The best appetizers in Toronto according to a Michelin chef

Is there anything more festive than a room full of finely dressed guests sipping on cocktails and nibbling on finger foods while a playlist of holiday favourites sets the tone? We asked celeb chef Anthony Rose to sample some of the city’s best appetizers and tell us which two (or three) bite-sized treats takes top prize.

Winner: Charmaine Sweets Studio: Mini Chicken Pot Pies

“This is very delicate and nice and warm. The pastry is spectacular, and visually it looks nice. I like the addition of the egg wash. These taste homemade, and you can really tell that they were made with care.” 115 Vanderhoof Ave.,$4 each

Runner up: Tiny Market Co. Basil Pesto Knots

“These are gorgeousand buttery. They look great, and the layer of flavour is good. They’re nice and green, which is cool. I would like to see a bit more pesto. I love the way they taste: there’s a lot of basil, buttery goodness.” 938 Bathurst St., $2.80 each

Pisces Gourmet Seafood: Crab Cakes

“These crab cakes look perfect. I love crab cakes and these ones are nice and big. When you take a bite you can really taste a lot of crab and there’s so much of it.” 1097 Yonge St., $7.99/lb

McEwan Fine Foods: Truffle Mushroom Arancini

“I can really taste the truffle oil and mush- rooms. It’s pretty good. I don’t love the addition of the truffle oil, but it’s well made. I would eat more of this, but it would be nice if they were a bit smaller.” 38 Karl Fraser Rd., $11 (for two)

Pusateri’s Fine Foods: Beef Samosas

“It’s good, but I want it to be stuffed just a little bit more! I like when my beef samosa is filled with a lot of potatoes and peas. It’s nice and flavourful though and the pastry is golden and flaky.” 57 Yorkville Ave., $2.49 each

Center Street Deli’s Mini Potato Latkes

“It’s not bad. It’s got a nice texture, but it doesn’t really taste like potato. I think they taste pretty good and I like that they’re simple. They’ve got a nice scoop of filling, and they’re deep fried.” 1136 Centre St., $11.25 (12 pieces)

Thobors’ Feuilleté Saucisse (Sausage Rolls)

“Gorgeous! I want to love this. It’s like a hotdog in a blanket but sexy and fancy. There’s a lot of pastry — a little too much for my liking. The hotdog’s nice and smoky, but the pastry is mediocre.” 627 Mount Pleasant Rd., $6.80 each

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