Best Canadian Restaurants for Your Next Business Dinner

Writer and Altitude member Andrew Braithwaite ate his way across the country for the Air Canada enRoute Canada’s Best New Restaurants list. Here are his five choices for power dining, perfect for impressing a colleague or client.

By Andrew Braithwaite

Bauhaus, Vancouver

Photo : Sydney Low

Chef Stefan Hartmann left his Michelin-starred restaurant in Berlin to helm this Gastown temple of modern German gastronomy (think veal strip loin with shallots and red wine). The service and decor are star-level, from the sommelier’s antique rolling cart of rare wines to the Marcel Breuer-inspired leather chairs. Bypass the awkward “What should we order?” moment by opting for chef Hartmann’s six-course tasting menu.

The Nash, Calgary

Photo: John Gaucher

In Inglewood’s smartly renovated National Hotel building, Michael Noble polishes up Calgary’s meat-and-potatoes cuisine. The staff is impeccably trained, and the wine list is stocked with big California pinots and cabs to pair with grilled rib-eye and cauliflower. A tucked-away Harvest Table seats 12 for intimate discussions, while 10-person community tables offer front-row views of the moving-and-shaking open kitchen.

Buca Yorkville, Toronto

Photo: Rick O’Brien

Seafood is the focus at Rob Gentile’s third outpost of Buca, the chef’s mini-empire of Italian decadence. The marble-and-concrete room buzzes with a well-dressed clientele that swoons over soppressata and anchovy pizza – have fun cutting into it with Singer shears. A glass of vermentino, paired with the crudo misto raw seafood platter that serves four, is a soothing lead-in to your sales pitch.

North & Navy, Ottawa

Photo: Chris Schlesak

Northern Italy is the world’s greatest mingling of good living and robust business, and this Venetian-inspired restaurant crafts a convincing work-hard-play-hard refinement. Set in an old house on Nepean Street (formerly home to power-dinner destination Beckta), this new spot from chef Adam Vettorel is the ideal locale to sip a Negroni and hammer out legislation over cicchetti bar snacks like a cocktail tomato stuffed with blue cheese.

Jatoba, Montreal

Photo : Patricia Brochu

Located in the heart of downtown on bustling Phillips Square, Jatoba is a stunner of a room, accented with brick, brass and marble. The Japan-meets-South-America menu dreamt up by executive chef Antonio Park is full of original conversation starters like eggplant dumplings with unagi glaze. As night falls, the dining room transforms into a swish lounge, perfect for showing off Montreal’s chic edge to out-of-towners.