L'Abattoir photo by KK Law
Who’d have thought that the site of Vancouver’s first jail would go on to house one of the city’s finest food destinations? Chic L’Abattoir, which nabbed the #3 spot in enRoute’s 2011 list of the best new restaurants in Canada, keeps diners coming back thanks to the French-influenced West Coast fare and scene-stealing decor. —Jennifer Patterson
By WAHEEDA HARRIS
Ici Bistro in Toronto is no. 5 on enRoute's list of best new restaurants.
Air Canada’s inflight magazine enRoute has made its annual proclamation of Canada’s 10 best new restaurants, with top honours for 2011 going to Raymonds of St. John’s, in Newfoundland. It’s a coup for a province that doesn’t get much love in the way of culinary accolades and is, perhaps, best known for serving up fried cod cheeks at British-style pubs.
Head chef Jeremy Charles and restaurant manager–sommelier Jeremy Bonia collaborated to create Raymonds, with rustic Atlantic cuisine inspired by local and sustainable ingredients such as wild game, seafood, berries and vegetables. The restaurant was named in honour of Charles’ grandfather and Bonia’s father, both named Raymond.
Beef carpaccio with walnuts, gorgonzola, arugula and aged balsamic, at Cibo Trattoria. Photo by KK Law
Tucked away in the retro Moda Hotel, Cibo Trattoria yields robust Italian flavours with pasta made fresh daily. The constantly evolving menu may feature tastes such as roast suckling pork, crackling, juices and fresh porcini; ravioli stuffed with sweetcorn, ricotta, peas and mint; and grilled skirt steak with beans cooked in tomato, chilli and marjoram. Pre-theatre diners catch the set menu (5 to 7:30 p.m.). Voted best new restaurant in Canada by enRoute magazine in 2009.—Tim Pawsey
Cibo Trattoria, $$-$$$. D (M-Sa). Moda Hotel, 900 Seymour St. 604-602-9570.