4.25 Stars – Overall Experience
3.5 Stars – Price
4.5 Stars – Service
4.25 Stars – Enjoyment of Food
4.5 Stars – Atmosphere
Ruby Watchco is located in one of my favourite parts of the city, Leslieville. Still holding on to their original buildings and community atmosphere, this area is a hotbed for amazing cuisine! The restaurant is dimly lit and decorated in a modern industrial style with exposed brick walls, an old metal sign (which was the inspiration for the name of the restaurant) and wood tables. Overall a cozy feel and perfect for an impressive meal out. I would say the vibe inside and the menu isn’t exactly kid friendly, so leave the little ones at home and enjoy your evening out!
For reservations from Thurs – Saturday you have the option of 4 sittings (6:00pm, 6:30pm, 8:30pm and 9:00pm). We arrived at 8:30 and since our table wasn’t quite ready we were offered a seat at the bar to enjoy a cocktail. Bar service was very quick and before we took our second sip, our table was ready. Our server was extremely friendly and she made sure to ask us right off the bat if there were any dietary restrictions or allergies as they had a set menu. I explained my restrictions and one of my dining partners explained hers (pescetarian) and we were both assured that we would be well taken care of. Service was a good pace throughout the evening and attentive, but not intrusive. You can tell that the people who work there enjoy their job.
I decided to go with the drink special of the evening which was a Red Wine Sangria. It had blueberry puree, strawberries, citrus and brandy and was a generous portion as well. Really delicious and I was lucky enough to get the last one. You are able to order a wine pairing for an extra $39/person, which comes with a new glass for each course. The couple my husband and I dined with decided to go for this, but between the copious amount of food, cocktails and wines, they struggled to finish. I would recommend not eating much or drinking that day if you decide to go for the wine pairing as it is a lot!
I started my meal off with a delicious Eggplant Salad with a creamy dressing. As they knew I was a vegetarian, they had a version of it made just for me without the anchovies (rest were served family style). Chunks of grilled eggplant, radishes, seeds…it was a really well done salad and I finished every bite. It was served with a side of cheesy warm biscuits. Far better than regular bread 😀
Ruby Watchco has a set menu that they change weekly. Our menu was $54/person, however you were able to add on 2 additional courses if you chose to. We decided to give it a go and ordered the Sweet Pea & Ricotta Ravioli. It was suppose to be made with a bacon butter sauce, but they made it sans bacon so I could partake. Everything is also served family style (unless you have special restrictions like me) so we had 4 ravioli’s brought out to the table to share. It was a little over salted for my taste, but the ricotta and pea puree inside was divine! And you could tell that the peas were fresh, not frozen. Could have had a whole meal of just this!
Third Course – Main
For my vegetarian main, I was served a fried egg on top of quinoa with a side of grilled zucchini. The quinoa was cooked perfectly and the dressing and sauteed onions really added a beautiful flavour to the dish. I thought the egg would have been meant to be runny and almost help to sauce the quinoa, but it was pretty fried so the yolk didn’t run at all. It still added a nice element to the dish. The zucchini was really just a zucchini grilled so not a ton to comment on there.
There was 3 sides served with the chicken main course and I was able to eat all of them. The crispy potatoes were good (nothing too special). The cabbage slaw had good texture and balance of sauce to veg. The cucumber salad was probably my favourite as it was nice to have the greens amidst the heavy food and it was coated in a dill dressing, which I love.
Grey Owl is a Canadian goat cheese that is soft in texture and has an ash coating on the outside. The overall taste is sharp, which I thoroughly enjoy. You do have to like strong cheese to truly appreciate this. It was served over a warm strawberry puree and the sweetness helped to balance the tanginess from the cheese. Excellent combination and I wish that I wasn’t as full as I was to fully enjoy this course. I will be keeping my eye out for this cheese next time I hit the market. The contrasting colours of the white, grey and red were also visually appealing.
Fifth Course – Dessert
Unfortunately at this point we were all beyond stuffed. Our server was kind enough to bring us a small plate to try the dessert and the rest of it was packed up for us to enjoy later. The dessert was a rich, moist chocolate zucchini cake topped with cream cheese icing. It was very delicious and overall a great way to end a great meal.
I think as a whole the restaurant will always put out a set menu suited more to an omnivore. That being said, my experience as a vegetarian at Ruby Watchco was no fuss and I had more than enough to eat. Don’t be afraid of the menu if you have dietary restrictions. I found the restaurant to be extremely flexible and accommodating and they clearly are able to make something to suit your needs. I would suggest perhaps calling ahead if you have a more specific restriction (gluten free, vegan, allergy, etc).
This was not a cheap meal by any means and I do wish it was slightly less expensive. There was a lot of food and it was all good, but I felt that I could have enjoyed the meal with less food and a cheaper price. We were pretty much at $200 for the 2 of us and overstuffed. When I go back (and I will), it will be for a special occasion and I won’t eat anything that day so I can really enjoy every last bite!
Time of Dinner: 8:30pm
Date: Friday July 9th, 2016
- RED WINE SANGRIA
- ST DAVID’S EGGPLANT SALAD
- SWEET PEA AND RICOTTA RAVIOLI
- QUINOA WITH FRIED EGG AND GRILLED ZUCCHINI
- SIDES: OLD FASHIONED POTATO SALAD, TOMATO & CUCUMBER SALAD, GREEN CABBAGE SLAW
- GREY OWL BY FROMAGERIE LE DETOUR
- CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI CAKE
Be sure to make reservations as they often get busy and don’t eat too much ahead of time!
Check out their website for more details at http://rubywatchco.ca/