Apr 2 | Posted by Barry Cohen

Toronto has always been known for it’s world-class cuisine and with over 100 notable restaurants opening in the last year alone, it seems excellent dining is alive and well in the GTA.  Every year Toronto Life publishes their Top 10 ranking of new restaurants, and if you didn’t catch the article this year, I thought it would be useful to do a recap.  So here is what Mark Pupo chose for 2015.

Taking top spot was Buca Yorkville located on the ground floor of the four seasons condo tower.  The restaurant focuses on top quality fish and seafood, and recently the chef installed a dry-curing unit to make salami style meat out of octopus, scallops, and swordfish or tuna blood combined with pork fat.   The wine list is extensive and meals are delivered on a brass and wooden cart.  

In second place is Dandylion in a rustic-industrial location at 1198 Queen Street.  The menu is an eclectic mix of unusual Asian and European fare.  The chef Jay Carter studied at the best cooking school in town and worked with the Master for 10 years before becoming executive chef at the Centro.  Dandylion is his first solo venture and it appears that the restaurant showcases his highly inspired talent.

Number 3 on the list is Yasu which can be found at 81 Harbord Street.  This tiny (13 seat) sushi restaurant operates on prix fixe with only one menu option consisting of 20 pieces of sushi. Chef Yasuhisa Ouchi sources the freshest seafood from all over the globe including Sri-Lankan tuna, Japanese striped jack, Greek sea bream, Scottish ocean trout and British Columbian uni.  The meal concludes with a flan-like dessert and green tea panna cotta.

Fourth on Pupo’s list is Dailo at 503 College Street listed as a bi-level teal and gold Asian brasserie with French-inspired Chinese fare and dim sum.  One of Chef Nick Liu’s signature dishes is his deep fried watermelon, but the menu also includes whole trout, grilled curried quail and a tart green papaya and spicy ground pork salad.

The Top 5 is rounded out with Borealia found at 59 Ossington Avenue.  Uniquely decorated with a forest mural and cedar trellis on the ceiling, this bright spot serves Canadian fare with a historical backstory.  Chef Way Morris tapped into his roots with recipes like pigeon pie, Anglo-Indian kedgeree, candy-pink smoked whitefish and salt cod quenelles.

These new restaurants completed the Top 10:

#6 – Byblos – 11 Duncan Street.  Eastern Mediterranean cuisine with a contemporary spin.
# 7 – Flor De Sal – 501 Davenport Road – Mediterranean comfort food with a modern twist.
# 8 – Bar Fancy – 1070 Queen Street.  Upbeat, rustic-modern snack bar specializing in deep fried chicken.
# 9 – Nana – 785 Queen Street.  Spicy contemporary Thai food, reminiscent of street-style Bangkok eateries.
#10 – Rasa – 196 Robert Street.  Global inspired snacks and entrees with live entertainment and a tasting menu on Mondays.

All this talk of food has likely made you hungry.  Our great city has so many fantastic restaurants and new mouth-watering eateries opening up all the time, when you live in the GTA just choosing which establishment to try next can be the biggest challenge.  

Bon Appetit.