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Top Chef Canada

Hot Dining: Cucina Changes

Popular Osborne Village watering hole Billabong Bar & Bistro has undergone a face lift and regime change. At the newly minted Billabong Gastropub, Top Chef Canada season one contestant Darryl Crumb (pictured) puts his spin on casual cuisine. Aussie-themed alligator and kangaroo offings have been replaced by breaded oyster po’boys and hearty beet borscht with double smoked bacon.  121-D Osborne St, 204-452-1019.

Hot Dining: Bestellen’s Notable Name

Bestellen’s Ryan Sarfeld and Rob Rossi

Toronto foodies were hardly surprised when chef Rob Rossi announced he was opening his own restaurant. After all, he’d just been named runner-up in Top Chef Canada’s inaugural season. Rossi and business partner Ryan Sarfeld premiered Bestellen a few months ago; their new digs are a hot draw amongst the city’s meat- and beer-loving diners. A visual masterclass in butchery adorns a wall of this 80-seat space, and makes for a great distraction while you await dishes like steak tartare ($13), the house burger ($18) and a 16-ounce house-aged and -cut, sous vide–cooked striploin ($41). If you’re planning dinner for a large group, book a suckling pig feast in advance ($59 per person).

Hot Dining: Best New Restaurants 2011: Brooklynn’s Bistro

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…)