EnRoute Mag Names Their Top 10 New Restaurants In Canada

Cibo chef Neil Taylor makes fresh pasta on the clock at this past summer's Chefs To The Field culinary competition

Big, hearty congratulations to Sebastien Le Goff and chef Neil Taylor at Cibo Trattoria for scoring the numero uno nod in enRoute magazine’s annual Best New Restaurants issue (see who else placed here)…

As happens every year, I’ve been getting plenty of “WTF?” texts this morning from folks in the industry. I’m a little surprised, too, but not because Cibo is somehow unworthy. It’s a great little restaurant with superb food and service. The only genuinely odd thing about the pick is that the restaurant didn’t open in 2009, as it is supposed to. It says so right in the feature subtitle: “We weigh in on the top openings of 2009”. But Cibo opened in 2008, in the summer. It was on my list (#5) for the best new restaurants of that year. So OK, I get that particular WTF, but chalk the rest up to sour grapes. Get over it. Neil Taylor is a tong wizard, and Sebastien’s new moustache is worth its weight in saffron.

There are 6 comments

  1. Andrew,

    First off, congratulations to Cibo for this well-deserved award. Secondly, Heidi and I sit on the EnRoute advisory committee (under Heidi’s name of course) and the criteria for eligibility, in terms of opening date, spans from July of the previous year to June of the award year (July 08 – June 09). It is done this way to allow the Restaurant Awards Editor, Chris Johns, time to dine around in each major Canadian city and to give him enough lead time to write the article for the November issue.

    Hope this clarifies things.

  2. Thanks Michael. I assumed as much.

    PS. I think the man with the golden staff this year was Chris Nuttal-Smith, not the lovely Chris Johns.

  3. I don’t think that anyone should respond to this with a WTF before eating at Cibo – and understanding the care and attention the team there gives the daily food and wine list.

    As for the pedigree, there are few better training grounds than the River Cafe, which has spawned some great chefs, including Jamie Oliver. Neil carries on this tradition.

    For those interested, I took a clipping from Gourmet Magazine about the River Cafe alumni and posted it, as well as some pics from the recent dinner Cibo and farmstead at UBC farm, which was fantastic: http://seann.posterous.com/

  4. Thanks for the story. Quick clarification, tho: it’s pretty clear in the magazine, the criteria was that a restaurant opened between July 2008 and July 2009. If we were looking for places that opened in 2009 proper, the issue would come out next May, and not now.

  5. Doh. Should have read the comments before clarifying what had already been clarified. Sorry.

  6. Thanks for the clarification, Chris. I haven’t seen the paper issue yet, only the online version (it led me to think otherwise).