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Jan 8, 2009 03:13 PM

Favourite Restaurant in Edmonton?

In an attempt to gain some suggestions for a place for me and hubby to go to on Valentine's Day...I'm asking everyone to post their favourite restaurant and maybe we can find something new that we are missing out on.

One of my favourites....

100 Bar + Kitchen
10009 101a Ave NW

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  1. I cannot say that I have a "favourite" spot in town.

    In no particular order I can recommend the following.

    Jack's Grill
    Hardware Grill
    Red Ox Inn

    Truth be known, with the onset of winter and bad weather we are more likely to go out for lunch ... usually chains ... since we live in the west end .... than a nice dinner out. That will have to change now that we are in the new year.

    Of late we have eaten better dinners when on holidays or me on work in Ottawa, Montreal and Victoria than here at home in Edmonton.

    I have not seen or read much about 100. I have never been a big fan of Lux, Delux Burger Bar or Century Grill so would be interested in reading if you have enjoyed it. I work in the "neighbourhood" but have not gone in to try it.

    Good idea about trying to decide on Valentine's Day sooner than panicing as the "day" comes closer.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Bob Mac

      I concur with Bob Mac suggestions, however I would add The Blue Pear as my favorite, then Red Ox Inn next, I would also add Sage at the River Cree resort (best steak).

      1. re: Bob Mac

        I have never been to the Blue Pear but I look forward to it. Took four others to the Red Ox Inn. I had never been before. I have never been to a restaurant in Edmonton where every plate was a home run. This was it. I hate to tell anyone as they only have 30 seats. Great all around. I am looking forward to my next visit--asap.

      2. Hey Bob,

        I have never been to Lux and the other sister restaurants...but the menus are all pretty much the same, so if you didn't like those then I'm sure you wouldn't like 100. But I will say one of the best steaks I've had in a long time was at the 100. Also, at a certain time the 100 really goes full force into the bar scene, a live DJ and the whole bit. So if you aren't into very very loud music, it's not the place for you.

        I've heard alot of good things about Red Ox...maybe we will have to try there.

        I've also heard Sage was great. What is the atmosphere like there?

        2 Replies
        1. re: tamberb


          If you do decide on the Red Ox, book NOW as it is tiny. I used to be a regular when I lived years ago in the area back when Bernie Peck owned it but I have sent others there more recently and all thoroughly enjoyed it.

          cleopatra999 can probably better describe the atmosphere at Sage but I would call it modern, bright and better than what I expected given that it is part of the River Cree Casino. One tip I have heard is secure a table away from the entrance to avoid the direct view and contact with the casino main floor itself. As was stated, supposed to have very good beef and I would be a "sucker" for the truffled mac & cheese side.

          One I forgot to mention is Wildflower downtown across from where Il Portico used to be. It has had its ups and downs but the one lunch I went to there was excellent albeit expensive.

          1. re: tamberb


            I had lunch at 100 yesterday and I quite liked it.

            They were fairly busy, yesterday being decidedly milder than the rest of the week and it being a Friday.

            I sat up at the bar and had a nice chat with the server and enjoyed her recommendation of the lamb burger. Opted for the spinach salad over fries or a caesar and it too was quite good.

            The person beside me was eating their "taco" salad which came with grilled pieces of beef rather than "hamburger". Might try that or the chicken on my next trip.

            Wine list is well chosen albeit a tad expensive but that seems to be the case everywhere with wines by the glass option usually over $10 but to be fair, a few under that mark as well.

          2. WIldflower is our new addition to the favourites list (along with the Blue Pear, Culina and Jack's). Finally made it there last month and were embarassed that we had not been before. A real mix of styles, great local product, friendly and knowledgable staff. Chef came to each and every table (I have no idea if this happens every night, but it was nice...we often ask to speak to the chef with comments (good and bad)).

            Having said that though, none of the places listed would be more or less likley to give you a great meal. I have only been to Sage twice and the food was great. Been to most of the others many times and except on an off night, they should all do well by you and your loved one. Century Grill is not high on list of places to return to, our family LOVES Delux burger and I have never been to 100 Bar and Kitchen.

            Okay so my vote: Blue Pear. Great food, inventive menu, bit more formal than most of the others; consistantly good service. Perfect Valentines choice IMHO.

            1. A few months ago, I would have said my favourite was Bacon. But not for Valentine's Day. I think Valentine's is about good food and great atmosphere. Some the places on the list so far are wonderful for food, but I find the sleek modern look a litte cold and especially in Feb. I want warm and romantic.

              I had brunch over the holidays at La Boheme and was struck by how romantic it is. You could book the B+B and make it really romantic. I also love the Creperie for its atmosphere and French food with all those good sauces is very warming.

              The Red Ox Inn is another where the atmosphere is great. Also Madison's in the Union Bank Inn - I think they too have an overnight combination too. Even add on a spa package.

              10 Replies
              1. re: pengcast

                Bacon is gone. Culina Highlands is now in its place. I like Culina but have not tried the new location.

                I don't know about Valentines but I am always pretty happy with the food at Packrat Louies. I miss the spatzle on their old menu, but the new menu is quite good. My personal preference is to sit in the lounge.

                Has anyone been to the Unheardof lately? I drive by it all the time, but for some reason it has dropped out of my list of places to keep in mind.

                1. re: jenga66

                  I've never been to Unheardof...I was thinking of going there for V-Day...they have a special menu they are offering. I think the webiste said it will be posted around the 15th of Jan?

                  I've never heard of Packrat Louies...where is it located?

                  1. re: tamberb

                    Packrat's is just north of Whyte - 10335 83 Ave.

                  2. re: jenga66


                    It has been years and years since our last dinner at the Unheardof. Trying to think of an event as a term of reference it has almost been 20 years.

                    I recollect the "speakeasy' door with the slding window to gain access and the dated but comfortable decor but not much about the food.

                    I have not heard much about it.

                    1. re: Bob Mac

                      I have ben going to the unheardof for 20 years on an irregular basis...time to go again. I have never had a bad meal. The service is alway spot on and the menu is both fresh and creative. Lynn, the chef is a real gem in this city and, I think, really underappreciatede. David is a bit pompous and he knows and revels in that fact. I remember fondly the little door with the sliding window and intercom. The place back then was tiny and rustic. It was our special restaurant. Once they expanded they lost a lot of ambiance, but the food remains fantastic. I really appreciate the care they take in sourcing the very best products locally and regionally. I always loved the fact the now defunct "Le Charles Mansion" was a mere two doors down and represented the opposite end of the "food chain" in that it was silly cheap, low brow, yet fantastic food.

                      Once this was my "go to" corner for food regardless of what I was in the mood for. With Earl's across the street, it really had a bit of everything; sigh, I miss the Mansion!

                    2. re: jenga66

                      Re: Unheardof: last visit was probably 9 months ago, and it was OK not spectacular. Nothing particularly wrong with anything, but a bit uninspiring. The menu reads well, but most things (there were 4 of us and no one overlapped on any app or entree, so we covered most of it) didn't quite live up to the description. So not in league with RedOx, Blue Pear, Hdwre. Maybe a notch above Jacks.
                      Not long after, they changed their menu though, on how they price the courses - haven't been back since (not sure if I will - my impression of it was better than my wife's, so if she has any say...)

                      1. re: Dan G

                        Seems odd to be replying to myself, but I went back to Unheardof last night, last minute decision in a bar after work, based on someone mentioning that they have a "Friday anti-depressant menu" of 3 courses for $39. App was choice of caesar salad or broccoli and cheddar soup, mains were pork tenderloin w/marsala sauce and pappardele or lemon oregano chicken breast w/mashed potatos and veggies. Dessert was chocolate trifle.

                        Apps: blah. 2 of us had the salad, which had good crisp lettuce, but the dressing and croutons seemed packaged. No parmesan, no bacon. One of my dining companions, who judges a restaurant by its caesar, proclaimed it a 5/10. Wife and other person said soup was OK but nothing special.

                        Entrees: fine, but nothing special. 3 of us went for the tenderloin which was sliced thin, coated in a flour and sauteed. I would have preferred it without the coating. Sauce was tasty though, and there were a lot of very flavourful mushrooms in it. I would call it more of a pasta dish than a pork dish though. Wife said chicken was ok, but no better than what we might have on a typical weeknight at home.

                        Dessert was huge (like a pint beer glass), mostly whipped cream, some chocolate mousse and a few berries. Even server admitted it seemed odd to serve that size of a dessert when the apps were very small.

                        Overall, it was nothing special. Service was good, but I could have just as easily come home and quickly whipped up something more interesting and satisfying. Only real high point was that they have a very good Calera pinot noir for $55/bottle, and good wine glasses!

                        1. re: Dan G

                          Thanks for the update Dan G.

                          Too bad it was not better. Does not seem to have had the promised "anti-depressant" effect.

                          I am glad the Calera was good. Has been some time since I have had any of their wines.

                          We made do with take out roast lamb and assorted "goodies" from Koutouki and an excellent bottle of bontarda from Argentina instead of our customary malbec.

                          1. re: Bob Mac

                            Fortunately, we'd already had a few drinks at Earls and were among good friends, so the food didn't really impact our enjoyment of the evening too much.

                            Bontarda? what was it and how much? Always looking for something new.

                            As for the Calera, it was their Central Coast pinot, which I went looking for at Vines today, but everything they had from that company was single vineydard pinots for $75+ at retail. David said he would look into getting me a case of the other one.

                            1. re: Dan G

                              An Argentinian varietal that my have originated in Italy or perhaps California. Have never had it before. $34 from the Crestwood Store. Very good. At $34 I will be asking if the owner can get a more affordable alternative.

                              Produced by Nieto Santinander [sp?] whose malbec I have had in the past.

                              Have not been up to David's store in quite some time as do not go to Riverbend very often. I will have to do a "road trip' some week-end.

                  3. Has anyone been to Mirabelle Restaurant? Any good?

                    7 Replies
                    1. re: tamberb

                      Not in recent memory. I think of the Mirabelle in the same category as the Yoeman Steak House, the Blue Willow. Not because of cuisine but restaurants that have been in Edmonton for "ever". I think the Mirabelle is synonymous with coupons, Entertainment books and 2-for-one specials but could not comment about how the food currently is.

                      Anyone else?

                      Heading out for lunch...Earl's or Joey's....what am I doing on a "foodie" site given the amount of money and time that we spend in "chains"...ah yes, the "curse" of living in the far West End [smile]

                      1. re: Bob Mac

                        try the ramen at Joeys, BobMac, it is actually surprised me. I am actually craving it!

                        re. sage, the atmosphere is pretty good. not overly romantic tho. it is brighter, but the decor is very nice and modern, comfortable. they have some nice booths. definitely request away from the casino doors tho. the service has gotten better, except for the wine knowledge is lacking.

                        re. Mirabelle, they are on Dial and Dine, great for that purpose, but I would not put them in the league of the other restos we are talking about.

                        re. blue pear, by far the most high end impressive place in the city, but atmosphere is a little stark for romance (that being said, my SO & I went there for an anniversary dinner)

                        re. unheardof, never been there, but good friends who are foodies were always raving about it.

                        re. Red Ox, I think best choice for romance & food.

                        1. re: cleopatra999

                          LOL...I think it was your post earlier in the week that got me thinking of going back to Joey's

                          I did have the ramen...I opted for the chicken variety...I did not enjoy it as much as you was ok...the broth was ok if "muddy" ... mind you I have one heck of "post-holiday" sinus cold so that did not help

                          the poultry and warm broth did assist with liberal dashes of the red pepper powder they give you

                        2. re: Bob Mac

                          With two small kids believe me, I have eaten more than my share of Montana's ribs.

                          If you go to Joeys try the Banana Chocolate Bread Pudding. I had it at the Jasper Ave location recently and it was one of THE best deserts I have eaten for ages. at about $8.00 I think it is one of the best deals in town,

                          I had thought of starting a thread on the subject of "travelling" bargain dinner. ie best place for soup/salad/appetizer/main/desert. I was going to start with L'azia for Appetizers (much better than their mains) and Joeys for this desert.

                          1. re: jenga66


                            I am not much of a dessert fan so did even look at the menu but my wife enjoyed their molten chocolate cake...yes, I know that is such and overdone "blast from the past"...I'll mention the banana chocolate bread pudding to her the next time we are at Joey' not think it will be any time soon and she does not find much on their menu that interests her

                            Out of curiosity, what appies do you enjoy at L'Azia...apart from the kahlua pork in one I have not found much to my liking...the duck confit [which I usually crave] pate is too sweet for me.

                            I eat at L'Azia fairly often for lunch. I like their new menu but find that I am often hungry after the meal. Had the basa over baby bok choy and rice with a curry/kahlua sauce on Friday. Beautifully cooked, admittedly fairly innocuous fish...much better than the blackened basa I have had for example at Joey's on a previous visit.

                            1. re: Bob Mac

                              Bob Mac,

                              I like the Calamari (v. tender), ginger beef and enchilada. Appetizer may not be the best name (I think they call them Small Plates). Last time we were there we ate only small plates.

                              1. re: jenga66


                                I have not had the calamari nor the ginger beef but that kahlua pork they have in the enchilada is very good.

                                I quite like the new to the extent that it came in after their reopening after the renovations downtown