TORONTO — Ricarda’s 134 hosted members of the media Tuesday night to sample the menu of executive chef Sam Girgis.
Located in the new QRC West building in Toronto’s entertainment district, Ricarda’s menu features modern Mediterranean fare such as Charred Monteforte Halloumi with roasted red grape, fig, almond and toasted parmesan brioche ($9); duck confit and foie gras empanada with espresso, cardamom, pickled gooseberry and watercress ($13); and cardamom honey-glazed Muscovy duck breast with cherry, hibiscus and pistachio ($32).
The evening began in the Attico Bar & Tapas — a cocktail lounge boasting ultra-chique art deco design and overlooking the building’s architecturally stunning atrium. “It’ll be the perfect spot for people to grab a drink, have a few bites and really take in the atmosphere of the building’s innovative design,” says David Whissell, general manager of Ricarda’s. Attico’s menu includes bite-sized works of art such as Green Egg & Ham ($3), a crispy soft duck egg with a parmesan-herb crust and crispy soppressatta; East and West Coast oysters (four for $12); and shrimp and crab claw cocktail with gazpacho dressing ($12).
Ricarda’s kitchen concept invites guests to step up to food stations and meet the chefs. “Ricarda’s Tasting Tables” can be reserved for small groups. “Visiting Ricarda’s will be like journeying across the world,” says Whissell. “But the only thing our guests will need to pack is their taste buds.”
To pay homage to the building, which was home to the original Westin Bakery, Ricarda’s Bakery — helmed by bakery head, Sarah Tsai — serves a selection of pastries, desserts and artisanal breads paired with decadent coffee roasts. The bakery also offers a grab-and-go lunch menu featuring salads, sandwiches and daily baked goods.
Featuring exposed brick and modern adaptations, the 134 Atrium event space can accommodate 500 guests standing or 300 guests seated.