WHERE Canada

WHERE Canada

December 20, 2006 15:31 ET

WHERE Canada Editors Announce Their Top 10 New Restaurants for 2006

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 20, 2006) - The regional editors of WHERE magazine announced today the top 10 new restaurants for 2006, representing the best new dining establishments in their communities. With editors from coast to coast who visit hundreds of new establishments each year, WHERE is Canada's most reliable source of timely information for travellers, with an annual print readership of over nine million and another three million unique online visitors per year.

After sampling scores of menus, WHERE's editors have come up with the following selection of the top 10 new offerings from talented chefs and innovative restaurateurs:

Top Ten (Alphabetical Order)



Aroma Dining & Drinks, Muskoka, Ontario
The Bison Mountain Bistro, Banff, Alberta
Capo Restaurant, Calgary, Alberta
Dandelion Eatery, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Delux Burger Bar, Edmonton, Alberta
Gio, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Glo Europub and Grill, Victoria, British Columbia
Jamie Kennedy at The Gardiner Museum, Toronto, Ontario
Salt Tasting Room, Vancouver, British Columbia
Stella Osteria, Ottawa, Ontario


Aroma Dining & Drinks, Muskoka, Ontario

There was a time when Muskoka was better known for campfire cookouts than haute cuisine, but Aroma Dining & Drinks reaffirms the rustic stereotype no longer applies. In picturesque Huntsville, this upscale hotspot offers a sophisticated combination of Asian-inspired flavours and classical French techniques. Executive chef Jennifer McCague's menu highlights Certified Angus Beef steaks, plus seafood dishes such as lobster linguine with vermouth, spinach and tarragon cream-to be enjoyed in an elegant dining room featuring art by the Group of Seven and Tom Thompson. A solid selection of wines and premium martinis adds to the urbane atmosphere.



Location:
50 Main St. E.
Huntsville, Ontario
705-788-5150


The Bison Mountain Bistro, Banff, Alberta

"You won't see tenderloin on our menu," boasts Ryan Rivard, owner of The Bison Mountain Bistro and 'slow food' advocate. But there are braised bison cheeks with red wine jus, Taleggio cheese polenta and smoked tomato. "We do comfort food well," he says. Regional in-season ingredients are the bistro's obsession: its Alberta suppliers include Olsen's High Country Ranch (bison), Gull Valley (tomatoes) and Sylvan Star Farmhouse Cheese (Gouda). Apres skiers mingle easily with business people in the laid back lounge or at the reclaimed Douglas Fir tables, while a show kitchen inspires "my God, it smells good in here" comments. On the sun-drenched patio diners are treated to views of Banff's signature peaks. Many Bison enthusiasts are regulars at the restaurant's General Store, where homemade delicacies line the shelves. "Housemade soups, preserves and grainy mustard are big sellers," notes Rivard.



Location:
211 Bear St.
Banff, Alberta
403-762-5550


Capo Restaurant, Calgary, Alberta

With more than 20 years experience in kitchens from Italy to England and Australia to Canada, chef Guiseppe Di Gennaro has established himself as one of the city's best. In March 2006, he opened the doors to his very own Capo Restaurant, an Italian boutique restaurant that has foodies murmuring their approval. The cozy 32-seat dining room has a modern, artistic ambiance, while the one-page menu features some delightful surprises. The dishes are simple and authentically Italian, but there is a flair for flavour intensity and impeccable presentation that leaves one with a distinct and pleasant gastronomic memory. As well, chef Di Gennaro ensures that every meal meets his own perfectionist standards via what he calls "teatro della cucina"-he personally plates his restaurant's entrees in full view of the dining room.



Location:
1420 - 9 Ave. SE.
Calgary, Alberta
403-264-2276


Dandelion Eatery, Winnipeg, Manitoba

The food comes out looking fresh from the market, just as you would expect from a restaurant attached to an organic food store. While the Dandelion Eatery espouses organic and natural fruits and vegetables, it also celebrates meat and seafood in a large variety of excellent dishes. This is a serious kitchen run by acclaimed chef Ben Kramer, who revels in the selection of ingredients available from the adjoining Organza Market. Dandelion's stated mission is to create a menu based on regional ingredients and support sustainable agriculture practices.



Location:
230 Osborne St.
Winnipeg, Manitoba
204-453-5755


Delux Burger Bar, Edmonton, Alberta

A posh new spot in Edmonton's elite west end, Delux Burger Bar effortlessly combines style, ambience and comfort with terrific food. The focused menu offers gourmet twists on an assortment of classic and original burgers, as well as such memorable culinary creations as lobster nachos and coconut-breaded shrimp "popsicles." An impressive beer, wine and martini list along with chic upscale decor only add to the appeal.



Location:
9682 - 142 St.
Edmonton, Alberta
780-420-0101


Gio, Halifax, Nova Scotia

The Prince George Hotel's new restaurant has become one of Halifax's premier dining destinations, thanks to award-winning chef Ray Bear. At Gio, he showcases global, New Age cuisine with a dynamic and constantly evolving menu. His ingenious signature dishes include creations like Arctic char with Peruvian potatoes, pulled pork ravioli with seared scallops, grilled lobster and much more. An extensive selection of wine and cocktails completes the dining experience, while chic decor and funky works of art make Gio an aesthetic delight.



Location:
1725 Market St.
Halifax, Nova Scotia
902-425-1987


Glo Europub and Grill, Victoria, British Columbia

A hip, contemporary atmosphere, innovative West Coast menu and a great location along Victoria's historic Gorge waterway easily combine to make Glo Europub and Grill the city's best new dining destination. During the warmer months, diners can enjoy the expansive patio, boasting a 180-degree view of the busy waterway, or settle into one of the restaurant's roomy, inviting booths and savour the scenery through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Appetizers such as the ginger chicken lettuce wrap or flatbread served with a trio of roasted-garlic mousse, olive hummus and sundried tomato dips tempt diners before choosing a main course from chef Marc Lagimodiere's diverse menu. With selections ranging from beef sirloin gorgonzola tortellini and a tandoori flatbread pizza to wild, seasonal salmon and mango-glazed Chilean back ribs, the decision is never easy. The variety continues on the beverage menu: more than 100 wines and 50-plus imported and domestic beers are available, and Glo's cocktail list features both timeless classics and new inspirations, such as the Green Tea Sling.



Location:
2940 Jutland Rd., ste. 104
Victoria, British Columbia
250-385-5643


Jamie Kennedy at The Gardiner Museum, Toronto, Ontario

Executive chef Jamie Kennedy's newest eponymous hotspot opened this summer as part of a $20-million renovation to the city's ceramics museum. One of the leading figures on Toronto's dining scene, Kennedy is no stranger to museums. Until 2003, he helmed JK ROM Restaurant at the Royal Ontario Museum. Visitors who enjoyed that past venture can gaze fondly toward the ROM through the floor-to-ceiling louvred windows of the Gardiner restaurant's Terrace Room, part of the third-floor addition by the renowned Canadian architecture firm Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects. Kennedy's carte of small plates is seasonal. Wines by the glass feature prominently, with a suggested pairing for each menu item. Lunch only is served daily; reservations are accepted for 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.



Location:
111 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario
416-362-1957


Salt Tasting Room, Vancouver, British Columbia

A restaurant with no chef? You'll just have to taste to believe. Hop in a cab to find the Gastown Alley entrance to this minimalist red-bricked space-a pared-down, Euro-chic wine bar with good cold-plate tastes. Sean Heather (owner of The Irish Heather, just down the street) pairs his own considerable knowledge of cured meats and specialty cheeses with a couple of the smartest sommeliers in town, Jay Jones and Chris Stearns, to come up with the perfect match. The formula? Choose your protein, cheese and condiment from expansive, ever-changing lists and have the staff match wines from an equally impressive collection. Among the savoury combinatons: Colston Bassett Stilton beside Similkameen Apiary honeycomb with hefty but silky d'Arenberg Laughing Magpie Shiraz Viognier. The options are endless at the Salt Tasting Room-charcuterie, wine bar, and all-around cool meeting space.



Location:
45 Blood Alley
Vancouver, British Columbia
604-633-1912


Stella Osteria, Ottawa, Ontario

Chef Derek Benitz of Stella Osteria is one of Ottawa's most charming foodies: mention the luxurious texture of risotto or the gift that is carpaccio, and he'll wax eloquent with passion. Since the ByWard Market-area restaurant first opened in the summer of 2006, Benitz has created a menu that draws on his many experiences with world cuisine while focusing on the flavours of Italy: lemon garlic shrimp with white wine and Italian parsley, butternut squash ravioloni, and Mediterranean seafood stew with roasted filet of halibut and spicy lobster butter are just a few of the palate-pleasing dishes. The atmosphere is contemporary, the setting is soothing and sumptuous, and the food is memorable.



Location:
81 Clarence St.
Ottawa, Ontario
613-241-2200


Information on the Top Ten Best New Restaurants is included in the January 2007 and winter issues of WHERE Canada magazines, published in 11 major travel destinations coast-to-coast. The country's best new restaurants are also listed online at www.WHERE.ca, along with detailed accommodation, dining, shopping and sightseeing information for the regions in which they are located.

About WHERE Canada magazines:

WHERE Canada magazines are distributed in Canadian hotel guest rooms and lobbies, as well as through travel information centres, stores and attractions in the following locations: Calgary, Canadian Rockies, Edmonton, Halifax, Mississauga, Muskoka/Parry Sound, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria and Winnipeg. WHERE Canada is a subsidiary of St. Joseph Media, whose stable of magazines includes Toronto Life, FASHION Magazine and Wish.

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