As a first posting to The Hungry Hippo, choosing the newly opened restaurant "Richmond Station" would be pretty gutsy... oh well, here it goes!
Richmond Station has been unavailable between the hours of 5pm to 9pm every day since it has opened, and I somehow managed to get a reservation for 5:15pm. The train station-like restaurant, is located in downtown Toronto on Richmond St. and Yonge - narrow and long as you walk in and has a hidden section at the back, with a view of the kitchen that has been left open for their guests to see into. Many reviews have raved about the up and coming restaurant with chef, Carl Heinrich (a winner from last season's Top Chef Canada) and Marben's Ryan Donovan (they actually both worked at Marben earlier this year). They have teamed up to create a modern and simple menu that include a Coq Au Vin with bacon, potato puree and mushrooms ($24), beef tartare as a special tonight, the Stn. Burger ($20) and plenty of seafood options (like that of a lobster bisque ($9), oysters on the half shell $3.25 per piece, Grilled Sea Bream $21). They also serve a daily special charcuterie plate ($14) recommended for the table to share.
I decided to order oysters on the half shell and as a main, the Coq Au Vin. My girlfriend ordered the beef tartare but unfortunately wasn't all to her liking: and I quote, "it's good but it's slightly chewy... I could possibly make better"... which says a lot! (Like I said gutsy.) The Coq Au Vin was presented quite nicely but was lightly overcooked. It could have been a little more on the juicy side. Luckily, the bacon definitely made it all the better. I would like to return to Richmond Station and try the other items like that of the polenta fries ($7) or even the Boar Ragu ($23) which sounded delicious! Portions were just right and overall we had a good time. Cocktails ($12 and up) aren't too original but tasty nonetheless. It's definitely a place that has character (as it is set up like a station) with table tops to enjoy drinks, a long bar and many tables. Staff was friendly and accommodating, but make sure you really tell them how many oysters you'd like (I received a dozen oysters instead of a half-dozen like I asked even though I was very clear).
Richmond Station is a great place for a simple and tasty dinner. They are also open for lunch, if anyone has been let me know!