Master chef Mark McEwan in his kitchen

Toronto’s top chefs pick the best new restaurants: Mark McEwan

Toronto’s dining scene has been a whirlwind of dynamic, diverse and eclectic this year, as evidenced by our curated list of the 12 best new restaurants. We believe in getting the real scoop from insiders, which is why we tapped into the city’s culinary elite, from Michelin stars to celebrity chefs, to bring you their top picks.

Next up on our list is restaurateur and TV personality  Mark McEwan, owner of one of the city’s favourite gourmet grocers McEwan’s and a number of restaurants, including Fabbrica and Bymark.We asked him to share his thoughts on the best new addition to they city’s dining scene. Keep reading to discover his exciting selection.

Chef McEwan’s Pick: Bar Ardo

A table at Bar Ardo

“Ah the thrill of discovering a new dining spot! Bar Ardo has quickly risen to the top of my list. It’s all about the small details there,” McEwan recently told us.  “Chef Roberto’s knack for crafting appetizers that are both inventive and comforting, while the cocktails and ambiance seal the deal. It’s not just a meal, it’s an experience that’s both familiar and excitingly new.”

Bar Ardo


Tucked just moments away from the Michelin-acclaimed Ardo, Bar Ardo emerges as Jacqueline Nicosia and chef Roberto Marotta’s audacious third venture. Combining their Sicilian roots with global inspirations, their Bar Ardo pulsates with an eclectic fusion, housed in an Old World–meets-art deco space adorned with captivating works by Italian painter Sergio Fiorentino. From zesty Spanish paprika to exotic North African seeds, the menu dances with diverse flavours, featuring highlights like the Muffaletta sandwich and the vegan-friendly centriole. Marotta’s ancestral roots shine through in dishes like the cavolfiore, a nod to his grandmother’s cherished recipe from his childhood. Keeping the vibe electric, Bar Ardo offers late night bites without the hefty price tag. Alongside an Italian-heavy wine selection, the restaurant is serving up original spins on classics and a wide selection of zero–per cent drinks. Revamped favourites, like the Penicillin and margarita, pack a punch without the morning fog. As a tribute to their journey, Nicosia and Marotta hope Bar Ardo becomes a part of many cherished stories, much like its sister restaurants. 169 King St. E.

To find out which restaurant Michelin-recongnized chef Anna Chen picked, click here. And for chef Michael Bonacini’s pick, click here. 

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