MasterChef Canada judges Michael Bonacini and Clau­dio Aprile bring their per­fect palates to our test kitchen in search of the best cae­sar salad

In hon­our of the in­fa­mous ides of March we called upon mas­ter chefs Clau­dio Aprile and Michael Bonacini to sam­ple T.O.’s most cre­ative cae­sar sal­ads. Read on to see whose crou­tons take the crown.

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RICH­MOND STA­TION, 1 RICH­MOND ST. W., $18 “I like the cre­ativ­ity. I love it. It’s in­no­va­tive,” says Bonacini of the bras­sica cae­sar with brus­sels sprouts and cab­bage. “The flavour is nice with a zingy dress­ing. I like that a lot,” says Aprile.

Tex-Mex temp­ta­tion

WILD­FIRE STEAK­HOUSE, 3438 YONGE ST., $17 “It’s got a lit­tle bit of TexMex notes to it with sweet pep­pers in there,” says Bonacini. “I don’t like the corn in it,” says Aprile, adding, “The shrimp are charred with soot, so there’s lot of fire on the grill.”

White an­chovy af­fair

L’UNITA, 134 AV­ENUE RD., $14 “I love white an­chovies; that’s a plus. This will up­stage the salad, and I like the use of the hearts of ro­maine. I’d be happy with all the hearts ac­tu­ally,” says Aprile. Bonacini adds, “It’s got fresh flavours; white an­chovy is a nice classy ap­proach.”

Scrump­tious steak

VIA CIBO, 808 YORK MILLS RD., UNIT 14, $13 “The dress­ing is very one di­men­sional,” says Aprile of the steak cae­sar. Bonacini adds, “What I like about the dress­ing is it’s not thin and droopy.”

Ta­ble­side man­ners

THE OC­TAGON, 7529 YONGE ST., $16.50 “It’s a pretty tra­di­tional salad, but it’s got that fresh raw egg at the back that comes through a lit­tle,” says Bonacini of the cae­sar that is usu­ally pre­pared ta­ble­side. Aprile adds, “The let­tuce is bruised.”

Tasty Ti­juana style

LOS COLIBRIS, 220 KING ST. W., $13 “It’s an in­ter­est­ing take on a knife and fork cae­sar,” says Bonacini, adding, “The chorizo is on the mild side.” Aprile says, “I like the lit­tle flavour hits you’re get­ting from the grilled ro­maine.”

Av­o­cado aro­mas

FONDA LOLA, 942 QUEEN ST. W., $11 “The idea be­hind this is in­ter­est­ing, a hand-held cae­sar, but the flavour is very watery,” says Aprile. “I like the look of the ba­con. It looks sweet, it’s been glazed for sure,” adds Bonacini.

Ve­gan remix

LIVE OR­GANIC FOOD BAR, 264 DUPONT ST., $15 “It’s tasty but it doesn’t com­pete with a non-ve­gan cae­sar salad,” says Aprile. “I like the flavours a lot, but it’s not a cae­sar salad, he says. Bonacini adds, “It cer­tainly looks hearty and healthy.”


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