Great Food, Fine Beers
Biera, the flagstone restaurant at Ritchie Market, was a long time coming. Though set to open early in 2017, Biera's beverage partner, Blind Enthusiasm Brewery, who inhabits the same space had complications in their construction process. While waiting to open to the public, head chef Christine Sanford devised creative and delicious menus inspired by European bistro fare. This gave us ample time to photograph her creations. When Biera did open their doors to the public in late May 2017, we were there to capture their staff doing their thing in the restaurant's beautiful atmosphere.
In the process of photographing many of Biera's dishes for their seasonal menus, we learned first hand that Sanford's food is some of the best we've ever had. Two of our absolute favourites are the house-made keifer butter on fresh sourdough and the smoked potatoes with whey clam sauce. And if you're lucky enough to taste the sunflower seed and malted rye risotto, it's going to change your life.
Biera has an entire section of their menu dedicated to items cooked over a charcoal grill. In the kitchen, this grill takes centre stage both literally and figuratively. Despite all of the associated venting required for it, the delicious smells from the things cooking on the grill can permeate the whole kitchen. Whether they're wilting bok choy on it or smoking cheese over timothy hay, the plates created from the things that come off of the charcoal are incredible.
The staff at Biera, led by Justin, Dan and Kristin is also exceptional. They know their stuff inside and out and are able to recommend exactly what you might like in both food and drink options. On their opening weekend, this crew had the tough job of telling walk in customers that they were facing at least a 3 hour wait to be seated and they handled it with incredible respect and composure. And most customers stuck around to wait it out!