Like a kid in a candy store, my level of maturity Saturday was so ridiculous. I could hardly contain my excitement the minute I walked through the doors at Ruby Watchco on Queen East in the Leslieville neighborhood of Toronto.
I was there for a few reasons. First, I have followed the career of Chef Lora Kirk for quite some time now. I know Lora through a very good friend and I am thrilled with her success. So, I wanted to be able to experience her genius in the kitchen. Of course the incomparable Chef Lynn Crawford who’s Food Network Canada show Pitchin’ In is so much fun! I loved when Lynn was part of Restaurant Makeover and helped one of my favourite restaurants Karma’s Cafe come to life.
RUBY’S ICEBERG WEDGE SALAD
Smoked Blue Haze, Oven Kissed Tomatoes,
5 Minute Hen’s Egg, 1001 Islands Dressing
SLOW ROASTED SIRLOIN WITH ARUGULA AND PARMESAN
Cheeseburger Mac & Cheese with Home Made Ketchup,
Grilled Broccoli with Lemon Butter,
Slow Baked Onions, Bacon, Spinach & Mushrooms
CHEVRE NOIR BY FROMAGERIE TOURNEVENT
Truffle Honey, Rosemary & Orange Biscotti
RUBY’S BANANA CAKE
Vanilla Cream & Chocolate Ganache
The starter salad was fresh and flavourful. Frankly, iceberg lettuce does nothing for me but this salad gave me new ideas. Homemade 1001 Islands Dressing was light and refreshing, sweet oven-kissed tomatoes were bursting with flavour and the lightly smoked Blue Haze cheese with its tangy blue cheese centre and was the perfect complement to this dish.
The main was a melt-in-your-mouth slow-roasted sirloin served with arugula and shaved parmesan. The beef perfectly pink and tender was the hit of the evening and the subject of conversation on the drive home and the next day. Served with a homemade mac n’ cheese, a comforting creation I was lucky enough to observe being created, when I popped in to the kitchen to say hello and snap some shots of Lora. She even made the lemony grilled broccoli taste like heaven…who does that?
The cheese course was a flavour-packed Chevre Noir, a firm but creamy aged cheddar from Fromagarie Tournevent (Chesterville, Quebec). It was paired with lovely orange-rosemary biscotti and a sweet truffled honey that pulled it all together. Flavour genuis in that little kitchen for sure.
Dessert was a lovely little banana cake, covered in a chocolate ganache and topped with vanilla cream. It arrived not by our wait staff but by Chef’s Lora and Lynn themselves. I managed two delicious bites before handing it over to my good man, I was just done.
Wait staff was efficient and courteous and knew what they were doing. One of the other diners suggested that the main came too quickly following the starter, I tend to agree. I find that lingering a bit after each course, especially with such good food, gives you both time to digest and discuss. I also understand that there are two sittings and we opted for the first, so there may be a bit of urgency for some of us who like to sit around too long. I think next time I might reserve for the second sitting.
Special thanks to Photographer Benedict Hillard who shot an excellent photo of Chef Crawford for me!
I have only one wish now that I have been, that I can go back as much as I can and share it with all the people I love!
Ruby Watchco, 730 Queen St. East. For restaurant reservations please call (416)-465-0100 Tuesday through Saturday, between 10:00 am and 9:30 pm.