Sunday, May 3, 2015

Another Look at Jess Jazey-Spoelstra’s Rhino and the River Room Café and Private Dining at Museum London

Another Look at Jess Jazey-Spoelstra’s Rhino Bakery and the River Room Café and Private Dining

Jess Jazey-Spoelstra and Harmen Spoelstra

Über-pastry-chef Michele Lenhardt's "Cronut" 

             The Rhino Lounge Bakery and Coffee Shoppe


Restaurateur/caterer Jess Jazey-Spoelstra focuses on providing innovative and cutting-edge food experiences combined with extraordinary service, which is her hallmark. Her last project, The Rhino Lounge Bakery and Coffee Shoppe is celebrating its first anniversary. It opened last year in a renovated and enlarged space formerly occupied by the museum gift shop. The café is named after Tom Benner’s White Rhino sculpture that has stood watch on the grounds of the museum since 1987.

Jazey-Spoelstra’s stylish design sensibility is reflected in all her projects. It is about delivering elegance and comfort, and paying attention to detail. Smoky crystal chandeliers, with dozens of multifaceted hanging crystals, and custom-made leather banquettes set the tenor. Designed to be multi-functional, the Rhino can be reconfigured for special and private events.  There are plans to place patio tables on the front lawn this year.

Jazey-Spoelstra’s stylish design sensibility is reflected in all her projects. 

The in-house scratch bakery is the purview of Über-pastry-chef Michele Lenhardt who brings dessert offerings to a whole new level at the Rhino Lounge and at the River Room. Have you had her take on the Cronut yet? It is only available on Thursdays at the Rhino. I have seen her customer’s line-up in anticipation. Decadent chocolate cake with fudge frosting and carrot cake with cream cheese icing are all classics, as is her made-to-order apple fritters with salted caramel sauce, as is her signature vanilla bean crème brûlée. Who can forget Lenhardt’s classic lemon tart? (Yes, I thought I had died and gone to heaven.) 


Who can forget Lenhardt’s classic lemon tart?

The Rhino Lounge Bakery and Coffee Shop showcases pâtisseries, croissants, handmade doughnuts and hand-rolled bagels. Other dessert offerings have included goat cheese cheesecake, cherry tarts and a signature chocolate pâté.

The Rhino Lounge seats 40 and is licenced and the kitchen features a wide range of coffee and teas, wines and local craft beers as well as grab and go  sandwiches, tacos, salads, shakes and smoothies. There is also a charcuterie plate and house-cured smoked with crispy potato gaufrettes and their signature cream cheese.



House-cured smoked with crispy potato gaufrettes and their signature cream cheese.

Panoramic views and the tailored simplicity and elegance of the River Room Café and Private Dining make it a pleasing spot for lunch or Sunday brunch. The River Room’s kitchen has a deserved reputation for the quality of the ingredients and the knowledgeable and expressive exuberance of the preparations. The servers are friendly and welcoming and are among the best in the city.

Cherry Tart

Of course, the other arm of Jazey-Spoelstra’s burgeoning empire is North Moore Catering. Jazey-Spoelstra’s caters to cocktail parties, weddings, post-wedding brunches, dinners at your home, corporate events or any other occasion that requires a caterer. Past events have included cocktail parties with guest lists of 1500, as well as intimate dinner parties.

Rhino Lounge
Museum London, Ridout Street North
519-850-5111
TUESDAY—SUNDAY:  11 AM—5 PM
CLOSED MONDAYS
THURSDAYS: 11 AM—9 PM

The River Room Café
Museum London, Ridout Street North
519-850-228
TUESDAY—SUNDAY:  11 AM—5 PM
CLOSED MONDAYS
SUNDAY BRUNCH

www.theriverroom.ca

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