Restaurant’ing on my birthday with ma familla is “a thing.”
Every year I select a spot that I’ve been meaning to visit but have not yet found the time. Richmond Station launched in 2012 with a long line of eager beavers keen to sample Chef Carl Heinrich’s cuisine. Carl was the winner of Top Chef Canada Season Two so his presence on the boob tube had foodies across the country salivating, and wondering when he’d open up shop.
I first met Carl on a farm trip to check out the quality vegetable oils being produced at Pristine Gourmet. We bumped into each other again at Marc McEwan’s Bymark for a special presentation to Toronto’s top chef’s by the team at MGM Entertainment. Happenstance would have it that my friend Lindsey Simms from ye ol University of Guelph is currently managing the restaurants twitter so low and behold April 3rd smacked me in the face as a chilly Spring breeze swooped me into the restaurant.
I arrived shortly before 6pm, the sun was shining and the restaurants lower dining room was bright. I was seated at a four top across from The Stations towering wine rack and bar. Lindsey popped by the table to say hello and we clinked flutes of champagne to celebrate the birthing process. My parents and sister arrived at 6:30pm and immediately started to scan the menu.
Over the course of the next three hours we shared a plethora of plates. My family isn’t exactly keen on sampling. I know everyone would rather order their own app and main. They are so possessive about their food. To be honest a lot of their a la carte dining tendencies are related to their fear of trying something new. I can’t remember the last time I visited a restaurant and just ate one dish to myself, such a North American mentality. Alas it was my birthday so we would be sampling through each dish together!
Highlights of our meal included crispy polenta fries, duck terrine, The Stn Burger, Crispy Duck Confit and a sweet finish with the Cracker Jack. Carl’s focus on top notch local ingredients was clearly stated and dishes arrived at the table “dressed to the nine.” I will never forget the trio of sweet birthday treats which arrived on a wooden plank illuminated by a wee candle.
A flicker. A memory. A delicious one.
spicy mayonnaise, marinara, cilantro
Richmond Station Charcuterie
selection of meats, preserves from the pantry
tarragon, anise oil, croutons
Duck Terrine En Croute
belgian endive, ranch dressing, pickled root vegetables
Seared Digby Scallops
cauliflower, sautéed greens, rye berries, bacon vinaigrette
Coq Au Vin
pommes puree, pearl onions, bacon, mushrooms
lettuce, beet chutney, aged cheddar, rosemary fries, jardiniere
Crispy Duck Confit
kale, roasted beets, mushrooms, honey gastrique
sticky toffee, peanut brittle, popcorn ice cream, stout tuile
Maple Rice Pudding
peach rum sorbet, roasted apple, anise crisp
9 spice ice cream, cranberry agridolce, chocolate cake, ghovatou
#442 restaurant reviewed in Ontario since moving to Toronto in 2010.