Saturday night I had one of the best dinners that I have eaten in a very long time. Perhaps it was our seats (an open window allowed us to view the kitchen) or the extremely knowledgable servers (the explained each dish in detail when dropping it off) or the company I was with (good conversation is never a bad thing) but it was in a word-superb!
Richmond Station, is being toted as the best new restaurant in Toronto and luckily we managed to get early reservations on a Saturday night before heading to see Metric at the Air Canada Centre. The decor is modelled after a subways station, with white subway tiles lining the walls and old black and white prints on the walls that were taken from the Toronto City’s archives. There are four dining areas-a tavern style bar on the main floor with a bar and long high tables, a dining room upstairs, a chef’s table that overlooks the open window to the kitchen, and a pantry area for private parties-complete with a wall of house cured meats. The restaurant is the brain-child of Carl Heinrich and Ryan Donovan, formally of Marben. Their take on honest, good food is refreshing. Their food is not trying too hard, it is simple and the flavours are mouthwatering. They purchase whole animals and use every part of it from mains to cured meats. It is a farm-to-table restaurant that uses the best ingredients possible-a style of eating that is very important to me.
After sitting down, we looked over their wine list and settled on a Valpolicella which was not too sweet with a lingering aftertaste and a smooth finish. After a few sips we got down to business and ordered our starters. I had heard previously from a friend of mine that the oysters were “the best they have ever had” so we eagerly ordered a round ($3.5 each). They came with freshly grated horseradish and three house made sauces-a red wine and shallot dressing, a hot sauce that had a nice kick, and a cocktail sauce. They were salty, briny and dense. Although they were not the best ones I have ever had they were pretty fantastic.
We were then brought the beef tartare ($13) and as a recovering vegetarian I questioned whether or not I would be able to eat the raw meat, however, a few minutes later I was happily shovelling it in to my mouth. Served with a perfect poached egg, live kale and hickory sticks it was like a grown-up version of steak and eggs.
For our mains we each ordered off of the nightly specials. I decided on seabream served on top of sauteed chard and carrots. The filet was huge and melted in my mouth and was offset perfectly by the slightly bitter greens. My friend decided on the venison done two ways-the leg that had been stewed and the neck. It was served on a sunchoke puree with cherries and pinenuts and while I was allowed only one bite it was sweet and gamey.
We decided to pass on dessert, considering I practically can never eat dessert for fear of gluten but I was too full to really eat anything else anyway. I cannot wait to go back! I want to try their burger (sans the bun) as it is being declared the best in the city at the moment. Matt would also love the antique decorations so I think he and I will have to make a date of it!
We headed out to the see Emily Haines rock out on stage for the last stop of the Metric Canadian tour and it was a great show. Lots of dancing-which we needed to work off our meals.