Best New Toronto Restaurants 2016

Wowing Toronto with the fresh and modern Figo

This wouldn’t be a best restaurants list without another entrant from Hanif Harji and Charles Khabouth, they of the ever-expanding portfolio of nightclub and restaurant properties. Their latest, coming after the highs of Byblos, Patria and NAO, is Figo, a comparatively unflashy pasta-and-pizza spot, the casual demeanour of which belies great sophistication. The chef in charge is Anna Chen, who was plucked out of Buca Yorkville (my top restaurant of 2015). 


Her thin-crust pizzas, baked in a wood-fired oven and piled with watercress, truffle, Japanese mushrooms, preserved tomatoes and other fancy-pants toppings, are excellent. I also gobbled up her beautifully charred rack of lamb in a pool of puréed artichoke and pine nuts, and her handmade pastas, lightly dressed to show off the noodles. What won me over, and what makes Figo the kind of place I want to return to once a week (preferably for a long Sunday dinner), is a pile of cheese—fluffy clouds of house-made ricotta, drizzled with truffled honey or dotted with halved red grapes and chili oil. Ricotta is typically so bland, but Chen’s, made daily, could be the sustenance of angels—all sweetness and light.

BEST BITE: Handmade bucatini in a wild boar ragoût—the bright, woodsy flavour comes from juniper berries.


Read Mark Pupo’s list of Best New Restaurants 2016 on Toronto Life