With excitement in our eyes and our empty bellies ready, the Empire team ventured into Evergreen Brickworks for Toronto Life’s annual celebration of the city’s best places to eat. Passing clusters of eager food lovers we were met with the sounds of the DJ almost as fast as the aroma of the signature dishes being prepared by chefs from 23 of Toronto’s most buzz worthy kitchens.
After a night of delicious eats, these are our top picks from the dishes we sampled at Toronto Life’s Best Restaurants 2018.
Photo by Ryan Emberley Toronto Life
Once the trout was gently placed on a plate of dragon fruit and light sauce topped with rosemary, a burst of smokey flavour hit your tastebuds. The portion was enough to savour for a few moments before all traces were gone from the plate.
The Estia station was situated outside under the twinkle lights hanging from the Brickworks wood frame. It was the perfect set up for an amazing taste of the Mediterranean Sea. The perfectly grilled octopus was zesty and the nduja broke apart in your mouth. We enjoyed it so much that reservations have been made for tonight to relive this amazing experience.
We’ve never enjoyed a slice of pepperoni pizza as much as we did sitting outside in front of a fiery hot Napoleon oven. The dough was crunchy, the cheese thin and the pepperoni salty. It doesn’t get better than this.
Even the biggest carnivore will love this vegan take on a Reuben Sandwich. This surprisingly thinly shaved seitan ham inside soft fluffy sourdough bread kept me peaking inside to make sure this was in fact meatless. It gave a light finish with a tang of horseradish and mustard.
Not a fan of the undercooked, but also a true believer of trying new things, the Deer Tartare was tasty and mixed nicely with crunchy shallots, pared with a potato chip and topped with a caper berry.
If you’re adventurous and enjoy exotic dishes, then this one is on your list. Due to the uniqueness of the Seal Tartare, chef Joseph Shawana makes sure to speak with everyone who was ready to try his indigenous creation by explaining what they will be eating and a little history of the indigenous culture. The Seal Tartare was dark, sticky and tasted like pure iron which laid on brioche toast and arugula with large fish eggs that burst in your mouth. Chef Joseph kept eyes on all who walked away with his creation and watched reactions of most peoples first time trying seal.