Prosecco, fabulous and fresh cocktails, a beautiful and extensive wine list, and food that makes your taste buds stand up and salute you, that is what a night out for dinner at Chef Lynn Crawford‘s new restaurant, Ruby Watchco. is all about. Now, if you don’t know, I am going to throw Chef Crawford’s credentials at you right away, she was the executive chef at the Four Seasons in Toronto and in New York, so this lady knows a thing or two about cooking. She also had a few shows on The Food Network, but let’s get back to Ruby Watchco.
A night at Ruby Watchco is one you won’t soon forget, and nor should you. Crawford teamed up Restaurant Makeover collaborator and accomplished interior designer, Cheri Stinson and her husband Joey Skeir to buy the Citizen in Leslieville’s Queen East and transform into an intimate bistro.
Ruby Watchco. is a strange name for a restaurant, so we had to ask Skeir where the name came from. He promptly smiled, pulled up a chair, sat down and told us the us the story. You see it all started with the sign. Stinson had found the sign at Cornerstone while hunting through the brilliant shops in the Junction about two years ago. All three partners fell in love with it and decided it was the perfect name for their new venture.
And so Ruby Watchco was born. Now that we covered the basics, shall we get to the glorious food? I think so. Now Ruby Watchco isn’t your average restaurant, there isn’t a big menu to pour over, you won;t get food envy from your dining partner’s plate or the even the table beside. Chef Crawford prepares one set menu for the evening and everyone eats the same thing. Now this kind of dining might not be for everyone, but for those willing to try, you are in for some serious yum factor.
You can check the website daily for what’s on the menu, or you can do what we did, make a reservation in advance and trust the chef. Crawford will also accommodate food allergies, she’s nice like that, and a very personable lady indeed.
When I saw the menu, my eyes gleamed with happiness and my stomach knew it was in for a treat. Some of my favourite foods were to star on the evenings menu, watermelon, lamb, and apple slaw would all dance on my palette that night.
Before I tantalize you with the wonders that was my dinner last night, I must first tell you about the staff. I have to congratulate the team at Ruby Watchco. In my former days I worked in the service industry (for nine years in fact, so I have some clout here) and this staff was not only knowledgeable in the food and wine, they helped us make great selections for each of our courses, but they were also incredibly friendly and attentive. This is not a combination you always come across, so kudos where kudos are deserved. We were also treated to a complimentary glass of prosecco because we had to wait for a few minutes before our table was ready, nice touch guys, very nice indeed.
So now back to the food, I know visions of the menu doesn’t really do it for you, so here are images of our four-course delight of a meal.
Those warm buttermilk chive biscuits with house-made butter were the perfect accompaniment to the fresh salad, and yes the watermelon was perfectly sweet and paired wonderfully with the smooth avocado.
This might have been the most perfect meal of lamb I have ever eaten. We started with the bbq lamb spareribs, I have never eaten a lamb sparerib and the meat literally fell off the bone. At this point we couldn’t stop smiling, or eating what was placed in front of us. Everything from the lamb three ways to the cucumber salad was spiced perfectly and all the delicate flavours just played so well together. We chose a very good night to try Ruby Watchco. But I do wonder if there is a bad night at Ruby Watchco.
As you can see from the above picture, we got a bit overzealous when the cheese plate showed up and I forgot to take a picture right away. But the baguette was perfectly grilled and the sweetness of the apple slaw and honey was divine with the sharpness of the cheese.
What can you really say about fresh ice cream smothered in espresso caramel sauce and a crisp chocolate chip biscotti? Words can’t describe, and that is a lot coming from a wordy girl like me.
Another wonderful thing to note about Ruby Watchco. is that Chef Crawford is also dedicated to supporting the local farmers and uses local and seasonal ingredients in her food. In all aspects of the restaurant experience Ruby Watchco gets an A+ from OfTheNow.