Anyone else been to the new Wildflower Grill in Edmonton?
- EdiblePrairieJennifer Feb 27, 2008 10:11 PM
I was at the new Wildflower Grill recently. It's the new restaurant in the newly re-opened / re-branded Matrix Hotel (formerly Inn on 7th) across from Il Portico in Edmonton. I had a fairly good experience, though I'm not sure about the logic of the incredibly over-sized plates dotted with the radically small portions. I had the "hot vichysoisse" with butternut squash. It was a nice, velvety potato soup. It was about 4 spoonfuls. What can I say?! Then I had the tomato and buffalo mozzerella salad, which unfortunately lacked ripe tomatoes! My friend, however, had the squash ravioli and asparagus, and it was very good. We were both taken with the lovely roasted/grilled squash that was finely sliced lengthwise and twirled into a flower. It sounds hokey as I write it, but it was a lovely garnish and vegetable. The bill for lunch was kind of steep $25 per person before tip for two courses, no booze. Loved the cutlery and the prompt lunch service though.
Has anyone else been here? I'd love to hear your thoughts. Frankly, I was too wrapped up in visiting with my friend to be paying too close attention to the details.
I was having lunch at L'Azia yesterday and thought to myself that I should have taken a bit of a longer stroll and tried Wildflower. Depending upon what the balance of the week has in store for me I might try it out today or tomorrow and will post my thoughts.
Just a thought but I wouldn't expect much from a tomato-heavy salad in the middle of winter. The tomatoes at the market have improved a bit in the past few weeks but they're still not like the summer ones.
I'm thinking the radically small portions looked comically small on their oversized plates. I find that at the average QSR the portions are huge, enough for two or three people really, and at some "fine dining" places they're so small it's ridiculous... as though you should pay a premium for the priviledge of being at the table, nevermind the food. Geesh. I'm glad to hear that at least the service was good even if the serving size wasn't.
Ha, I always go for the dishes like the tomato buffalo salad in the middle of winter...specifically because there's NO WAY anyone should have that on a menu in the middle of winter, unless they are buying from a good local greenhouse like Gull Valley or Hotchkiss. Too bad that Whisky Creek Greenhouse is no more!! But yes, sadly, I did the test and the tasteless tomatoes on my plate told me plenty.
That said, the other dishes we had were very well executed, and the flavours were lovely. They also have some interesting BC / Okanagan wines which is nice, in keeping with their "Canadiana theme". I think it's overall a good addition to the city's restaurant scene. The menu is unique to the restaurant (which is becoming more of a rarity!) and if they can tune in a bit more to the seasonally available ingredients we have here, instead of bland imported tomatoes...it'll be all that more notable. The space is nice and contemporary. The kitchen obviously has talent. They just need to follow their tastebuds to what is good and local, in a seasonal context. My two cents, at least.
Went Friday afternoon for lunch.
Verdict. Will definitely be going back for dinner.
NIce room. Clean finishes. Wood. Built in wine cabinets with bottom lighting to show off the decanters and some, not surprisingly, wildflower paintings to add some colour.
One side is long and rectangular leading back to the open kitchen. The L continues to the right of the front door into a small but serviceable working bar rather than a holding bar. Just the two seats with tables for another 10 or so adjacent. 3 or 4 smaller tables for 2, most for 4 or pulled together to accomodate larger groups.
As EPJ observed lovely flatware, big plates, nice stemware, interesting placemats.
Nice touches. When one customer requested some salt. A tray was presented with three small bowls of different salts, French with herbs, Australian and I forget the third.
I had the sea bass served over an orzo risotto with a lobster beurre blanc sauce topped with a couple of prawns, roast butternut squash, red peppers. I know the sustainable fishery folks out there will cringe about me eating Patagonian toothfish but it was beautifully cooked. Crisp exterior with a melt in ones mouth interior. Not a huge piece but it was all I wanted as it was rich indeed.
Expensive lunch. Soups I think were in the $10 range, salads $16 to $18, another appetizer at $22 was several warm appetizers served together that I might try another time when I wanted to linger with some wine.
My sea bass was $22. Also saw another table have the ravioli that EPJ commented on, their "take" on a club and a steak sandwhich. From the exclaims the 3 ladies were enjoying their food.
Decent wine list. As EPJ also remarked, several Canadian wines from both the Niagara as well as Okanagan regions. I enjoyed some Sandhill Pinot Gris with my fish. Sommelier Cory will be sprucing up the list as time goes on.
Chef Yoshi was making the rounds, checking out customer responses to his food.
This is a very nice addition to the Edmonton dining scene.
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