A Very Jewish Foodie Rates Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants

It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it. For four years, Toronto-based journalist Jacob Richler’s edited Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants, an annual ranking of fine-dining establishments across the Great White North. To much hoopla, Richler released this year’s list last week.

Even if you’re not Canadian, Richler’s name might ring a bell. He’s the youngest son of legendary Canadian-Jewish author Mordecai Richler and his wife Florence. The onetime restaurant critic of Canada’s National Post and an acclaimed food and wine writer in his own right, Richler told the Forward that his famous father partly inspired his love of fine dining.

“Growing up, my mother cooked very well at home. But my father liked good restaurants,” Richler said. “He relished heading out in the worst of snowsorms to get smoked-meat sandwiches from [iconic Montreal deli] Schwartz’s. When my mother left town, we’d always get in car and do a round of deli. And for posher occasions, he loved to go to [legendary Jewish steakhouse] Moishe’s.” Mordecai Richler was also a huge fan of classic bistro food. “French classic cuisine, he loved,” Noah Richler said.

Canada’s handful of hip nouveau-Jewish eateries didn’t make the 100 Best list this year, Richler said, though Montreal’s Arthur’s Nosh Bar and Rose & Sons Deli in Toronto garnered a few points. Richler enlists 97 critics across the country to vote on their most memorable best dining experiences. Accounting firm KPMG, which co-presents the list, tallies the ballots, a la Oscars.

What does this year’s list say about Canada’s dining culture in 2018?
“It’s incredibly healthy,” he said. “When I was a kid, Toronto was a bit of a laughingstock. Montreal was it for fine dining, but only French food. Now, every city has its own personality. It makes it very interesting to travel around. It’s so multicultural, with chefs comfortable in every culinary background.”

Richler shared his own go-to Toronto eateries with the Forward. Canis, #15 on the list, is “Asian-influenced, contemporary, small plates.” And Dandylion, #12, is “slightly Scandinavian and vegetable-forward.”

Richler unveiled the 2018 list at a tony, invitation-only party last week at Toronto Spanish eatery Labora; it will also hit newsstands as a glossy magazine this month.

A Very Jewish Foodie Rates Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants

Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

A Very Jewish Foodie Rates Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants

Thank you!

This article has been sent!

Close
Close