What's the vibe
The impressive space has you before you've even walked in the door. Set in the new QRC building (that's Queen-Richmond West to those in the know), Ricarda's mixes old and new in their cocktail bar, Attico. The bar looks out over a five-story atrium, while the 217-seat dining room sits inside what's been retained of the historic Weston Biscuit Factory. The main restaurant also features a lounge bar and a bakery, complete with coffee and grab-and-go options for nearby workers. In theory, you could easily have breakfast, lunch and dinner here—with drinks in between—and never get bored.
What to drink
Not surprisingly, the wine list features a strong selection of Spanish, Italian and Greek bottles. The cocktail menu (available at both Attico and the restaurant) is all about classics like the Manhattan and the mojito, with a few of their own in-house concoctions. We like appropriately-named Always Classy, a mix of Tanqueray No. 10 gin, limoncello and triple sec—ideal for when you want something a step above the standard gin and tonic. In the bakery, Ricarda's partners with Kitchener roastery Smile Tiger to create their own in-house coffee blends, with fresh beans also available for purchase.
What to eat
There's certainly no shortage of options. The menu, designed to take you on a journey through the Mediterranean, is heavy on fresh pastas, salads and flatbreads. The tomato and watermelon salad—finished with stracciatella, sumac, mint and pistachio—is summer on a plate, and looks as good as it tastes. Got a craving you just can't ignore? The restaurant offers bespoke, made-to order meals that allow you to choose from a selection of ingredients. Desserts (developed by pastry chef Sarah Tsai, previously of Soho House and the Food Dudes) focus on all things local and seasonal. Currently available, and definitely worth ordering, is the corn panna cotta with blueberry compote, salted polenta, and blueberry meringue.
Dinner and drinks for two: around $120
134 Peter Street, 416-304-9134, ricardas.com