The Dish Power Rankings: Countdown To Christmas Edition

The Dish Power Rankings: Countdown To Christmas Edition


In this week’s roundup: Turkeys fly off shelves, and everyone (still) loves Bar Isabel. 

1. Bar Isabel (5)
The distinctions keep coming for the Little Italy tavern. The latest title: Best New Restaurant in 2013, according to the Globe’s Chris Nuttall-Smith. Meanwhile, the spot’s Twitter feed reads like a support forum for food obsessives desperate to snag a table.

2. El Catrin (1)
The final weekend of the Toronto Christmas Market means seats are once again scarce at the Distillery’s Latin destination—even on the patio.

3. Sanagan’s Meat Locker (new this week)
Downtowners are beginning to consider their feast-day beasts. The Kensington butcher has been flooded with demand for hormone-free turkeys, prime ribs and traditional pork tourtières spiked with maple syrup.

4. The County General (new this week)
‘Tis the season for office workers to gather and eat suckling pig, or so it seems from the popularity of the soon-to-expand restaurant’s porcine special. It comes with a pitcher of cinnamon limeaide and a bottle of Wild Turkey—which should make for some interesting next-day-at-the-office scenarios.

5. Drake One Fifty (back this week)
Our food critic Mark Pupo had nice things to say about the downtown Drake’s Flintstonesque côte de boeuf and Fat Banker chardonnay. Joanne Kates, not so much.

6. La Société (new this week)
Jian Ghomeshi, Jeanne Beker and club-king Charles Khabouth held an informal Canadian celeb convention at the posh Yorkville bistro, which hosted a holiday dinner for Burberry.

7. Buca (↓2)
After getting everyone all excited, it now seems the Bar Buca spin-off won’t open until the New Year. Meanwhile, Wayne Gretzky was seen dining at the King West original.

8. Dayali (new this week)
The Beijing chain’s Markham outlet was the biggest surprise on Nuttall-Smith’s Best New Restaurants list. We suspect the standard half-hour waits are about to get a bit longer.

9. Fonda Lola (new this week)
For a very little restaurant that’s been open very few days, the Queen West cantina has been getting an awful lot of love, including the number-two spot on Eater Toronto’s restaurant heat map. 

10. Stock (new this week)
The restaurant in the Trump hotel penthouse was officially adopted by Oliver & Bonacini and INK Entertainment, who own half the restaurants and clubs downtown. Maybe that means the dazzling 80s glamour will get toned down a tad. 

Honourable Mentions: Emeril Lagasse ate his way around Toronto, including stops at Susur Lee’s Bent and Wah Sing on Baldwin Street; Mad Men’s Christina Hendrix gushed about the stuffed Spanish olives at King West’s Edulis; and Bar Isabel chef Grant van Gameren spread the love by giving shout-outs to a handful of west-end spots: The Federal, Hopgood’s Foodliner, Grand Electric and Chantecler.