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Need a place for my 50th Bday dinner in Edmonton

Magnapro Feb 27, 2011 12:47 AM

Going to celebrate my 50th birthday in Edmonton with my folks. Small gang at the most.
Any suggestions? Budget is not an issue just looking for a real great food with good service.
Any food type is on the menu.
Its a double celebration with Moms birthday being the same day.
I have less than a week to choose so your help is appreciated.
Thanks David

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  1. chefathome RE: Magnapro Feb 27, 2011 08:25 AM

    I would personally choose the Red Ox Inn for superb service and wonderfully creative and delicious food. Small place but lovely.

    We dined at corso32 recently and very much enjoyed that as well. However, as some of the seating is communal, it definitely is not private. Great food and service, too.

    Red Ox Inn
    9420 91 Street, Edmonton, AB T6C 3P4, CA

    18 Replies
    1. re: chefathome
      cleopatra999 RE: chefathome Feb 27, 2011 08:38 AM

      The Blue Pear is a lovely place for a celebration, they have a small room, great innovative, set menu & wine pairings. They also have round tables I think for as big as 10, which I find really great for a group, rather than the typical rectangular table.

      Also depending on the number of people, I personally love Characters, and they have some beautiful private function rooms.

      Blue Pear Restaurant
      10643 123 Street, Edmonton, AB T5N 1P3, CA

      1. re: cleopatra999
        chefathome RE: cleopatra999 Feb 27, 2011 08:56 AM

        Blue Pear is another favourite of mine as well. Wildflower is also in my Top 5 Edmonton list. The Marc also has great service and food. Have yet to go to Characters but it is on my to-do list!

        Blue Pear Restaurant
        10643 123 Street, Edmonton, AB T5N 1P3, CA

      2. re: chefathome
        Magnapro RE: chefathome Feb 27, 2011 11:27 AM

        Thank you very much, I am a former patron of the Red Ox. In the days of Bernie Peck (former chef owner) for those who remember.
        A great suggestion. I have not been there for years..
        It was very good back in the days that I went there. I have read good things in the last while.
        Take care David

        1. re: Magnapro
          chefathome RE: Magnapro Feb 27, 2011 12:35 PM

          Our most recent visit was in January and it was as stellar as ever.

          Have a wonderful birthday! :-)

          1. re: chefathome
            Magnapro RE: chefathome Feb 27, 2011 04:24 PM

            Thanks much for the well wishes. I will have to find an alternate as they are booked at the Red Ox on my chosen day. I should have sorted this out months ago I guess.

            1. re: Magnapro
              chefathome RE: Magnapro Feb 27, 2011 04:41 PM

              Oh, shoot. Let us know what you decide - I'm interested!

              1. re: Magnapro
                anonymoose RE: Magnapro Feb 28, 2011 07:32 AM

                I would go for Wildflower then... or maybe one of the Culinas if you want something a bit more casual.

                1. re: anonymoose
                  Magnapro RE: anonymoose Mar 1, 2011 10:39 PM

                  Thanks, went to Culina once, never again.
                  Wildflower once also never again, Both were poor in my experience..
                  Red Ox now booked on a different day for a shot and we have it.
                  We will try it once again and see how they are now.
                  Thank you for your thoughts Chowhounders are a great resource..

                  1. re: Magnapro
                    anonymoose RE: Magnapro Mar 2, 2011 09:59 AM

                    Can I ask what was the problem at Culina and Wildflower? Just curious.

                    1. re: anonymoose
                      egon61 RE: anonymoose Mar 2, 2011 06:14 PM

                      I'm also curious - both of those places get consistently good reviews....did something in particular happen the night you were there?

                      1. re: anonymoose
                        Magnapro RE: anonymoose Mar 2, 2011 10:29 PM

                        Culina was a food issue. Poor yardstick dishes.
                        Wildflower was also not to my taste it was a while ago so I don't remember the exact details.
                        I have a policy I'll try a place once if I have a bad experience I do not return ever.
                        When I get invited to one of those places which I have tried and not liked I generally will not go.
                        If I do I will not eat there just have a beverage.
                        Reviews are not something I depend upon very much.
                        Many people love restaurants I don't like and they should enjoy them.
                        I do have high expectations of any restaurant and more often than not I wish to dine in house.
                        No second chances for any place with me. They get one shot at my wallet and palate and thats it.
                        It does bother me to go to well reviewed places and be disappointed.

                        1. re: Magnapro
                          Dan G RE: Magnapro Mar 3, 2011 10:25 AM

                          Can you be a bit more specific than "poor yardstick dishes", whatever that means. Was their food in general just wasn't the type of food you like, or was it that there was something specifically wrong, cooking wise, with what you had?

                          1. re: Dan G
                            Magnapro RE: Dan G Mar 5, 2011 06:56 AM

                            A "yardstick" dish is one you can compare in almost any restaurant.
                            In this case Caesar salad and Frites or fries. Yes my served food was poor.
                            Menu was ok just not the execution..

                            1. re: Magnapro
                              Dan G RE: Magnapro Mar 5, 2011 09:23 AM

                              Sort of an answer I guess, though you still haven't said what was 'poor' about it. And what restaurants are you comparing it to? Culina isn't trying to do things the same as anyone else, so their caesar salad won't really be comparable if you are looking for a traditional salad.

                              1. re: Dan G
                                Magnapro RE: Dan G Mar 5, 2011 12:36 PM

                                Defending the food there, so I did not like what I was served. I did not write a review of this place.
                                So if you like it as I said earlier go enjoy.
                                I'm sure they must do some good work just not when I went I guess.
                                I am done talking about this.

                                1. re: Magnapro
                                  Dan G RE: Magnapro Mar 5, 2011 03:06 PM

                                  Never actually said I like it, did I? I'm not as thrilled with Culina as many people here, because I don't think many of the flavour combinations work really well. I think the beef with blue cheese and chocolate is a complete disaster, for example, as the flavours just all mesh together into a mushy realm...needs something a bit tart or acidic to help it. Also had salmon there that I thought was overpowered by a sauce with goat cheese in it. But at least they are trying to do something interesting. If I wanted a basic yardstick meal, I'd go to the keg and sawmill and compare them, both pretty much to what it would be like eating a yardstick.

                                  I was just curious what about a restaurant that can be so horrible that someone would just refuse to give it a second chance...just trying to have a bit of thoughtful discussion.

                                  1. re: Dan G
                                    Magnapro RE: Dan G Mar 5, 2011 03:11 PM

                                    Thanks for your thoughtfulness. I am just a hardass when it comes to second chances.
                                    Usually I have found second chance restaurant experiences are worse than the first.
                                    There are so many places for us to spend our money I just return to the good ones.
                                    The day I was there McDonalds was making better Frites I'm sure.
                                    Dan I am not saying I want basic food, I am saying a dish you find in any restarant is a good comparison point. When I go into a place I want to try the dishes they have in common with other places to check them out. If they are bad I will stop ordering asap.
                                    If I go into a place and the basics are worse than many others I have tried, it's a sign of things to come in the rest of the meal.
                                    The last thing I want is a meal thats average.
                                    If you give me a bad starter and fries I probably am not going to enjoy the rest.
                                    When I leave most of my meal on the plate and don't want to take it home, it was bad.

                2. re: chefathome
                  akondra RE: chefathome Feb 28, 2011 08:22 AM

                  Try Cafe La Persaud, I just posted a review. Very nice.

            2. Magnapro RE: Magnapro Mar 6, 2011 10:33 PM

              Went to the Red Ox for dinner,
              The food was excellent, the service was very good. I would say in fact that our server had the most detailed description of specials I have ever heard from any restaurant staff.
              I had a special pork dish and my dining companions both had the beef dish from the menu.
              We shared an appetizer of shrimp.
              All ingredients were great in all dishes and the preparation was excellent.
              I would give it a very high rating with only a few exceptions.
              It was very noisy to the point we had to leave because of it.
              We had a very good dinner and would go back.
              I would suggest to the Red Ox that they do a few things to dampen the acoustics in the room a bit.
              Over all it was good but for the noise.
              Accessibility was also very bad for my disabled mother getting in and out of the restaurant. Very nearly an accident.

              Red Ox Inn
              9420 91 Street, Edmonton, AB T6C 3P4, CA

              2 Replies
              1. re: Magnapro
                chefathome RE: Magnapro Mar 7, 2011 08:01 AM

                Glad you had a good dinner for the most part. It is still my very favourite place in Edmonton but I too wish it could be quieter. Last time we went it was not terribly loud per se, but we did have to speak louder than we wanted to each other to be heard. It would be nice if the atmosphere were quieter and more intimate.

                Thankfully the food and service are so good!

                1. re: chefathome
                  Dan G RE: chefathome Mar 7, 2011 08:09 AM

                  Oddly, I've never had a problem with noise level at Red Ox.

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