes out of his way to introduce newcomers. Also downstairs, built a 150 years ago, a ‘one of a kind'( it should be kept secret) The Wine Cellar which seats 8 and surrounded by all the wine 🙂 The outstanding homemade food, local draughts, great Australian wines (among others) and largest scotch collection in the area, is an experience not to be missed in any room! The food is consistently outstanding and our favourite place for the food, the atmosphere and the people.
17. MUSE, Calgary, Alberta (A Public Favourite!)
Chef: JP Pedhirney
Website: www.muserestaurant.ca. Cuisine: Modern French
Telephone: 403-670-6873. Twitter: @MuseRestaurant
2012 Rank: New entry
Price Range: Entree prices currently range from $32-$38.
You Must Order: For lighter fare, go for grilled Vancouver Island sturgeon with beet ribbons and borscht consomme ($37).
Need to Know … from Vacay.ca Writer Jody Robbins: Muse has lived up to its ambitions since Heather Wighton and Stephen Deere took over. An overhauled wine list, new chef and inventive style of cuisine drove fans to push Muse into the upper echelons of public voting for the 2013 Vacay.ca Top 50 Restaurants in Canada awards. “It’s great to see Calgarians supporting us. There are tons of great restaurants in this country, and it’s an honour to be recognized by our customers who enjoy our food,” executive chef JP Pedhirney says of the national poll.
18. CHANTECLER, Toronto, Ontario
Chef: Jonathan Poon
Website: www.restaurantchantecler.ca. Cuisine: French
Telephone: 416 628-3586. Twitter: @ChanteclerTO
2012 Rank: New entry
Price Range: $15-$21 for main courses
You Must Order: Spicy Shrimp ($13)
Need to Know … from Judge Gizelle Lau of Toronto Eats: Open just over a year ago, Chantecler is one of the city’s best restaurants; offering casual family-style lettuce wraps during the week with side dishes that are mind-blowingly creative and delicious. On the weekend, by reservation only, the tasting menu is one of the most creative in the city, incredible technique to bring out unique flavours without being pretentious.
Judge Renee Suen of Toronto Life says: An underdog in the scene manned by young restaurateurs Jacob Wharton-Shukster and highly talented Jonathan Poon. Poon’s resume is impressive and the calibre of his modern Asian-Canadian cuisine clearly reflects it. Lettuce wraps might be the populace choice, but it’s the informal and limitedly available tasting menu that will blow minds. There’s a solid command of flavours and execution without resorting in fusion gimmicks. The one to watch.
19. EDULIS, Toronto, Ontario
Chef: Chef/Owner Michael Caballo
Website: edulisrestaurant.com. Cuisine: European
Telephone: 416.703-4222. Twitter: @EdulisToronto
2012 Rank: New entry
Price range: $15-$20 for dinner items
You must order: Bonito Cured Pork Belly Arugula-Hazelnut Picada, Celery Root, Mustard Sauce ($15), or the Pickerel Stewed Potato, Marinated Black Trumpets, Sunflower Seed Broth, Claytonia ($17). And while expensive, try the Rib Steak Dry Aged 10 Weeks(1 kg) with Green Salad ($90).
Need to Know: Don’t stop at dinner! This restaurant also has a very good Cheese & Dessert menu as well as a delightful Wine & Cocktail menu.
20. CHIVES, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Chef: Craig Flinn
Website: www.chives.ca. Cuisine: East Coast, Contemporary French
Telephone: 902-420-9626. Twitter: @ChefCraigFlinn
2012 Rank: New entry
Price Range: $23.99-$28.99
You Must Order: Moroccan-Spiced Braised Nova Scotia Lamb, with dried fruit cous cous, root vegetable tagine, wild cucumber yogurt and pistachios ($28.99).
Need to Know … from Top 50 Restaurants in Canada Chair Janine MacLean: The shining jewel in Halifax’s ever-growing food scene is Chives. No restaurant seems to capture the essence of what fine dining can be in the Maritimes like this place. I was enticed by the online menu, which champions Nova Scotian ingredients, and by chefs Craig Flinn and Darren Lewis’ credentials (between the two they seem to have worked everywhere and have won every possible award). I was more than ready to plow into a delicious, homey meal.
You can find Chives on Halifax’s bustling Barrington Street, which runs adjacent from the famous harbour. Looking entirely unassuming on the outside, once you step in you are transported to an artsy and colourful space, composed of both urban and rural décor elements, which seem to sum up nicely what the restaurant is attempting to represent — the Nova Scotian way of life.
More About the Vacay.ca 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: Vacay.ca 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.