By Where Writers
From mountain-top venues with epic snowy views, to cozy patios downtown, Banff is packed with great places to eat. Here’s our round-up of the bars and restaurants to visit this winter.
Want a meal with a view? Sky Bistro won’t disappoint. Ride the Banff Gondola to the restaurant on Sulphur Mountain’s 2,281-m high ridge for snowy views Banff and delicious tastes of Canada. Choose from regional dishes with upscale twists. And from the bar, sip locally crafted beers and spirits.
FOODIES AND SIMPLY HUNGRY VISITORS ALIKE WILL NOT WANT FOR OPTIONS WHEN IT COMES TO TORONTO’S DINING SCENE
R&D’s Lobster Chow Mein. Photo by Allison Woo
The expansive St. Lawrence Market is packed full of specialty food items and made-to-order meals. St. Urbain Bagel is known for its Montreal-style bagels, which are baked fresh daily, are best hot out of the oven with a generous dollop of cream cheese. The peameal bacon sandwich from Carousal Bakery has been a market staple for over 30
years and is well worth the line up. Or, if you’re extra hungry, bite into a hearty deep-fried veal and eggplant sandwich at Uno Mustachio Sandwiches.
Join The Culinary Adventure Co. for a guided tour of some of the city’s most exciting neighbourhoods. Learn about the history and heritage of Chinatown and Kensington while enjoying everything from Mexican tortas to dim sum; adults $79, kids $59. Savour Toronto (1-855-472-8687; savourtoronto.com) offers a Best of the West tour for a taste of the hip and trendy dining scene along along Dundas Street West and Ossington Avenue; $75.
Treat yourself with Tasty Tours, which offers two excursions: The Kensington Market Sweet & Savoury food tour includes food samples from Chinese and Latin American eateries; $49 adults kids ages 7-12 $35, children age 7 and under free. Enjoy the chocolatiers around Trinity Bellwoods Park while learning about the history of chocolate and a chocolate-making demonstration in Toronto’s Ultimate Chocolate tour; $39 adults, kids ages 7-12 $25, children age 7 and under free.
Toronto’s vibrant dining scene is flourishing with world-class chefs, unique restaurant concepts, and innovative menus. Below are some dining highlights to whet your appetite.
MasterChef Canada winner Eric Chong, along with one of the competition’s judges, Alvin Leung, has created a “modern Canadian Asian” menu at R&D. Dive into dishes like fried chicken with glazed cronuts, and venison spring rolls, complimented by intriguing drinks like the 510 Caesar made with garlic and shiitake-infused vodka. Chef Rob Gentile is known for his attention to detail and his obsession with using the freshest seasonal ingredients for his authentic Italian cuisine; try the hand-made pasta at Buca to find out what the fuss is about, or stop by Bar Buca for small sharing plates and a nightcap. —Karen Stevens
Ufficio’s charming nautical-inspired decor.
WITH A MENU THAT CENTRES AROUND SEAFOOD, UFFICIO IS A FRESH ADDITION TO TORONTO’S ITALIAN DINING SCENE
Torontonians love their Italian restaurants; we each have our favourite spot for Neapolitan pizzas and spaghetti Bolognese. But when it comes to coastal cuisine, we’re somewhat underserved. Enter Ufficio, a highly stylish spot that puts the focus on seafood, with pescatarian dishes ranging from romesco-sauced B.C. Saltspring mussels on a chickpea fritter to grilled octopus with caponata. The intimate restaurant sits on one of Dundas West’s hipper stretches, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself swimming in specialty cocktails, too.—Craig Moy
1214 Dundas St. west, 416-535-8888; ufficiorestaurant.com
The delectable crespelle at Borgo Trattoria. Photo: Courtesy Borgo Trattoria.
Swank uptown Italian eatery Borgo Trattoria offers a delicious brunch menu Saturdays and Sundays that is both ample and affordable. The steak and eggs are given an Italian treatment; thin, broiled strips of sirloin are served alongside scrambled eggs with truffle oil and crispy smoked prosciutto. The crespelle is another instant classic consisting of two delicate fried crepes filled with caramelized onion ricotta and topped with prosciutto, sage and maple syrup. The flavours are heavenly and the sweet to savoury ratio is just right. (more…)
With Italian restaurants seemingly on every corner in Winnipeg, it can be hard to separate prime pasta from ‘past their prime.’
Brooklynn’s Bistro is firmly entrenched in the former category. (more…)
Pasta is a specialty at Cafe Spiga
Pasta, fish, grilled meats; it’s the best of both worlds at Cafe Spiga, a restaurant in the ByWard Market that fuses Portuguese and Italian fare. Popular dishes include salted cod, almond crusted chicken with figs, chorizo dishes, an assortment of pastas and sauces, and caldo verde, a hearty Portuguese soup. Specially selected wines from both countries round out the meal. It’s a white-linens type of restaurant, but popular on weekends with families for its fresh and tasty offerings. 271 Dalhousie St., 613-241-4381.
Both contemporary New York-style and classic Italian eateries are making their mark in the city’s dining scene. At La Trattoria in St. Boniface, Italy-trained Chef/owner Chris Tascona delivers traditionally prepared favourites, like fall-off-the-bone grilled lamb chops marinated in fragrant garlic and mint. 271 Provencher Blvd, 233-5318. Across the river in the Exchange, Chef Darryl Crumb (pictured) of Brooklynn’s Bistro uses a wood-fired oven to create pillowy soft pizzas served in an architecturally stunning room decorated with sleek modern accents. 177 Lombard Ave, 415-4112.