You can expect lineups out the door (and down the street) in Vancouver this week, following today's roll out of winners that includes Vancouver restaurants Pidgin and The Acorn, as well as the People's Choice Award for local veteran restaurateur Vikram Vij's food truck, Vij's Railway Express.
The news that it made the number 5 spot will no doubt delight the team behind Pidgin, who were plagued by the wrong kind of publicity on opening, targeted by Downtown Eastside activists who resented the presence of an upscale eatery in its impoverished neighbourhood.
Chef Makoto Ono, originally from Winnipeg, presides over a beautiful room designed by Craig Stanghetta, and fuses the best of East and West, drawing on his time spent in Beijing and Hong Kong.
"Pidgin is honoured to be included with so many great restaurants across the country," owner Brandon Grossutti said in statement to The Huffington Post B.C. "We are especially thankful to our entire crew and their families who have worked tirelessly and sacrificed so much over the course of 2013 to build one of the best restaurants in Canada."
Main Street's swish vegetarian spot The Acorn rolls up in ninth place, earning its position despite a meatless menu with a raw food bent. A smart cocktail programme, a menu that exemplifies the seasons without being preachy, and its late night hours make this already popular restaurant a destination room in the city. A no reservations policy means you will have to wait. After today, probably a lot longer.
Lineups are nothing new to fans of Vij's Railway Express, a food truck run by the owner of Vancouver favourites Vij's and Rangoli, Vikram Vij. Following a savvy social media campaign and a Bollywood flashmob, no less, the vibrant mobile restaurant took home EnRoute's first ever People's Choice Award.
See the whole top 10 list, with enRoute's comments under the slideshow:
LOOK —Canada's 10 best new restaurants in Canada, according to enRoute:
1) Bar Isabel, Toronto: “looks, feels and tastes vaguely Castilian but does far more than ape a menu straight out of Madrid.”
2) Shoto, Toronto: “A storybook of a tasting menu, with all the typical annoying bits – the repetition of ingredients, the showy caprice, the monotonous pacing – smartly edited out.”
3) Fogo Island Inn, Joe Batt’s Arm, Nfld. and Labrador: “There’s a terrific survivalist spirit bursting out of Chef McDonald’s kitchen, where most everything is made from scratch.”
4) Supply and Demand, Ottawa: “ It’s not supposed to be this easy for a first-timer ... you notice all the little things that rookies Steve and Jennifer Wall are getting so right.”
5) Pidgin, Vancouver: “The cuisine of Winnipeg-born Chef Ono, who ran restaurants in Beijing and Hong Kong, draws from multiple languages.”
6) Carino Japanese Bistro, Calgary: “A Japanese-Italian wine bar that defies logic in the most wonderful ways.”
7) Maison Publique, Montreal: “A mere 250 years after the Treaty of Paris, cooking Anglo food in Montreal is cool
8) Le Bouchon du Pied Bleu, Quebec City: “One of the most convivial, playful, unabashedly fun dining experiences I’ve had anywhere in North America.”
9) The Acorn, Vancouver: “That the food is meatless is almost beside the point unless you’re a foodie vegetarian who’s long hankered for a compromise-free night on the town.”
10) Electric Mud, Toronto: “Electric Mud is a twisted hymn to the American South.”
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