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Edmonton Restaurant Recommendations


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Try to be served by the Rooster - the best waiter that ever lived. Frenchy at Fortes' is simply one of his many proteges...

LOL...too funy...thanks for the morning laughs.

I first met Russ at Jack's Grill before he headed to Hardware...I thought that I had met him before. We got to talking and some how the topic of seared tuna came up and I mentioned having had it at Saltimbocca. Russ replied, "ah yes, my good friend Ken Bogas"...then I put it all together, Russ had served us at Joe Fortes several years earlier....

Had lunch at Hardware awhile back...I understand that they had to put new doors on the entrance so Russ could get his head in after than newspaper article [smile]...good guy, quite the character!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'll be in Edmonton for two nights this week (Wed and Thurs). I am planning on The Hardware Grill one night and the restaurant in the Macdonald Hotel for the other night. How does that sound? (I've read old posts about both these places, but want to know if either place has gone downhill since then).

Thanks, guys!

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annadev:

Those are two "solid picks" that are usually mentioned whenever someone inquires about "higher end" dining in Edmonton. I have not had dinner at either recently but lunches are good at both.

Murietta's Grill [original in Calgary and second location in Canmore] had a "soft opening" on Tuesday in the space within the Varscona Hotel on Whyte Ave. which formerly housed a Sorrentino's and the L'Attitude.

Food requires some quirks to be worked out but mgmt. is very solid. Do all the right things encouraging feedback, willing to listen.

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  • 2 months later...

Decided to gamble and went for dinner at Murietta's Grill last night (Wednesday). The space is beautiful, a nice combination of classic and modern with dark wood and cream walls and a fireplace topped by a trio of colourful food themed paintings. There is a bar area, main dining area and a very nice overflow or private room that leads off the main dining area. Kudos to the designer whoever he/she is.

Alas, the food does not do the room justice. Prices are in the $8. - $17. bracket for apps and $18 - $29. for mains with a selection of pastas and flat breads thrown in as well.

We started with a half dozen oysters $15. which where nice. My calamari was neither crisp or rubbery and was undistinguished in taste and presentation. A spinach salad was good and a nice portion size.

A double cut pork chop ordered pink arrived dry and flavourless and was returned to be replaced by something quick - Rigatoni with Roasted Chicken. It came quickly and was ok but swimming in cream sauce. My other dining companions ordered: the Bouliabaise which was tasty and nicely presented and the crab cake which arrived lukewarm with slightly wilted mixed greens as a garnish.

The food was too hit and miss for this price point and you know what you are in for when the vegetable garnish on the entrees is composed of : a spear of asparagus, a carrot, the classic red pepper slice, etc.

There is a nice wine list with a good selection of wines by the glass and the service was pleasant although tables around us were left uncleared on a night when it was not very busy and a number of staff were in evidence.

The room truly deserves a better level of cuisine or at least a more polished take on the items offered.

Jack's Grill or the Hardware Grill would have been much better choices for the money.

I do have hope that they will improve as they are new and from comments farther upthread seem to have a good management team (who I will contact with my feedback).

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Decided to gamble and went for dinner at Murietta's Grill last night (Wednesday). The space is beautiful, a nice combination of classic and modern with dark wood and cream walls and a  fireplace topped by a trio of colourful food themed paintings. There is a bar area, main dining area and a very nice overflow or private room that leads off the main dining area. Kudos to the designer whoever he/she is.

Alas, the food does not do the room justice. Prices are in the $8. - $17. bracket for apps and $18 - $29. for mains with a selection of pastas and flat breads thrown in as well.

We started with a half dozen oysters $15. which where nice. My calamari was neither crisp or rubbery and was undistinguished in taste and presentation. A spinach salad was good and a nice portion size.

A double cut pork chop ordered pink arrived dry and flavourless and was returned to be replaced by something quick -  Rigatoni with Roasted Chicken. It came quickly and was ok but swimming in cream sauce. My other dining companions ordered: the Bouliabaise which was tasty and nicely presented and the crab cake which arrived lukewarm with slightly wilted mixed greens as a garnish.

The food was too hit and miss for this price point and you know what you are in for when the vegetable garnish on the entrees is composed of : a spear of asparagus, a carrot, the classic red pepper slice, etc.

There is a nice wine list with a good selection of wines by the glass and the service was pleasant although tables around us were left uncleared on a night when it was not very busy and a number of staff were in evidence.

The room truly deserves a better level of cuisine or at least a more polished take on  the items offered.

Jack's Grill or the Hardware Grill would have been much better choices for the money.

I do have hope that they will improve as they are new and from comments farther upthread seem to have a good management team (who I will contact with my feedback).

eatrustic,

sounds like a similar experience I had a couple years back at the Murrieta's in Canmore. I loved the room-big windows, airy, Rocky Mountain feel, but the food was like Earl's-overpriced and over-hyped. We all left dissappointed.

Zuke

"I used to be Snow White, but I drifted."

--Mae West

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  • 5 months later...

“Dining in Edmonton is a bit like stumbling around a catholic schoolgirl dorm - lots of boring, hardworking, plaid clad folk, but the odd mindblowing experience to be had if you knock on the right door.” Said the MightyMrQ

Food writer Judy Schultz and the journal have a great food section- it beats the sun-province hands down

The city has Restaurants hiding in all the wrong places just like those school dorm girls- some of them have been around for thirty years or more and have had some mean and lean years to survive. They too have been working hard but have not been bored or boarding (:

I agree with Hardware Grill and Jack's Grill- the Sugar Bowl- the Saturday afternoon jam at the Commercial hotel on Whyte and Blues on whyte (old Renford inn) not mentioned- do not forget the Side Track Café- one of the best live music venues in Canada. The music scene in Edmonton is very good for where it is- the middle of no where. You also have one of the oldest Jazz clubs in Edmonton “The Yardbird”

Someone up posting mentioned one of my favs- that is a very old-timer restaurant Bistro Praha, still great after all these years. The 20 year club- Café Select has moved to 109 street- around UA campus,. La Boheme on 112th; great dinning. Have you ever heard of the Unheardof restaurant in mill creek area still rocking and putting out great food.

New places such as Blueplate on 104 downtown – Manor Café -125th—Dadeo-5th-white

I am in Edmonton for a while so I will go around check out what’s up

Happy hunting

steve

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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I remember having a date at Bistro Praha in about 1979. It was the epitome of cool back then (especially for my 19 year old self ). I can't remember all the things my date and I had, but a few things stand out like toast points with crab and caviar, frothy coffee (capuccino), and Mozart on the stereo. Then I went to Europe for real and never saw him again (but that's another story).

Glad to hear it is still there.

My all-time favourite Edmonton restaurant was Walden's. Long gone, I presume.

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Last night my friend and I ate at Cafe Select in UA area (109 st)- We did not make reservations but we got there around 8:30 p.m.- it was a good thing too because it sounded like they where jumping busy and without a reso, we would have waited long to get in. The down side - both of us were like focusing on having mussels; which has been a weakness and addiction for many years. Mussels are also- me as a chef one of the things I do best. I am quite picky in regards to both cooking and eating mussels. I was very sad and almost started crying at the bad news of there being no mussels. That night it seemed there was many more ahead of us that had the same craving and opting for Select’s mussels. I do not know what Mussels are like now (at the new restaurant) but back in the hay days- Select downtown was a master at mussels and they sold thousands of PEI mussels; it was one of their best dishes. So when my friend and I agreed we were going to Select for dinner on Saturday- I spent the whole day, day dreaming about those succulent and sexy east coast bivalves sliding down my throat with love and landing in my belly- So sad; is all I have to say.

Anyway -it was good to see that the restaurant in their newest location is rocking and doing well. Even on a night when Calgary pounced on the Oilers and Calgary fans outnumbered Edmonton every where I went on my way home from a fine night of eating and wining.

We had wild mushrooms and goat cheese served on light rye- a wonderful crustini; Coq Au vin and a wonderful curried vegetable dish with rice, pappadum, yogurt and mango chutney and all being washed down with a nice Merlot 1998-Vine cliff, Napa (very nice)

We had started with a half bottle of Pinot Grigio (Italy) Tunata s anna- we were split on it.

It was a nice evening and I would not think twice on going back- the cost was over a hundred dollars- the average we spend when we go out, about the same when we go out in Van.

I look forward to going again and next time I will have mussels.

steve

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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  • 1 year later...

I am working in Edmonton at present, residing in an old neighbourhood called Highlands; which has some of the best views of Edmonton’s river valley. I am a stone throws from a new place called Bacon which is almost on the same block as La Boheme Restaurant and Suite Bed & Breakfast a long time Edmonton Institution which used to gather as much press as Bacon is receiving at the moment but now it is just gathering moss while Bacon rocks with customers.

It is rather ironic that it is called bacon because the menu flow is mostly vegetarian and many vegan choices. It does a great job in bringing choice and flavour to both eating styles.

The most amazing thing and it is also a huge trend in Edmonton and many Canadian cities are to feature locally grown food. At the moment there is so much variety in the Edmonton market. The small independent processors are so much more fluid then Vancouver and BC at the moment because you can get so much more accesses to local meat from very good quality and independent processors- more then just one. In Vancouver we would be screwed without Mr Hill from Hills Foods.

Bacon has incredible Alberta lamb, chicken and bacon. I miss Alberta lamb so much- being raised in the Province- I had so much as a kid; it has been about 20 years since I have had Alberta lamb- you could imagine my excitement.

In BC you have mostly New Zealand or Aussie lamb- I am not that big of a fan of either-if I do have a woody for lamb from that part of the world it is unusually New Zealand lamb: top quality at that -that cost over thirty bucks in any restaurant. I find that if you do not invest that kind of money you do not get the quality and taste.

In BC -Buy local - Salt Spring Island Lamb.

Bacon is a hot story right now

Here are some other links

Write ups for bacon

http://ugonnaeatthat.wordpress.com/2007/08...the-back-bacon/

http://www.vueweekly.com/articles/default.aspx?i=6823

http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news...bacd09da508&p=2

http://mywhat.org/category/bacon/

http://www.cbc.ca/edmontonam/restaurant.html

steve

Cook To Live; Live To Cook
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Nice to have you back Steve.

Have not been out to the Highlands area for quite some time so have not tried Bacon. I am still chuckling about La Boheme. Yes, that is quite the "mouldy oldie". I can tell you a few stories about Ernst Eder and Claude Buzon.

I was just thinking that I would have to look you up when we head out to Vancouver Island in October.

We have a couple of days in Nanaimo before 10 on Chesterman Beach in Tofino.

Drop by Sherlock's some afternoon and I will buy you a pint.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hello all,

Just a short note about Famoso Pizza on Jasper at 119th West (I think) - simple cafeteria style, thin crust pizzas that are incredible. Pulcinella in Calgary is supposed to be some of the best, but this place is much better, with the dough cooked right through to the center (what a concept).

Bob, when are the two of you on Chestermans - Shari-Lynn and I have also rented a place on Chesterman from the 11th to the 18th - drinks at the Pointe?

Chris

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My wife and I went to Edmonton two weeks ago to do some shopping for the restaurant and bring her sister some stuff for school. We were overnight on a Sunday. I talked to Merlin about some places to check; of the 10 or so excellant recommadations I think 8 of them were closed on the Sunday. Last night I had a couple in for U of S's homecoming form Edmonton and they too said it's difficult to find a place to eat on either Monday or Sunday or anything past 9 pm. Saskatoon has the problem of past 9 pm and the Sunday nights. We are making a couple of trips (actually 6) to Edmonton for hockey and I hope to able to eat before the games at a couple of Merlin's reccomendations.

Dan Walker

Chef/Owner

Weczeria Restaurant

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Excellent timing Chris.

We arrive on Tuesday the 9th and leave before noon on Friday the 18th so our respective stays will overlap. I'll PM with the details.

"Drinks at the Pointe?"....although it is highly unlikely for me to have drink especially when on holidays :raz: it will be terrific to see you and Shari-Lynn

Agree about Famoso. I usually end up stopping in en route back to the burbs in the evening once or so a week. The pizza suffers a little from the drive. Better there but you can recrisp it in a hot oven pretty quickly. Good addition to the pizza scene in this city.

See you in Tofino

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  • 7 months later...

my wife's from edmonton and i've been there a few times. unfortunately, all of her family's moved out of there, so we're not sure what's new and good as far as food goes.

we like pagolac in chinatown for vietnamese food. here's a blurry drive-by shot of it:

gallery_24789_3304_18635.jpg

i've had the "7 kinds of beef" course there, which was pretty good. the place is a little dingy, but the food's good. there's also a good banh mi place called nhon hoa a block away on 106 ave. they make their sandwiches with the real vietnamese sub bread that's thinner and has pointier ends.

last time i was in etown, i had some decent jamaican food at irie foods in mill woods:

gallery_24789_3304_83374.jpg

oxtail stew (i think)

gallery_24789_3304_112674.jpg

curry goat (i think)

i also had some pretty good thin crust pizza from famoso on jasper ave:

gallery_24789_3304_156044.jpg

gallery_24789_3304_65207.jpg

i was impressed to see this kind of pizza available in edmonton.

album of the moment: Kelley Polar - I Need You To Hold On While The Sky Is Falling - 2008
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my wife's from edmonton and i've been there a few times. unfortunately, all of her family's moved out of there, so we're not sure what's new and good as far as food goes.

we like pagolac in chinatown for vietnamese food. here's a blurry drive-by shot of it:

gallery_24789_3304_18635.jpg

i've had the "7 kinds of beef" course there, which was pretty good. the place is a little dingy, but the food's good. there's also a good banh mi place called nhon hoa a block away on 106 ave. they make their sandwiches with the real vietnamese sub bread that's thinner and has pointier ends.

last time i was in etown, i had some decent jamaican food at irie foods in mill woods:

gallery_24789_3304_83374.jpg

oxtail stew (i think)

gallery_24789_3304_112674.jpg

curry goat (i think)

i also had some pretty good thin crust pizza from famoso on jasper ave:

gallery_24789_3304_156044.jpg

gallery_24789_3304_65207.jpg

i was impressed to see this kind of pizza available in edmonton.

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It seems like the ethnic scene is the most surprising (in quality) and exciting right now in the city. My wife and I still tend to gravitate to fine dining. I intend to start getting out and trying some of these (in most cases) family owned and operated restaurants.

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I moved here from Vancouver last year and have been pleasantly surprised by the restaurant scene. For sure I miss Nu and the Hammie but have found the 9th St. Bistro for Sunday brunch (limited menu but well done..I like that you can order anything on the menu one of three ways; the dish itself, the dish plus a fruit skewer or the dish plus fruit skewer plus a mimosa). The High Level Diner is also good for brunch. Praha is perfect for lunch, and for dinner the Manor Cafe and Cafe de Ville are very good. A good risotto is hard to find here but I did have one that satisfied at Sorrentinos in the west end made with wild mushrooms. I look forward to discovering more places to indulge when Snackycat is out next month.

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