Last night, my friend and I had dinner at Richmond Station, a new restaurant that opened about 3 weeks ago. The kitchen is run by Top Chef Canada winner Carl Heinrich, who is such a friendly guy. We were seated in front of the kitchen, which we considered to be the best seats in the house. Watching the food get plated and all the mouth-watering aromas made us salivate. And then to see chef Carl carrying a massive side of beef and cutting it with a saw was amazing. Our super nice waiter, Jason, happily answered all our questions, including why we were seeing cuts of meat in the kitchen that were not on the menu. I’ll explain this later.
My friend and I decided to share the Ploughman’s Board ($16), which consisted of a perfect pear-blue cheese sausage with quince, egg, beet and Toscano cheese. They also brought out some bread for us and the dip was amazing – soy oil, which has this wonderful nuttiness to it, with a Baco Noir balsamic style vinegar from Niagara Vinegar. Jason mentioned that they were hoping to carry and sell the baco noir vinegar in the near future, though I’m willing to make the trip out to Ontario’s wine country to meet the makers. Richmond Station also has a charcuterie board, but the meats take about a month to cure, so for now, the board was more deli-style salamis. With dinner, I ordered a glass of Merlot ($13). I greatly appreciated that they serve their wines in wine glasses with very thin rims. I’m not sure it actually changes the flavour, but I enjoy the experience more.
We both ordered from the specials board. I had the Smoked Wild Boar Chop ($27), which came with grilled eggplant, radish and brussels sprouts. The meat was tender and juicy, and it was pre-sliced which made it easy to handle. The chop sat on a bed of lightly fried greens, including some brussels sprouts. What really made the dish was the home made BBQ sauce. I honestly wiped my plate clean with the meat. The grilled radish was beautiful, with a bright pink skin. I’m not sure what type of radish it was, but it was very mild in flavour and added a nice crunch to the dish. I should mention that Jason told us that all their food is as locally sourced as possible.
My friend had the Duck Confit ($25), which was served with sunchokes, spinach and a beautiful glaze. We shared our plates and I will say that the duck confit was perfection. It was moist with a crispy skin and it wasn’t salty. The plating of both dishes was simple and beautiful. They pride themselves on not doing anything too crazy – their focus is on technique and flavours.
Everyone in the kitchen is focused and they look happy back there. Even though they are busy, they take the time to talk to the guests sitting in front of them as we were. I felt really welcomed.
Our dinner was so good that we decided we couldn’t stop there. We decided to try the deserts. Not having much of a sweet tooth, I opted for the fall fruit & sorbet and my friend had the butternut squash cake. Her dish was good, but the mascarpone was very floral. My desert was light and amazing. The apple sorbet was incredibly apply and refreshing. The celery cream, which yes, it does sound weird, was quite nice. There was a fruit that I forgot to ask about – it also had a very floral flavour. It was a great way to end the meal.
Back to the meat – we asked Jason about the meat and dishes that were being plated but not on the menu. He told us that because they do have such wonderful cuts of meat available, you can always push aside their menu and ask for something special. Jason highly recommends the côte de boeuf. Chef Carl had also mentioned the prime rib to us, but that is probably better for a larger party. I believe Jason said it was 12-24oz.
Will I be back? You betcha! I definitely want to take hubby there as I know he will love the food. I find the prices reasonable too. Our bill with taxes-in came to $113. Note that we also ordered a tea and a coffee.