Today, Air Canada released its highly anticipated longlist for the 2019 iteration of enRoute Magazine’s Best New Restaurants. Previously capped at 30, this year’s longlist highlights the ever-increasing calibre of Canada’s culinary scene.
Based on the recommendations of a diverse new panel of food experts from coast to coast, Air Canada sent one writer on an anonymous, month-long mission to determine who would make up the contenders for the publication’s annual Top 10 list. The contenders were selected based on their ability to deliver exceptional experiences through the quality of their food, their level of service and their commitment to culinary creativity.
“Air Canada has explored the country every year for over 15 years and is committed to uncovering the stories behind culinary innovators and dining destinations, while celebrating the central role they play in our customers’ travel experiences,” says Andy Shibata, managing director, brand, Air Canada. “We want to celebrate the distinguished talent that is the foundation of Canada’s culinary culture, and feature the chefs and restaurateurs who deliver international flavours to Canadians. Their achievements will be honoured and featured online and onboard in our magazine Air Canada enRoute.”
While it may come as no surprise that Toronto and Montreal dominated the list of nominees--accumulating 15 nominations between the two--this year’s list has done an exceptional job of highlighting the diverse offerings of Canada’s food and drink culture across the country.
Despite a notable lack of Atlantic and Maritime inclusions, Canada’s East Coast is represented by Moncton’s Black Rabbit and Caraquet’s Origines, who have both become known for pushing the limits of food and beverage in their eateries through ever-evolving menus and cutting-edge cuisine.
Whitehorse’s Wayfarer Oyster House was the lone Northern nomination, popular for providing an elevated Northern dining experience with locally-sourced Yukon seafood and meats, along with in house-made pasta, and of course, oysters.
Saskatoon’s Hearth was among a handful of Prairie nominees, where co-owners Beth Rogers and Thayne Robstad showcase their love for the province through unpretentious, yet refined creative local cuisine.
Although Victoria and Vancouver laid claim to the majority of Air Canada’s B.C. nominations, Ucluelet’s Pluvio made its way onto the longlist thanks in large part to the dynamic partnership of iconic Canadian chef Warren Barr and Lily Verney-Downey, whose business acumen and savvy creativity have paved the way for Pluvio's quick ascent into a Canadian culinary landmark.