When you feel like doing it up for a nice night out, you want to go somewhere with an intimate atmosphere, fancy drinks, and of course, some delicious, sophisticated food. That’s what Ryan and Alicia Racine tried to create at Toria, a new restaurant in Northville.
“We had talked about doing a restaurant for years and years and years,” says Ryan. “We love food. We love wine, and we are great home cooks. We love entertaining.”
The couple also owns the Adorn flower shop and Sugar Lu’s candy store in downtown Northville. When the building across the street became available, they partnered up with Alicia’s mother, Kathryn O’Reilly, and went for it.
The building used to be Edward’s Café, a longtime staple in Northville. Originally when they took it over, they planned to keep it as a daytime café, but as they started to flesh out their idea, they went in another direction.
“My wife and I both have art degrees. We’re designers by trade. For us, we always look at a project like, look at it as a design problem, starting with a concept and building from there,” explains Ryan.
The concept for their new restaurant all began with the name. They wanted to pay homage to Edward’s Café, so they decided to name it Toria, short for Victoria, the daughter of King Edward VII, and the granddaughter of Queen Victoria. This also played well with Northville’s Victorian architecture, including the building it’s in which was built in the late 1800s.
“In the end, it sort of has a mix of a Parisian café and a London pub,” says Ryan of their cozy restaurant.
Marble tables are surrounded by two to four plush chairs, perfect for a couple or a double date. The walls are decked in vintage art, and two crowns float in the air.
This European flare influenced the menu as well. They have some classic British dishes like bangers and mash, which they make with Akroyd’s sausage and serve with stout braised onions, or the Eton Mess, a traditional English dessert that is like a deconstructed pavlova which they make with dehydrated meringue, a bourbon whipped cream, and macerated berries. Other favorites include their caviar plate served with blinis, and their steak and potatoes which features a Michigan-raised flat iron steak, duck fat roasted potatoes, garlic green beans, and a red wine reduction.
On the weekends they serve brunch, and they are planning to change up their menu seasonally. For more information watch the video above. Toria is located at 115 E Main Street in Northville.