Life Food

Toronto’s Alo tops 2017 Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants list

By Rita DeMontis, Toronto Sun

French restaurant Alo at 163 Spadina Ave. in Toronto (Matt Fabijanic Photo)

French restaurant Alo at 163 Spadina Ave. in Toronto (Matt Fabijanic Photo)

The competition was tight but, in the end, Toronto's famed Alo restaurant, headed by executive chef Patrick Kriss and in the heart of the city's Chinatown, topped the 2017 Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants list.

Montreal's Toque came in second, followed by the legendary Joe Beef, in Montreal coming in third.

In fact, Toronto was awarded five of the top ten restaurants in the country.

Meanwhile, Vancouver's Kissa Tanto has been named the country’s best new restaurant. It’s the second time in recent months that chef Joel Watanabe’s Kissa Tanto - which features a blend of Italian and Japanese cuisines - has been called the hottest new restaurant in Canada.

Canada's 100 Best Restaurants is considered the definitive guide to the country's culinary scene, chef profiles, recipes, new openings and fresh market trends under the care and guidance of famed Canadian journalist Jacob Richler.

“The execution at Alo is delightfully close to flawless. Alo serves beautifully conceived dishes, but above all, the discipline and consistency of the kitchen is dazzling, and quite exceptional. It’s also a sexy room, and a great experience all around,” says Richler in Canadas100best.com.

Interesting to note, in 2006, Patrick Kriss was a young, earnest-faced George Brown culinary college student chef whose name came on the scene when he competed in the annual S. Pellegrino almost Famous Chef competition. He was already starting to wow the crowds back then, with his impressive take and daring innovation on recipes, in the competition's case (in which he won for Canada) a dish of poached fillet of veal and ravioli of braised sweetbread.

The annual list of top restaurants is voted on by food critics, leading chefs, legendary restaurateurs, elite diners and food fanatics from across the country. It's an 82-member panel of judges that makes the final determination, and the results are printed in the glossy Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants magazine, a food-lovers go-to, as it's the definitive finger on country's culinary landscape.

The winners were recently announced at a colour affair in Toronto's Shangri-La Hotel, where famed celebrity chef Susur Lee was honoured with a lifetime achievement award,

The Hong Kong-born chef oversees Luckee, Lee, Lee Kitchen at Pearson International Airport, Bent and Fring’s in Toronto along with TungLok Heen in Singapore’s Hotel Michael. He’s been a judge on Chopped Canada and MasterChef Asia and was a finalist on Top Chef Master and tied with Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America - a fellow chef who has now become one of his dearest friends.

Charles-Antoine Crete of Montreal Plaza also got an award for most innovative chef, Claude Guerin of Maison Boulud at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Montreal was named best pastry chef, and The Design Agency won for best restaurant design for Lena Restaurante in Toronto.

- with files from CP.

For a complete list of restaurants, check out Canadas100best.com

Here is the list of the top 10 ranked restaurants:

  1. Alo - Toronto
  2. Toque! - Montreal
  3. Joe Beef - Montreal
  4. Le Vin Papillon - Montreal
  5. Edulis - Toronto
  6. Hawksworth Restaurant at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia - Vancouver
  7. Buca Osteria & Bar (Yorkville) - Toronto
  8. Canoe - Toronto
  9. Dandylion - Toronto
  10. Pigeonhole - Calgary