Dig In! The 50 Best Steakhouses in Canada 2016

As we look forward to a delicious season of holiday dining, we are pleased to unveil the 50 Best Steakhouses in Canada 2016. The list reflects the combined opinions of more than 300,000 restaurant reviews submitted by verified OpenTable diners for more than 1,800 restaurants in Canada.

50 Best Steakhouses in Canada 2016

Highlighting both traditional steakhouses and novel takes on the concept, the complete list features restaurants across the country and includes 19 Okanagan Grill + Bar in West Kelowna, Jacob’s & Co. Steakhouse in Toronto, Cut Steakhouse in Halifax, and multiple locations of Hy’s Steak House (pictured). Ontario leads all provinces with 27 winning restaurants, followed by Alberta with 13, Québec with nine, and British Columbia with six. Also included on this list are Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and Saskatchewan.

The list of the 50 Best Steakhouses in Canada for 2016 is generated from more than 300,000 restaurant reviews collected from verified OpenTable diners between October 1, 2015, and September 30, 2016. All restaurants in the “steak” cuisine category with a minimum “overall” score and number of qualifying reviews were included for consideration. Qualifying restaurants were then scored and sorted according to their overall food rating.

Based on this methodology, the following restaurants, listed in alphabetical order, comprise the 50 Best Steakhouses in Canada 2016, according to OpenTable diners:Continue Reading

Top Steakhouse Cocktails: Meat Your Match

What better way to celebrate our recent list of the 100 Best Steakhouses in America than with a cocktail made to go with steak. Filets may be the prime attraction at these eateries, but drinks are the gravy of any steakhouse experience. Whether you’re looking for a quick tipple in 30 seconds or less, or you want savor a libation barrel-aged for three months, here are the top steakhouse cocktails that are a cut above.

Goldenrye at Jimmy’s An American Restaurant & Bar, Aspen, Colorado
Jimmy’s is all about sourcing local produce in the heart of Aspen, and Colorado’s rich valleys produce just the right potatoes and grains for vodkas and whiskies, too. Liquor from Woody Creek Distillers — just 20 miles from the restaurant — comes straight from the Centennial State’s bounty, including the favorite of bartender Chris Kelner: the 2- to 3-year aged rye. He puts a twist — literally — on the traditional Gold Rush, blending whiskey and lemon for the Goldenrye, adding ginger liqueur for spicy-sweet notes and a dry sherry finish. Make a reservation at Jimmy’s An American Restaurant & Bar.

jimmys-goldenrye-cocktail-curet-photography-77

Meat and Potatoes Martini at Lawry’s the Prime Rib, Chicago, Illinois
A meal in and of itself and a perfect homage to Chicago’s meatpacking heritage, Lawry’s Meat and Potatoes Martini even makes the spirit meta with potato vodka. Their signature cocktail includes two colossal olives stuffed with prime rib and horseradish—the perfect meaty pairing for the other menu staple of the “spinning salad,” served tableside with all entrees. It’s fun to kick a few back and laugh as bowls are set in buckets of ice and twirled like Oksana Baiul. Make a reservation at Lawry’s the Prime Rib.

lawrys-meat-potato-overhead

The Swanson at Steak & Whisky, Hermosa Beach, California
It’s not too hard to decipher just what’s served up at Steak & Whisky, but one of the biggest hits riffs on the beloved Parks and Rec character (and ultimate bacon lover) Ron Swanson. Steak & Whisky’s version of The Swanson incorporates its namesake libation and adds barrel-smoked maple syrup and bitters. Served up on the side is a meaty garnish from the steak and charcuterie board — a beverage truly fit for any plaid-loving, woodworking man’s man. Make a reservation at Steak & Whisky.

steak-whisky-swanson-cocktail

Vida de Playa at BOA Steakhouse-Sunset, Los Angeles, California
Bar manager Josh Renfree doesn’t compromise quality for speed at BOA, where his diverse list of 15 steakhouse-friendly cocktails can all be assembled in 30 seconds or less. South American-born bartender Pancho Lam lends a hand — and some inspiration — with his Vida de Playa, a playful Peruvian twist on a piña colada incorporating pisco and mango coconut puree. The sour is homemade, as are the natural coconut, mango, and citrus purees, pairing up with menu hits like goat cheese baklava, Thai chili wings, charred tuna tartare, and chilled jumbo saffron prawns. Make a reservation at BOA Steakhouse-Sunset.

boa-vida-de-playaContinue Reading

Paul Freedman on ‘Ten Restaurants That Changed America’ + the Future of Dining

freedman-book

Professor Paul Freedman specializes in medieval social history, the history of Catalonia, comparative studies of the peasantry, trade in luxury products, and the history of cuisine at Yale University. His latest book is Ten Restaurants That Changed America. In the book he discusses which 10 restaurants have been the most influential –not necessarily the best — in terms of influencing not only what Americans eat, but how we eat – -who we share tables with, how our eating habits reflect changes in the country, such as the end of slavery and the African diaspora, the rise of the middle class, the changing role of women in society, and much more.

This isn’t your first book about food, but how did a professor of medieval history come to write about restaurants in America?

I had a fellowship at the New York Public library. I was fascinated by the menu collection. There was one menu from Ladies Ordinary in Astor House in 1843, and it seemed so un-female. The menu had kidneys, calf brains, wild ducks. So that was my original interest. Coincidently I was asked to review books on food.

Why are New York and the San Francisco Bay Area so prominent in your list of the 10 restaurants that changed America?

If I were writing a history of American cuisines, they wouldn’t be so prominent. I would include the South and New England. But trends, including trends on dining, tend to start on the coasts. Both cities are influenced by ports and by France. Some of it is simply fashion.

Any restaurants that almost but didn’t quite make the cut?

Yes, the French Laundry and Alinea. The French Laundry combines farm-to-table and molecular trends. When it comes to runner-up categories it would be hard to ignore Mexican, steakhouses, and barbecue. I would choose sushi for its culinary influence. Sushi was regarded with virtual horror at first, and now it’s become ubiquitous.

Only a few of the 10 restaurants are still open. If you had to choose restaurants open today, which restaurants do you think are changing America?

In categories like fast casual — Shake Shack, or Chipotle, for Asian influences, Benu. With captive audiences (museum attendees)—In Situ or Danny Meyer’s Untitled at the Whitney. Sean Brock of Husk in Charleston and Nashville and Frank Sitt of Highlands Bar & Grill in Birmingham are rediscovering Southern Cuisine.

Your book begins with dining in the mid-1800’s and ends in the 1970’s with Chez Panisse. Which restaurateurs are the standard bearers of the trends of today?

David Chang might incorporate a number of them—Asian influence, informality, celebrity chef. Danny Meyer restaurants are meant to be non-intimidating, eclectic, farm-to-table with high quality ingredients.

What do you make of the trend of restaurants being loud either with music or ambient noise?

If you ask chefs why they do it, they say most of their clients under 40 like it. A too-quiet restaurant doesn’t have buzz. The celebrity chefs—they impose what they want. A genius chef can be slightly obnoxious.

Where are you dining on your book tour? What have been some of the standouts?Continue Reading

Dine Out for Heroes 2016: How Your Support Helps Veterans Like Denise + Mark Beyers

Dine Out for Heroes 2016

Want to help out a hero? Dine Out for Heroes 2016 returns to New York on Friday, November 11th! When you dine at a participating Dine Out for Heroes restaurant on Veterans Day, $1 will be donated to the Bob Woodruff Foundation. The Bob Woodruff Foundation creates long-lasting, positive outcomes for our nation’s wounded, ill, and injured veterans, service members, and their families, by finding, funding, and shaping initiatives that enrich the lives of these heroes.

Dine Out for Heroes 2016

United States Marines Denise and Mark Beyers of Beyers Maple Farm in East Aurora, New York, each served our nation for eight years and are the recipients of one of the Bob Woodruff Foundation’s vital grants that have helped them grow their farm. Mark was injured by an IED in 2005, losing part of one leg and an arm and sustaining life-threatening internal injuries. When he returned to the states, he and Denise purchased their farm — without any intent of farming. It was only when Mark was out hunting on his land and a maple leaf fell into his lap that he took note of the plethora of maple trees growing on the property. Spurred by childhood memories of making syrup with his father and godfather, he and Denise set about tapping the trees and making syrup the next spring in 2010. The process brought the pair such great joy and satisfaction that this hobby would soon become their vocation in 2012. The family, which includes their two young daughters, ages 1 and 5, also raises chickens and turkeys.

Dine Out for Heroes 2016

Expanding their operations enough for the business to be sustainable, however, required outside assistance. Denise learned about the Farmer Veteran Coalition in almost the same manner that Mark discovered all those maple trees — it sort of fell into her lap. She says, “I happened to be reading Mother Earth News magazine and there was an article on weeds I was researching and I came across something that said ‘Farmer Veteran Coalition.’ So, I clicked on their website and learned what they had to offer for veterans. We were just starting off our business, and I thought maybe we could apply for some assistance, like the grants and education that they offer. I did — and we both were approved for grants through them. Newman’s Own Foundation and the Bob Woodruff Foundation donated money to Farmer Veteran Coalition to help veterans like us to offset the cost of getting our business up and running.”

Dine Out for Heroes 2016Continue Reading