Food & Drink

The Dish Power Rankings: brunches and bans

The Dish Power Rankings: brunches and bans

Toronto Life’s weekly assessment of the restaurants with the biggest buzz, the longest lineups and the toughest tables to snag.

Momofuku Shōtō loses the top spot this week to the perennially buzzy Grove (see last week’s rankings). The Black Hoof drops off the list, but is replaced by the Hoof Raw Bar, which is hosting the return of Toronto’s favourite brunch service circa 2010. Also noteworthy: a new restaurant opens in Parkdale, likely the last until the ban is lifted, and a new tasting menu from one of the city’s top Italian restaurants.

  1. The Grove (↑6) The modern British spot on Dundas West shoots to the top after a glowing report from the New York Times.
  2. Shōtō (↓1) The reports continue to roll in from David Chang’s tasting menu flagship, and while not everyone is impressed, it still has foodies talking.
  3. Edulis (↓1) Each week, we call Edulis in an attempt to include it in Friday Night Bites, and each week, we’re politely informed that the tiny Niagara Street restaurant is fully booked with no cancellations.
  4. JaBistro (↓1) Chef Koji Tashiro continues to wow Japanese food fanatics with his immaculately fresh fish and torched and pressed sushi.
  5. Rose and Sons (↑1) The Globe on Anthony Rose’s tiny Dupont Street diner: “The food, as promised, gives the people a good punch in the face. You bloat for a while, you get over it, you want to go back again.”
  6. Hoof Raw Bar (new this week) Jen Agg dropped a bomb on Twitter when she announced the late and lamented Hoof Café’s brunch service is making a comeback as a “permanent pop-up” at Raw Bar (albeit without the beloved bone-marrow doughnuts)
  7. Kingyo (↓3) Of all the izakayas to make the trip from Vancouver, Kingyo is easily the most sophisticated.
  8. Daishō (↓3) The “large-format” Momofuku restaurant is the most exciting place to get in on the feasting trend that’s taking over.
  9. Buca (new this week) Rob Gentile’s excellent King West osteria launched a pair of tasting menus this week: one meaty and one vegetarian, bucking carnivorous Toronto’s prevailing trend.
  10. 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’recent rave.
  11. Strada 241 (↓1) Rustic Italian may be the most overplayed trend, but the Rubino brothers are doing it right (they also got some love from the New York Post).
  12. Richmond Station (↓1) Carl Heinrich’s post-Top Chef Canada restaurant has drawn raves from the Globe, NOW and the inimitable Ryan Storm. We humbly disagree.
  13. Splendido (↓1) Winterlicious officially kicks off tomorrow, and Splendido is finally holding its nose and taking the plunge. We expect a full report.
  14. Skin and Bones (↓1) 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.
  15. Farmhouse Tavern (no change) The Farmhouse crew begged off to New York for “36 hours of R&D” this week and tweeted the whole trip. We eagerly await the results.
  16. Canoe (↓2) Starting tomorrow and ending on February 7, Canoe officially becomes ’licious central. Suits: considered yourselves warned.
  17. Porzia (new this week) After 16 weeks of delays, Basilio Pesce’s new Italian restaurant is finally open—it’s probably Parkdale’s last launch until the ban is lifted.
  18. Hopgood’s Foodliner (new this week) Geoff Hopgood’s Roncesvalles room recently topped BlogTO’s list of 2012’s best new restaurants. Also, his upcoming 15-course tasting menu at Guy Rawlings’s new Room 203 sold out in under 24 hours.
  19. Hawthorne (↓1) Hawthorne’s fun #FourSquare Meal has kept the tiny downtown restaurant packed with suits at lunch.
  20. Café Boulud (↓1) The shine is off this much-hyped New York import (see our assessment in the February issue, on newsstands now).

Dropped from the list this week: The Black Hoof, Catch, Dyne and Real Sports Bar and Grill.


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