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September 13, 2012
MacLean's Names Canada's Top 50 in 1st Annual Restaurant Issue

Last April McLean's took testy note of the fact that Canadian restaurants had been entirely snubbed by San Pellegrino's "World's 50 Best Restaurants" awards.

Perhaps to rectify that oversight, or maybe just because selling magazines with chefs on the cover is easier than shooting doughnuts in a barrel, the weekly current affairs magazine will be devoting its entire October 1 issue to crowning Canada's top 50. According to the press department, that's 132 pages of reviews, recipes and lush photography, all celebrating our country's best places to unfurl a napkin.

In the same manner as EnRoute magazine's annual hot ticket, their "Best New Restaurants" issue (which hits the newsstands at approximately the same time), McLean's entrusted the task to its regular food columnist, Jacob Richler, who then enlisted over 50 local food critics across the country as consultants for the summer long project.

Considering that their goal was to create a comprehensive but highly selective catalogue of the best eating places in all price ranges, how many BC restaurants made the grade? Well, just from the cover alone we know that 12 spots went to Ontario, but other than that we may have to wait for the local judge(s) to spill the beans on Sept 30th. The only information being revealed at this time are the recipients of the top three awards:

Best Restaurant in Canada for 2012: Hawksworth at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia (Vancouver)
Chef of the Year: Normand Laprise of Toqué (Montreal)
Best New Restaurant of the Year: The Grove (Toronto)

That would seem democratic, and there should be no lack of enthusiasm from public relations types, but are Canadian diners now sated with Best Restaurants lists? We shall see.

At any rate, let's hope the recently departed Ensemble wasn't named one of our national treasures. That would be salting the dish with irony.

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