On the heels of Corso 32 comes Niche, another tiny, intimate storefront offering a small but thoughtful menu. Jill and I had dinner there last Friday.
We loved the room. It’s definitely on the dim side (they will be going through candles like gangbusters), but it suits the space well. With dark wood, exposed brick and a long leather banquet that stretches the length of the room, it is clean and comfortable. The modern feel continues in the bathroom area with common sinks set above more brick, shiny, almost industrial silver stall doors, and a funky wall comprised of pages ripped from Life Magazine.
Besides one minor glitch in service (the server initially directed us to a table in the darkest corner of the restaurant – even though seating options were available elsewhere), it was smooth sailing the rest of the night. Our server had a good sense of humour, and seemed to develop a good rapport with all other parties – especially important in such a small establishment.
As mentioned, the menu options are sparse but solid, with entrees priced at around $20 per plate. Charcuterie and cheese boards are also available, always appreciated as nibbles alongside a glass of wine. Notably, Niche also offers Yellowhead Beer.
I ordered the Spring Creek Ranch beef cheek ($20), served with broad egg noodles. This was my first encounter with beef cheeks, and based on this, I’d have them again. Resembling brisket in appearance, but tender and supple in texture, the meat was very well prepared. Thankfully, the wild mushroom cream sauce wasn’t overwhelming, and the pasta accompaniment just right.
Spring Creek Ranch beef cheek with egg noodles
Jill ordered the seafood special, featuring steelhead salmon, shrimp and a soy-butter glaze ($23). The salmon was perfectly flaky, and though she remarked that the shrimp were a touch overcooked, she enjoyed the dish overall.
Salmon, shrimp and a soy-butter glaze
We decided to share a dessert – a salt and caramel drizzled brownie with a dollop of ginger whipped cream ($8). It unfortunately didn’t live up to expectations – the brownie itself was hard and crumbled under fork pressure, and the bursts of salt were too few and far between.
Salt and caramel brownie
Open for just over a month, though Niche is not yet widely known, I’m sure that’s soon to change. It’s a welcome downtown addition – great for a post-work drink, date night, or dinner before a night out on the town. I will be back soon!
11011 Jasper Avenue
Monday-Wednesday 4pm-midnight, Thursday-Saturday 4pm-2am, closed Sunday