Century Grill, Edmonton
Driving down Calgary Trail Monday evening in the blizzard, we decided we might as well stop somewhere for dinner. Choices are pretty dismal: Earls, Sorrentinos, Moose Factory, Montana's, Century Grill. Having had bad experiences at 3 of these, and refusing to eat at Moose Factory for political reasons, that left Century.
Wife and I split duck springrolls as an appetizer. 2 fairly large springrolls, cut into 3 pieces each. Duck, green peppers, green onions, not sure what else. They were quite tasty. Easiest to identify flavour was star anise. Came with a (too) huge pile of spiral-cut raw carrot and a very flavouful rhubarb/ginger compote. Listed at $13 on the menu, it seemed a bit steep but when the bill came they were only $9, which was more acceptable. Only criticism was that the wrappers were a bit too thick, so though the outside was crispy they were still a bit doughy and heavy.
For mains, wife and friend both opted for beef tenderloin. Both proclaimed it to be very good, though there was a bit too much sauce on the plate. But hey, how badly can you mess up a tenderloin! I went for the ahi tuna. When server (who was quite attentive, and seemed to know her stuff) was taking our order, I asked about the price of the tuna, which was listed at market price (a dumb concept, in my opinion...). When told $31, I sort of hummed and hawed a bit, not because of the price but because I was stuck between that and the salmon. When I commented, not really to the server but more to my wife who is used to me not deciding until the words come out of my mouth, that I was really trying to choose between the sides: I wanted the beet and goat cheese risotto that came with the salmon more than the polenta that came with the tuna, server immediately said I could have the risotto with the tuna, no problem. So that's what I did.
I asked for it rare, and that was what I got! perfectly seared on the outside and just barely warm (some might even say cold) at the centre. Nicely spiced and topped with a corn and grape tomato salsa, it was a great piece of fish. Risotto was...good, not great. Bright red, very flavourful, but a bit gooey. Probably the goat cheese acting as a binder. More the texture of a korean sticky rice than risotto.
Overall, it was better than I was expecting. Flavourful, well presented (well, they don't need to stick an 8" sprig of rosemary into each steak...I prefer the concept of nothing on the plate that isn't meant to be consumed...), etc. About $110 + tip for 3 people (1 app, 3 entrees, no alcohol), so not cheap, but that seems to be what good (not great) food costs in this city these days.
Would I go back? Not sure. At that price, it is just a few $ below Red Ox, Jacks, etc and not on par with those places, but in a pinch, it would be worth stopping at again.
I think ithe tenderloin was $33. Not sure, because I didn't look at it on the menu and didn't see bill closely (dinner was on guest from Ontario...). But that would make sense because I think total was $111 (- tuna 31, app 9 ) so 71 for the two tenderloins and taxes. Seems about right.
I had an absolutly horrid meal there a couple Fridays ago. My SO responded with feedback for them, to which they promptly responded(chef emailed/phoned), and invited us back for a make-up meal. With both Sarah and I being Chef's, we may have a bit higher standard then the average guest, but what they served us on Friday was horrid. Bison short ribs that were so tough I couldn't cut them with a steak knife, risotto that was mushy at best, a "bombe" desert that was more like a frozen mouse... Server was very inattentive(7 table section, 3 billed when we got there, 2 more starting deserts, so no real excuse). It might have been our age(both early 20's), but it was more like we were a bother, rather then a customer.
We are willing to give them another shot, as I've heard decent things about services there before. Heres hoping!
"Driving down Calgary Trail Monday evening in the blizzard, we decided we might as well stop somewhere for dinner. Choices are pretty dismal: Earls, Sorrentinos, Moose Factory, Montana's, Century Grill."
- Throw in the big green Superstore box on the corner there and the image of that road is complete. That stretch leading out of E-town is pretty notorious for those chains and dismal as you say. Figures, it leads down to that 'other city' for which its named. :) [Note to Mr. Roenick, thank you!]
I've had the tuna there and did enjoy it. My hubby loved a dessert they used to have that had cookies and ice cream together but, last time we were there it was no longer on the menu.
like you said....
"Would I go back? Not sure. At that price, it is just a few $ below Red Ox, Jacks, etc and not on par with those places, but in a pinch, it would be worth stopping at again."