Alo in Toronto has risen to number two on the list of the 100 best restaurants in Canada | Food and drink

The annual list of top 100 restaurants compiled by Canada’s 100 Best magazine was released this week after going on hiatus in 2021 due to the pandemic.

For those who have been following the list of typically fine dining restaurants, there won’t be many surprises as several familiar spots have returned for another year.

Alo, which has ranked first for four consecutive years since 2017, is now in second place.

Posted on Vancouver’s Main, which opened in late 2019 and previously ranked 88th, is now in the top spot.

Other Toronto-area spots that made a comeback on the list include Restaurant at Pearl Morissette (fourth), Langdon Hall (fifth), Edulis (seventh), Canoe (eighth), Sushi Masaki Saito (10th) , Dreyfus (15th), Shoushin (19th) and Giulietta (20th).

New Toronto entries to the list include Chef Anna Chen’s Alma (94th) and Chefs David Schwartz and Braden Chong’s Mimi Chinese (33rd), both of which reinterpret traditional regional Chinese cuisine.

French restaurant Pompette, which opened last summer on College Street, is at 30. Yorkville’s 55-year-old Mediterranean spot Joso’s has returned to the 100 list since its last appearance at 93 in 2017.

In an interview with the Star in 2020, editor Jacob Richler said he would reassess how restaurants would be judged because it was a time when thousands of restaurant workers were out of work, dining rooms were mostly closed and the food media as a whole faced a reckoning when it came to the diversity of their coverage.

When asked Monday in a phone interview what changes had been made to the compilation of the most recent list, Richler told the Star that of the 100 anonymous judges, a quarter of them were new.

“I invited all the judges to vote on what they like a broader approach and not conventional ideas of fine dining; whether on a plate or in a take-out box,” Richler said. “If I hadn’t factored that in, cities like Toronto would have been different because we had one of the longest lockdowns.”

Richler noted that there were places he really likes, like Avling de Leslieville, that didn’t get enough votes to crack the 100.

“A lot of familiar places have persisted, like Canoe, but I don’t see how or why I could ban them,” Richler said. “I can’t change where people want to dine, so a lot of old favorites came back and a lot didn’t because they closed.”

Cracked! in Montreal, for example, which consistently tops the list but isn’t on it this year, has been closed since March 2020 and only reopened last fall. Harbord Village Sushi Restaurant Skippa was 18th on the previous list but closed permanently last December.

Of the 100 places, 22 are in Toronto and a few others in the surrounding area such as the Restaurant at Pearl Morissette in Jordan, Langdon Hall in Cambridge, Hexagon Restaurant (42nd) in Oakville and The Pine (51st) in Collingwood.

Montreal has 21 entries, Vancouver 18, Calgary 11 and Ottawa six. Three East Coast restaurants make the list: Fogo Island Inn (93rd), Inn at Bay Fortune (66th), and Bar Kismet (13th). Since the list’s inception in 2015, there have been no entries from Canada’s three territories.

Unlike the Michelin Guides, whose arrival in Toronto was recently announced later this year, the judges for Canada’s 100 Best are volunteers and pay for their meals out of pocket, Richler said. (Michelin says its judges are employees of the guide.) He said it’s hard to get enough food judges in northern Canada to vote on a place to make the list.

As for the French food guide in Toronto, Richler said he would be interested to see if other tourist boards in Canada would fund more Michelin guides. He also said that while chefs are still interested in it, he wonders if it will have the same impact on diners and chefs as in previous decades.

“I know people think Michelin is a white tablecloth restaurant, but that Michelin aura is a generation old, and back then there were so few two- and three-star restaurants,” he said. he declares. “Chefs tell me they’re giving (stars) like candy on Halloween now, even though that’s not true. But if it puts Canada in the international spotlight and draws people into town, and recognizes restaurants who deserve it, so much the better.

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