Ric’s Grill
10190 104 Street

Signature Drink: Zonte’s Footstep Shiraz Viognier ($11.15)
Signature Dish: 6 oz. Filet Mignon ($24)
Rating: ***1/2
Dinner & drinks for 2: $80

With a six-foot-two, blond artist on my arm, I wanted to wow her with an impressive downtown lunch spot. I thought of Ric’s Grill, with the vaulted ceilings, original wooden support pillars and exposed brick walls of the Metals Building built in 1914.

Beyond the redwood booths and glass décor, the brick walls had been painted an inoffensive gray. I requested a glass of Zonte’s Footstep Shiraz Viognier ($11.15) and noted the emphasis given to steak options on the menu. I picked one.

I enjoyed the tart, lingering flavour of my wine, served oddly chilled. Our four triangles of plain baguette were layered with four distinct flavours of cheese, but the cheese bread ($7) was otherwise uninspiring.

When my entrée was delivered, I sampled both the adequate sautéed vegetables and dry basmati rice pilaf.

However, the luscious, tender 6 oz. filet mignon ($24) came through. Each bite of succulent beef was enhanced by the smoky bacon and combined beautifully with the persistent viognier.

An amaretto crème brulée ($8) was a smooth, sweet endnote to a satisfactory — but not exceptional — meal. There are places that do it better than Ric’s.

And the artist hasn’t talked to me since the meal.

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