TasteToronto | Ration Food Lab launches sustainable Winter menu in their re-imagined Queen West space

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Ration Food Lab launches sustainable Winter menu in their re-imagined Queen West space

Ration Food Lab launches sustainable Winter menu in their re-imagined Queen West space

Ration Food Lab launches sustainable Winter menu in their re-imagined Queen West space

The innovative team behind Ration Food Lab is thrilled to introduce Toronto to their brand new Winter menu at the Ration Beverly, which will be served in their newly-renovated space on the main floor of the Sonder at the Beverly on Queen Street West.

Ration Food Lab is the brainchild of Wes Barber, Chef Jef Edwards and Chris Nguyen, who have developed a sort of food incubator with a focus on sustainability and breaking the mould when it comes to the way we source ingredients and prepare food.

The three developed the concept for Ration together over coffee, and they took over the Beverly space in January 2021. For the first few months, they focused on having fine dining chefs take on some casual fare projects where they cooked up burgers, pastas, tacos and fried chicken, but with the opportunity to once again host guests indoors, they have been able to now go back to their roots, and have re-centred their focus on fine dining and elevated experiences.

“We want to highlight preservation, fermentation and foraging," Nguyen says. "We love beautiful, rare and unique ingredients, and our network of farmers and foragers allows us access to the most amazing foods Canada has to offer.”

In preparation for their grand re-opening, Chef Edwards and his colleagues took a trip to Sudbury where they foraged nearly 40 pounds of chanterelles, some black trumpets and porcini. The team aims to celebrate the natural food treasures our great land has to offer by showcasing products from the wild and foraging it by their own means.

There is so much information available about how land can be used as a source of food, but fermentation and foraging is just starting to become a little more mainstream.

“The same way you can get your hands on fishing and hunting guides to let you know where or when to find seasonal items, or how to look for tracks, we use Google Maps to help us find the densest regions, so we know where to go for our harvest," says Nguyen.

The idea of foraging for food goes right back to the original concept of Ration, harbouring the story of their predecessors gaining food from the Canadian landscape and figuring out how to preserve those ideals as time goes on.

With the changes in normal weather patterns, it was certainly interesting for the team this year when it came to going out and searching for food. With wild foods not following a "farm" schedule, they had to reassess and discovered so many things that they weren’t necessarily looking for.

“You need to be adaptable, and be prepared to face the unexpected. It’s super important for us to hone in on what Canadian food is, besides traditional poutine or tortière," says Edwards.

Ration incorporates many international techniques when it comes to preparing their food. Be it from China, Japan or the Middle East, each culture has its own preservation methods and unique ability to gather food from the wild, so the team has adopted a number of different preparation styles in order to continue to develop and expand upon the way the food can be used.

With nothing going to waste, every aspect of their ingredients are used in any way possible, which has allowed them to create a number of incredibly flavourful broths, soups, garums and more to compliment their dishes.

“We focus a lot on zero waste, so any sort of bi-products we get from ferments or foraging, or from processing our ingredients, there are even opportunities for our bar to use them as well, not just the kitchen," says Edwards.

The cocktail menu is spearheaded by award-winning mixologist Eleni Brock, who has developed an array of beverages with unique flavours, and with something on the menu for everyone’s taste and preference.

The Wonderland is perfect for those who prefer a sweeter cocktail, with some smokiness and light citrusy notes. The beverage is prepared with sake, mezcal, absinthe, rice, green tea, lime ends cordial, orange blossom, and is sprinkled with edible glitter, giving the drink an extra shimmer.

The Spore Taste, however, is excellent for those looking for a straight-up cocktail, that beautifully combines earthiness with sweetness. Made with rye, fermented cacao, portobello, madeira, bay leaf and lichen, and finished with table-side smoke inside a glass cloche, you can enlighten all your senses when sipping on this masterpiece.

If you’re feeling like shots, be sure to order a round of Bubble Stocks for the table––served on top of a retro bubble gum cartoon ‘coaster’. This semi-sweet shooter is made with Jose Cuervo traditional plata, bubblegum stock, St. Germain and fino sherry.

The entire dining experience at the Ration Beverly has been so carefully thought out, with so much attention paid to detail, right down to the way they perform water service. With your water jug, you will also be given a selection of dehydrated citrus to add as a flavour booster, meant to marinate in your glass as you enjoy your meal.

To begin, you will be served an amuse bouche comprised of smoked olives, and an individual cup of sunflower miso shoyu broth, to awaken your palate, and start your meal off with a salty treat.

The snacks and sides are designed to explore the wilderness of Canada, which align with the Venison Carpaccio and the carrots. The carpaccio is hand-pounded, and dressed with chanterelle duxelle and a leek ash aioli.

The tri-colour heirloom carrots are served with a creamy, smoked tofu, carrot-top pesto, and for a little crunch, some candied sunflower seeds.

One the highlights on the main menu include a beautiful Fall Vegetable Cioppino. Though normally made as a seafood chowder, this comforting vegetarian version is made with heirloom tomatoes, candied mushrooms and kombu pickled samphire, served in a savoury herb broth, and a side of fresh sourdough.

Another option is the Koji Duck Breast. The meat is aged a minimum of 14 days, is glazed with koji, and is served with duck heart garum, and celeriac and cardamom purée. The thin slices of duck meat are so tender and will melt in your mouth with every bite.

When you enter the main dining space, you’ll most likely the notice the aging fridge against the back wall, displaying a number of their ducks and steaks.

“There’s something really special that happens when you age meat, and we want to show people that we’re not shy about the process,” says Edwards. He explains that when meat is aged in the fridge, the loss of moisture in fact breaks down the connective tissue in the meats, making them way more tender and packed with even more flavour.

The Ration space itself boasts a mix of classic and modern vibes, with paned-arched windows, exposed brick and contemporary lighting fixtures. Their broad selection of wines are also on display throughout the dining room, trickled in with a multitude of intricate elements of design. There is also. of course, a Strange Love café in the main space, where you can get your hand-made coffee fix either before or after your meal.

The Ration Beverly is located at 335 Queen Street West, and will have its grand opening today on Nov. 6, where you can reserve a table and experience their unique food and drink offerings in person. Be sure to keep a close eye on the Ration Food Lab Instagram account, where they will continue to release information on all their upcoming projects.

Tags:

Toronto Spot

Queen Street West

Ration Beverley Toronto

Ration Food Lab Toronto

Ration Food Lab launches sustainable Winter menu in their re-imagined Queen West space

News

28 days ago | Updated: 25 days ago

Ration Food Lab launches sustainable Winter menu in their re-imagined Queen West space

Jordan Shore

Jordan Shore

Instagram

The innovative team behind Ration Food Lab is thrilled to introduce Toronto to their brand new Winter menu at the Ration Beverly, which will be served in their newly-renovated space on the main floor of the Sonder at the Beverly on Queen Street West.

Ration Food Lab is the brainchild of Wes Barber, Chef Jef Edwards and Chris Nguyen, who have developed a sort of food incubator with a focus on sustainability and breaking the mould when it comes to the way we source ingredients and prepare food.

The three developed the concept for Ration together over coffee, and they took over the Beverly space in January 2021. For the first few months, they focused on having fine dining chefs take on some casual fare projects where they cooked up burgers, pastas, tacos and fried chicken, but with the opportunity to once again host guests indoors, they have been able to now go back to their roots, and have re-centred their focus on fine dining and elevated experiences.

“We want to highlight preservation, fermentation and foraging," Nguyen says. "We love beautiful, rare and unique ingredients, and our network of farmers and foragers allows us access to the most amazing foods Canada has to offer.”

In preparation for their grand re-opening, Chef Edwards and his colleagues took a trip to Sudbury where they foraged nearly 40 pounds of chanterelles, some black trumpets and porcini. The team aims to celebrate the natural food treasures our great land has to offer by showcasing products from the wild and foraging it by their own means.

There is so much information available about how land can be used as a source of food, but fermentation and foraging is just starting to become a little more mainstream.

“The same way you can get your hands on fishing and hunting guides to let you know where or when to find seasonal items, or how to look for tracks, we use Google Maps to help us find the densest regions, so we know where to go for our harvest," says Nguyen.

The idea of foraging for food goes right back to the original concept of Ration, harbouring the story of their predecessors gaining food from the Canadian landscape and figuring out how to preserve those ideals as time goes on.

With the changes in normal weather patterns, it was certainly interesting for the team this year when it came to going out and searching for food. With wild foods not following a "farm" schedule, they had to reassess and discovered so many things that they weren’t necessarily looking for.

“You need to be adaptable, and be prepared to face the unexpected. It’s super important for us to hone in on what Canadian food is, besides traditional poutine or tortière," says Edwards.

Ration incorporates many international techniques when it comes to preparing their food. Be it from China, Japan or the Middle East, each culture has its own preservation methods and unique ability to gather food from the wild, so the team has adopted a number of different preparation styles in order to continue to develop and expand upon the way the food can be used.

With nothing going to waste, every aspect of their ingredients are used in any way possible, which has allowed them to create a number of incredibly flavourful broths, soups, garums and more to compliment their dishes.

“We focus a lot on zero waste, so any sort of bi-products we get from ferments or foraging, or from processing our ingredients, there are even opportunities for our bar to use them as well, not just the kitchen," says Edwards.

The cocktail menu is spearheaded by award-winning mixologist Eleni Brock, who has developed an array of beverages with unique flavours, and with something on the menu for everyone’s taste and preference.

The Wonderland is perfect for those who prefer a sweeter cocktail, with some smokiness and light citrusy notes. The beverage is prepared with sake, mezcal, absinthe, rice, green tea, lime ends cordial, orange blossom, and is sprinkled with edible glitter, giving the drink an extra shimmer.

The Spore Taste, however, is excellent for those looking for a straight-up cocktail, that beautifully combines earthiness with sweetness. Made with rye, fermented cacao, portobello, madeira, bay leaf and lichen, and finished with table-side smoke inside a glass cloche, you can enlighten all your senses when sipping on this masterpiece.

If you’re feeling like shots, be sure to order a round of Bubble Stocks for the table––served on top of a retro bubble gum cartoon ‘coaster’. This semi-sweet shooter is made with Jose Cuervo traditional plata, bubblegum stock, St. Germain and fino sherry.

The entire dining experience at the Ration Beverly has been so carefully thought out, with so much attention paid to detail, right down to the way they perform water service. With your water jug, you will also be given a selection of dehydrated citrus to add as a flavour booster, meant to marinate in your glass as you enjoy your meal.

To begin, you will be served an amuse bouche comprised of smoked olives, and an individual cup of sunflower miso shoyu broth, to awaken your palate, and start your meal off with a salty treat.

The snacks and sides are designed to explore the wilderness of Canada, which align with the Venison Carpaccio and the carrots. The carpaccio is hand-pounded, and dressed with chanterelle duxelle and a leek ash aioli.

The tri-colour heirloom carrots are served with a creamy, smoked tofu, carrot-top pesto, and for a little crunch, some candied sunflower seeds.

One the highlights on the main menu include a beautiful Fall Vegetable Cioppino. Though normally made as a seafood chowder, this comforting vegetarian version is made with heirloom tomatoes, candied mushrooms and kombu pickled samphire, served in a savoury herb broth, and a side of fresh sourdough.

Another option is the Koji Duck Breast. The meat is aged a minimum of 14 days, is glazed with koji, and is served with duck heart garum, and celeriac and cardamom purée. The thin slices of duck meat are so tender and will melt in your mouth with every bite.

When you enter the main dining space, you’ll most likely the notice the aging fridge against the back wall, displaying a number of their ducks and steaks.

“There’s something really special that happens when you age meat, and we want to show people that we’re not shy about the process,” says Edwards. He explains that when meat is aged in the fridge, the loss of moisture in fact breaks down the connective tissue in the meats, making them way more tender and packed with even more flavour.

The Ration space itself boasts a mix of classic and modern vibes, with paned-arched windows, exposed brick and contemporary lighting fixtures. Their broad selection of wines are also on display throughout the dining room, trickled in with a multitude of intricate elements of design. There is also. of course, a Strange Love café in the main space, where you can get your hand-made coffee fix either before or after your meal.

The Ration Beverly is located at 335 Queen Street West, and will have its grand opening today on Nov. 6, where you can reserve a table and experience their unique food and drink offerings in person. Be sure to keep a close eye on the Ration Food Lab Instagram account, where they will continue to release information on all their upcoming projects.

Tags:

Toronto Spot

Queen Street West

Ration Beverley Toronto

Ration Food Lab Toronto