Ruby Watchco has just opened in the former Citizen space on Queen East. Former Restaurant Makeover star and Four Season head chef Lynn Crawford has completely transformed the space into a much more cozier environment featuring a changing daily prix fixe menu with an emphasis on local ingredients.
Dinner features a salad course, a main with a variety of sides, a cheese course and a dessert ($49). It's all brought out family-style, so everyone at the table serves themselves from big common dishes. It's a neat idea, but one that only works when patrons can trust that their dinner is in good hands. Fortunately, the chef has the goods to back it up.
On our visit, the meal started out with a bacon and egg salad with a shallot herb vinaigrette, soft and creamy slow-cooked eggs, radishes and tasty little slivers of bacon. I hadn't expected much of the salad course, but it won me over. Bacon has a tendency to do that.
Our main course was incredibly tender organic BC salmon with nothing more complicated than grilled lemon, some fresh pea greens and a sprinkling of coarse salt for seasoning. Two things were clear from this dish: first, the kitchen staff take their ingredient sourcing seriously. Second, someone in the kitchen really knows their way around a piece of fish.
The featured side dishes included grilled broccoli, a bowl of green beans and beets, and a rich butternut squash risotto. Again, the focus was on simple preparation and earthy, Ontario-centric flavours.
Our cheese course featured big wedges of Upper Canada Cheese Company's smooth and musky Comfort Cream cheese, along with clover honey and a sour cherry preserve.
Dessert was apple raisin walnut cobbler with bourbon crème anglaise. We had a few nut allergies at our table, so our version came without walnuts. The cobbler was subtly sweet, with crisp, thin apple slices. It was a fine cobbler, but it was overshadowed by the clean, fresh flavours of the earlier courses. It could also have been that everyone at our table was so full from polishing off every bit of food we'd been served up to that point that the big dessert serving was just a little over the top.
A daily menu is a creatively challenging format for a chef to sustain over the long haul, and there has been talk of Ruby Watchco eventually offering an a la carte menu, so those who like the blink-and-you'll-miss-it appeal of the prix fixe menu should get down to Ruby Watchco in short order.
The kitchen staff seemed happy to accommodate allergies and/or dietary restrictions without a fuss, though because of the limited nature of the menu, it's best to let them know ahead of time.
Join Chef Lora Kirk of Ruby WatchCo and Barnstormer Brewing & Distilling Company for a night of collaboration between fantastic, local food & one of our favourite Ontario Craft Beer and Spirit producers.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
A four course tasting menu complete with insight to the inspiration behind Chef Lora Kirk's menu and speaking points from the team at Barnstormer Brewing & Distilling Company. In other words - a seriously great night.
Menu designed by Chef Lora Kirk
FEATURED BEERS :
Absolute Altitude Saison
Flight Delay IPA
Cocky Captain American Strong Ale
12- Month Barrel-Aged Imperial Stout
+ SOON TO BE ANNOUNCED WELCOME BEER.
In "The Attic" 730 Queen St. E
Doors at 630PM + welcoming beers & canapes
Four course menu rolls out at 7PM
ABOUT CHEF LORA KIRK ::
Lora Kirk is regarded as one of Canada’s leading chefs with over 15 years of international culinary experience. She gained her culinary strength and knowledge by working with renowned Chefs, Gordon Ramsey and Angela Hartnett at the famous Connaught Hotel for three years.
Chef Kirk received tremendous media attention and awards, including the Five Diamond award for two consecutive years, four stars in Toronto Life. Other awards received include the OHI Top 30 Under 30 Award, Nine of Dine Award 2010. Chef Lora was invited to cook at the James Beard House in New York and in Kitchen Stadium on Iron Chef America. Chef Kirk returned home to Canada in 2010. Going back to her roots and passion for cooking, Chef Kirk is an advocate for supporting local farmers and growers, those who give top chefs the best quality products with which to cook.
BARNSTORMER BREWING & DISTILLING COMPANY ::
Founded in 2013 in a storage unit by Engineer Dustin Norlund, Barnstormer's is the City of Barrie’s original destination for all things Craft Beer.
Head Brewer Jeff Woodworth stays true to Barnstormer's initial mandate using all sustainable ingredients, veering on the side of adventurous brew tactics and experimental flavor profiles that cater from quaffable afternoon brew to beer that saves a lull in conversation.
For the Toronto tied Barnstormer makes a great day trip to the beautiful City of Barrie - however in the meantime, join us in the attic to sample some of the best they have to offer.
Still have questions?
Call Mary in the office Tuesday - Saturday 416.465.0100 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The menu is designed to use as much of this great beer with our farmers ingredients as we can.
Should you have allergies, restrictions or prefrences you will be missing key elements of this menu... Proceed with caution.