L2 Grill - Edmonton
Well, I tried L2, but a day late for January RROTM.
I arrived around 6 pm early in the week and there were only 2 tables occupied, a couple more tables filled up over the next hour and a half. Service was pleasant, efficient and friendly from the moment I walked in.
A few wines were served by the glass and I went for the Pinot Grigio.You have to ask the server as by the glass wines are not listed.
Bread basket: Warm rolls, flat breads, accompanied by a roasted red pepper spread ,a herbed cheese spread and butter. The two spreads were delicious. Flat bread was very good, with a nice smoky grilled flavour.
Amuse-bouche: Fish ball composed of minced fish and vegetables with an Asian flavour. Good.
Lobster ravioli: Stuffed ravioli, hard to figure out what is was stuffed with, well I’m not sure possibly potato or a mild creamy cheese.The sauce was cream based, containing lobster claw meat, at least four small claws, but unfortunately the lobster was bland.The sauce contained just the right quantity of peas and greens as well as grated Pecorino (or possibly Parmesan) There was lots of freshly ground pepper, which overpowered the cream sauce somewhat and it was garnished with small potato chips. This dish was just OK.
Dessert strawberry mascarpone bombe, coconut and amaretto. Beautiful presentation. Very nice taste.
Would I go back? Yes I would give L2 one more shot. I was disappointed with the lobster ravioli but would try something else (my server had recommended the ahi tuni). The service was excellent and the rest of my meal was very enjoyable.
I would describe the atmosphere as casual upscale. The color scheme is reds and deep browns and it is a place that you could feel comfortable walking in in either a suit or jeans and a sweater. I wouldn't say that it's "loud" either I mean the music was obviosly there but more as to set the mood rather than to take over the show.
I'm not particularly sure as too why the wines are not listed by the glass but they do have them and the wine I had was very good. The list isn't over exhuberant and intimidating but they do offer a vast selection with some good quality picks on there. The same style applies to the menue as well.
For seating they have both booths (some very large) and tables and the sections that are hald booth half table if you know what I mean. The manager when he came to my table also pointed out that they have a private room if a guest would like to request it.
As far as price point goes the apps were around $10 (give or take) and the mains (dpeneding on the dish) I would roughly say are anywhere from $20-32 depending on what you order. The wines also suit the food in price.
Well Bob Mac if you go I hope you enjoy it if your experience was like mine then I'm sure you will. Best of luck!!!
re: Bob Mac
Last week my brother was in town and in that I had taken him to Sage a few weeks earlier, he agreed with my suggestion that we go to L2 on the second floor of the Fantasyland Hotel within WEM.
There were a few "hic-cups" making the reservation but the staff were more than accomodating.
We arrived on a Tuesday evening. The colour scheme is dominated by "red". Not quite the "shocking New Orleans bordello" shag red that I remember from when that Italian spot in the basement just south of Whyte on 109th Street before it moved to what is now occupied by Culina Mill Creek.
We had requested a table rather than a booth and there is a line of four fiive four seaters along one side of the dining room. Most of the rest of the dining room consists of booths or banquette style.
We began with appetizers of an Arugula Beet Salad ($10), L2 Fries ($10) Clams & Broth ($12) and Steak Tartare ($12).
I had the steak tartare and I enjoyed it although it was quite different from what I had expected. Very nicely plated as were all the courses. It was accompanied by goat cheese, lovosh crackers and "popped quinoa" which to be frank, I do not recollect.
My wife was "talked into the fries" by my brother but since she does like seafood except for crab and lobster I was surprised at. That having been said, the fries looked good but the lobster and cheese dip that accompanied it was a tad "firm".
My brother had the clams and broth which he said was quite good. I might try them if we go back as I cannot eat mussels but usually love clams other than their price.
I also had the beet salad which was ok.
That night they were out of the brie "en croute" ($10) but the soups and appetizers ranged from approximately $10 to $12.
We washed that food down with a bottle of Louis Rodeurer (sp?) sparkling wine from CA. I am sure that my "franco-phile" brother thought he was getting it from France but I save that "dig" until I had more wine at of course, his expense...literally and figuratively.
For main courses, my wife had the 8 oz filet ($35), my brother the veal chop ($35) and myself, the halibut ($28).
All were good, but not "brilliant".
I advised our very professional waiter "Wallace" that I wanted my fish underdone. I love fish but want it to be barely opaque so that it flakes away rather than has to be cut. Wallace assured me that was the way they do their fish. It was a tad overdone but again was beautifully plated on a long narrow plate with two portions of halibut anchoring the ends.
With dinner we had an overpriced disappointing bottle of pinot noir from Santa Lucia on the CA coast and then a Chateau Neuf-de-Pape to satisfy my aforementioned francophile brother.
The wine list is "conservative"...ie. read boring...a lot of the old standards. For example, the C de P turned out to be Chateau de la Gardine which when I first moved to Edmonton in 1980 was a standard on most wine lists along with too many [my editorial comment] sweet German whites. It is expensive but not out of ordinary compared with its competitors.
For dessert my wife was convinced to try the crepes suzette while I had some cognac [no I was not driving].
Have no idea what the "final damage" was as I was more than pleased to "stick" my brother with the bill but having regard to the amount of wine we drank, it was hefty....Merry Xmas Alastair!
Would I go back? I am not sure. I would not dismiss it out of hand.
I am told their table-side caesar salad for two ($20) is quite good.
The main courses ranged from $20 (L2 burger ...Kobe beef, foie gras, malt cheddar, etc) to $48 (20 oz AAA rib eye with a 10 oz on offer for $30).
My general opinion is a somewhat dated, old-style menu which in fact, contrary to first impressions upon review, is presented in a newer attractive style.
I will be interested in reading what others think if you go there in January as suggested by Cleopatra 999 and Raider.
Yes I have gone in to eat at the L2 grill and I think that it's fantastic. The ambiance is very cozy and modern. The music I am glad to say is not your average top 40 hits that chains like Earls and Cactus Club play. The wine list was great my server helped me select a wine by the glass because they are not listed on the menu. The food was phenomenal I ordered the "Tuna Twice" which is ahi tuna done two ways one tempura and deep fried rare, and the other pan seared rare. It was served with parsnip puree some type of amazing sauce that tasted slightly tart but was unbelievably savory. I could go on with the rest of the dishes that we had for the night but instead I will just tell you that it was all amazing and you should try it out for yourself. The location of L2 isn't the greatest being located in the West Edmonton Mall however I can only count how many times I have gotten lost twisting around the city searching for restaurants such as The Red Ox Inn or The Copper Pot, etc. So on the upside at least if you are from Edmonton you will have no trouble what so ever in finding it. I'm particularly fond of L2 Grill because it offers Edmonton something different than your regular chains making their millions on serving "chili chicken" or another "molten chocolate lava cake". At least the chef/management there are focusing on bringing something fresh to a city who's culinary scene is still yet to be developed.
Thank you for the review.
How would you describe the atmosphere? i.e. confortable / casual, "dress up", loud, subdued?
What about the price point? What would the average price for an appetizer or main course be?
Seems curious that the wines by the glass were not on the wine list but I guess that gives them more lattitude. How was the wine list otherwise? Expensive, moderate.
What about seating? Booths, banquettes, tables?
Sorry, if this sounds like a cross-examination [smile] but just trying to "get a handle" on the place before trying it.
re: Bob Mac
re: Dan G
Oh you are both so correct. I made that mistake a couple of week-ends ago.
Step 1: Area of waterpark access to Bourbon Street jam packed with no liklihood of finding parking;
Step 2: Up to 2nd level near the Bay - same thing
Step 3: Forget this "noise" and off North on 170th - Earls' on 100th Ave closed for renovations, Joeys' in Mayfield packed with 1/2 hour wait/
Step 4: Mistakenly think that the Keg adjacent to Chapters is now open for lunch on a Saturday - nope;
Stpe 5: Back to "da mall" and after about 1/2 hour to 45 minutes of almost playing "bumper cars" with other similarly inclined drivers find a spot.
Later realize that there is some "Vampire" related entertainment going on with zillions of screaming young girtls .....AAAAAARRRRGGGHHH
No more Mall visits before 2010 ... certainly not on week-ends ...unless I spy a readily available place outside of the Cactus Club on the way home.
No I have not been as I usually avoid "da mall" like the "proverbial plague" [it is the one in the Fantasy Hotel is it not?] but I think I read something from Liane Faulder of the Journal that it was opening and she was inquiring if anyone had made it there as she apparently is up at the JPL's Christmas in November....poor girl [smile].
re: Bob Mac
Not as far as I am concerned cleopatra999.
Mind you I have become a "regular" at the Cactus Club so I guess I should not overly "slag da Mall".
Read Hicks' article and then went to the web-site but did not get much a real feel for what the restaurant will be like given that they were eating clever selected appetizers. Will have to wait and read someone who has actually sat down and ordered a meal from the menu.