Newly opened Ritual on Denman is setting a new standard for restaurant employment in Vancouver. They are the first certified living wage restaurant in this city where all staff are paid a living wage (around $21 per hour) along with benefits. Furthermore, Ritual is the first restaurant in BC to have a no-tipping policy. All tips are made into donations to “A Loving Spoonful,” an organization that provides free meals to people living with HIV or AIDS. As for the food, Ritual specializes in comfort food but with a modern and playful take. I recently visited Ritual for brunch after purchasing their Groupon deal ($24 for $40 of food).
Ritual is chef-owned and operated by Nevada Cope, formerly a chef at the Italian Cultural Centre. Cope had traveled extensively in the US which inspired her to create an “eclectic American-” inspired menu. The comfort food menu includes brunch favourites like eggs benny and French toast to braised meats like beef brisket for dinner. Coffee is by Verve Coffee based in Los Angeles. Brunch service is every day until 3 pm.
The menu changes regularly so it is fitting that it is presented on a chalkboard.
Rustic and Inviting
The interior of Ritual is rustic-inspired but still very bright, warm and inviting. A hungry wolf, like the one from Savio Volpe, sets the tone for the upcoming savage attack and devouring of Ritual’s dishes.
What I Tried
My husband and I tried the following items for brunch:
- Daily benny ($17)
- Mixed berries ciabatta French toast ($15)
- Deconstructed grasshopper pie ($7)
- Pour-over coffee ($3)
The daily benny came with housemade English muffins topped with pulled pork, poached eggs and Hollandaise sauce. They were out of tater tots that day so we had a salad substitute. This dish was just delicious. In particular, the pulled pork was absolutely melt-in-your-mouth and wonderfully sweet.
The mixed berries ciabatta French toast was absolutely droolworthy in presentation. I am happy to say that it tasted just as good as it looked. The house baked bread for the French toast was light and fluffy. Along with the whipped cream, maple syrup and mixed berries, this dish was simply a whole lot of awesomeness. Comfort food at it’s best.
The deconstructed grasshopper pie was a rather risky item for me to order. I must admit that I am not a normally a lover of mint chocolate but I was interested in trying Ritual’s take on it. The risk was well-worth it because the dessert was absolutely scrumptious. The amount of mint flavour in the mousse was not overpowering. Mix in the vanilla ice cream, fresh mints and chocolate brownie pieces, this dessert was a winner.
Overall Impression of Ritual
Although I used a Groupon for my meal, the food at Ritual is well-worth the full price. I think that the pricing for their dishes is fair considering the portions, quality, presentation and no-tipping policy. I found the service to be excellent. I’ll be back and recommending to friends. Rating: 5/5