Best North Shore 2012
May 1, 2012
Silver: La Régalade | Bronze: Zen Japanese Restaurant | Honourable Mentions: Gusto di Quattro & The Observatory
At Fraîche (Gold), Venezuelan-born Jefferson Alvarez works out his culinary chops on a usually conservative audience—and they love it. Credit his thoughtful approach to modernist cooking, using wild and foraged ingredients, game meats, and less-appreciated seafoods like uni and octopus. These days, the spectacular view is almost an afterthought. Boeuf bourguignon, navarin d’agneau en cocotte, homey pâtés (accompanied by a jar of cornichons)—French bistro La Régalade (Silver) continues to live up to its own boisterous buzz. At Bronze-cast Zen, the perennial outsider among the North Shore’s League of Nations winners, sushi chefs frame sustainable West Coast ingredients in poetic terms. Original raw fish rolls are elegant, while sashimi tastes pure and elemental. Honourable Mentions to seaside perch Gusto di Quattro (site of the Corsi family’s debut) and Grouse’s mountaintop Observatory.