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Jan 24, 2009 09:05 AM

Sage - Edmonton - meal report

We went last night expecting a great meal. I am sad to report that, at least last night, we had anything but. True it had highlights, but the place is not worth the drive or the price if this is a normal night.

The food: We had three small plates for appetizers, tuna tartar, proscuitto and melon and ceviche. Tartar was blah, proscuitto was cut much too thick, was palid in colour and chewy to the point where we did not eat it all. The ceviche had the potential to stand out, lots of great flavours, but they killed it with what we suspect was a bottled chili sauce. The chips (garnish) were good though!

I had the Wagyu. A bit thin to my liking BUT the flavour and texture were perfect...for the first few bites. My SO had the bone in RIbeye, same thing....well cooked, wonderfully tender then it got tough. Neither of us have had this happen before....meat toughening over the course of 10 or 15 minutes! That mystery aside (for which we would love an explation for someone smarter than either of us) , she loved her steak whereas I found mine to be inconsistently seasoned. When I hit a seasoned patch, it was amongst the best steaks I have eaten.

Some veg came with ther steaks. The vegetables were mostly undercooked.

We ordered three sides as this is basically a meat on a plate order - very American that way. The wild mushrooms were good. The cassoulet was very good (although when we make it we tend to let the beans cook a bit more. The cassoulet was off the specials list. The "mixed baby veg" was mostly adult snow peas and more undercooked carrot with one string of broccolini I think.

The Desert: A creme brulee and coconut rice pudding were both excellent.

The drinks: I ordered a lychee nut martini with Effin Vodka...best martini ever. SO ordered an unsalted caeser. She got a glass of clamato. The waiter insisted it was lacking only the seasoning...we both insisted it had no vodka whatsoever. He persisted (and so did I). Sent that back and got an okay caesar with a slice of lime and a pickled asparagus (both missing from the first glass). The waiter told us the bartender mixed up our drinks with another table. Very good selection of wines both in terms of varietals and countries represented.

The service: very knowledgable, friendly not in your face service. No complaints at all except waiters should not persist in disputes with customers - there was no effin vodka in that drink!.

The value: For what should be coming out the kitchen, good value. For what came out, average to fair value.

Overall, the place is a nice room. I have read a previous post complaining about the lack of separation from the casino. I don't agree. The tables are primarily on the opposite side of the bar from the casino. Never really noticed the casino. Didi not smell smoke; did not hear noise.

Conclusion: We will not be returning any time soon. The menu is dated and boring with some bright spots. There was little or no local product that we could find. There issome potential in the menu, but we were at the grand opening of the casino years ago and I don't think the menu has changed since then. The "tasting menu" is not. It is a basic three course special for the day. There really is nothing to commend the place...except maybe the lychee martini, the first few bites of the wagyu steak and desert.

I have to admit we wanted to like the place and were very disappointed in what we got.

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  1. Thanx for the post!!! My SO and I were going to go the other night, but I haven't heard anything good so we decided not to chance it and went to Ric's Grill instead.

    I'm not sure I have any interest in going after I hear complaint after complaint...

    8 Replies
    1. re: tamberb

      You would have done better at Sage than at Ric's Grill. Sorry to hear that foodiesnorth wasn't satisfied - I had a great experience when I was there a few months ago with 2 other diners.

      1. re: egon61

        I've been to Ric's Grill several times and I've never once had a bad experience.

      2. re: tamberb

        Too bad about the dinner foodiesnorth...we have been meaning to try Sage but thus far have not. At least for us it is actually a short drive than most of the better restaurants in town.


        Out of curiosity which Ric's Grill did you try and how was your dinner? We have been to the one in the west end [it replaced an East Coast Mario's] on three or four occasions with mixed results.

        Some meals quite good, others mediocre.

        1. re: Bob Mac

          Ric's is a funny place. Had great meals, had poor meals, had great service, had a grilled cheese take 90 minutes (for the offsping...actually the first one came after 90 minutes and was burned...the second arrived 20 minutes after that!) ....Because it is sort of one of a kind in Sherwood Park, we are compelled to return. It wins the award for most inconsistent and it appears consistently so (!) over the city.

          1. re: foodiesnorth

            this just goes to show how much a restaurant can vary. Admittedly at Sage's level it should not. Their menu has changed since we first went there.

            We have been there 4 times now. With the exception of the all you can eat king crab night, it has been superb.

            We have been to Ric's grill 4 times with the exception of the very first visit it has been on par with Sawmill or the Keg (not good). I have been to both the Riverbend & Downtown location.

            Bab Mac I still suggest you get out there for a steak despite this one bad review.

            I do find this is a slight flaw with this sight, people are so much more likely to post a bad review than multiple good ones.

            1. re: cleopatra999

              I think the trick to this site is to have many reviews. The totality of the reviews gives a good picture. Of course, we could have hit a bad day or are just too darn fussy. All we amateurs can do is accurately record our particular experience. When we travel, we first live on tripadvisor.com for many hours. There are usually hundreds of reviews (if not a thousand or more) and it is from that fact that we can draw conclusions based on a broad experience. Please go and try Sage, but when you do (the collective, not just you in particular Cleopatra), please post! As an aside - and maybe I am just slow - but I JUST noticed the restaurant reviews button on a side panel in tripadvisor. Nice resource to have because of the numbers of people that post on that site. I am amazed at how few people, foodies included, are unaware of this wonderful resource we have here in chowhound.

              I agree that we have to take any review on this site with a grain of salt (preferably Maldons or a nice fleur de sel), but at the same time my experience here is that as a group, chowhounders are more astute in matters of food than the general population. I rely on reviews here more than I would elsewhere.

              Keep up the great posts Edmontonians!

              1. re: foodiesnorth

                totally agree Foodiesnorth. good posting :)

            2. re: foodiesnorth

              I've only been to the Ric's in downtown Edmonton. and it's been great. I've never to the Sherwood Park location...maybe it's worth making the trip downtown to compare staff and service?