The Reveal - Ricarda’s
The Gist: The expansive space is rich in history (back in 1910, it was home to Weston's Biscuit Factor) but is decidedly modern in décor. The newly opened Mediterranean restaurant features a full-on bakery with grab-and-go items. There’s also bar, lounge area, and upscale martini and tapas bar, Attico outside atop the atrium. Book one of two "experience" booths, where a chef cooks ingredients from your choice of country (France, Greece and Italy) region, or all over the Mediterranean.
Soon to come, a 97-seat year-round terrace wrapping around the restaurant, set in the brightly lit atrium, complete with awe-inspiring 70-foot columns.
Grub: The menu features build-your-own salads and flatbreads, create-your-own pastas, soups and dips, along with traditional and larger tastes, as well as desserts. All items are made in-house, including pastas, sauces, breads, and pastries. Choose from many low carb and gluten-free options.
Libations: Cocktails and brews are well priced, especially considering the area: Cocktails $9.50 (2 oz.), Beer ($5.25-$8.70).
The wine list features varietals from Spain & Portugal, France, Italy and North America. A nice surprise – two Greek wines offered by the glass and six by the bottle.
Fixtures & Fittings: Characteristics of the 9,000 sq. ft. space include a modern art deco feel completed with brass fixtures, solid hardwoods, large booths, small lounge area, sleek lighting and an open kitchen to watch all the action. A wall of colossal windows makes an ideal people watching spot.
Off the Menu:
Peach Bellini ($9.50) Natural peach puree with no added sugars or preservatives is topped with two ounces of sparkling wine.
Caesar ($9.50) Walter’s Craft Caesar Mix gets two ounces of vodka, rimmed with a spicy steak seasoning and topped with a skewer of pickled veg.
Acompanied by roasted red grapes, figs, almonds, and toasted parmesan brioche, Charred Monteforte Halloumi ($9) , will transport you to the Cyprus coast.
Grape Leaf Wrapped Smoked Octopus ($14) features yellow tomatoes, celery leaves, squid ink, and sorrel.
Marinated in chili yogurt, Moroccan-style Grilled Chicken Shish ($17) is aserved with a pepper relish. On the side, of-the-moment zucchini spaghetti bolstered by pulled ham hock and crispy snap peas.
Pastry Chef Sara Tsai tries to do as many dishes showing local ingredients as well as gluten-free options as possible, including these two:
Spanish Santiago Cake ($8) boasting stone fruits, Ontario elderflower syrup, and vanilla ginger saffron ice cream.
Dense Chocolate Ganache Torte ($8) gets topped with zabaglione gelato festooned with cocoa nibs and finished with tiny dollops of Ontario strawberry coulis.
How Cool is This?! The grab-and-go counter aims to have you with food in hand in four minutes.
At the Stove: Executive Chef Sam Girgis and Bakery Head Sarah Tsai.
Head Honchos: David Whissell, General Manager
Deets: There’s room for 170 guests with 97 on the terrace (opening next week) and 35 seats upstairs at Attico.
Visiting Hours: Bakery open 6am – 2am, Restaurant 11am to 2am daily.
Map It: 134 Peter St. (near Queen West)
Phone It In: (416) 304-9134
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