The Best New Restaurants in Toronto, 2011
The best new restaurants to open in Toronto in 2011 are a varied lot to be sure with
everything from tacos to Thai, 'cue to Guu making an appearance. Since timing is everything in these kinds of end-of-year things, some places made it in by the skin of their teeth to qualify for this year's list (I'm lookin' at you Grand Electric & Yours Truly).
Low-key appears to still be the flavour of the moment as diners flock en masse to neighbourhood joints offering up tasty grub at a reasonable price-point in relaxed digs. Jen Agg's ears must be burning with the constant mention several of these restaurants as the next Black Hoof. Time will tell, but for now we've got some eating to do.
Here are the best new restaurants to open in Toronto in 2011.
The second coming of the Black Hoof? Unlikely and irrelevant despite the pata negra pedigree. Ex-hoofers Colin Tooke and Ian McGrenaghan offer up mouth-watering tacos, ceviche, pozole and menudo in an unpretentious space which will more than double in size with the opening of the patio this summer. Throw in a sick bourbon collection and some Enter the Wu-Tang and you've got a most welcome addition to Parkdale.
Ten years ago folks bemoaned the lack of serious barbecue in this town but with the opening of the Stockyards and now Barque, the city is swimming in smoke and sauce and Barque in Roncesvalles is the latest welcome addition pit stop on the quickly coalescing barbecue trail. With excellent offerings such as brisket poutine, succulent smoked chicken, and a variety of beef and pork on offer it’s best to get a sampler platter and spare yourself the agony of deciding which menu items to give the axe.
Transforming an annex-area Burger King took longer than expected but it appears to have been worth the wait with the second outpost of the popular Vancouver izakaya chain receiving rave reviews for it’s inventive take on Japanese inspired tapas. Classics like takoyaki and ramen share space with Kimchi Udon and Fried Brie on the pub’s extensive and extremely tasty menu.
From the people who brought you the Comrade, Leslieville’s Goods & Provisions offers a short card of comfort food in some seriously charming digs. Perfectly grilled steak, duck-fat frites and Korean-inspired tacos share center stage in a lovely speak easy inspired space. Considering their other place is renowned for its extensive list of Belgian brews, the compact wine list at G & P offers an excellent selection of local and imported vino at a decent price.
No Splendido-lite. Co-owners Carlo Catallo and Victor Barry transformed the former Oddfellows space, mashing up southern snack bar with lumber yard for a tasty addition to West Queen West. Fried chicken thigh and Cajun catfish sandwiches, frites served in a low-ball glass and an impressive selection of bourbon go a long way to justifying the line-ups for yet another “next-black-hoof” at the hipper end of Queen St.
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