Thursday, July 05, 2012


04 JULY 2012

Four Fredericton restaurants have been recognized for their quality dining experiences in two national publications.

The Blue Door will be listed in Maclean’s magazine as one of the best restaurants in Canada.

Owner Chris Black said he never expected it.

“It was kind of out of the blue. They called during lunch and I half thought it was the magazine calling to try and sell me a subscription during lunch. I’m a little short with salespeople in the middle of lunch, but when they said we were on this list I was happy to take that call,” he said.

Black doesn’t know when the list will be published, but hopes it will be over the summer to catch the attention of tourists.

Three other capital restaurants have made the Where to Eat in Canada guide’s 42nd edition. The guide marked Chez Riz, The Palate and Dimitri’s as the must-eats in the city.

“It’s something that you cannot try to get in. You’re picked and a lot of people read it, so I guess it’s awesome,” said The Palate’s owner and operator, Ken Roberts.

The Palate has operated for more than 10 years at its Queen Street location, a feat not easily done in Fredericton, according to Where to Eat in Canada.

“You have to work hard at it,” Roberts said. “For two years I starved. Banks wouldn’t even look at me. I basically lived there upwards of 60 or 70 hours a week.”

Much of the restaurant’s success comes from knowing its market.

“The biggest thing in Fredericton is consistency and service, and I met a chef, who’s now my business partner, Boris Müller ... and he brought a European sort of flair to it. It’s quality, not quantity. There’s a big demand for that in this city.”

Roberts said the restaurant aims at keeping meals consistent.

“And Dimitris, he rocks at that. He’s been here forever and he hasn’t changed his menu,” Roberts said.

There are certain items on the Palate menu that can’t be removed, Roberts said, because customers may come for that specific dish.

It’s also not Chez Riz’s first time in the guide.

“Six years in a row I am in this book. That’s a very good thing for me. I’m proud of this,” said owner and operator Rizwan-Ul-Haq.

The guide points to Chez Riz’s lamb karahi as the best on the menu.

“It is very good because we get the lamb fresh from the farm and we cook it very well. Our recipe is very good, this recipe is made by me and the lamb is very tender, too,” he said.

The owners of Dimitri’s couldn’t be reached.

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