Best North Shore 2013

GOLD: La Regalade

Silver: Fraîche | Bronze: Gusto di Quattro | Honourable Mentions: Blue Eyed Marys, Chef Hung Taiwanese Beef Noodle

A bistro free of cliché, La Régalade (Gold) offers big, rich flavours served in a room that caters equally to regulars, celebrities, and smart first-timers. Chef Alain Rayé dishes judge-approved roast duck, toothsome quenelles, and a spring lamb stew grounded in French technique.

Fraîche (Silver) found fame with its last chef, unusual-protein fan Jefferson Alvarez; judges are relieved to see enthusiasm and service remain in force with new chef Jason Harris (formerly of Oru at the Fairmont Pacific Rim). Bronze to Gusto di Quattro, the most chill of the Quattro rooms, with strong, rich cooking, lovely pastas and seafood dishes-great value all round.

Honourable Mentions to Bowen transplant Blue Eyed Marys and to Chef Hung’s, temple to chewy noodles, deep broths, and a wide range of unexpected salads and tofu dishes.