Richmond Station is located in the Financial District of Toronto, but doesn’t feel like the kind of place you only go to entertain business clients; rather, the food is very much the focus here. Opened by Top Chef Canada winner, Carl Heinrich, the vibe leans more towards French bistro than downtown lounge.
Since we went to celebrate a birthday, we reserved the private room, and sat a bit apart from the rest of the Thursday night crowd. If you have enough people, it’s well worth it to book the private room; it does double-duty as the restaurant pantry, making it the only cozy spot in the busy restaurant. Luckily, it’s not cut off from the rest of Richmond Station, so the service is still prompt.
The meal started with a selection of fresh and delicious oysters, and moved on to sharing plates. These included a light-as-air chicken liver mousse on toast, miniature duck confit lettuce wraps, chickpea fritters, and steak tartare. From these, the steak tartare was the big hit for me, sitting on a bed of pommes gaufrettes (a fancy way of saying waffle-cut fries), in an egg yolk emulsion with cornichons. I love steak tartare in general, and this was a fantastic example of a classic. My only complaint is that there wasn’t enough of it.
There wasn’t a misstep among the mains. It was my birthday that night, so my memories are all bathed in the rosy glow of spending a night with good friends, but even so, there were a few that stood out in my mind. The Station Burger is a menu staple, and you can see why; it’s juicy and flavourful, and comes with a side of excellent fries (luckily my significant other ordered the burger, so I was able to sample it). The Rabbit Two Ways was also outstanding, as was the seared tuna special.
Richmond Station is known for its innovative desserts, including the Acid Test, the Peanut Butter Vibe and others. While they were all visually impressive, and fun to eat thanks to the contrasting textures and flavours, they were all slightly marred by being overly sweet. The pastry chef has moved on to great things since our visit, so I can’t speak for their current range of desserts.
Richmond Station, 1 Richmond St W, Toronto, ON