Top 5 New Openings of 2018 in Halton

Here are the 5 hottest restaurants in Halton from Jan. 1 to July 1 based on the amount of organic page views and searches these restaurants received on inhalton.com.

5. Ricarda’s

Oakville

There’s a bicycle by the entrance in downtown Oakville and an interior you’ll love. Plus, there’s jazz with Sunday brunch. A popular Toronto-based Mediterranean bakery, cafe, and restaurant is now at 219 Lakeshore Rd. E. Ricarda’s offers up everything from flatbreads (we love the Orbetello version, featuring prosciutto, figs, gorgonzola, walnuts, and brussels sprouts) to the aforementioned weekend feast, plus dinner and cocktails. There are plenty of vegetarian options, including custom salads. The Quinoa and Spinach burger is a hit, featuring balsamic-glazed portobello mushrooms, pepper jam, and smoked cheese (there’s also feta in the burger). It’s served with a green field tabbouleh salad or shoestring fries which are downright addictive. Carnivores will love the Lamb Burger with scamorza cheese, tomato aioli, caramelized onions, romaine, and some absolutely perfect shoestring fries. The restaurant’s Toronto location is on Peter St., right in the entertainment district and boasts a substantial food menu. It’s best known for its upscale-yet-unpretentious vibe and vast array of eats such as quiche, flatbread, pizza, and wine. The new Oakville menu is curated and early best-sellers include the Carnaroli Risotto with black truffle oil, wild mushrooms, aged balsamic glaze, and hibiscus sea salt flakes (I will legit try just about anything with hibiscus). With its airy, brass-heavy interior and great service, it will no doubt satisfy locals who can never have enough fantastic Mediterranean eats.


Milton

The popular Streetsville Neapolitan wood oven pizza restaurant that’s known for its rustic-chic interior, homemade southern Italian dishes and exclusive Italian wine selection, officially opened its doors in Halton at 22 Ontario St. S., across from the Milton Mall, in a former Re/Max realty office. Finally. It’s an ideal place to break all of your new year’s resolutions. With authentic Neapolitan wood oven pizza, the menu focuses on authentic Southern Italian cuisine. A variety of legit Napoletana pizzas include the Margherita Pizza, topped with San Marzano sauce, mozzarella fiore di latte, fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil. You’ll also find Romano pizza and homemade pastas, all made in-house. The Maccheroni alla Carbonara pasta dish includes pancetta, egg yolks, pecorino romano, and black pepper. The mozzarella di bufala, and parmigiano-reggiano cheeses are some of the ingredients they use imported directly from Italy. Goodfellas boasts an extensive Italian wine selection which pairs beautifully with great eats.


3. Boon Burger Cafe

Oakville

The good folks at Boon Burger prove you don’t necessarily need meat to create a phenomenally satisfying meal. Their Cowboy burger is the topseller in Burlington and boy, it’s massive. Made from scratch, burgers are handmade, grilled, baked, and served on a whole wheat bun. The black bean patty comes with BBQsauce, “bacun,” lettuce, tomato, and it’s slathered in Bermuda sauce (which really should be called Vegan Big Mac sauce because it tastes gluttonous and McDonald’s has officially been replaced for all cheat meals going forward). This Canadian chain, or “world’s first vegan burger cafe,” has mastered selling plant-based junk food for the masses. Hot sauce and other (less important) condiments are already on the table, surrounded by a massive roll of brown paper towels. The environment is quirky and full of farm animals. Very friendly staff wear black T-shirts reading ‘boonivore’ on the back. After one bite of the Cowboy, I want one, along with everything on their menu. P.S. Another must-have? The oh-so-trendy Pulled Jackfruit Poutine — fries are baked, topped with yams and sprinked with sesame seeds.


2. West End Social

Oakville

This downtown Bronte spot means Oakville’s nightlife is slightly more legit. A new bar/restaurant has made its debut. West End Social is in the former Coach & Four location near the corner of Bronte Rd. and Lakeshore Rd. W. The legendary pub closed last October. Catch Hospitality Group - which owns many of Oakville’s top restos, including Cucci, Plank, Tavolo, and the Firehall - has taken over the location at 2432 Lakeshore Rd. W. The space was completely gutted. West End Social is being billed as a piano bar — this means there’s live music plus bites and cocktails. Aesthetics are important, so let’s talk looks: the lounge features a 25-foot bar, custom banquette seating, and gorgeous lighting. It’ll be open until 2 a.m., unlike most Oakville spots. In terms of tunes, live piano will be featured Thursday through Saturday with DJ’s spinning late into the night. As for bites, small, shareable plates are being served up. And while the resto has been undergoing its makeover, it’s been getting a lot of buzz locally. A visit here is a perfect way to simultaneously get your vitamin C-infused bevvies and shorten your Uber ride home.

Photo courtesy of West End Social


1. Industria Pizzeria & Bar

Burlington

Three words, Burlington peeps: all-dressed pizza. The city now has a slice of la belle province with a chic new restaurant and bar that’s large, airy and fun. Ottawa already has one at Lansdowne Park. But this is the first location outside of the Hwy. 417 corridor - formidably penetrating the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) market - and that’s something worth bragging about, no? Industria Pizzeria & Bar, also known as Industria Brasserie Italienne, is in the former Fraticelli’s location. The menu starts with small bites, or sfizi, such as the Salmon Tartare Bomb and Grilled Lamb Chops. Salmon arrives with green onion, rice krispies, sesame seeds, and coriander aioli. Then there’s the most popular dish: Gnocchi Poutine, which arrives with a sweet demi-glace. Pizza, naturally, is served up with a pair of scissors, just like Nonna would’ve wanted. There’s a separate section on the menu with white pizza (minus the tomato sauce) — the Industria Pizza comes with beef, yellow cheddar, iceberg lettuce, onions, pickles, Industria sauce, and sesame seeds. We went with All-Dressed because, MONTREAL (if you’re unfamiliar, it’s typically got pepperoni, mushrooms and green peppers … Industria’s comes with red peppers, though). For carnvivores, there’s a 100 per cent Beef & Capicollo burger, ribs, and steak. Those in search of libations can find themselves at the bottom of a vino list offering up everything from chianti to an Australian shiraz. The interior is what you’d expect from Montreal: super-stylish and, well, industrial. Overall, the atmosphere is casual, with chic lighting fixtures and friendly service. There’s also a gelato bar with flavours you’re accustomed to (chocolate, lemon, pistachio). We even spotted a vegan option! Desserts are made in-house and gelato flavours change daily. We can’t wait to return for a drink on the patio — keep in mind, they don’t take reservations so expect a lineup on weekends.

Top 5

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