Richmond Station - Tasting Menu
A couple more pictures, self-indulgent text on my site, thisiswhyimfat.net (recommend skipping it and just reading this :) )
The tasting menu is not listed on the menu, which is a shame. At $65 (we only saw the price afterward), it's very good value and a lot of fun. The couple beside us was gazing longingly as dish after pretty dish appeared at our table - pretty funny, but also I felt bad for them. Put it on the menu!
- A starter of raw oysters was fine
- Charcuterie was more fun, with most of the meats prepared on-site.
- A tiny cup of gazpacho was bright and tomato-y
- Lobster roll was somewhat of a revelation. I had been considering trying a McDonald's lobster roll - they aren't usually available outside of the Maritimes - but this completely killed that curiosity. Briny lobster flavor dominated a very light creamy sauce. The toasted house-made milk bread was perfect, both on its own and paired with the lobster. I could have eaten a loaf of that. It was the dish of the night!
- Quinoa salad was about as good as a salad can be. Sweet corn kernels and nutty white beans were a perfect contrast to creamy hummus. House-made hickory sticks were a clever vegan substitute for bacon that worked really well. I might steal this with commercial sticks, but it probably won't be as good.
- Rabbit stew didn't do anything for me. It was too lean and 'composed' overall, I think. What's the point of a stew if it's all cooked separately?
- Seared tenderloin with roasted veggies kinda sealed the value proposition. It was perfectly cooked (and they didn't ask how we wanted it).
- Dessert was a bit too restrained for me. Rhubarb sorbet was packed with flavor but just a bit tart for me. Crumbled angel cake didn't add any richness either.
Service was pretty great. They lost track of the courses a bit, so the tenderloin was a bit of a surprise. But they explained each dish and we were well attended to (sigh, refolding napkins, is that a thing now? yuck).
1 Richmond St W
At the really higher end restaurants, though, they have staff dedicated to doing 'non-food' tasks like that and even then, they tend to use tongs. And if they're at all dirty looking, they get replaced.
Lately, though, the mid-range restaurants (paper napkins? just replace them, if you want... these were cloth though) seem to be doing it but missing the crucial part about not mucking in people's mouthwipes.
didn't get that's what you were saying based on "sigh is refolding napkins a thing now"
i have never had a paper napkin refolded and I've never seen anyone use tongs for such a task unless it was a steamed cloth. George, Splendido, Canoe, Jacob &Co. etc, no tongs, just hand refolded when you leave your seat. In Europe I've seen spoons used, but again, never tongs.
Higher end restos refold, but the most expensive restos replace. Every. Time. I've not encountered this in mid-tier as yet either.
I see where he's going with this though - he doesn't want servers whom handle other people's napkins to be the same that are handling his food. A valid point.
Also, I've never, ever had a paper napkin re-folded either. That'd be absurd.
my friend had slippery pants on one night at splendido. he must have had at least five napkins replaced that night. but the end everyone was having a bit of a giggle at his expense.
well I get that point, if you've been in a kitchen you also know many many people have touched the elements on your plate. I hope the FOH ppl wash their hands as frequently as possible but I'm also not stupid and know that's not the case.
I'm actually a bit of a crazed germ lunatic at times but I try to suspend it when it comes to food. That being said a buffet is my idea of hell on earth.
Black Hoof, last month, refolded my seatmate's paper napkin.
I feel a bit bad complaining because it's well-meant. But I think it's misguided and I imagine the servers have better things to do as well. While it irks me, it won't prevent me from returning to either restaurant.
I've had a couple of Michelin starred restaurants refold - though you're right, it may have been spoons. Also, they have clearly different staff serving food and clearing tables, which warms my crazy soul but I realize only very expensive restaurants can do that.