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enRoute Best New Restaurants


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The enRoute Magazine awards went down tonight, and boy is my liver ever swell. It was quite the bash, with just about every food writer and restaurant PR type showing up to get the lowdown and to mingle with industry lions, magazine editors and not a few publishers, too. As I alluded to the other night, the invite sent out last week had given the No.1 away, so there were only 9 surprises left.

"This year’s Top 10 finalists and enRoute’s choice for Canada’s Best New Restaurant 2006 will be announced at an event and press conference on Thursday, October 26, 2006, at 5 pm at 1661 Granville Street (under the Granville Street bridge) in Vancouver, BC."

Hmm. How very quasi-vague. 1661 Granville St…under the bridge. Ah, yes. Nu. It was nice to see the room full once again.

So, who else won?

1. Nu {Vancouver, BC}

2. Capo (Calgary, AB)

3. Dayboat (Hunter River, PEI)

4. Cava (Toronto, ONT)

5. Rare (Vancouver, BC)

6. Pintxo (Montreal, QUE)

7. Harvest (Picton, ONT)

8. Treadwell (Port Dalhousie, ONT)

9. Joe Beef (Montreal, QUE)

10. Saint Germain (Calgary, AB)

The issue with Chris John’s write-ups should be available, cruising at 11,000 feet, sometime next week, at which point we should expect to see it make an appearance online as well. Also check out Vancouver’s own Chris Stearns’ article on page 96. In Charlie’s Angels: You need divine patience to take the heat in Trotter’s famous restaurant, Stearns gives his very well written take on four days at Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago. Page 61 has Where to Eat Next: 25 new Canadian restaurants that are changing the way we’ll dine in 2007 and beyond. BC restaurants that make the cut include White Goose Bistro, Century, Mistral, and Senova.

Edited by Andrew Morrison (log)

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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Does anyone know what the criteria was for this? 'cause I really have to question Senova getting an hon. mention. Senova? Last time I was there I had bad food and terrible service. The menu is confused with a mix of badly done peasant food and con-fusion French / Spanish / Portuguese. They chose the wrong location for the wrong restaurant and I can't imagine that the local yummy mummy's and frat dads are supporting it and those who might, drive all that way to the west side for what?

Oh right, PR…which come to think of it is the same person who does NU and Century - Great job! All three restaurants that are empty day after day while getting great press - Well I suppose they will both get a few people in now but you can only survive so long on people dining at your place just once. If I were them I would rather be a restaurant that never gets reviewed and is always full!

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There's been an almost testy little conversation about the awards methodology in the thread following the same story as linked above.

BTW, the person who does the PR for Century doesn't do the PR for Nu.

Edited by Andrew Morrison (log)

Andrew Morrison

Food Columnist | The Westender

Editor & Publisher | Scout Magazine

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I think we need to look at the larger issue here, as in why is an in-flight magazine our source for restaurant rankings? As I've noted elsewhere, it's not even the most important document in my seat's magazine holder. It's kinda like waiting to see who Ashton Kutcher endorses before choosing a presidential candidate.

Jason

Editor

EatVancouver.net

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I think we need to look at the larger issue here, as in why is an in-flight magazine our source for restaurant rankings?  As I've noted elsewhere, it's not even the most important document in my seat's magazine holder.  It's kinda like waiting to see who Ashton Kutcher endorses before choosing a presidential candidate.

People on airplanes are mostly tourists and business travellers who are going to eat in restaurants when they land.

Cheers,

Anne

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I think we need to look at the larger issue here, as in why is an in-flight magazine our source for restaurant rankings?  As I've noted elsewhere, it's not even the most important document in my seat's magazine holder.  It's kinda like waiting to see who Ashton Kutcher endorses before choosing a presidential candidate.

I actually have a copy of a previous Air Canada Food issue, and look forward to reading the latest. The main article in that issue (2005) was written by Chris Johns, and I found it very informative, and entertaining. Have you read the issue. Have you read the issue.

We do not all look to Air Canada to rank our restaurants for us, but to compare some fine new restaurants, and let travellers know where they could try some hardworking, and brave restauranteurs new project is not all that bad.

Their are so many new websites set up by so many Internet publishers, like yours, out there that presume to inform us on restaurants, and many other subjects. Why would we want to look to your website when it is not even the most important website in my favorite list. Because we can. So do not shoot the messenger.

I think your larger issue is actually quite small.

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I think we need to look at the larger issue here, as in why is an in-flight magazine our source for restaurant rankings?  As I've noted elsewhere, it's not even the most important document in my seat's magazine holder.  It's kinda like waiting to see who Ashton Kutcher endorses before choosing a presidential candidate.

Why the hell do we let French tire manufacturers rate restaurants? Or Automotive clubs such as AAA? Who is qualified to rank restaurants? The food writer for the Globe and Mail? Anyone who has the ability to create a blog? I don't think your "larger issue" is an issue.

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I think the fun thing about the Enroute listing is that it attempts to rank restaurants across the country. In its way - the rankings makes restaurants in in other parts of Canada - especially Quebec, seem closer and more accessible. The list makes me excited about what is going on in Canada Is there another publication that lists out restaurants across the country?

Knowledge about what's going between various regional food centres in the US is common - why not Canada?

You may argue the merits of the restaurants and the various city rankings. But at least there is dialogue. It is good to get out of our little pond once in a while. Congratulations to those who were named. I look forward to seeing some of newer places listed next year (ie: Salt).

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It's kinda like waiting to see who Ashton Kutcher endorses before choosing a presidential candidate.

Is Ashton even old enough to vote? :laugh:

Seriously Jason, in the end it's just opinion, regardless of who's doing the review. Why should we listen to Maw, Gill, Steingarten or you for that matter? Find someone who has similar tastes as you, and then make up your own mind.

About now you'll probably bring up the credibility and credentials argument (I'm guessing that's where you were going with the Kutcher remark). Again ... if my Aunt Shirley consistently directs me to great restaurants, I'm going to pay attention, regardless of the fact she's a homemaker and not an experienced food critic.

As far as En Route goes, I think barolo has it right. It's a perfect media for food writing, and one I would turn to as a reference (amongst others, including eG) for direction were I travelling to points East.

A.

Edited by Daddy-A (log)
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Here's Mia Stainsby's article on the enRoute awards: Vancouver restaurant best in Canada, Air Canada in-flight magazine declares .

It was a combination of factors," he says of Nu's win. "Not only is the food exceptional, the room is gorgeous and contemporary. I like the way you can pick and choose from the menu and create your own meal. The service is top-notch. The wine list is sensible and a little idiosyncratic and, in that sense, fun. The restaurant meets our criteria for being the kind of place that will have a lasting impact on the Canadian food scene."

EnRoute is full of articles about travel, food and drink; I don't find the idea of enRoute doing dining awards odd at all.

The company that produces enRoute for Air Canada is Spafax.

Spafax creates entertainment and communication experiences for customers and travellers both onboard and on the ground, specialising in inflight entertainment, revenue generation, publishing and technical solutions.

I think Canucklehead makes a good point - where else do you see Canadian restaurants compared? I'm going to Montreal in November and I'm looking forward to reading this edition of enRoute.

Cheers,

Anne

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It's nice to see some positive responses regarding the enRoute thing. I wasn't understanding where all the anger was coming from (specifically in the Montreal forum), seeing as most of the people who responded hadn't even seen this year's issue yet. I guess I don't see how trying to inform visitors on what's new and tasty in Canada is a bad thing.

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There's nothing wrong with the list. As Arne says, find a reviewer with similar taste to yours and then make up your own mind.

For the restaurants, it's always nice to be recognized - and congratulations to them.

My response is the same as always feel sorry for ourselves people in the middle of the country that nobody else seems to ever notice and we obviously have no good restaurants here so thanks for reminding us of it kind of response. :laugh: I don't mean to take anything away from the winners.

Please ignore any bitterness. We need it here to survive the winters.

Note that I've changed the topic title - no longer just the 2005 awards.

Edited by Pam R (log)
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I think we need to look at the larger issue here, as in why is an in-flight magazine our source for restaurant rankings?  As I've noted elsewhere, it's not even the most important document in my seat's magazine holder.  It's kinda like waiting to see who Ashton Kutcher endorses before choosing a presidential candidate.

I actually have a copy of a previous Air Canada Food issue, and look forward to reading the latest. The main article in that issue (2005) was written by Chris Johns, and I found it very informative, and entertaining. Have you read the issue. Have you read the issue.

We do not all look to Air Canada to rank our restaurants for us, but to compare some fine new restaurants, and let travellers know where they could try some hardworking, and brave restauranteurs new project is not all that bad.

Their are so many new websites set up by so many Internet publishers, like yours, out there that presume to inform us on restaurants, and many other subjects. Why would we want to look to your website when it is not even the most important website in my favorite list. Because we can. So do not shoot the messenger.

I think your larger issue is actually quite small.

I just don't think most people will ever take an in-flight magazine seriously, whether they should or not. They will always be associated with puff-pieces and "top steakhouses in Atlanta" articles, and I don't think that's going to change any time soon. In fact, in the 90s there was a sitcom thats puppose was to mock them. The name is escaping me at the moment.

And my post was mostly tongue-in-cheek, for anyone who didn't catch that.

Jason

Editor

EatVancouver.net

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It is great to see a magazine with the budget to travel across the country and dine incognito. I know that Rare had no idea they had been in, or even when they were in, which makes the award that much more satisfying.

I also think that it is good to have that one writer as the common denominator trying all the restaurants, it seems somehow less likely that he/she would be influenced by personal preferences or regions. It also speaks for what the publication is, a magazine for travelers who want to know where they should dine and what they should try. I travel quite a lot and rely on publications to assist me with dining choices in city's I am unfamiliar with. Sure, I could probably figure out where to eat in Toronto, as their restaurants get covered in our "National" press, but knowing where to go in the Atlantic Provinces and Montreal from one publication is a wonderful tool.

I understand that Chris Johns gets food writers in each city to recommend a short list of new establishments and then he flies in and tries them, which does seem a fair system to use. He must workout a lot as I can't imagine how many meals he has to eat! :blink:

Speaking of National Publications, there was a great one on dining across Canada in the National Post this weekend called Canada’s Best Restaurants. I was delighted to see Brix listed as a top choice in Vancouver, not one of the usual suspects. The piece is written by different writers in each region, BC was covered by Kate Zimmerman. The on-line version has the full list of restaurants across the country. I read it on the weekend but coudn't seem to access it today to link. I would start a new topic on this but it might seem a bit self-serving as Brix is my client. :wink:

Cate Simpson

Les Dames d'Escoffier International

www.ldei.org

www.lesdames.ca

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Speaking of National Publications, there was a great one on dining across Canada in the National Post this weekend called Canada’s Best Restaurants. I was delighted to see Brix listed as a top choice in Vancouver, not one of the usual suspects. The piece is written by different writers in each region, BC was covered by Kate Zimmerman. The on-line version has the full list of restaurants across the country. I read it on the weekend but coudn't seem to access it today to link. I would start a new topic on this but it might seem a bit self-serving as Brix is my client.  :wink:

Here's a link: Canada's Best Restaurants

And especially for you Pam, here's a link to the Manitoba list: Manitoba's best restaurants

Here's how they compiled it:

So we contacted friends and contributors across the country — a few food writers, but mostly smart people with sharp palates — and asked them to prepare capsule reviews of their favourite eateries and to ask their friends to help them fill in any regional gaps.

Cheers,

Anne

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For your reading pleasure a list of every inflight magazine :biggrin:

http://www.itravelnet.com/publications/inf...tmagazines.html

I think we need to look at the larger issue here, as in why is an in-flight magazine our source for restaurant rankings?  As I've noted elsewhere, it's not even the most important document in my seat's magazine holder.  It's kinda like waiting to see who Ashton Kutcher endorses before choosing a presidential candidate.

I actually have a copy of a previous Air Canada Food issue, and look forward to reading the latest. The main article in that issue (2005) was written by Chris Johns, and I found it very informative, and entertaining. Have you read the issue. Have you read the issue.

We do not all look to Air Canada to rank our restaurants for us, but to compare some fine new restaurants, and let travellers know where they could try some hardworking, and brave restauranteurs new project is not all that bad.

Their are so many new websites set up by so many Internet publishers, like yours, out there that presume to inform us on restaurants, and many other subjects. Why would we want to look to your website when it is not even the most important website in my favorite list. Because we can. So do not shoot the messenger.

I think your larger issue is actually quite small.

I just don't think most people will ever take an in-flight magazine seriously, whether they should or not. They will always be associated with puff-pieces and "top steakhouses in Atlanta" articles, and I don't think that's going to change any time soon. In fact, in the 90s there was a sitcom thats puppose was to mock them. The name is escaping me at the moment.

And my post was mostly tongue-in-cheek, for anyone who didn't catch that.

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Because of my dang neck problem I haven't travelled by plane anywhere for over a year, but if I recall correctly, En Route was and is a very reputable magazine in terms of its editorial coverage. I mean specifically that it was not dedicating editorial space to advertising partners, but was rather quite an independent travel/lifestyle mag clearly targeting the more affluent frequent fliers, esp. business people. On that basis alone, plus they were transparent about how and by whom the list was generated - 'cause I hate pay-for-play - I would A) trust the integrity of their restaurant recommendations, and B) enjoy the editorial as an information/entertainment piece.

And congrats to the winners.

Laura Fauman

Vancouver Magazine

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Here's a link: Canada's Best Restaurants

And especially for you Pam, here's a link to the Manitoba list: Manitoba's best restaurants

Does anybody have a hard copy of the article? A fellow Manitoba eG'er and I were wondering who contributed to the Manitoba section a couple of days ago.

The list includes mostly things that have been appearing on lists for years (or decades). I don't think any of them would be on my list.

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