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.
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.
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.
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.”
CHEFS CLAUDIO APRILE AND MICHAEL BONACINI