Maclean's magazine, known for its yearly ranking of the best Canadian universities, has come up with a new best-of list, and this time, the magazine is going for the gut.
It has put together a list of the top 50 Canadian restaurants, as well as the best chef and new restaurant in Canada, as selected by Jacob Richler, Maclean's food columnist.
His top pick for Restaurant of the Year: Hawksworth, in the Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Vancouver.
Maclean's points out that several factors other than food play into the picks, including décor, geography, and overall "dining experience." Richler was looking for a mix of "old and new, cheap and pricey, casual and posh."
But that hasn't stopped people from commenting on the final picks anyway, and the opinions are being served up all over the 'net, and not just in the Maclean's comments section.
Most critics have been weighing in on the exclusivity of the list; specifically, many smaller cities and communities are left out. While it's true that every province is represented, Saskatchewan and PEI have only one pick each in the top 50, while Toronto restaurants occupy 20% of the list.
The highest-profile snub comes from celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, who is miffed that such popular restaurants as Montreal's highly-regarded Joe Beef and Au Pied du Cochon were overlooked. In an e-mail circulating online, Bourdain writes that leaving out those two renowned restaurants "is like writing a history of British rock and roll and willfully neglecting to mention either Beatles or Stones."
The Montreal Gazette's food critic, Lesley Chesterman, agreed, Tweeting, "Jacob Richler, you know nothing about Montreal restaurants."
How do you feel about the list? Did any of your favourites make the cut? What's the best restaurant you've come across that you think should be in the top 50?
Anthony Bourdain, by the way, has been in the red chair. He talked about his TV career, healthy eating, the meat industry, drugs and being a dad. He also talks about a moment he calls "the armadillo incident." Take a look...
The BIO: Anthony Bourdain