Food Studio

Druxy's at the ROM is no more. The day after the tired deli's lease expired, the ROM unveiled the Food Studio , a spacious and modern self-serve restaurant sporting an eclectic menu and commitment to sourcing local and organic ingredients.

On my visit earlier this week, there were already a number of diners helping themselves to a suprisingly vast selection which includes freshly made mini pizzas ($6.00), pasta ($6.50-$8.00), antipasti ($9.95), the daily stir fry ($8.95), grilled-to-order fish ($8.95-$11.95) and an assortment of good-looking sandwiches ($7.95), salads, soups and dessert.

Most people seemed very pleased with the changes, especially given they're coming from an institution of the ROM's size. It's sad to think that the food here is probably healthier than any of Toronto's hospitals (not that the ROM deserves to be compared to a hospital) and the approach more progressive. Aside from their eat-local focus (popularized in the Omnivore's Dilemma and other books), the Food Studio also provides biodegradable containers and plates to cut down on the waste.


Roaming around the market-style space, I couldn't help taking photos of all the things I'll need to come back and try.

Friday through Sunday, the kitchen offers what they call their Chef's Table. Located a bit awkwardly by the entrance, the table showcases a dish inspired by whatever is currently on exhibit at the museum. Since the ROM is currently showcasing Peru Unearthed, the chefs whipped up Lomo Saltado (below), a Peruvian dish made with a roast tenderloin of beef, Peruvian potato, poblano pepper and plum tomatoes.


Elsewhere, sous-chefs were busy in the open kitchen preparing meals like the antipasti (top photo and below) as well as more traditional fare like veggie and hamburgers ($5.25), peameal bacon sandwiches ($5.25) and grilled cheese ($4.50). If the prices seem reasonable it's because the Food Studio hopes to serve more than just ROM visitors. Anyone can eat here. Non-museum goers enter through a special entrance and wear a pin with a Martini glass on it to denote their food-only visitor status.


More photos:

A view of the dessert table (with fresh peaches and lemonade) leading back to the check out and seating area.


With the open kitchen in full-view, a chef arranges some of the vegetables that can be included in the daily stir fry.


A closer look at the vegetables:


The soup section:


A daily special - beef satay with asian noodles and peanut sauce ($8.95)


Mini pizzas come in a few different varieties.


Desserts from Dufflet ($3.75):


A variety of side-orders on view at the grill:


Ready-to-eat sandwiches:


The ROM has also just opened their new Crystal Five (C5) Lounge , located at the pinnacle of the new Michael Lee-Chin Crystal. Hours of operation are daily for lunch and Thursday through Saturday for drinks and dinner.

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