Taste Test: Chefs Aprile and Bonacini help us pick Toronto’s most masterful caesar salad


Image: CJ Baek

With the weather warming and the first signs of spring showing themselves, we thought it was time for a little green. So, 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. 

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.”

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.” 

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. 

Tex-Mex temptation 
Wildfire Steakhouse, 3438 Yonge St., $17
“It’s got a little bit of Tex-Mex 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.” 

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.”

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.” 

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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