The Dish Power Rankings: feasting menus and Maple Leafs edition
Toronto Life’s weekly assessment of the restaurants with the biggest buzz, the longest lineups and the toughest tables to snag.
The biggest movement this week was lower down on the list, where over-the-top feasting meals at Catch and Dyne managed to knock off a few restaurants that weren’t quite buzzy enough (see last week’s rankings). Café Boulud took the biggest hit, slipping three places after Jared Bland took the New York superchef’s bistro to task for its lack of ambition in our February issue. Real Sports Bar and Grill makes its entry in the list thanks to the long-awaited return of the Leafs this Saturday.
- Shōtō (no change)
David Chang’s unabashedly ambitious Toronto flagship remains the most-talked-about restaurant in the city.
- Edulis (no change)
Michael Caballo and Tobey Nemeth’s locavore bistro is still riding high off the best new restaurant in Canada title bestowed by EnRoute.
- JaBistro (no change)
It’s official: even the New York Post loves the new sushi bar from the owners of Guu (we chose its demi katsu sandwich as our Weekly Lunch Pick this week).
- Kingyo (no change)
Of all the izakayas to make the trip over from Vancouver, Kingyo is easily the most sophisticated.
- Daishō (no change)
The “large-format” Momofuku restaurant is the most exciting place to get in on the feasting trend that’s taking over.
- Rose and Sons (no change)
Anthony Rose, who built The Drake into a hipster kitsch powerhouse, must be doing something right: his tiny diner, with its calorie-dense throwbacks, is always packed.
- The Grove (no change)
This Dundas West spot remains the best of the new breed of British restaurants to open in Toronto.
- Patria (↑2)
Charles Khabouth is better known for bringing in clubby crowds than for bringing his culinary A-game. At Patria, he’s managed to do both: witness The Globe’s recent rave.
- The Black Hoof (↓1)
Anthony Bourdain gave The Hoof a sloppy smooch on The Layover. Cue droves of foodie tourists.
- Strada 241 (↓1)
Rustic Italian is the most overplayed trend, but the Rubino brothers are doing it right (they also got some love from the New York Post)
- Richmond Station (↑1)
Carl Heinrich’s post-Top Chef Canada restaurant has drawn raves from the Globe, NOW and most recently, the inimitable Ryan Storm. We humbly disagree.
- Splendido (↑1)
After years of nobly staying above the fray, spendy Splendido is now the most coveted Winterlicious reservation.
- Skin and Bones (↓2)
Matthew Sullivan, the chef who bounced from kitchen to pop-up to kitchen, finally alighted at this Queen East bistro—too bad the food is hit-and-miss.
- Canoe (no change)
Canoe has long been the fancy restaurant that’s never been too cool to lower its prices twice a year and let the ’licious crowds in.
- Farmhouse Tavern (new this week)
Farmhouse’s just-announced dining series, Hunt Camp, has nearly sold out (granted, it’s not that hard to sell out when there are only six seats a week). The restaurant also drew raves from the Richmond Station crew, who held a raucous staff party there last weekend.
- Catch (new this week)
St. Clair’s sustainable fish restaurant holds the title for the Most Over-The-Top Feast: The Gout, which consists of oysters stuffed into a trout stuffed into a whole goat, for the bargain price of $500–$600.
- Dyne (new this week)
The runner up for Most Over-The-Top Feast: Dyne’s Chef’s Last Meal, featuring a 34-ounce rib-eye, butter poached lobster, two foie gras lobes, bone marrow mashed potatoes and chili-garlic egg rice, for a cool $325. They’ve actually sold three.
- Hawthorne (↓1)
Hawthorne’s fun #FourSquare Meal has kept the tiny downtown restaurant packed with suits at lunch.
- Café Boulud (↓4)
The shine is off this much-hyped New York import (see our assessment in the February issue, on newsstands now).
- Real Sports Bar and Grill (new this week)
This Saturday’s seating at Toronto’s top sports bar has been booked solid for over two weeks—before the tentative deal was announced between the players and owners—in anticipation of the Leafs’ glorious return.
Dropped from the list this week: Sabai Sabai, Chantecler, Reds and Delux.