Visited: Dinner on Saturday, Nov 10 2012Company: Made a reservation for group of 10
It was a somewhat hard decision to choose what my first review would be, as there's just a bit of pressure on what impression it'll set for the blog. However, I knew exactly what restaurant would be perfect for my first post. Richmond Station was chosen because it was one of my first fine dining experiences and it was after this meal, where my eyes were open to a new world of foods.
Richmond Station was opened by the Top Chef Canada 2 winner, Carl Heinrich only a month before our visit. Even though I've never watched the show, I was definitely intrigued to try it out. A group of 10 of us ladies had planned for a night at the ballet and I thought that Richmond Station would be the perfect place for dinner beforehand.
Walking by, I never would have known it was the spot unless I knew it was here. The name is on the window but on a dark, wet night, it's easy to walk past it. Over the door, it has a little sign as if were a subway stop with 'Restaurant' written under, very classy but not too over-the-top outer decor.
Arriving at 5:30, the place wasn't too busy yet. I liked the front area set-up, where tables were lined up on the left side and there was a bar on the right. Our table for 10 was in a separate room in the back, but still visible to the restaurant with the amount of windows. The place was bigger than I had expected looking from the outside. The decor was very pantry-like, wooden textures and authentic feeling.
Now on to the food... we had all ordered main dishes only as we're all recent grads and mains were at least $20. You can tell how legit the place was with the lack of menu items but also the variety of seafood... and wild boar(?!), you don't just pick those ingredients up anywhere. The waitress was nice and filled our water and sparkling water promptly. The kitchen was amazing to us, they brought out complementary Polenta Fries while we waited for our food which was perfect since we were all starving. This was the first time I had ever tried, nonetheless heard, of polenta but it tasted very similar to potato fries. However, polenta was different in texture as it was more grainy in comparison. Great appetizer, especially for sharing.
For my main dish, I had ordered the Grilled Sea Bream. I had such a hard time deciding between that or the Stn. Burger, which I have heard amazing things about, but i wanted to try something different. Really glad I made that choice because the bream was delicious! All the flavours of potato rosti, fennel and swiss chard with the fish blended magically in every bite. The chard had a very distinct flavour which I enjoyed and the bream was grilled perfectly. While eating and trying to tweet the location via Foursquare through the picture I took with Instagram...I had already finished the meal. The portions were decent sized leaving you comfortably full. To top it all off, we received complementary Salted Fudge from the kitchen which everyone enjoyed. We asked them if they sell the fudge but they only make it every so often as a specialty, so we were quite disappointed in that because it was so tasty! A great ending to the meal.
By the time we were leaving the place was full and filled with classy couples/groups of friends out for a late dinner and casual conversation. Definitely not an incredibly fancy place but great for locals out for a nicer dinner with a casual atmosphere. You'll even get a glimpse of Heinrich walking around if you have someone with you like +Laura Bathurst who recognizes him haha. They've extended their hours now so even more chances to try it out!
Food: 4.5/5 - No wrong done, but wanted more!
Decor: 3/5 - Simple, nothing too fancy
Service: 4.5/5 - Average but added points for free food :D
Likeliness to come back: 5/5 - Going back to try that burger!