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Earlier this month, Air Canada revealed the 30 nominees for its list of Canada’s Best New Restaurants. Ontario is well represented on the list, with five Toronto spots, one located nearby, in Kimberley, and another in Ottawa. The list recognizes restaurants that opened in the country between spring 2021, and May 31, 2022, that deliver exquisite, creative food accompanied by meticulous service.
Now in its 21st year, Air Canada enRoute’s list of Canada’s Best New Restaurants is “the longest-running national culinary talent search and the only cross-country restaurant ranking to use a single, anonymous reviewer,” according to a press release. To compile the list, one undercover writer was tasked with the enviable mission of finding the country’s best new eateries. The result? A list of 30 restaurants located in 15 cities, in eight provinces. This year’s nominees range from casual spots with spot-on fare to deluxe eateries serving meticulously-plated edible art.
“Air Canada applauds and congratulates the work of the chefs and restaurateurs who undertook the incredible journey of opening up a restaurant over the past year, which is already a feat during the best of times,” says Andy Shibata, vice president, brand, Air Canada. “We are committed to sharing their stories and how they also successfully embraced new ways to explore cultural identity and made strides to advance sustainability and workplace equity.”
From Toronto, Fonda Balam, MIMI Chinese, Prime Seafood Palace, Restaurant 20 Victoria and Osteria Giulia all earned a place on the long list. All critically acclaimed, each brings something unique to Toronto’s dining scene. An über-popular pop-up turned permanent spot, Fonda Balam dishes out birria tacos along with Mexican street-food staples. At MIMI, regional Chinese cuisine pairs with moody, polished interiors to entice diners from across the city to visit. Matty Matheson’s Prime Seafood Palace is a place where luxury and mastery join hands to take guests on a wondrous journey of pure satisfaction. Restaurant 20 Victoria celebrates the seasons with ever-changing tasting menus meant to be relished at a leisurely pace. Finally, at Osteria Giulia, chef Rob Rossi translates seafood-focused dishes from Italy's north into precious plates for the College-Street-set. Heart’s Tavern & Bar, in Grey Bruce County, also made the long list, along with Ottawa’s Perch.
The 10 finalists on Canada’s Best New Restaurants list will be unveiled at a ceremony in Toronto, on November 1. They will also be featured in the November issue of enRoute magazine.