Vote for Canada’s Best New Restaurant

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 12.39.05 PMAirCanada’s enRoute invites you to choose the 2014 People’s Choice Award for Canada’s Best New Restaurant. Cast your vote and enter for your chance to win a trip to the gala event in November. Food writer Andrew Braithwaite will narrow down the list to his top 10 in the November issue of AirCanada enRoute magazine. Eligible restaurants must have opened between June 2013 and June 2014 to be considered for this year’s list, with intelligence gathered from a panel of the country’s leading food professionals.

The 30 nominees for Canada’s best new restaurants 2014 include:

Ayden Kitchen & Bar

Bar Buca

Black Pig Bistro

The Blacktail Florist

Byblos

The Chase

Cinara

Farmer’s Apprentice

Fat Pasha

Le Serpent

Luckee

Wolf in the Fog

Woodwork

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Save $10 on Taste of Toronto Tickets, July 24-27

Taste400wOpenTable diners are invited to save as they taste extraordinary! Featuring Toronto’s most celebrated chefs and rising stars, foodie entertainment and a boutique food & drink market, Taste of Toronto is the 1st annual celebration of everything we love about food.

Taste is considered the world’s greatest restaurant festival. From just one show in London 10 years ago, Taste has rapidly grown to become part of the social season for foodies, restaurant-lovers, and chef groupies in close to 20 different cities around the globe. Wherever it is in the world, Taste represents foodie heaven: stunning food prepared by the city’s greatest restaurants, world famous chefs, superb drink, and outstanding entertainment — set in stunning outdoor surroundings. Continue Reading

July Restaurant Weeks: Summer Savings Ahead!

French RW NYCWhether you’re traveling or keeping things local with a staycation, your summer just got a bit more affordable, thanks to summer restaurant weeks. Here’s what’s coming your way in July. Start booking today to reserve your spot to save, and check back for additional offers in other cities.

* Toronto Summerlicious starts this week. Grab a table for $15, $20 or $25 lunches + $25, $35 or $45 dinners, July 4-20.

* Say ‘Oui!’ to NYC French Restaurant WeekCelebrate the wines of Roussillon and Bastille Day with special lunch and dinner menus at $17.89, $35.78 (includes beverage), and $178.90 (for two or four people including a bottle of wine), July 7-14.

* Let the good times roll during Restaurant Week Baton RougeEnjoy gourmet prix-fixe menus for $15-$35, July 14-19.

* dineLA is only two weeks away. Take advantage of $15, $20 or $25 lunches and $25, $35 or $45 dinners, July 14-27.

* Happy days are here again with University City Dining Days in Philadelphia. Feast on $15, $25, or $35 dinners, July 17-27.

* Queens Feast Charlotte Restaurant Week commences on July 18. Make a reservation for $30 three-course dinners, July 18-27.

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Gather Around the Fire at Shibui Robata in Toronto

Toronto diners seeking authentic Japanese robata cuisine need look no further than Shibui Robata, now open in the city’s downtown neighborhood. Brought to you by the operators of Toronto’s popular Copacabana restaurants, Shibui Robata perfectly captures the techniques and flavors of authentic Japanese robata cooking.

Robata means “around the fireplace” in Japanese and refers to the centuries-old method of cooking over an open fire in the home. This tradition later gave rise to robata restaurants around Japan, at which highly skilled chefs embraced its unique challenges. Now, restaurateur Michael Rudan and chef Masaki Nakayam invite you to experience the rustic elegance that is live-fire robata cuisine at Shibui Robata.

Robata ingredients are simple – fresh fish, beef, lamb, pork, and vegetables. Its tools are few — charcoal, fire, salt, and pepper. Yet, under the talented eyes and hands of a seasoned robata chef, such as chef Nakayama, the end result is magic. Nakayama, who perfected his method at top restaurants in Miami and New York, was drawn to the robata style of cooking by its deceptive level of difficulty. He notes, “The fire is live, and you have to control the heat, the temperatures of the fire. That is very challenging.”

With diners having a front-row seat to the action, does chef Nakayama get nervous cooking for a crowd? “I love that people can see me cook. It’s like a show. I have to make it fun for the customer, and that’s fun for me, too.” Along with just-out-of-the-fire robata dishes, the Shibui menu features sublime starters, such as hamachi ceviche with tart green apple and kiwi, and inventive rolls, like the eel oshi zushi, featuring pressed sushi, avocado, masago, and cream cheese. The next time you dine in Toronto, pull up a seat near the fire at Shibui Robata, where traditional technique meets a decidedly modern presentation.

Shibui Robata is open for lunch Monday-Friday and dinner Monday-Saturday. Book a table!