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The Dish Power Rankings: Top Chefs and Bieber power

The Dish Power Rankings: Top Chefs and Bieber power

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

On Monday, the contestants for season three of Top Chef Canada were announced, catapulting their respective restaurants onto this week’s power rankings. Meanwhile, the mighty power of the Biebs bumps up the hype for an Annex diner, and the depth of Toronto’s appetite for brunch tacos is revealed.

  1. Edulis (no change) It’s Valentine’s Day today—Edulis will be crammed with canoodling couples smart enough to have booked a table two months ago.
  2. Daishō (↑6) Being from New York, Momofuku might not have gotten the memo that people don’t really celebrate Family Day as such in Ontario—but it gets points for trying with this cute bo ssäm to-go for the whole family.
  3. Rose and Sons (↑1) Justin Bieber’s guitarist Dan Kanter (follower count: 783,018) recently declared Rose and Sons Toronto’s best new restaurant. Could crowds of Beliebers be far behind?
  4. JaBistro (↑2) Just how good is the new sushi restaurant from Guu owner James HyunSoo Kim? This good.
  5. Kingyo (↓3) Weekend waits at Kingyo are approaching two hours now. Toronto’s izakaya madness continues.
  6. Shōtō (↓3) A seat at David Chang’s tasting menu flagship is still impossible to snag on a weekend.
  7. La Carnita (↑3) When La Carnita opened the doors for its first brunch service last Sunday, the staff served 50 people in the first ten minutes. That’s one powerful brunch.
  8. Porzia (↓1) This Italian restaurant is drawing a more glamourous crowd than Parkdale is used to seeing.
  9. Playa Cabana Cantina (↑1) Proof that the Junction is the next hot neighbourhood: it now has the city’s best tacos.
  10. The Grove (↑2) Yesterday, The Grove announced it had poached Shane Harper, formerly the executive pastry chef for the McEwan group. Harper promised to “get funky.”
  11. Hoof Raw Bar (↓6) The second coming of the Hoof Café’s brunch menu isn’t quite living up to the halcyon days under Geoff Hopgood.
  12. Ursa (no change) Ursa’s new late-night menu keeps syphoning Queen West’s post-bar traffic away from Poutini’s.
  13. Farmhouse Tavern (↑1) Brunch is starting to get so busy here that they’ve started to give out free consolation muffins to the patrons they turn away.
  14. Patria (↓1) Echoing our earlier assessment (and those in The Globe and Star), NOW’s Steven Davey recently referred to the tapas at this Charles Khabouth–Hanif Harji collaboration as “sex on a plate.”
  15. Richmond Station (back this week) Dennis Tay, the sous chef at Richmond Station, is competing in season three of Top Chef Canada. Given that his boss Carl Heinrich won season two, we’d say his odds are pretty good.
  16. George (new this week) George’s 23-year-old saucier Rory White is also on Top Chef Canada this year.
  17. Hopgood’s Foodliner (back this week) Hopgood’s launches its back room Oyster Shack tomorrow—a long communal table with a big trough cut in the centre to fill with ice and bivalves—where diners can get soused while waiting for their tables.
  18. Yours Truly (back this week) Seventy-five would-be Romeos called in to Yours Truly between midnight and 9:43 this morning hoping, in vain, to snag a Valentine’s Day table.
  19. Santouka Ramen (↓2) The consensus from noodle nerds: Santouka serves the city’s best bowl of traditional ramen.
  20. The Emerson (new this week) We tried (and failed) to get into this packed new Bloordale restaurant last Saturday.

Dropped from the list this week: Zakkushi, Chantecler, Glas, Bar Volo and Dyne

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