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


The Chase


Farmer’s Apprentice

Fat Pasha

Le Serpent


Wolf in the Fog


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Trending on OpenTable Restaurant Reviews: Uni

The wild-caught uni at The Slanted Door in San Francisco.

Uni, or sea urchin, has typically been a staple on fine sushi menus, but it is fast becoming ubiquitous at restaurants serving all types of cuisines. Its rise in popularity, however, doesn’t mean it is beloved by all. In fact, uni can be downright divisive. Go ahead and ask your friends if they like uni. You’ll likely hear one of the following responses: “Love it!” or “Ugh!” or “Only if it’s fresh.” or “What *is* it?” That sums up much of what we heard when we asked the OpenTable Facebook community their opinions on uni. There are different grades of uni and a sole experience with a lesser grade could make you swear off the stuff forever; however, fresh (as in just-harvested from the sea urchin) uni is highly regarded by chefs and foodies alike and could make even the most cautious of diners into converts. Find out what your fellow OpenTable diners are saying about this rumored aphrodisiac in recent restaurant reviews.

* 15 East Restaurant, New York, New York: “The second course was the grilled gindara (koji sake-marinated black cod in uni sauce),  which was amazing!”

Arami, Chicago, Illinois: ” Don’t miss the uni shooters.”

Bestia, Los Angeles, California: “Outstanding meal. Diver scallops, veal tartare, calamari salad, and uni pasta were all unbelievably delicious. Making another reservation right now.”

* Chef Mavro, Honolulu, Hawaii: “Unbelievably food and wine pairings; appetizer was one of the best ever (basmati rice, raw ahi topped with uni sauce, and uni).”

JoLe, Calistoga, California: “Each dish had the right amount of flare and sauces to offset, complement, and highlight the flavor of the main ingredient. We chose the Kampachi with uni and olive tapenade, snapper with chilled mussels, the sweetbreads, and some veggies to share. All terrific.”

Kata Robata, Houston, Texas: “I would definitely come back for the live uni, ramen, and pork belly bun.”

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Tweet of the Week: Making Sure You Don’t Miss Out When You’re on Vacation

Going on vacations are super-fun. Planning them can be a little bit less fun! Sure, there’s happy anticipation, but there are also a lot of logistics. We’re glad we can help diners like you — and @MissMel_Mac — when you’re plotting your time away, helping to make sure your restaurant reservations are all in order. Happy travels, Melanie!


Top Chef Texas Episode 14: Chef Ed ‘Blade Runner’ Hardy Goes Batty

"Sarah, we're not sure how we feel about your soup yet, but we all agree that your hat is terrible."

I’m wishing some of the chefs were replicants of former competitors, but thanks to Blade Runners like Chef Ed Hardy, they’ve all been terminated. I’m dressing up like Pris as we tackle the latest episode of Top Chef: Texas with Ed Hardy of Red Rooster Harlem.

First off, I am really not over Ed’s departure. Ugh. What a loss. He definitely should’ve been in the final four. :(

The light that burns twice as bright burns for half as long — and Ed’s burned so very, very brightly. He was by far the most quotable chef and easily the most fun. What can I say? Once you’ve experienced an “Ed” you just keep wanting more….

Except, of course, in your case, Ed. The gondola challenge is really…dumb. It’s way too stunty. This season is wearing thinner than Harrison Ford’s hair.

Would you say it’s on thin ice?  I agree completely. What if one of the contestants really had motion sickness? What then? I’m kind of a ski lift geek though. I think the peak-to-peak gondola is kinda cool.

Beverly cooks furiously, hoping that Rutger Hauer doesn't make a surprise appearance.

Well, I’m also terrified of heights, so I wouldn’t do too well on such a gondola. You should see me on the Roosevelt Island tram. *Shudder* Although, that fear is actually borne out of watching Nighthawks (a movie that also featured a malevolent Rutger Hauer,by the by) as a child. Anyway, I actually thought Bev’s strategy was good. Do something cold because nothing is going to stay hot atop Whistler!

I guess it wasn’t bad; she came in second. But, I have to complain a bit about shifting judges’ standards. Bev’s salmon tartar with horseradish and fried capers is like a tired replicant that should be taken out and terminated for being lame. So, Grayson gets picked on for chicken salad, but no negative points awarded here? Consistency is important, in cooking and judging.

Can we talk about the guest judges? All the amazing chefs in Vancouver — and they are trotting out some tired old Olympians? WHAT?

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