Ruby Watchco

Ruby Watchco is unlike any other restaurant in this city. Reason number one being that the meals are freshly cooked by renowned Food Network Canada Star, Chef Lynn Crawford. Reason number two? Her culinary background and passion for creating meals with fresh ingredients, that at times make it to one’s table straight from the farm, defies the laws and traditions of upscale restaurants serving the same old menu week after week.

At Ruby, you will find a set 4 course prix-fixe menu for CDN$49.00, which changes every night they are open for business. The ingredients usually come from local farms, some of which I am sure were visited at some point or another during Chef Crawford’s Pitchin’ In shootings. 
Some reviewers have deducted points off Ruby because there is only one menu with no other choices. I would say to those people to look beyond their noses and appreciate not only the Chef’s creativity but also the quality of meals they are eating. Fresh daily menus not only guarantee these ingredients have been hand-picked and well thought of, but also that the food one is eating is organic, fresh, healthy and home-made. You rarely find this at restaurants these days.


I wonder, how does one know that the meat, salad or veggie one gets at a restaurant featuring the same menu every night has not been seating for weeks at their pantries and fridges? In times when we are in desperate need of a Food Revolution in our lives, as Chef Oliver would put it, we should all welcome restaurants like these with open arms.
My night at Ruby Watchco started with me realizing that Chef Crawford was actually cooking my meal. First impression – “OMG Lynn Crawford is actually cooking?”. Most Chefs these days open restaurants, create their menus and off they go to do the next best thing. This is certainly not the case at Ruby.
Featuring a home-made style of items, our meal started with the Hope Eco Country Ham & Sleger’s Green Salad.


Ruby Watchco | Toronto

Hope Eco Country Ham & Sleger’s Green Salad.

Romaine hearts, smoked blue haze (blue cheese), Thompson Yukon gold hickory sticks, country ham and bosc pears with darling honey vinaigrette, made this starter salad a close contender to my old time favourite 17 ingredient slaw from Chef Susur Lee. The combined taste of the pears with the vinaigrette and the cheese was something I think I will only experience once, or at least not until I get this in a future menu at Ruby. We also decided to pair our entire meal with the featured wine of the night, a sweet and intense Pinot Gris from the Alsace region of France. No further introduction needed, I’d say. 

The second course was a Pan seared Trout with Newburg Seafood Salad.


Ruby Watchco | Toronto

Pan seared Trout with Newburg Seafood Salad

The trout was tender and fresh; but besides the freshness of the fish, combined with the freshness of shrimp and mussels found at the bottom of the casserole (this is Chef Crawford’s homey plating style, love it), we found ourselves floating in a delicious Bouillabaisse style broth. Another finding was realizing Ruby will ensure you leave with a full tummy. The main course also came with roasted Fingerling Potatoes (right), sauteed greens with Chorizo Coins (top left) and Braised Fennel with Spinach Hazelnut Pesto (bottom left). This in itself would have been enough; ok I take that back, knowing me I could have eaten two of these.

As a meal digestif (or at least I like to call it that), we had the Chèvre Noir.

Ruby Watchco | Toronto

Chèvre Noir

Placed on top of a tasty toast (how many t’s is that?), the Chèvre Noir was my Pièce de Résistance. Once again I take that back, maybe Chef Crawford cooking for us that night was the actual pièce; but either way, we had too many resistances here. Personally, I think “resistance” should translate to (although it doesn’t) IRRESISTIBLE.

Last but not least, our dessert course…Ruby’s Cold “Hot” Chocolate.

Ruby Watchco | Toronto

Ruby’s Cold “Hot” Chocolate

Dessert consisted of a house made marshmallow foam with praline crumble. I believe this is Crawford’s version of a lovely Hot Chocolate, but cold (sarcasm alert). Jokes aside, this was a lovely way to end our meal. I do have to admit I was not entirely a fan of its temperature. I guess the dessert was made that morning and placed in the fridge in time for the night; however my dessert was way too cold for my personal taste, and the ceramic cup was also freezing. I would’ve appreciated Ruby leaving it out a bit before.

For some of you that are wondering if Chef Crawford made it to our table, well let me tell you she did! Not only every time I glanced up I saw her cooking in the semi-open concept kitchen, but she also stopped by. I am ashamed to say that I was so star-struck that the only words that came out of my mouth were “Big fan, I love you”. Seriously? Out of all the things I could have said to one of my favourite Chefs, this is what comes out? I wanted to tell her about my blog, my passion for cooking and trying new and exciting restaurants, but instead I left her with an uncomfortable situation. Her reply – “Oh, you are fun”. Oh well, next time I will control myself.

Until next time Foodies!

Buen Provecho,
Foodies Inked.

Dining Experience: Dinner 
Venue: Ruby Watchco
Location: 730 Queen St. East, Toronto, ON 
Menu items (Apr.8.11): Eco Farms Country Ham & Sleger’s Green Salad, Pan Seared Trout with Newburg Seafood Salad, Chèvre Noir & Cold “Hot” Chocolate
Wine Pairing: Pinot Gris Herrenweg 2004, Barmes-Buecher
Ruby Watch Co on Urbanspoon

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