February 8th, 2017

Welcoming Vivo Ristorante to Downtown Edmonton

Ice District has not been kind to all businesses – the day that I attended a preview of a new restaurant in the neighbourhood was the same day that Transcend Coffee announced that they would be shuttering their Mercer Warehouse location. Still, optimism abounds in the area, with no less than new three restaurants now open, or poised to open, within two blocks of the arena this month. Baijiu and Bundok are the newest additions, soon to be joined by Vivo Ristorante’s Downtown outpost.

Located just west of Rogers Place, Vivo’s new two-story location will host three concepts under one roof. Two are new to the Vivo brand – Vivo Taverna will feature more casual small plates, while Vivo Pizzeria will offer sit-down and take-out pizza options. Upstairs, Vivo will be replicating the family-style Italian fine dining concept they’ve successfully operated on the city’s west end for more than five years.

Vivo

Vivo interior

Last week, Vivo still couldn’t confirm a firm opening date due to permitting challenges, but they hope to launch the second floor restaurant this month. The Taverna and Pizzeria will follow in the weeks to come.

I was a little embarrassed to admit that this was my first proper introduction to Vivo. I had seen the owners at the City Market picking up produce from a number of farmers on different occasions, so knew that they invested in our local food systems, and should have made an effort to support them in turn. Chef Michael Hassall highlighted many producers throughout the meal, including Pine Haven Farms, Doef’s Greenhouses, and Gull Valley Greenhouses.

We were fortunate to be able to sample many dishes from their menu, mirroring the family-style way diners are encouraged to embrace at Vivo. Most serving sizes were reduced to allow us to taste the breadth of the kitchen’s offerings.

No doubt my favourite dish of the evening was one of the simplest, but one that really let the ingredients shine. The caprese salad, a mix of Doef’s and Gull Valley tomatoes, sunflower seed-based pesto, and bufala mozzarella, was full of bright flavours and moves the idea of “seasonal vegetables” forward.

Vivo

Caprese salad

The Vivo signature pasta – a house-made fettuccine – was as rich and savoury as promised. Made up of a combination of four cheeses (bufala mozzarella, fior di latte, parmigiano reggiano, grana padano), butter and garlic, it was comforting and delicious.

Vivo

Fettuccine

The ricotta gnocchi was on the lighter side, pan-fried and served with walnut butter and sprinkled with pecorino, crispy sage and orange zest. The pillowy-soft gnocchi, paired with the orange, could have doubled as dessert for me.

Vivo

Gnocchi

The land, sea, and air platter was made for families who can’t decide between proteins, featuring chicken, beef tenderloin, and sea bass. Of the three, I enjoyed the sea bass, garnished with fennel, orange, and a fresh drizzle of grapefruit.

Vivo

Platter

Vivo will be a welcome addition to Edmonton’s Downtown – not only are they adding several new dining options to the neighbourhood, but they’re choosing to highlight local producers in the process. Thanks again to the staff for hosting a wonderful evening!

Vivo
10505 106 Street
(587) 525-7500

February 6th, 2017

Food Notes for February 6, 2017

  • Custom treats by Donut Pals will be available at Malt and Mortar from 10am-4pm for your sweetheart on February 14, 2017.
  • Missed the Honest Dumplings and Prairie Pigeon pop-up at The Chvrch of John last week? Well you’re in luck – the pair are joining forces again for Valentine’s Day! 2 seatings of dumplings and desserts for your valentine on February 14, 2017.
  • The next Second Line pop-up is taking place on February 28, 2017 at The Lingnan. Tickets for the seafood boil are $60.
  • Congratulations to Darren and Maria of Zwick’s Pretzels, who are finally satisfying the city’s craving for fresh pretzels. They just launched the storefront last week at 12415 107 Avenue.
  • Doughnut Party (from the folks behind Moonshine Doughnuts) also had their soft opening last week, and sold out several times over. They’ll be re-opening again on February 9, 2017 at 10938 119 Street.
  • I wouldn’t be surprised if the students at the U of A are jealous of their peers at MacEwan – with the addition of Prairie Noodle’s udon-serving Prairie Outpost that opened today, their food options just keep getting better and better.
  • Speaking of Prairie Noodle, congratulations to Chef Eric Hanson on capturing bronze in the 2017 Gold Medal Plates competition!
  • Baijiu is now openTwyla previews what you can expect.
  • Cindy has one of the first reviews of the restaurant inside the Crash Hotel (formerly the Grand Hotel).
  • Jonny visited a new-ish Korean restaurant called Miga on the south side.
  • Vue Weekly checked out Wheat Garden Noodle & Dumpling Bazaar.
  • Twyla enjoyed her ramen experience at Nudoru.
  • Don’t click this if you’re hungry – Cindy presents Cafe Linnea’s new winter menu in pictures.
  • It’s so great to hear that the Italian Bakery will not only be fully up and running (after the fire in 2016 that destroyed their bakery), but they’ll still be adding a St. Albert location to their family in July.
  • I’m sorry to hear Transcend Coffee wasn’t able to make it work at the Mercer Warehouse – the downtown location will close February 26, 2017.
  • The food section in the Edmonton Journal has been whittled down over the past year to a random collection of articles on Wednesdays and small local pieces on Saturdays, so it’s no real surprise that Gastropost is also being eliminated. After 167 missions, this week’s mission will be the last.
  • Should you take a chance on higher-end take-out? Avenue explores this question.
  • The Toronto Star wrote a nice piece about some of our great local restaurants.
  • The latest local business to turn to crowdfunding is Cafe Bel-Air, which is hoping to raise $8,000 towards finishing their popsicle truck in time for summer.
  • I missed linking to this last week – congratulations to Fuge Fine Meat, who exceeded their Alberta BoostR campaign goal of $20,000.
  • Three Edmontonians are vying to make the Masterchef Canada cut beginning March 2, 2017.
  • Will our food one day be prepared by robot chefs?
  • I’ve been meaning to visit Macarons and Goodies on my way home, and finally made the time to do so last week. It’s a charming little shop, with a good selection of cakes and pastries, and a very friendly owner.

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Macarons and Goodies

  • I love seeing local product integrated with other similar products (as opposed to being segregated into a separate “homegrown” section), so it was nice to see a product from Strathcona Spirits Distillery on the shelves (and Eau Claire, too).

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At Chateau Louis Liquor Store

  • Soup is always my meal of choice, both at home or out and about – so Mack and I stopped at Pho Hoan Pasteur while we were nearby running errands this weekend.

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Pho for two

January 30th, 2017

Food Notes for January 30, 2017

Happy Lunar New Year to those of you who celebrate! I had a lovely weekend full of family festivities – though it’s hard to believe the first month of the year has already passed us by. On to this week’s food notes:

  • La Mision is back with its first pop-up of 2017 at The Chvrch of John on January 31, 2017 from 5-7pm.
  • The next event in the Dining with Friends series will be a Buddhist feast hosted at Padmanadi on February 9, 2017. The family-style meal will include nine dishes for $43 per ticket.
  • Mark your calendars: the 14th annual Downtown Dining Week will take place March 10-19, 2017. Menus will be up by February 15, 2017.
  • Avenue Edmonton is getting ready to celebrate their annual “best restaurants” issue – tickets for the launch on March 13, 2017 are now on sale for $44 each.
  • Thanks to Jenn for the heads up – Tokiwa Ramen is coming to the Brewery District this spring at 11978 104 Avenue.
  • Avila Arepa, an “urban Venezuelan kitchen,” is also forthcoming in Old Strathcona – 10760 82 Avenue.
  • Blink and you’d walk right by it – Bundok in Fox One is now open at 10218 104 Street.
  • Just down the street – Baijiu, the new Asian-inspired cocktail bar (and sister restaurant to North 53) opens on February 1, 2017.
  • The folks behind El Cortez are expanding their Old Strathcona empire to include a third restaurant inside the same historic building this summer.
  • Chef Nathin Bye has put his stamp on the menu at the restaurant inside Crash Hotel (the former Grand Hotel).
  • Cindy is among the first to review new Old Strathcona restaurant Pho Boy, and its somewhat modern take on Vietnamese cuisine.
  • The Journal enjoyed brunch at the Riverside Golf Course, as prepared by Dogwood Cafe (who also runs the brunch program at the Victoria Golf Course).
  • Twyla shares her experience at a recent Scandanavian-inspired pop-up at Clementine, called Kos.
  • Congratulations to Chef Levi Biddlecombe, who will be at the helm of Packrat Louie.
  • Why did Chef Andrew Cowan of Northern Chicken gravitate towards fried chicken? It’s all about family.
  • Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Jacek’s spring collection (romantically named the Galaxy Collection) is now available.
  • It’s never too early to start thinking about the summer – shares of Riverbend Garden’s community supported agriculture are now on sale!
  • Ian from Winding Road Cheese reflects on his first year in business.
  • Megan checked out the “Meet Your Farmers” event hosted by SPUD Edmonton over the weekend.
  • Sleep in all you want: all-day breakfast at McDonald’s rolls out in Canada on February 21, 2017, followed quickly by A & W on February 27.
  • We’ve been hankering for brunch at Meat for weeks, so we were happy to finally indulge over the weekend.

Meat

Breakfast sandwich and beef brisket benny from Meat

January 23rd, 2017

Food Notes for January 23, 2017

  • Food4Good is hosting two events this week: an affordable Fruit & Veggie Market on January 24, 2017 from 11am-4pm (where nothing is priced over $3), and a collective kitchen on January 27, 2017. Both events take place at the Britannia Youngstown Community League.
  • Vegan food truck Sailin’ On is popping up at Earth’s General Store downtown for lunch on January 27, 2017 from 11am-2:30pm.
  • You can get your Prairie Pigeon fix at downtown’s Evoolution on January 28, 2017 from 11am-2pm and at a pop-up at the Chvrch of John alongside Honest Dumplings on February 2, 2017 at 5pm.
  • MacEwan’s Global Awareness Week features a screening of More than Honey, a documentary about bees and beekeepers. The free event takes place on January 30, 2017 from 4-6pm – RSVP here.
  • A free event kicks off the Cultivating Connections food conference on February 3, 2017: a moderated panel including Mayors Don Iveson, Lisa Holmes (Morinville) and Tom Flynn (Sturgeon County) will discuss agricultural land preservation, food innovation, and local food production. The reception will feature Alberta ingredients prepared by five local chefs. RSVP here.
  • Northern Chicken is partnering with Effing Seafoods on the first Tuesday of every month, starting on February 7pm. On this first occasion you can expect oyster po’ boys and cod and chips.
  • The next Swine and Dine dinner takes place at Dogwood Cafe (located at the Victoria Golf Course) on February 8, 2017. The four-course meal is on for $59 per person.
  • Celebrate Valentine’s Day with the Wild Heart Brunch Club on February 11, 2017, with sides of burlesque and jazz to accompany a 3-course meal prepared by Sailin’ On. Tickets are $30.
  • Learn more about Edmonton’s subscription-based Secret Meat Club from their segment on Global, though it appears all of their subscriptions are currently sold out.
  • The South Edmonton Common location of Burger’s Priest opened over the weekend at 2125 98 Street.
  • Where Edmonton shared that Oil & Vinegar, located in Commerce Place, is closing at the end of February.
  • Cindy is one of the first to review XO Bistro Bar, a modern Vietnamese restaurant located in the Ultima Tower downtown.
  • Twyla shared her love for Northern Chicken on CBC last week.
  • I wish Cindy luck as she aims to cook her way through Edmonton Cooks!
  • If you’re too busy to cook, but want to eat healthy, Careit Urban Deli now offers meal plans that can help you meet those goals.
  • Liane sheds some light on the mental health challenges that some in the hospitality industry may face due to working conditions and industry pressures.
  • Not your grandmother’s apples: an Okanagan orchard has bred the Arctic apple, a GMO variety that does not brown. While it isn’t yet available in Canada, it will be on store shelves in the US next month.
  • I haven’t been to Bonjour Bakery since their renovations last summer – though it’s probably a good thing given I always walk away with too many goodies. The expanded bakery and cheese cases looked great!

Bonjour Bakery

Bonjour Bakery

  • We checked out the new downtown Local Public Eatery (11228 Jasper Avenue) on Friday, urged on somewhat by a gift card Mack had been provided by the restaurant. With the Oilers game on, the atmosphere was quite lively, but the broadcast volume was on the loud side for us. Food-wise, we most enjoyed the nachos, which, unlike other similar dishes we’ve encountered, seemed to have been layered with care, with the chips actually remaining crispy for the most part.

Local Public Eatery

Nachos from Local Public Eatery

January 16th, 2017

Food Notes for January 16, 2017

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Poutine!

  • On our walk home from Deep Freeze, we stopped by Hyatt Place. The restaurant/lounge was a lovely open space, but it was unfortunately dead quiet. It was nice to see a couple of local products on the shelves though – Caramia Caramels and Fudgalicious.

Hyatt Place Edmonton

Second floor lounge at Hyatt Place

  • Mack and I have been meaning to revisit Three Boars for some time – the weather finally cleared up enough so we could walk over to the restaurant this weekend. Mushrooms and toast was as tasty as I remembered, and though I don’t regret the first few bites of dessert, it was definitely meant to be shared by a party larger than two!

Three Boars Eatery

Mushrooms and toast

Three Boars Eatery

Dark chocolate brownie, fernet ice cream, house-made marshmallow, salted caramel

January 12th, 2017

Culinary Highlights: 2016 Edition

I looked back on my year of blogging only to remember how an unexpected project at work derailed the first four months of 2016, severely limiting my free time to write. Although things calmed down in the spring, I’m not sure my work/life balance ever fully recovered.

At any rate – I never managed to put together a 2015 edition of my culinary highlights, so it’s a small victory that I am returning to some old habits.

Here are some of my favourite food-related memories from the past year:

Did someone say pizza? Love Pizza ended up being our go-to downtown addition this year. Great product, and a restaurant we can walk to!

I can’t say no to the Meatatarian

A Streetcar Named Dessert was a unique experience that married Sugared and Spiced cakes with an amazing musician in an unforgettable venue.

How do you choose?

This year’s Grand Taste Tour took us to Tangle Ridge Ranch where we enjoyed one of the best dishes I had all year.

Gnocchi with peas and pecorino

I attended my first Gold Medal Plates in 2016, and appreciated firsthand the skills and talent of all competing chefs. But I would be kidding if I didn’t say that the highlight of the event was a selfie with the gracious Olympic gold medalist Erica Wiebe.

#graniestphotoever

It was also the first year that I attended What the Truck?! as a “layperson”. The festival is a lot of work to produce, so I am grateful to the team for carrying the torch forward!

What the Truck?! at Northlands

A brief stop in Niagara this spring resulted in some wine education for both Mack and myself.

Green Lane Winery

We continued that education in the Okanagan that fall, and at Covert Organics, met a special strawberry patch.

Ain’t nothing like a fresh strawberry

In Chicago, I finally got to taste some of Rick Bayless’s food, and it lived up to my expectations.

Frontera Grill

Smoked pork queso fundido from Frontera Grill

Closer to home, we enjoyed some food with a view in Rocky Mountain House.

Prairie Creek Inn

I also found my new favourite restaurant in Calgary: Ten Foot Henry.

Salt roasted potatoes

In most cases, it’s not what we eat that we remember, but who was around us at the time to make it special. For example, while there were things I would have changed about the Culinaire Treasure Hunt, Mack and I had an absolute blast with our teammates Su and Allison.

Team High Viz!

In that same vein, one of the reasons I’ve grown to love Toronto as much as I have is because of my sister.

Toronto 2016

Cheering on the Raps at Jurassic Park

Thanks for joining me on another year of adventures. Here’s to 2017!

January 9th, 2017

Food Notes for January 9, 2017

  • Nipsis Cafe, located outside of Edmonton in Maskwacis, hosts a monthly supper club. Their first dinner in 2017 is this Friday, January 13, from 5-9pm. The 3-course meal costs $30.
  • The potluck celebration of life for Gail Hall is scheduled for January 14, from 5-9pm; guests should RSVP through Eventbrite. Related, a lovely illustration of Gail graces the January/February issue of The Tomato, and inside, her husband Jon Hall remembers her through the Proust questionnaire.
  • The City Market is launching seasonal cooking demos in partnership with Kids in the Hall Bistro. The first event will take place on January 14, 2016 at 12:30pm with Chef Daniel Letourneau. The $30 ticket will include $5 in City Market bucks to spend after the demo.
  • The Italian Centre has started the Chef’s Inspiration Dinner Series, a monthly event from February to June 2017 that will showcase local talent and the shop’s ingredients. Tickets for the dinner (including wine pairings) will be $65-75, and sold three weeks before each dinner.
  • The Tomato is again compiling their top 100 best things to eat in Edmonton – nominate your favourites until January 27, 2017.
  • Where Edmonton named Uccellino Edmonton’s best new restaurant for 2016.
  • Three Boars announced they are finally opening up a branch north of the river, taking over the former MRKT space at Jasper Avenue and 105 Street (they faked us out back in 2015).
  • It was only a matter of time before the poke trend landed in Edmonton: Splash Poke is set to open at 10079 109 Street some time this spring.
  • We’ll also be welcoming another local brewery to town – Town Square Brewing (2919 Ellwood Drive). After all, Alberta’s in the midst of a craft beer boom.
  • Casa Doce’s brick and mortar restaurant La Patrona opened on January 4 in Sherwood Park (Unit 8, 2 Athabascan Avenue).
  • The Don Wheaton YMCA Downtown (10211 102 Avenue) has a new cafe called Maka Eatery, and Liane enjoyed the food.
  • Open less than a month, Otto already has its first review from Twyla.
  • Cindy tells you why you should check out the pan-fried dumplings at Golden Dumpling.
  • Sharman visited Dogwood Cafe (located inside the Riverside Golf Course) for Sunday brunch.
  • The Journal enjoyed their visits to Northern Chicken.
  • It’s going to be a great year for bakeries in Edmonton. Liane profiles two of the newest: Old Strathcona’s La Boule and Central McDougall’s Macarons and Goodies.
  • I neglected to link to Liane’s great roundup of Edmonton food in 2016.
  • Lillian reflected on whether she met her food goals in 2016, and shares what she’s looking forward to in 2017.
  • Here’s Julie van Rosendaal’s take on trends in 2017.
  • Vue Weekly featured Alexis Hillyard and her great video series Stump Kitchen last week.
  • Michael Kalmanovitch, owner of Earth’s General Store, posted an open letter indicating that the Downtown location is on its last legs unless something changes.
  • I’m not too heartbroken about Whole Foods not following through with plans to expand to Alberta, but others may be.
  • I prefer when grocery stores display local products alongside other similar products (as opposed to being segregated to a “locally sourced” shelf). So it was a nice surprise to see Confetti Sweets cookies available in the bakery at Save-On Foods.

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Confetti Sweets

Thanh Thanh Oriental Noodle House

Special vermicelli bowl from Thanh Thanh

  • Though I actually never need an excuse to indulge in soup, the weekend’s cold snap made bun bo hue from King Noodle House even more comforting.

King Noodle House

Bun bo hue from King Noodle House

January 4th, 2017

Epicureous in Edmonton: 2016 Year in Review

2016 was an interesting year for print-related food media. While several local publications celebrated milestones (The Tomato, Avenue Edmonton) or expanded their coverage (Culinaire), when the Edmonton Journal announced in January that they were laying off their full-time food reporter, it was clear that the food scene would be at a loss. Although the Journal reversed their decision a few weeks later (at least on a part-time basis), it was a sign that the end of an era is inevitable.

Edmonton Sun & Journal 

When that kind of high profile coverage for local chefs, restaurants, and producers end, will diners and consumers turn to other outlets for news? How will those changes impact small businesses that benefit from the exposure? Though we didn’t have to answer that question in full just yet, it’s likely that the time will come soon.

Here’s what else what notable to me in 2016:

  • I love when we can celebrate local success stories, and this year was full of them. Daniel Costa’s empire expanded to include Uccellino, Duchess added the Scandinavian-inspired Cafe Linnea to their businesses, Bodega looked to reverse the revolving door in Highlands, Have Mercy opened above sister restaurant El Cortez, and the Crudo family set-up Amore Pasta in the suburbs. As well, Sandwich and Sons, Careit, Iconoclast, Nomiya, Confetti Sweets and Jacek Chocolates added new locations.
  • As openings go, Old Strathcona had some of the buzziest additions this year, with scratch-ramen eatery Nudoru, southern-inspired Have Mercy, brew pub Situation Brewing, izakaya Dorinku, and Parisian-style bakery La Boule.
  • Brick and mortar iterations spawned from food trucks continued into this year, including Calle Mexico, Fat Franks, The Local Omnivore, and Two to Taco, a new sister for Filistix. Little Village and Casa Doce storefronts are coming in 2017.
  • Fried chicken frenzy finally hit Edmonton, with a second location for Coco Fried Chicken and the rise of both Seoul Fried Chicken and Northern Chicken. Chain restaurant Popeye’s also caused quite a stir in November with their first Edmonton branch, and it was announced that Ong (from the folks behind Jack’s Burger Shack), will be serving up Hanoi-style fried chicken.
  • Bubble tea chains had a banner year – Coco’s, Quickly, Cha Time and Gong Cha all expanded to Edmonton in 2016.
  • In spite of the growth, many notable businesses shut their doors. We bid adieu to Call the Kettle Black, Dovetail Deli, Sabzy, Rosebowl Pizza (at least in its Oliver location), Dauphine, and Culina.
  • The limited success of no tipping restaurants in larger municipalities like New York should be a cautionary tale for us, but Edmonton saw its first two such establishments open in 2016: the aforementioned Cafe Linnea and Asian upstart Grain of Rice.
  • The upswing of local food tour businesses such as Epicurean Adventure Tours and the expansion of Alberta Food Tours to include Edmonton point to the growth of walkable restaurant districts and an increased appetite to explore them.
  • Similarly, Edmonton Cooks helped share some of the stories behind the city’s favourite restaurants, bringing us in line with the six other cities already profiled.
  • We lost Dolce & Banana operator Ernesto Rizzi suddenly in July, and Gail Hall’s passing in November is still ripping through the food community.

You can check out previous year in reviews here.

January 2nd, 2017

Food Notes for January 2, 2017

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a restful holiday and a great start to 2017. On to the first food notes for the year:

  • This year’s Deep Freeze runs January 14-15, 2017. A new aspect of the festival is a tourtiere baking contest. Entries will be accepted until January 12.
  • Ice on Whyte is partnering with the Edmonton Beer Geeks on February 3, 2017 to present the first ever Freeze Your Cask Off event, featuring 10 Alberta craft beers. The festival is also hosting its third annual Stew Off on February 5, 2017, with 5 local restaurants competing for the title of best stew.
  • A food system forum is taking place on February 3-5, 2017 called Cultivating Connections 2017. The goal is to “identify tangible opportunities to collaborate and inspire initiatives for vibrant regional food systems with improved access for all.” Registration is now open.
  • Carla Alexander has been such a constant part of downtown, from Soul Soup to MRKT, so it’s sad to hear she’s decided to sell MRKT. Best of luck with your future ventures!
  • Glow Juicery’s new location at 10216 124 Street is now open!
  • Downtown’s Local Public Eatery will be opening later this month at 11228 Jasper Avenue (formerly Joey’s).
  • The folks behind The Common will be opening up a new restaurant called Grandin Fish ‘N’ Chips.
  • Expect Vivo’s downtown location to open up some time in the next month.
  • Congratulations to Knosh Catering who will be moving into new digs at the Crestwood Curling Rink this year.
  • Love Pizza’s St. Albert location is coming along nicely!
  • Carolyn shared her thoughts about her new neighbourhood bakery, La Boule.
  • Jonny has continued his spotlight on small, often-forgotten ethnic gems with a review of South Indian eatery Masalaz.
  • Great to hear that Edmonton has not one, but two new distilleries: Strathcona Spirits and Hansen Distillery.
  • If you missed someone on your gift list this Christmas, consider a subscription to the Secret Meat Club, which offers monthly deliveries of artisan food products, including house-made charcuterie and condiments.
  • ‘Tis the season for lists: check out Twyla’s roundup of notable 2016 Edmonton food happenings on Eat North.
  • Speaking of Twyla, she, along with Phil, helped CBC put together a list of Edmonton’s best restaurants for 2016.
  • Cindy shared her own list of memorable 2016 eats.
  • Graham also pulled together a summary of the 2016 Edmonton food scene, along with his favourite dishes from 2016, and included a tidbit to expect a formal announcement about a Jamie Oliver restaurant in the new Kelly-Ramsey Enbridge Centre tower.
  • Vue Weekly reflected on Edmonton’s year in food.
  • How does one go about making food trend predictions? The NYT helps answer that question.
  • Some of the grievances in Eater New York’s round-up are specific to that city, but others are somewhat appropriate to our context, too.
  • The signage for the Crudo family’s 104 Street restaurant expansion, Bottega, is now up!

Bottega on 104 Street

Bottega

  • We had some good eats over the holidays, including brunch at Hap’s to celebrate Mack’s birthday.

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Brunch at Hap’s

  • Back to work last week, I chose to drown my sorrows in a bowl of pho at Tau Bay.

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My usual

  • For Christmas, Mack and I were also given a gift card for Blue Plate Diner that we put into use straightaway – it’s always nice when a favourite restaurant is just steps away from home.

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Indulging at Blue Plate Diner

December 19th, 2016

Food Notes for December 19, 2016

This will be my last roundup post for 2016! And as we’re less than a week to Christmas, I would like to wish you a warm and wonderful holiday full of family and good food.

  • Food4Good is hosting a Fruit & Veggie Market on December 21, 2016 from 3:30-7:30pm at the Glenwood Community League (16430 97 Avenue). There will be nothing priced over $3.
  • If you’re in need of stocking stuffers or hostess gifts, Kitchen by Brad Smoliak is hosting their annual holiday sale on December 23, 2016.
  • I’m looking forward to using a pair of screening passes I received for a movie called Theatre of Life, showing at Metro Cinema December 23, 26, 27 and 28, 2016. It’s a film about high end chefs transforming food that would have otherwise gone to waste into meals to nourish the vulnerable in Milan.
  • Pho lovers in the south side rejoice – there’s another option in Pho Boy, located at 10037B 82 Avenue.
  • There’s a new coffee shop downtown: Cafe Lavi is now open at 9947 104 Street. Thanks to Amelia for the heads up!
  • Chic-Hog-O’s Social House, relocated to 10111 117 Street, is now open.
  • Urban Tavern (which replaced The Druid) is now open at 11606 Jasper Avenue.
  • Those who Love Pizza are in luck – a second location is in the works for St. Albert!
  • Andrea is one of the first to review La Boule, Edmonton’s newest patisserie.
  • Twyla checked out Grain of Rice, a new family-run Asian restaurant on the west end.
  • The Journal reviewed Three10, one of the restaurants located inside The Rec Room in South Edmonton Common.
  • Cindy tried the rotating brunch menu at Cafe Linnea a few times to find her favourite dishes.
  • Vue Weekly sampled the cuisine at Maye Restaurant (9411 118 Avenue), calling it “the best Somali food [he’s had]” in Edmonton.
  • Not sure where to eat over the holidays? Phil and Liv have some recommendations, including where to get your turkey dinner fix.
  • Fuge Fine Meats has just launched a crowdfunding campaign to establish a permanent production facility. They hope to raise $20,000 by January 29, 2017.
  • Just in time for the holidays, Cindy is giving away a copy of Edmonton Cooks!
  • Another cookbook to consider is Meals in the Field, first published in 1928 by the United Farm Women of Alberta. This edition combines classic dishes with more modern takes on family suppers.
  • 58% of 1,200 Albertans surveyed indicated that they would support a sugar tax on pop and energy drinks.
  • In light of the two no-tipping establishments that are now open in Edmonton, the NYT reflects on a year of “hospitality included” programs in New York.
  • I was happy that the stars finally aligned so I could check out a La Mision pop-up last week at the Chvrch of John. Although I enjoyed the chicken burrito, the pork carnitas won my heart in the end.

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Chicken and pork burritos from La Mision

  • Su and I met up at the newly-opened Otto in Norwood (11405 95 Street) on Friday night. Featuring a simple menu of sausages and sides, it’s a low-key neighbourhood restaurant great for unwinding after a long day. We shared the chorizo and lamb merguez sausages (crafted by Fuge), and enjoyed both varieties. The potato salad needed some work (potatoes were undercooked) and the mac and cheese wasn’t as creamy as I would have liked, but it’s early days yet. I’ll be back!

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Our meal at Otto

  • Mack and I took Grandma Male to try the high tea at Cafe Linnea. It’s been so popular they are booked until mid-February! We enjoyed the variety of sweet and savoury bites (my favourite was the duck prosciutto), though it’s fair to say the level of service wasn’t comparable to our high tea experience last year at the Hotel Macdonald.
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    With Grandma Male at Cafe Linnea

  • ‘Tis the season for eating – I had a work lunch today at Sorrentino’s in Little Italy. I indulged in the creamy bison cannelloni and didn’t regret my decision. It was notable that though the restaurant was packed, the service remained consistent.

Sorrentino's

Bison cannelloni