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Category: food

food

Hicks' Weekly Dish: JOEY Bell Tower continues tradition of great, upscale-casual cuisine By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, May 22, 2018

JOEY's signature lettuce wrap is a delicious, nutritious starter. GRAHAM HICKS/EDMONTON SUN JOEY Bell Tower 10310 101 St. 780-990-5639 Joeyrestaurants.com 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. seven days a week (Sundays, 11 a.m. to midnight) No advertised delivery Food:  3.5 of 5 Suns Ambience:  4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding beverage and tip: Basic $50, loaded $80 By GRAHAM HICKS They remain the best of breed. Nobody does casual, up-scale and comfortable like the four JOEY restaurants in town. Of the four, the downtown JOEY Bell Tower gets extra marks as the latest and most chic. Nobody else … other than Earls (six locations in town, the flagship being Earls Tin Palace) and Cactus Club (two locations): They may have different “brands” and slightly differing ownership, but all three chains have more-or-less the same menus and the same commitment to quality.  The three restaurant groups are intertwined, owned or influenced as they are by th ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Corso 32 continues to offer some of Edmonton's best food By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN: May 8, 2018

Corso 32's chicken skin is both crisp and balsamic in a pomegranate sauce. GRAHAM HICKS/ EDMONTON SUNEdmonton Corso 32 10305 Jasper Ave. 780-421-4622 corso32.com 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week (11 p.m. Friday and Saturday) No advertised delivery service Food:  5 of 5 Suns Ambience:  3 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding beverage and tip: Basic $60, loaded $120 By GRAHAM HICKS This is Corso 32’s third Weekly Dish review in the Edmonton Sun, both the restaurant and this column having debuted in 2011. In a remarkable tribute to hands-on executive chef and owner Daniel Costa, for the third time the Weekly Dish has awarded Corso 32 with an unprecedented five out of five Suns for its food.  Believe me, there has been no special treatment. Reservations are made through regular channels months in advance, under a different name. The bill is presented and paid in full.  I barely know Costa. He barely knows me. Yet, after another perfect re ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Koutouki lacks quality of past By Graham Hicks, first published Edmonton Sun: May 1, 2018

Koutouki's sliced lamb needed more flavour and juices. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS/EDMONTONSUN Koutouki 10719  124 St. 780-452-5383 koutouki.ca 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Friday and Saturday, 11 p.m., Sunday 9 p.m.) Closed Monday Delivery: doordash.com Food:  3 of 5 Suns Ambience:  4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding beverage and tip: Basic $50, loaded $90 By GRAHAM HICKS Have you ever had a restaurant meal that was just a meal? As the dishes arrived, they were okay, okay, okay, not bad, chewy: When you left, you had a hard time remembering just what you ate. So it is with the current Koutouki Greek Taverna on 124 Street. It’s not-bad, generic Greek cooking in a cheerful Greek atmosphere. The atmosphere is fun. But the food, as far as Greek cooking goes, is ultimately bland, certainly nothing to write home about. And the fact is it is still called Koutouki. The larger-than-life Yanni Psalios made his Koutouki Taverns (he opened and closed them at the d ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Montana’s BBQ & Bar offers tasty food in comfy confines by GRAHAM HICKS, first published Edmonton Sun, March 6, 2018

Montana’s BBQ & Bar 10330 G.A. MacDonald Ave. (Calgary Trail south of Whitemud Drive) Six other Montana’s locations in Greater Edmonton 780-434-2886 Sunday to Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Dinner for two, not including tip, tax or beverage:  Basic, $30; loaded, $50 Food – 4 of 5 Suns Ambience – 4 of 5 Suns Service – 3.5 of 5 Suns Edmonton hard-core foodies, this Weekly Dish review is not for you. Montana’s BBQ & Bar has close to 100 locations across Canada, seven in Greater Edmonton alone. Executive chefs do not create specialty dishes on location – line cooks make the same ribs and wings and fries in every single Montana’s. Montana’s market is about moms ‘n’ dads ‘n’ kids going out without dressing up, about ball caps and pick-up trucks and team gatherings after the game. Montana’s competition isn’t the fancy-schmancy downtown restaurants.  It&r ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Wishbone is good, not quite a wish come true By GRAHAM HICKS, first published Edmonton Sun, February 27, 2018

The fried chicken sandwich is a Wishbone lunch highlight. By GRAHAM HICKS Wishbone 10542 Jasper Avenue 780-757-6758 Eatwishbone.ca Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. (1 a.m. Fridays) Saturday, 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Closed Sunday (Reservations at eatwishbone.ca) Dinner for two, not including tip, tax or beverage:  Basic, $25; loaded, $70 Food – 3.5 of 5 Suns Ambience – 4 of 5 Suns Service – 4 of 5 Suns Not that there was any fatal flaw, but two visits to the downtown Wishbone Restaurant and Oyster Bar left me disappointed. Open since July of last year, Wishbone is the downtown incarnation of the South-Side’s Three Boars on 109 St. south of the High Level Bridge, with the same ownership and same partner/executive chef Brayden Kozak. Three Boars was one of the first chef-owned bistros in town. When opened in 2013 it was a wildly inventive place. Chef Kozak would take whatever came through the kitchen door from his suppliers and ch ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Rebel Food & Drink a great neighbourhood fit BY GRAHAM HICKS, first published Edmonton Sun, January 2, 2018

REBEL FOOD & DRINK 9112 142 STREET 780-752-7325 CENTURYHOSPITALITY.COM/REBEL Mon. to Fri. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sat. and Sun. 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. Dinner for two, excluding tip and beverages: basic, $30; loaded, $60 Food:  3.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 3.5 of 5 Suns Rebel Food & Drink takes the old – the idea of a neighbourhood-based eatery/bar – shines it up, modernizes and makes it trendy.   But it’s still the place to meet your pals for a drink, or bring the family if nobody wants to cook. And if you’re over .05 thanks to half-price wine Wednesdays, you can walk (cab/UBER) home without breaking the bank, then come back in the morning to get your car. It may have been partially circumstantial, but the latest concept from Chris Lachance’s Century Hospitality Group (Lux, Delux, MKT, Hart’s, Parlour) hits all the right buttons. Piccolino’s had been an old-style village Italian eatery, an inner-west end fixture ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Edmonton's food future all about the chefs BY GRAHAM HICKS, first published Edmonton Sun, December 19, 2017

Matilda, the kudos coming Edmonton’s way for its restaurant renaissance are for real. The facts speak for themselves: City restaurants earned three of Canada’s Top 10 new restaurants in enRoute Magazine, five of Open Table’s 100 Best Canadian Restaurants for 2017, five of Canada’s 100 best restaurants as chosen by Canada100Best.com. Edmonton came out of nowhere to jump onto Resonance Consultancy’s Top 100 World Cities annual rating for this year – at number 60. Our culinary smorgasbord was a “quality of life” factor. The Toronto Sun ran a culinary travel story under the headline “Why your next foodie trip should be Edmonton.” When Air Canada announced non-stop Edmonton-to-San Francisco service (in the spring), the EnRoute Top 10 awards were cited by an Air Canada executive as an example of our city’s “considerable, young, entrepreneurial demographic.” By my count, some 50 young (or young-at-heart) exciting chefs hav ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: LOFT Thai Eatery elevates its food BY GRAHAM HICKS originally published Edmonton Sun: December 12, 2017

LOFT Thai Eatery 5324 75 St. 780-466-5638 Loftthaieatery.com Mon. to Fri. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sat. 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Sunday Dinner for two, excluding tip and beverages: basic, $30; loaded, $50 Food:  4.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 2.5 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns The food is beautiful. The space is not. LOFT Thai Eatery chef Shon Vichitvorakul is producing the best Thai “fusion” dishes this city has seen since The King & I Thai Restaurant was one of Edmonton’s Top 10 restaurants. The young Thai, trained in Australia and five-star hotels in Thailand, is producing green curry and pesto pastas, duck leg with fragrant Thai curries and cooked fruit, delicious home-made coconut-infused peanut sauces and dozens of other original Thai-based creations. The LOFT’s rama salad is a mix of soft and crunch. Plus, it should be added, conventional dishes for the meat ‘n’ potatoes crowd. Sadly, the venue does not do the food jus ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Parkallen Restaurant retools for the next 35 years By GRAHAM HICKS, FIRST PUBLISHED EDMONTON SUN, November 15, 2017

Parkallen Restaurant 7018-109 St. Parkallen.com 587-520-6401 Monday to Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, 4 p.m. to midnight Closed Sunday Dinner for two, excluding tip and beverages: basic, $45; loaded, $90 FOOD: 4 OF 5 SUNS AMBIENCE: 4 OF 5 SUNS SERVICE: 4 OF 5 SUNS All the successful “classic” restaurants of Edmonton – i.e. those 30 years or older still providing excellent dining experiences – share a common trait. They evolve – adding new dishes here and there, quietly dropping the dated stuff  but ensuring customer favourites stay on the menu. Above all, they’re willing to change … which is why they thrive. The Parkallen Restaurant was a favourite pizza joint of the inner southwest when Habib and Nahia Rustom opened in 1982, all by itself at that time on 109 Street in the stretch between Whyte and 61 Avenues. Son Joseph grew up in the business. As a young adult full of ideas, he set the Parkallen on a course that served it well for de ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: London Local offers jolly good food: GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN: October 24, 2017

London Local 2307 Ellwood Dr. SW (South of Henday Drive, off 91 Street.) 780-752-2244 London-local.ca @LondonLocalYEG Tuesday to Thursday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 5 p.m. to late Sunday, noon to 8 p.m. Closed Mondays Dinner for two, excluding tip and beverages: basic, $50; loaded, $90 Food:  4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns London Local is a veritable mountain of paradox. On the one hand, a new, contemporary restaurant specializing in British cuisine (i.e. England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales) is extraordinary unto itself. Isn’t  “fine dining” and “English” an oxymoron?  Hasn’t the food world always laughed at the notion that these chilly, perpetually rain-soaked islands actually have a food culture … besides mushy peas, mashed potatoes and sausages?  Aren’t Indian curries the tongue-in-cheek “official” cuisine of the British Isles? On the o ... Read the rest of entry »
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