THE SINGLE, marble-sized pomme soufflé has crisp walls as thin as paper, and is held in place on the plate with a dab of lemon gel so that it will not roll and topple and spill its precious topping of glistening, black Venetian caviar. Beside it, there’s a cube of cured foie gras rolled in crunchy rice pearls, as well as a bite-sized sandwich of foie gras terrine spiked with smoky bourbon.
DROP BY FOR a meal here in April and you might get started with a princess scallop farmed off the Magdalen Islands, raw on the half shell, small, firm and sweet, adrift in elderberry water and doused with a fir needle-seasoned foam. Come May, water and foam both will more likely be flavoured with rhubarb. In June, make it strawberry and basil.
RATHER LIKE ITS NAMESAKE, Montreal’s notorious 19th-century publican, Joe Beef the restaurant is an overachiever with personality to spare. The humble, 30-seat, back-to-basics culinary outpost that partner chefs David McMillan and Fred Morin opened on a sketchy stretch of Notre Dame West in 2005 has, over the intervening years, doubled its size and seating, added a proper bar and patio, acquired its own on-site smokehouse, trout pond and vegetable garden, and spawned two neighbouring restaurants, as well as a bestselling cookbook—with a sequel coming this fall.
CHEF ROB GENTILE’s idea for this third iteration of Buca (Osteria & Bar) was to apply his much-admired, customary culinary approach (part traditional, part iconoclastic) to the underexplored realm of coastal Italian cooking. This meant that his favourite ingredient at the original Buca— pork—was temporarily shelved in favour of fish and seafood.
DESPITE A SUBSTANTIAL recent expansion of both hotel and dining room, Langdon Hall remains as exclusive as ever—and maybe more so. A lot of that has to do with the exceptional service experience, which is Old World in its attention to detail but never strays to pretension.
THE DESIGN IS STRIKING, elegant and contemporary, but a closer look reveals many an eccentric touch. What, for example, is that convention of plastic dinosaurs doing gathered on the pass?
RAYMONDS IS A stone’s throw from the landmark Cabot Tower on Signal Hill, which has watched over St. John’s since 1900. The formal dining room is connected to its location near Canada’s most easterly point in a singularly satisfying way.
Le Vin Papillon
IN A WORLD overpopulated by raw vegan salad bars and kale juice smoothies, Le Vin Papillon offers a refreshingly different (and far more delicious) approach to eating your vegetables. The health-forward wine bar serves seasonal produce cooked with enough butter to transform even the dreariest head of cauliflower into something of otherworldly deliciousness.
THIS RESTAURANT TAKES its name from the Latin Boletus edulis—read cep, or porcini—a fine wild mushroom that is rare and pricey here, but common in Europe. And that tidily sums up the nature of this place.
AFTER BEING NAMED our best new restaurant for 2017, this enchanting Japanese- Italian supper club continued to earn accolades—and the envy of restaurateurs across Canada—with a glowing review in the New York Times. Hidden away in a second-storey loft on the gritty side of Chinatown, the atmospheric dining room (designed in “the colour palette of a David Lynch project,” Times critic Pete Wells aptly observed) transports you to a time when people dressed for dinner and a night on the town evoked a sense of occasion.