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Dec 5, 2009 04:59 PM

New recommended restaurants in DT Edmonton?

I used to go to Edmonton regularly, haven't been for a few years, need recommendations for dinner places downtown. I've been to most of the restaurants that have been around for a while. Hardware Grill, Characters, il Portico, l'Azia, Bistro Praha, Cafe Select were some of my faves, I know some aren't open any more.

Any new places? Any price range, just have to be open for dinner, OK for solo diners and reasonable walking distance.

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  1. hsk:

    Hardware Grill, Characters and L'Azia are still in operation in their original locations.

    Bistro Praha is closed due to the fire which also ended Nikita's, La Table de Renoir and the Lebanese spot on the corner of Rice Howard Way and 100 A Street.

    Il Portico closed a few months ago. Across the street from where it was, is Wildflower which is owned by the L'Azia investors.

    Cafe Select is still open as well.

    New spots? Not many. Madison's has been open for quite some time in its boutique hotel setting. Luxe and 100.

    Sofra on 106th Street for Turkish cuisine.

    Sabor Divino in the Boardwalk building adjacent to the Creperie for seafood and Portugese meals.

    I'll leave it to some of the other regulars for their recommendations because my wife and I rarely dine in downtown anymore.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Bob Mac

      Thanks for the info - I've been to Creperie and Haweli (sp?, indian) in the Boardwalk, I don't recall Sabor Divino - I've never had portugese cuisine but from their website sounds great. Sofra sounds great too, I love Turkish food (well, I love Greek, the only Turkish I've ever had is Istanbul in Calgary but AFAIK it's pretty similar) I haven't found a website but I'll try them out.

      1. re: hsk


        Sabor Divino opened earlier in the late spring or summer ... perhaps later... it is right between the other two you mentioned.

        I only went the one time and had their frango peri-peri which was quite good for a simple barbequed chicken dish with the spice of the peri-peri which I fondly remember from my one trip to Portugal.

        1. re: Bob Mac

          I think Bob Mac has hit the nail on the head with his recs.

          I went to 100 the other night, and despite having to send my rare steak that I ordered medium back I really enjoyed it. The steak was perfect the second time around. Atmosphere is typical dark wood, young service staff (but very attentive).

          Have you ever been to Blue Pear or Red Ox Inn or Culina? While none of them are right downtown they are probably the best of what Edmonton has to offer.

          1. re: cleopatra999

            No, I've never been to any of those places - I cab it from the airport so I've never gone outside downtown unless as a group with the locals, so I've been to a few ethnic, cheap places (eg. for Chinese food and pho). When I'm on my own I rely on shanks' pony so usually within a few blocks of the Delta, farther in the summer.

            100 sounds pretty good, I missed that part of Bob Mac's post (I thought it was the address for Madison's). I'm wondering what the heck a bone-in tenderloin is - I know the small part of the t-bone is tenderloin but I've never seen it served with the bone attached. Is that what you had? I'd be perfectly happy with a rare steak although it sounds like more food than I can eat and a little steep at $100, I wonder if it's intended to be shared.

            1. re: hsk

              no, I did not have the actual 100. that sounds like a rip off to me. I too am not sure what a bone in tenderloin is, and 100g of lobster is hardly anything. I guess it has the foie gras too. I would only pay that much if it was Kobe beef - even then...

              they have a tenderloin on the main part of the menu, my SO had the rack of lamb. It was really good as well, although the 'crust' was a little salty for my taste.

              1. re: hsk


                I do not think that the 100 option is meant to be served. IMHO it is more a promo take on the name of the restaurant. Who knows someone just might order one [smile].

                I analogize it to the $100 [exaggerated I know] burger laden with truffles, foie gras and whatever.

                I am not crazy about the food but the wine list is decent albeit pricey but in line with most downtown spots and the people are friendly.

        2. re: Bob Mac

          I tried 100 the other night and thought it was very good. I had the salmon and it was cooked perfectly, just barely opaque, moist, on a bed of crab risotto an assortment of vegetables and dollops of herbed hollandaise. The service was great. They had the heavy beat dance music that seems to be so popular with trendy new restaurants, but it was muted so not as annoying. Prices were very reasonable. I`ll have to go back and try some other things on the menu, thanks for the recommendation.

          I passed Bistro Praha on the way back and noticed a big sign that said opening Spring 2010 in another location. I should have written it down. Does anyone know more details? I used to love their weiner schnitzel.

          1. re: hsk


            The sign indicates ICON Tower II on 104th Street, north of Jasper.

            Do not know anything more than that including any update on actual date of opening.

        3. I might also suggest Wild Tangerine in the western part of the core.

          6 Replies
          1. re: KayceeK

            Thanks for the suggestion - the restaurant is a little too far but the DT location sounds interesting for lunch, I'll have to try it out.

            1. re: hsk

              The quality at the their lunch place doesn't compare to the restaurant.

              If I was looking for a place in Manulife, I would rather go to Zenari's. The Holt's Cafe is still open too.

              1. re: anonymoose

                Anonymoose - agreed on Zenari's over the mobile Wild Tangerine for a quick lunch. Their muffelettas are deelish! Ric's Grill also is in the core, but I think you'd be happier going to one of the other mentioned places.

                1. re: anonymoose

                  Holt's has always been one of my faves for lunch, I looked around for Wild Tangerine and ended up at Holt's today, great as always (I'm never solo at lunch so not usually looking for new places). Where are they in Manulife - not on the +15 as far as I could tell, I didn't have a huge amount of time to hunt.

                  1. re: hsk

                    Wild Tangerine is on the lower floor, next to Bernard Callebaut's. Zenari's is on the same floor too.

                    Also, the Wild Tangerine in Manulfie is more of a take out place, although there are a few tables.

                    1. re: anonymoose

                      Thanks. It was right by the main door - the (two) tables inside the restaurant were taken and we didn't want a bar stool so sat at one of the tables in the concourse, a little cold being close to the door in -26 weather but not too bad. It was (very) fast food - it came out within a couple of minutes after ordering. I had the lamb masala, it was very eclectic, an indian style curried lamb with what seemed like strips of parsnip, quite tasty, along with mixed rice and a red cabbage coleslaw that seemed vietnamese in spicing, served on a paper plate in a large steamer basket (like you get at dim sum but twice the size). Very good. I'll have to try the restaurant when I have a car. We had to walk past Zenari's, it was really busy and I'd never seen it before so I'll have to try it next time.

            2. Here are a few places
              Madison Grill (located in the Union Bank Inn) Jasper Ave and 100 street. Lunch there is probably around $20 They do regional cuisine

              The Hat: A new gastropub on Jasper Ave and about 103 street. They serve hamburgers and sandwiches. Best for Happy hour after work

              Health Fare: A few fastfood joint that opened its second Edmonton location on Jasper ave and 103, just near the Hat, rice bowls, sandwiches, salads. Best probably for lunch

              Hardware Grill: Jasper Ave and 97 Street. One of the best restaurants in the city, just opened for lunch in November. Regional cuisine, fine dinning, will run you about $20 i imagine for lunch. Reservations recommended.

              Tzin: Wine bar on 104 street just off Jasper Ave. Only has about 6 tables. Small intimate. They have small appetizers. So you'll have to order a few to fill yourself.

              Those are the new downtown offerings that I can think of, at least ones that are centrally located. Good luck.

              1 Reply
              1. re: HamiltonLake

                Thanks for the Tzin rec, it was great. It was shockingly small (maybe shouldn't take reservations, our table wasn't ready right away) but the food and service were fabulous. I went with friends but I would definitely return solo.

              2. Thanks for the rec's. It was extremely cold so I didn't get too far afield, but I did dash across the street from the Bay entrance to Sabor Divino, it was very good - I absolutely loved the eggplant packages, thin grilled slices wrapped around chevre and tomato with a generous sprinkling of roasted pine nuts. The gnocchi was good but not great. I've never been to Portugal, but it seemed more italian and I didn't see anything with peri-peri on the dinner menu.

                L'Azia had changed quite a bit from the last time I was there, it's Lazia now, the "patio" is gone and it's more like a trendy bar. Not my thing. I had the gold medal sampler with short ribs and sushi rolls with salad and vegetables (baby bok choy and red pepper) very nicely presented on a rectagular plate. 3 of 4 were reasonably good, but the sushi rolls were terrible - it was refrigerated and rice gets really hard when it's cold. However, it was really cheap, $16 for the plate so for the price very good.

                I really wanted to try Sofra and 100 but at -40 temps wimped out of walking even a few blocks outside. I'll be sure to try them next time.

                1. I also recommend Normands, which is just past 116 Street on Jasper Avenue.