Being a big fan of Top Chef Canada and season 2 winner Carl Heinrich, I couldn’t wait to try out his new restaurant. Carl and his partner Ryan Donovan opened up Richmond Station this past October to great reviews which only fueled my interest to drop by for a visit.
The restaurant is located near the Yonge and Richmond intersection, just south of the Eaton centre. The space contains a long and narrow dining room with a smaller room at the back. No need to dress up here – the space has a pretty casual and low-key atmosphere.
Both Carl and Ryan previously worked at Marben and looking at the menu, you can certainly see the similarities. The short menu is divided into “share plates” (including oysters and lobster cocktail), appetizers and mains. Make sure you check out the chalkboard for their daily specials – today’s specials were the steak frites and duck confit.
We started with the Polenta Fries – spicy mayonnaise, marinara and cilantro ($7) which came with several thick cut and perfectly fried pieces of polenta. The best polenta fries in the city! They make for a great sharing appetizer and was a nice way to start off the meal.
I also couldn’t resist ordering the Richmond Station Charcuterie – beef heart pepperoni, presskopf croquette, bresaola, duck rillette ($14). The presskopf (aka headcheese) croquette was my favourite component – my only complaint was that it only came with two tiny croquettes. It left us wanting more!
The duck rillette was addictive and tasted fantastic spread on bread. The only component of the dish I didn’t love was the bresaola. It wasn’t bad but I didn’t find it to be anything special. Overall, it was another great sharing dish and quite reasonably priced at $14.
For my main, I opted for something on the lighter side, the Smoked Trout Salad – sautéed kale, soybean hummus, antipasto, marinated soybeans ($12 appetizer size/$19 entrée size). The entrée size came with two large pieces of smoked trout which were perfectly prepared. It was incredibly moist and simply melted in my mouth.
The addition of the soybean hummus gave the dish a wintery feel and I’m glad it came with sautéed kale, which is one of my new favourite veggies. A winning dish, in my mind!
Since we’re huge fans of the Marben burger, we knew we had to order the Stn. Burger – aged cheddar, beet chutney, rosemary fries, radish salad ($20). The patty was well cooked – moist and still pink in the centre. The beet chutney gave the burger a nice bit of sweetness and made for a delicious burger. It’s just too bad it was so small! Good thing it comes with a heaping portion of fries.
So how does it compare to Marben’s burger? It’s been a while since I’ve been to Marben but I think I prefer Marben’s over this one…
My friend Alfred ordered the Wild Boar Ragu – hand made orecchiette, tomato, Toscana cheese, celery ($23). Now this is a hearty winter dish! I only had a bite but thought it tasted fine…just nothing too memorable. I think Alfred felt the same way at first but he said that the more he ate, the more he enjoyed it.
We were all a little too full to order dessert but the bill came with some complimentary spiced fudge. It was a nice bite to end off the meal.
Overall, I had an enjoyable dinner at Richmond Station. Coming in with high expectations, I didn’t leave disappointed!
At a glance:
• Located at Yonge and Richmond, just south of the Eaton centre
• Brought to you by Carl Heinrich (Top Chef Canada – Season 2 winner) and Ryan Donovan, both who previously worked at Marben
• Serving up a similar burger to Marben
• Must orders: polenta fries, smoked trout salad
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 4 stars
• Service: 3 stars
• Atmosphere: 3 stars