Our best new Toronto Restaurants Countdown: #1, Restaurant 20 Victoria

Restaurant 20 Victoria marks the much-anticipated return of Chris White and Jonathan Nicolaou, who closed their critically acclaimed restaurant Brothers Food & Wine just over a year ago during the pandemic.

“It feels really great to be back,” says White.

Like their erstwhile Yorkville bistro set above Bay Street station, Restaurant 20 Victoria is intimate and deceptively humble.

Stewed Iranian cucumber with beef jus with Japanese milk buns. Photo: @andreeafrench

With 20 seats inside and an outdoor patio that can fit an additional 14 diners, 20 Victoria is down from the original 30-seat count at Brothers with much of the new space taken up by an open kitchen.

Photo: @beliciachung

The menu is a joint effort by White, Nicolaou, and new addition Julie Hyde.

“It’s a total collaboration. We aren’t even using the chef term,” White says. As a result, dishes change spontaneously — sometimes daily, sometimes weekly.

Photo: @beliciachung

Expect the menu to build upon the style of cooking that Brothers was known for, which means a focus on seasonal ingredients and simple yet nuanced flavours (plus plenty of top-notch wine).

Photo: @beliciachung

Diners are encouraged to linger at their tables as long as they feel inclined to stay, and the small-scale, spontaneous nature of the experience makes Restaurant 20 Victoria feel more like being hosted at a dinner party than dining at a restaurant.

Much like Brothers, widespread praise and a small seating capacity mean reservations for 20 Victoria get snapped up quickly.

You’ll need to call to book a table, and it’s best to plan a few weeks — or even a month — ahead of when you’re hoping to dine.

20 Victoria St.

Article exclusive to TRNTO