TORONTO — A Calgary chef has made it onto the top 10 list of Canada's best new restaurants for the third time — but this time he took top spot.
Justin Leboe's Pigeonhole, a wine bar serving creative small plates, took top honours in the 2015 instalment of Canada's Best New Restaurants list as determined by Air Canada's enRoute magazine.
"It's the trifecta for me. This is my third time on the list. I have a third, a second and now first,'' said an "ecstatic'' Leboe, 42, by phone from Calgary.
"The whole thing is three spots in seven years. All in Calgary too, which is a testament to the city.
"The city has grown so much in the last eight years in terms of the food culture. It's pretty impressive to watch.''
Model Milk, of which he is also chef and co-owner, was second in 2012, and the now-shuttered Rush, where he was chef before he left to open Model Milk, placed third on the list in 2009.
Vancouver's AnnaLena, helmed by chef Michael Robbins — who incorporates his own Lego constructions into the otherwise minimalist decor — took this year's people's choice award on eatandvote.com.
Winners will be profiled in the November issue of enRoute magazine and receive their awards Nov. 12 in Toronto.
Pigeonhole describes itself as "one part snack bar, one part wine bar, dash of dive bar."(Photo: Pigeonhole/Facebook)
The top 10 list:
1. Pigeonhole (Calgary)
2. Port City Royal (Saint John, N.B.)
3. Pilgrimme (Galiano Island, B.C.)
4. DaiLo (Toronto)
5. Bar Raval (Toronto)
6. AnnaLena (Vancouver)
7. Adelaide Oyster House (St. John's, N.L.)
8. Yasu (Toronto)
9. Enoteca (Winnipeg)
10. Soif (Gatineau, Que.)
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