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Any new restaurants serving good food in Saskatoon?

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Curious to hear if anything new & interesting has opened in the past year.

I'll be visiting in June, and I'd like to visit some restaurants besides the Granary- for some reason we seem to end up there almost every visit to Saskatoon! On past trips, we've visited Simon's British Flavours, Alexander's, Genesis, Saskatoon Station Place, the restaurants at the Sheraton, Hilton and Bessborough(lounge), etc.

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  1. I very much enjoyed Pesto's.

    For a nice cafe thing, the Park Cafe has some worthwhile food, but get there early if you go for breakfast (homemade hollandaise for the win).

    Check out www.planetsmag.com for reviews of various places...

    3 Replies
    1. re: jasongogal

      What have you enjoyed at Pesto's, jasongogal?
      I've attached the menu: http://www.pestos.ca/

      1. re: phoenikia

        Pestos? See other reviews on Saskatoon. I think you will be mightily disappointed. Their chef that made the original restaurant so good left and they have not had anything like good food since.

        We have recently enjoyed "Calories Restaurant" -- they have worked really hard to update their menu and improve special dietary requests. Warning: the servings are very generous so you could make a meal on the starter and share a main dish.

        Truffles is hugely hit and miss. We found it fairly good for food but really poor service and rather overpriced. Price probably reflects the surge in rents here, so that may not be a fair comment. Lunch is so busy, there are better alternatives. go around to the Greek taverna Koutouki (http://tinyurl.com/6rog3s).

        For Chinese food, Yip Hong's in Cumberland Square on 8th St. has been really reliable and has a very good (daily) dim sum with carts to choose from. if you go on a weekend for dim sum, go early!

        McNally-Robinson has a very good bistro that serves freshly-prepared food and specializes in small meals at the $10 and less price. It's in a large bookstore on 8th St. It is very popular so you should plan to go early, they don't take reservations. live music on Friday nights. I find the music too loud for conversation, though.

        1. re: Paphos.SK

          Paphos.SK, thanks for suggesting Koutouki Taverna. I really enjoyed my dinner there. I mentioned to the owner that I heard about it through your recommendation on Chowhound.

          We started with gigantes, dolmades, horiatiki, ortikia (quails) and the horta (spinach in this case) with tomatoes and feta. The feta was more creamy than the dryish version many restaurants use, and their dolmades were one of the best versions of dolmades I've found in a restaurant.

          For our mains, we shared a moussaka and a lamb, broad bean & artichoke fricasee. The lamb was so tender it melted in your mouth. The roasted potatoes that came with each were the best roasted Greek style potatoes I can remember having- and I eat in Greek restaurants frequently.

          I was happy to find a Greek place in Saskatoon serving some of my favourite mezes, and hard to find dishes like the lamb fricasee with artichokes and broad beans. Generous servings, friendly service, and good food. More than enough food for 3 came to $95 before tip.

          We also tried Truffles, and were very happy with our meal. I started with the salad trio, including a fennel slaw, mixed greens with tomato & stilton and a beet salad. My main was Diefenbaker lake trout with sorrel sauce and wild rice pilaf with almonds. The crab cake with panseared scallop starter was tasty- much better than most crabcakes I've found in Canadian restaurants. Other mains at the table included a duck breast with red wine and vanilla sauce, and duo of lamb. My only complaint was that part of my fish was slightly undercooked- not cooked to the flaking stage. Just makes me a little nervous with freshwater fish. The sorrel sauce was absolutely delicious. Tried their very light Bailey's cheesecake with Bailey's mousse, and pecan mocha tart- the pecan mocha tart was the winner at our table. The Japonaise dessert looked very tempting, too.

          Some Chowhounds have complained about Truffles' service in past postings, but I have to say our server was courteous, quick, and very professional. We would definitely return to Truffles on a future visit to Saskatoon

    2. Yeah, Truffles is good but last time our waitress made a big deal that we didn't order wine. Calories is always nice. There is also Mr. Rizo's or Tavernas?

      2 Replies
      1. re: brh973

        Thanks brh973. I've added them to my list;)

        1. re: phoenikia

          We ate at Pesto's in late January 2008. The food was awful and the service amateurish (although friendly). I had a basic pasta with tomato sauce and shrimp and it was cold. I sent it back and asked for it to be heated up. It came back warm-ish. My dinner date ordered steak, medium rare. It was served medium well. Terrible wine list, too.

      2. I would agree with most of what is posted above.
        Truffles has great food, service can vary, I've mostly been there for lunch and have heard that you need a reservation a couple of days in advance for dinner.
        Pesto's is unpredictable in terms of both food and service, and I've had bad luck most times.
        Yip Hong is very good dim sum, and around the corner from Simon's Asian Taste has good Indian food (the decor in both is budget - in case you are looking for upscale).
        Calories is consistently great food in my books, and the servers always seem to know their stuff. It is small though, so again a reservation may be a good idea for a weekend dinner.
        Also in the Broadway area, I have heard good things about Weczeria, but have never eaten there myself. www.weczeriarestaurant.ca/

        Hope that helps - enjoy.

        11 Replies
        1. re: tea060

          Just a note that Pesto's has closed. Calories is opening a sister resto downtown, and a group is buying Mykanos and turning it into a high end bistro.

          1. re: dixon

            Awesome about the bistro! I recall Mykonos from the days it was up on 33rd and Idylwyld. It was original a lot of fun and usually good. Then Iannis sold it and the new people moved it... totally lost us because the cook must have left with the original owner.

            I hope Calories doesn't have a problem with the second resto. I remember when they opened in the old Max's Diner (now Chianti's) and it totally tanked.

            Do you know anything about the new Calories location?

            1. re: dixon

              Here is the latest on a few restaurant openings. Bliss fine foods has taken over Pestos, this is Derek Cotton CCC. Food should be way above anything on Broadway. This place will even blow Truffles out of the water. As for the Mykanos place rumor has it (this is from 2 suppliers) they are talking to a chef from a golf course in Saskatoon.

              1. re: dixon

                Is Bliss Fine Foods already open for business? Thanks for posting this news, dixon.

                1. re: phoenikia

                  Open August 2008 Michael Beaule CCC formerly of Fude, Boffins Club, etc will be joining me in the kitchen as well

                  1. re: drc

                    I'm sorry but there's a lot of improvements needed at Bliss.
                    My favourite foodie companions and I went this weekend and it was very disappointing, especially after the glowing hype in other threads.

                    My companions had the halibut. Overcooked fish and one serving was burnt on the bottom. The rice was cold and the asparagus was tough as well as cold. The fish was so bland, lemon was requested by both people but only 2 thin wedges were brought, really enough for only one person.

                    I had a prawn starter with stale, slightly 'off' prawns. The grilled orange slices with it were good, though. My main was a vegetarian lasagna with buffalo mozzarella. The spice seasoning in the pre-made ramekin of lasagne was very subtle. I think maybe a gas chromatograph might have detected herbs but I certainly couldn't. I don’t like “bland”.
                    I was choosing this vegetarian main because, they had no Tuscan chicken left.
                    This I don’t get, we were in the first seating for dinner. The waiter said I could have had some if I’d come the night before.... this in a restaurant that opened less than a week ago?

                    For dessert we had the vanilla pot de crème, which is not a particularly original item. However, it tasted as if there was almond extract in it. Maybe there wasn’t but it didn’t taste like vanilla. .We also had chocolate paté and what I want to know is, how do you make a tough chocolate paté?? The bit about the desserts, reported in another post about this resto was laughable..... ummm, doesn't Calories have (I have to say, outstanding) chocolate paté? ... And how exactly is banana cream pie (which wasn’t on the menu we were given) or lemon tart a revolution in dessert making? To top it all off, the coffee was less exciting than drinking Saskatoon tap water.

                    The thing is, the first month of opening by supposedly experienced chefs should have been stellar. This is the time to impress and encourage repeat visits. So we were really baffled by the excuses at the till along the lines of “Gee give us a chance, we just opened”. And, “we’re just getting the staff trained”. Our waiter was great and we don’t blame him at all. Attentive without intrusiveness, asked in a timely fashion what else he could bring. Not his fault the menu was already out of items. And to be fair, the bill was adjusted by removing the cost of one of the entrées.

                    So if you decide to try out Bliss, be advised that as far as we are concerned, the 'jury is still out' on whether this restaurant is going to be a source of gourmet delight.

                    1. re: Paphos.SK

                      LOL...now I better understand the "cynicism" expressed by other posters apart from the dessert comment that I noted but let slide...mind you I loathe banana cream pie in any event [grin].....

                      1. re: drc

                        A number of the things PaphosSK mentions are really errors that sound like they should never have left the kitchen (cold or burnt food). Those kinds of things have to do with the standards at the pass, not with how long a restaurant has been open.

                        I think the comments about the desserts are a result of freelancer raving about how "unique" they were.

                        I think it's great that a chef is here to see what people honestly think, but I hope that you see it as an opportunity to see where you can improve, not just to defend yourself.

                        1. re: Paphos.SK

                          I find "we just opened" a weak excuse for bad food ... it's not like they're selling it for less or anything.

                          1. re: Paphos.SK

                            Re: my 'laughable' comment about the desserts, I never said it was a revolution in dessert making but in my opinion, of high caliber. My point was they weren't relying on tortes and cheesecakes solely and at least trying something different. Yes chocolate pate is nothing new but I have yet to see a comparable lemon tart or banana cream pie in the city. When I walk into Calories, all I see is cakes, and cheesecakes. Same goes with Prairie Ink, Fresh Bistro, and Truffles. At least they are trying to do something a bit different, if not new. I'm not saying it was perfect, as the lemon tart could have used a bit more presentation (some raspberries off to the side, a bit of lemon confit, etc) but it was nice to have something different for once.

                            I think it's unfortunate you had a poor experience but if this had happened at Truffles, you would have never gotten an entree removed off the bill. They would have stuck it to you like they always do. At least Bliss values good service and did the right thing, even though it doesn't make up for the experience.

                      2. re: dixon

                        "This place will even blow Truffles out of the water."

                        I went there last night and it DOES blow Truffles and Calories out of the water. And what I love is they don't rely solely on butter to bring out beautiful, simple, and refined flavours. This is the restaurant Saskatoon has been waiting for.

                2. Over the weekend we visited Calories twice (and Earls twice - although there is nothing worthwhile reporting about that experience). I had never been to Calories before and I came away after both visits pretty happy.

                  The first night was the best - a decent minestrone soup followed by a very nice piece of pike with absolutely the most delectable fiddleheads I have ever tasted - simple presentation, stunning results.

                  On the second evening I started with soup again, I think the previous nights Minestrone reinvented as an Italian peasant soup - with the addition of pancetta & a few other bits - still nice though. Unfortunately my main course - the Bison Tenderloin casseroled with vegetables was not too good - the tenderloin was as tough as old boots, a really chewy piece of meat. However the server was apologetic to the point of me feeling guilty about my complaint - pushed for time we let it go, but he plied us with dessert, beautiful handmade chocolates & the house Sour Cherry liquer - which again was truly stunning.

                  So barring the bison, I have to say we really enjoyed the food, ambience and service at Calories - on my infrequent visits to Saskatoon we will surely be back for more of the same.

                  1. Had a nice lunch at the Boffin Club today. The menu was really quite interesting, and I was happy to see so many locally sourced ingredients.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: phoenikia

                      i know they try hard to do that, if not local, canadian