Best Canadian Restaurants for Your Next Business Dinner
Five places to impress a colleague or client from Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2017 writer, Andrew Braithwaite.
For the first time ever, join us in downtown Toronto as we reveal Canada's Best New Restaurants Top 10 live at QRC West on Thursday, October 19th. Meet award-winning chefs, sample their signature dishes and get a head start on booking your dinner reservations. As a special offer for Altitude members, a 15% discount will be made available to the first 100 tickets purchased using the offer code ACTOP10. Click here for more info.
Photo: Luis Valdizon
The Fairmont Pacific Rim’s swish new hotel restaurant serves inventive cooking like wagyu zabuton with celeriac and nettles that’s miles more interesting than “hotel food.” Chef Hector Laguna’s open kitchen overlooks a dining room studded with ferns and fronds that pulses with the energy of overseas travellers sipping cocktails like the Deep Cove (gin, sea buckthorn, algae, driftwood). Four nooks are available for private bookings, including an 18-seat dining room outfitted with full AV equipment and a selection of vinyl (Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours, Prince’s Purple Rain) to spin on the Rega Planar turntable.
1038 Canada Place, Vancouver, 604-695-5500, botanistrestaurant.com
Deane House, Calgary
Photo: Chris Amat
The impresarios behind Calgary’s much-loved River Café opened this second farm-to-table restaurant across the river in Inglewood that shares its sister’s poise and stately grace (and fondness for grilled boar). A restored century-old mansion house offers a multitude of private nooks, including the eight-seat east sunroom, anchored around a stunning wood-branch chandelier, where groups can feast on chef Jamie Harling’s Alberta lamb loin with smoked tomato chutney. On a sunny day, they’ll even seat a long table in the garden where you can dine among the herbs and edible flowers that are also in your ale-vinaigrette-dressed salad.
806 9th Ave. S.E., Calgary, 403-264-0595, deanehouse.com
Grey Gardens, Toronto
Photo: Jenna Marie Wakani
The energy of this smart, stylish room is as crackling as the Twitter feed of inimitable restaurateur Jen Agg, whose Kensington Market wine bar is equal parts romantic and rebellious. Chef Mitch Bates finesses clever small plates such as housemade gigli pasta with paprika bread crumbs and creamy cheddar sauce, a grown-up take on mac ’n’ cheese. A candlelit basement room seats a dozen and looks into the restaurant’s 750-bottle wine cellar, stocked with everything from Czech pinot-zweigelt to a bottle of 1929 Toro Albala that’s a viscous black marriage of sherry and port.
199 Augusta Ave., Toronto, 647-351-1552, greygardens.ca
Chef Matt Carmichael and Jordan Holley’s new temple to power dining, located within heckling distance of Parliament Hill on revitalized Sparks Street, used to be a bank. The art deco room has been lovingly restored with custom leather bench seats, lending your evening out a sense of drama that’s only augmented by the dramatic wing bone jutting out from a sublime chicken Kiev. The old manager’s office is now a 10-seat private dining room, its top open to the buzz echoing from the soaring ceiling – it’s an ideal place to break bread and bolster team morale over $675 magnums of Brunello di Montalcino.
62 Sparks St., Ottawa, 613-233-6262, dineriviera.com
Photo: Dominique Lafond
The owners of Pullman Wine Bar expand on their love of eclectic design and organic grenache gris in this four-doors-down, split-level space on Avenue du Parc. The downstairs level is perfect for a casual lunchtime tête-à-tête, noshing on a shrimp-and-creamed-leek Nordika from the wood-burning pizza oven and scribbling ideas using the charcoal pencils hanging on telephone cords from the ceiling. Chef Frédéric St-Aubin’s upstairs dinner menu, featuring lamb-two-ways with foie gras sauce and Tokyo turnips, is better suited to larger groups and more serious deliberations. Of course, any sort of business chatter should conclude with housemade soft-serve.
3412 Avenue du Parc, Montreal, 514-903-6939, moleskinerestaurant.com
Get your tickets for a sneak peek at Canada’s Best New Restaurants, taking place in Toronto on October 19, 2017. Altitude members can receive a 15% discount by using the code ACTOP10 upon purchase (the first 100 tickets only). Click here to buy your tickets today.