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Inside Ricarda’s (Image: Aly Zorn)

Ricarda’s 134 is the new kid in Toronto’s Entertainment District. Vv Magazine’s Aly Zorn gives us an exclusive first look at what’s on the menu at the Mediterranean spot.  

Toronto’s Entertainment District has been graced with the taste of the Mediterranean as the much anticipated Ricarda’s 134 has opened their doors. As General Manager, David Whissell, puts it, “Visiting Ricarda’s will be like journeying across the world… But the only thing our guests will need to pack is their taste buds.” Sounds like our kind of trip!

The Experience
Upon entering the stunning QRC West building at 134 Peter Street, you are immediately immersed in a tantalising foodie experience featuring an open kitchen concept, dining area and bar/lounge (talk about options!).

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Inside Ricarda’s (Image: Aly Zorn)

Along with an extensive list of tapas and share plates, the menu also has create-your-own dishes (salads, flatbreads, and pasta,) as well as Ricarda’s Tasting Tables. Reserve a group tasting table and watch as Ricarda’s chefs and in-house sommeliers create carefully crafted custom menus inspired by one or more distinct Mediterranean regions.

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Inside Ricarda’s (Image: Aly Zorn)

In more of a hurry? Ricarda’s bakery and grab-and-go section is the perfect midday pick-me-up for professionals in the area. Get whisked away over your lunch break by daily pastries, desserts, artisanal bread, decadent coffee roasts and a grab-and-go selection of sandwiches and salads thoughtfully created by Bakery Manager, Sarah Tsai.

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The bakery selection (Image: Aly Zorn)

But, the experience doesn’t end there. Ricarda’s also features a wrap-around patio, The 134 Atrium, and a mezzanine dubbed The Attico Bar & Tapas. The space boasts three, 70-foot delta frames adding some architectural allure to your dining experience.

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The bar (Image: Aly Zorn)

The Tasting
With my taste buds in tow, I began my food adventure at the bar and wet my palate with several cocktails from the extensive drink menu. The Manhattan, my personal fav, is made with Crown Royal, vermouth and bitter, and has just the perfect amount of tangy, sweetness.

Mixing the Manhattan (Image: Aly Zorn)
Mixing the Manhattan (Image: Aly Zorn)

Other notable bevvies include the Long Island Ice Tea, the Sangria, and the Classic Martini.

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The Sangria (Image: Aly Zorn)
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The Classic Martini (Image: Aly Zorn)

Having worked up an appetite, I moved on to a variety of delicious Mediterranean dishes prepared by Executive Chef, Samir Girgis. Girgis doesn’t miss a beat, mixing and matching locally sourced ingredients to create artful and delicious dishes.

I began with the Tomato and Watermelon salad: stracciatella, sumac, mint and pistachio. It really is refreshing as it sounds, like a cool summer breeze washing over your taste buds.

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Tomato and Watermelon Salad (Image: Aly Zorn)

Next was the Grape Leaf Wrapped Octopus which was tender and grilled to perfection and paired with yellow tomato, squid ink, and sorrel.

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After savouring some of the smaller tastes, I moved onto the Tapas menu. The Duck Empanada (cured foie gras, pickled gooseberry and pear) was tender and succulent. The duck had just the right melt-in-your-mouth richness that dissolved like butter.

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Duck Empanada (Image: Aly Zorn)

For dessert I began with the Corn Panna Cotta: blueberry compote, salted polenta sablee, and blueberry meringue.

Corn Pannacotta
Corn Panna Cotta (Image: Aly Zorn)

And because two desserts are better than one, I also tried the Chocolate Ganache Torte: zabaglione gelato, cocoa nibs, and berries. The presentation of both desserts was meticulously curated and was just as flavourful as they were beautiful.

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Chocolate Ganache Torte (Image: Aly Zorn)

Whether you’re looking for a quick fix or a full on food adventure, Ricarda’s has it all. Taste and experience the Mediterranean without even leaving Toronto.

RELATED LINK: First Look: Taqueria on the Oasis Rooftop

What are you most excited to try at Ricarda’s 134? Let Vv Magazine know in the comments below, or tweet us @ViewtheVibe.