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NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2011: The Best Restaurants Issue

THE BEST RESTAURANTS ISSUE

Food editor Shawna Wagman’s Top 10 Restaurants List

* The Theme: Ideas on the Plate

* The Premise: Dining has moved into a new era where respect for culinary tradition and home cooking collides with vanguard ideas. This seaon, the best meals are coming out of kitchens where the chefs excel at experimenting while keeping it real

* Bon appétit!

Letter from the Editor

Last year, food editor Shawna Wagman wowed us with a top 10 restaurants list that celebrated smaller, more casual restaurants that served top-notch cuisine. Turns out we weren’t the only ones impressed. Up against the top magazine writers from across the country, Wagman earned a silver medal for that feature last June at the National Magazine Awards.

This year, Wagman’s back with a top 10 feature that pulls no punches even as it recognizes the hard work of local chefs who are adeptly combining a respect for culinary traditions with vanguard ideas. The best meals, she says, are coming out of kitchens where the chefs excel at experimenting while keeping it real. “The restaurants on this year’s list are the ones that are working to bridge the gap — making food based on ideas that are focused less on bragging rights and more on connecting eaters to the pleasures of eating,” Wagman declares. “These are the chefs who are using whatever tricks and tools they choose to bring us back to our senses. And we should expect nothing less.”

So settle down and enjoy Wagman’s beautiful writing (I challenge you not to salivate as you read her descriptions of some of the dishes) and trenchant analysis of the local restaurant scene circa 2011. Then get out there and reward the restaurants that are doing such a brilliant job of making dining out a true pleasure.

Kudos also go out to photographer Photolux Studio’s Christian Lalonde, the man behind the cover shot and the 10 mouth-watering dishes showcased in Wagman’s feature. Up on the latest food photography trends, Lalonde always helps us develop innovative ways to showcase the city’s chefs and their creations. This year, we love how the ingredients of so many of the dishes have become an integral part of the photographs. Bon appétit!

COMING UP: Back by popular demand, the annual Interiors issue hits the newsstands in mid-January with five featured homes that showcase the ingenuity (and impeccable taste) at play in the capital. From a thoughtful modern renovation undertaken step by step over more than a decade to an innovative infill that took mere months to build, we’ve got inspirational ideas for every budget.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Features

Ideas on the Plate
Dining has moved into a new era where respect for culinary tradition and home cooking collides with vanguard ideas. This season, the best meals are coming out of kitchens where the chefs excel at experimenting while keeping it real. Food editor Shawna Wagman’s Top 10 List

COLUMNS

Fighting the Good Fight
On patrol with the A Team, a group of veterans who volunteer at the Canadian War Museum every Tuesday. Their mission? To offer up an insider’s perspective on war — and its costs

Fade to Black
Michael Ostroff and the last days of the documentary

Animal Magnetism
Dean Roussel and Jackie Hansen believe food should be both sustainable and ethical. And so the couple began growing their own vegetables, raising their own chickens, and milking their own goats. Soon, they plan to begin hunting their own meat

THIS CITY

Sharing a laugh with Kevin Newman, the new co-anchor of CTV’s Politics * The politics of cancer campaigns * Analyzing the importance of the Rwanda Initiative * Telling tales of chefs and developers * Launching the shopping season

CITY SELECT

The List
Ten things magician Eric Leclerc can’t live without

Great Space
Chef Michael Carmichael and his wife, Sheila, showcase their spectacular renovation

Super Shopper
What would the editors buy? Editor Sarah Brown, food editor Shawna Wagman, and senior editor Dayanti Karunaratne present their holiday wishlists

Wine Scene
A roundup of tips to enjoy the best the city has to offer this month

Tasting Notes
Wines to watch for at the Ottawa Wine and Food Festival

Restaurants
Back Lane Café’s got buzz * Taste testing some fine fruit preserves from Quebec *  Discovering dark chocolate caramel * Plus our star-rated reviews

November/December Events
A COMPANY OF FOOLS reimagines a Shakespearean classic * RUFUS WAINRIGHT goes solo * Photographer RAMSES MEDINA follows a road crew * The ROCKCLIFFE BOOK FAIR celebrates 50 years * Plus our arts and entertainment listings

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