(Top right: Cherie, Lynn and Joey; bottom right: Lynn gets an
ovation at the end of the first Friends and Family night; bottom
left: Lynn and Elana.)

Mmmmmmmmmmmm….!!  I’m still savouring the yummy yumminess
of my scrumptious dinner at Celebu-Chef (she’ll hate me for calling
her that)
Lynn Crawford
‘s new resto, Ruby
WatchCo
, in Toronto’s East end (website is under
construction.)  Before opening their doors a few weeks ago,
the team — which actually consists of three partners: Lynn
Crawford,
Cherie Stinson
(Yabu Pushelberg,
Restaurant Makeover
) and Cherie’s husband, Joey Skeir —
held a few run-through dinners for friends and family, to work out
the kinks.  I was lucky to attend the first of these two
nights, and my belly, heart and mind are happy to report that there
are no kinks to be had. 

Following our abundant meal (I went with my husband, CJ was on
vacation in Mexico) we were asked to fill out a questionnaire about
our experience. Isn’t that a great idea?  I think every
restaurant should do this on opening night.  Anywho, save for
leaving mucky finger prints all over the paper, my comments were
only that the service was somewhat tenuous — it was their first
night! — and the cheese in the cheese plate was a bit too robust
for my taste (I do work in the industry — a token amount of
criticism is only right.) 

Save for that, the meal was superb.  Lynn and partner in
the kitchen, Chef Lora Kirk (previously of Truffles), have settled
on a seasonal, family-style
line-up, changing nightly, as well as with the bounty of the
local markets. (If you’re not into surprised, the
resto will start posting the evening’s menu on their site, as soon
as it’s up.)  Don’t forget, Lynn is fresh off her tour of the
men and women behind the foods we love, in her hit show Pitchin’ In.  This no doubt had a hand in the
direction she took with Ruby WatchCo, the small kitchen of which
Lynn says, “…could not accommodate the kind of highbrow, a la
carte cuisine, of the likes of the Four Seasons.”

No indeed, there was no foam, or ‘pearls’ of soup to be
had.  We started off with a light and tangy beet and walnut
salad, followed by a classic roast chicken accompanied by a
Brussels sprout and panchetta medley, two-colour carrots, roast
potatoes and homemade biscuits with homemade butter. 
Following that indulgence, we were served a cheese plate with honey
and apple compote, and the dessert: a hot chocolate mess — of
awesomeness!

I loitered for a bit around the butcher block serving station,
where Lynn gave her final word on all things exiting the
kitchen.  It’s been 9 months since she consistently cooked in
the kitchen, and she was right on her game, “oh, you know, there
are always kinks to work out, like why is the butter not beside the
biscuits when they’re served together?  But you know, it’s a
restaurant, the kitchen is always hectic. It feels good though, I’m
happy to be back, cooking.  It was time.”

All the sides were served in Le Creuset vessels
— fancy! — and delivered to the table family-style, meaning: take
what you want from the communal dish.  We took, and we took,
my husband and I, and still there was lots left over.  Let’s
just say if you’re a family like who likes to eat, you will not be
left hungry at Ruby WatchCo’s table. 

As for the atmosphere?  Well, if you don’t
know already, Cherie Stinson who met Lynn on an episode of
Restaurant Makeover, is a designer by trade, retained by
the illustrious, internationally acclaimed firm (yes, they deserve
these accolades) Yabu Pushelberg.  As such, she created a
perfectly understated, urban chic interior,
complete with reclaimed materials,
filament bulbs, and the restaurant’s muse: the
inlay-mirror sign, reading Ruby WatchCo, adorning the back
wall.  Originally from an East Indian watch company, the sign
is what inspired the identity of the restaurant.  One look in
the basement of a vintage store, and all three partners saw the
restaurant’s future reflected in the zillions of mirrored
shards…

Ruby WatchCo
730 Queen Street East
Toronto, ON
(416) 465-0100

 

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Have you been yet?  Do tell!!!

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