Where magazine honours Canada’s Best New Restaurants of 2010
Established in 2003, Where Canada‘s Best New Restaurants is an annual award program devoted to celebrating and raising awareness of Canada’s top chefs and innovative restaurateurs. The list of selected restaurants is comprised of one new establishment chosen in each of the following Where magazine regions: Calgary, Canadian Rockies, Edmonton, Halifax, Muskoka/Parry Sound, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler and Winnipeg.
Where editors visit hundreds of new establishments from coast to coast and, after sampling scores of menus, they have come up with their selection for the year’s top new offerings.
Victoria: Prime Steakhouse and Lounge
Steak-lovers in Victoria have been served the perfect spot to satisfy their culinary cravings this year: Prime Steakhouse and Lounge. Located in the heart of downtown, the sophisticated, contemporary restaurant tempts diners with a menu to suit just about every palate. Start with a Caesar salad, flavourful with garlic and Parmesan, or the hearty baked potato soup, before considering the delicious possibilities that await with six cuts of aged beef and the selection of lamb, fresh seafood, poultry and pasta. Finish your meal with such savoury sides as steamed asparagus with béarnaise or roasted mushrooms with herbs. The well-chosen wine list and knowledgeable staff complete the Prime experience.
621 Courtney St., Victoria, BC; 250-386-2010; www.primesteak.ca
Vancouver: Bao Bei Chinese Brasserie
This novel, cross-cultural brasserie on Chinatown’s edge has injected new life into an area until recently deserted at night but now re-emerging as a lively neighbourhood. Walk in and you’d swear the funky, high-ceilinged room with its oversized windows and welcoming bar has been there for years. Bao Bei’s small plates differ from more predictable line-ups: before opening, owner Tannis Ling headed to Taipei and Saigon to polish hand-me-down family recipes and Chinese street food that she calls “petits plats Chinois.” Go for slow-braised pork belly, Shao Bing, potstickers and dumplings, or the tender stir-fried squid and pork belly combination, or the artful Pemberton beef tenderloin tartare anointed with a quail’s egg—not to mention the bustling room with abundant energy. Serious cocktails, too.
163 Keefer St., Vancouver, BC; 604-688-087; www.bao-bei.ca