September 2005 Edition
The Flavour of Canada

Built Like a Brick Steak House

 

Reinventing a classic can be deceptively difficult, but this next-generation steak house in Edmonton rose to the challenge.

Located in a refurbished heritage brick building in the city’s historic warehouse district, Ric’s Grill Steak, Seafood and Chop House has updated all the traditional trappings of an old-school grill: booths, steak knives, comfortable atmosphere and a menu heavy on steaks and seafood.

But this isn’t your dad’s steak house. Here, old meets new in the ambience as well as on the menu.

Along with the natural brick of the old Metals Buildings—which once supplied the local plumbing and mining trades—solid fir beams and gleaming high-backed cherry wood booths contribute to the clean lines and comfortable elegance of the dining room and lounge. Private and semi-private rooms can accommodate parties from two to 40.

The menu is broad, contemporary and even adventurous, and is accompanied by a thoughtfully selected wine list. There is a wide assortment of Sterling Silver 100% Alberta beef, but diners can also choose from stir-fries, pasta and lighter fare, or try one of the more contemporary house specialties such as coconut shrimp or Ahi tuna with lime wasabi butter. Everything on the menu—including the inspired sauces and scrumptious desserts—is made from scratch, using premium ingredients, so it’s always fresh.

General manager, partner and chef James Mancini has the task of ensuring that these exacting standards are maintained while also controlling costs.

“We keep striving to offer the best quality product at the best value,” Mancini says. The great service and resourceful know-how he gets from Sysco can help achieve those goals.

Creativity in the kitchen is a family tradition for Mancini. His Italian grandfather was an accomplished cook, and was Mancini’s inspiration for becoming a chef. Mancini’s own culinary vision is fuelled by a genuine love of good food, and by the thrill of bringing together all the components of a terrific dish.

With 15 years of food service experience, including front and back of house, Mancini has taken a hands-on role since Ric’s opened a year and a half ago. The restaurant is one of the latest locations of a franchise that began in Prince George , B.C. seven years ago. Beyond its impressive brick street presence, the restaurant is centrally located in downtown Edmonton , drawing clientele from businesses, hotels and high-end residential neighbourhoods.

Mancini also appreciates the importance of outstanding service provided by highly trained staff. Hiring the best employees and investing time in training is one more aspect of providing a premium product.

Ric’s serves lunch Monday through Saturday, and dinner seven nights a week. It’s contemporary blend of relaxed sophistication, great food and good value have proven popular, and Ric’s downtown has already garnered the honour of being named the city’s best steak house.