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Best New Restaurants 2012: No. 6 Barque

Best New Restaurants 2012: No. 6 Barque

There’s no limit to what chef-owner David Neinstein will load into his magnificent smoker: pork shoulder, beef ribs and whole chickens, of course, but also pineapple for dessert and lemons for his bourbon sours. The first-time restaurateur learned the secrets of the trade in an Oklahoma smokehouse and cannily adapted the southern tradition for farm-to-table-obsessed Toronto diners. The civilized room is decorated with familiar shades of barnyard brown, artisanal hot sauce bottles and house-made pickles, and the crowd is composed of 30-ish Roncesvalles yuppies and their boomer parents. The meat, however, is pure ’cue-shack fare: rosy-to-the-bone baby back ribs crusted in dark, peppery bark, 12-hour brisket that falls apart into succulent wisps, chili wings that leave a red ring around your mouth. We’d be satisfied if the menu ended there, but chef de cuisine Bryan Birch offers a handful of plates that maintain the southern spirit while reflecting his classical training. The cornmeal-crusted halibut, for example, flawlessly seared and served on a puddle of nutmeg-tinged sweet potato purée, is worthy of white linen. 299 Roncesvalles Ave., 416-532-7700. See our listing for more information »

(Images: Raina and Wilson)

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