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Category: Weekly Dish columns from The Edmonton Sun

Weekly Dish columns from The Edmonton Sun

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Highlands Golf Club dining room a hidden gem By GRAHAM H ICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, July 16, 2019

The gorgeous view from the Highlands Golf Club dining room. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Highlands Golf Club Dining Room/Spike Lounge 6603 Ada Boulevard 780-474-4211 Highlandsgolfclub.com Reservations by phone no listed delivery Open to the public 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week until late fall Dinner for two, excluding tips, taxes and beverages:  Basic, $25; Loaded, $50 Food:  4.5 of 5 Suns Ambience:  4.5 of 5 Suns Service: 3.5 of 5 Suns By GRAHAM HICKS Pssst. I’m letting you in on an Edmonton dining-out  secret. The best food in the city, taking into account quality, variety, price and view, is at The Highlands Golf Club Dining Room. The list of restaurants with scenic river valley views is distressingly short. Downtown are the Chateau Lacombe’s La Ronde, the Hotel Macdonald patio, the Courtyard by Marriot Riverside Bistro (where the food/service is mediocre at best), and a partial view from The Butternut Tree. On the South Side are some t ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Mimi's shows the strength of a quality neighbourhood pub By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, July 9, 2019

Mimi's "Al Capone" pizza: eggplant, mozza, ricotta, olives, tomato and lots of basil. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Mimi’s 11403-40 Ave. 587-490-8952 Mimispub.com No listed delivery Reservations by phone Mon. to Fri. 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sat./Sun. noon to closing Food:  4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding tips, taxes and beverages:  Basic, $25; Loaded, $60 By GRAHAM HICKS The neighbourhood pub is making a come-back. Not those stuffy, grubby, hole-in-the-wall pubs in that once littered the landscape. These new ones are beautiful. Million-dollar treatments , all glass and design, with attractive furniture, countertops, open kitchens, and craft beers on tap. These new “pubs” are family restaurants, operated by experienced hospitality pros. The food is actually more important than the booze. Century Hospitality group led the way, opening Hart’s Table and Grill on 23 Avenue to service deep Riverbend. Cent ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Vivo Ristorante Windermere a people pleaser By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, July 2, 2019

Vivo's sea bream comes with a host of complimentary veggies. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Vivo Ristorante & Bar Windermere 6143 Currents Dr. NW 780-244-5920 Vivoristorante.ca Delivery: Skipthedishes.com Reservations:  OpenTable.ca 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. (12:30 a.m. Fri. + Sat.) Food:  4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding tips, taxes and beverages:  Basic, $30; Loaded, $80 By GRAHAM HICKS The owners of Vivo Ristorante Windermere call their concept  “modern family dining – with authentic, real food.” Which is right on the money.  This stylish, contemporary restaurant in the city’s deep southwest, across from the Cineplex Odeon Windermere, does the near impossible. It’s all things to all people. Friday evening, the restaurant was full of multi-generational families. A previous visit during happy hour saw an adult crowd scarfing down 97-cent meatballs and $1.50 aranchini  with a ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Perfection, thy name is The Butternut Tree By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, June 18, 2019

The Brome Lake Duck, yet another perfect dish from The Butternut Tree. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN The Butternut Tree 9707 110 St. (Ledgeview Tower, main floor) 780-760-2271 thebutternuttree.ca Reservations:  Opentable.com No takeout listed Tues. to Sat. 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sun. and Mon. closed Food:  5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 5 of 5 Suns Service: 5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding tips, taxes and beverages:  Basic, $70; Loaded, $140 By GRAHAM HICKS The Butternut Tree is a gastronomic delight, a feast for the eyes, for the nose, for the mouth. It is fine dining at its very best in this city. While the food itself is always at the epicentre of fine dining, everything else must also be perfect – the décor, the service, the view, the lighting, the rhythm, the plating, the presentation, the wines … Owner/chef Scott Downey has long marched to the sound of his own drum. He left St. Albert at a young age to wander and be educated within the internatio ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks`Weekly Dish: Filistix reflects a new Canadian cuisine By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, June 11, 2019

Filistix's Nasi Goreng fried rice is a meal unto itself. Filistix 10621 100 Ave. 780-716-4708 Filistix.ca Facebook 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. (11 p.m. Fri and Sat, 9 p.m. Sun), seven days a week Delivery pending, reservations by phone Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two: Excluding drinks and tip, basic $30, loaded $50 By GRAHAM HICKS Ariel del Rosario and Roel Canafrance had no grandiose business plan when they started selling Filipino-style barbecue skewers out of a food truck some 10 years ago. Yet Filistix has evolved as a textbook study in growing a hospitality business, culminating in the recent opening of its first sit-down, full-service Filipino/Asian fusion restaurant in the city’s downtown. Del Rosario and Canafrance are cousins — second-generation Filipino-Canadians raised on the excellent Filipino cooking forever emerging from their moms’ and lolas’ (grandmothers) kitchens. They were among the firs ... Read the rest of entry »

HICKS' WEEKLY DISH: Replacing a top chef is no easy business By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, June 4, 2019

The colours in Chartier's onion risotto and kohlrabi "steak" were a treat for the eyes. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Chartier #102, 5012 50 St. Beaumont 780-737-3633 www.dinechartier.com Reservations: Yelp.com No listed delivery service Tues to Sun. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Fri. and Sat. midnight closing) (Bread window, Tues. to Sun. 9 a.m. until sold-out) Closed Mondays Food: 3.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two: Excluding drinks and tip, basic $50, loaded $80 Three years ago, the Weekly Dish visited Chartier, the then-recently-opened Franco-Albertan restaurant in the town of Beaumont – today just a few minutes drive south of Mill Woods. That meal was perfect – one of the few five out of five Suns ever rewarded in this restaurant review column. But perfection is either maintained, or it slips. And even the best of chefs, if they are not owners, tend to eventually move on. On our return visit to Chartier, the fo ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Spotlight truly shines By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, May 28, 2019

Spotlight's interior decor harkens back to the golden era of Hollywood. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Spotlight Cabaret Second floor, 8217 – 104 St. (elevator accessible) 780-760-0202 spotlightcabaret.ca 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. seven days a week No listed delivery service Food: 3.5 of 5 Suns Ambience:  4.5 of 5 Suns Service: 4.5 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic, $30; loaded $65 By GRAHAM HICKS Keep your fingers crossed that the Spotlight Cabaret, in the heart of Old Strathcona, is a roaring success. It’s a bold venture in what was the O2’s second and third floor bar and restaurant, and before that Chili’s Old Strathcona. Spotlight is modeled on those classic Hollywood and New York City fancy bars you see in late-night movies, but in living technicolour – nightly cabaret entertainment and full menu service is offered in the beautifully renovated room, complete with a real stage. On an Edmonton summer afternoon or eveni ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Noi Thai's simple yet elegant cuisine By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, May 21, 2019

While the broth colour was not appealing, the seafood and green curry tang worked well. Noi Thai Restaurant 10724 95 St. NW 780-423-3213 Noithairestaurant.com Delivery service: Skip The Dishes Tues. to Fri. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sat. and Sun, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Closed Monday Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience:  4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic, $30; loaded $60 By GRAHAM HICKS There is something alluring about Thai food and Thai restaurants. At its best, Thai cooking is delicate and clean, never oil-heavy, lovely colours, the aroma inevitably described as “fragrant.” The restaurant interiors are spotless and pretty. Servers are exquisitely polite. Lesser Thai kitchens haven’t the same intangible delicacy, somehow don’t come across as so “clean” in the food presentation. The spring rolls can be greasy. My attention was directed to the humble Noi Thai when WHERE Magazine, in an unusual de ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Turkish wine and food an unexpected delight By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, May 14, 2019

Sofra's roasted Turkish-style lamb chops, duck breast and tenderloin are simply fabulous. Graham Hicks/Edmonton SunEdmonton Sofra Authentic Turkish Cuisine 10345 106 St. NW 780-423-3044 Facebook No listed delivery service Tues. to Sun. 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Closed Monday Food: 4.5 of 5 Suns Ambience:  4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic, $30; loaded $90 By GRAHAM HICKS Turkish food in Edmonton does not get the respect it deserves. Here’s a culture, an ancient civilization that cradled the Greeks and the Romans. It’s among the world’s most moderate Muslim nations … with a food pallet as attuned to western meat ‘n’ potatoes as anything in Greece and Central Europe. Another interesting anomaly: Turkey’s geographical location and terrain would suggest the country ought to be a major producer of wine. Turkey is all about grapes, not wine. Grapes as a fruit, dried grapes as raisins, distilled gra ... Read the rest of entry »

Weekly Dish: London Local can teach the Brits how to cook By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, May 7, 2019

London Local owner/chef Lindsay Porter (foreground) and sous-chef Leslie Tannahill are bringing English cuisine back to life! Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN London Local 2307 Ellwood Drive SW 780-752-2244 London-local.ca Delivery: Doordash Tues. to Fri. 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. (11 p.m. Friday) Sat. 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. Sun. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Closed Monday Food: 4.5 of 5 Suns Ambience:  4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two excluding tip, taxes or beverages: Basic, $35; loaded $70 By GRAHAM HICKS It’s no secret. The food at the “English-inspired” London Local is consistently delicious because the kitchen doesn’t believe in shortcuts. The sauces – Ketchup-style, HP-style, tartar, relish – are originals, conceived and made from scratch by owner/chef Lindsay Porter. The meats are ground/cured/tenderized in house. Even veggies get special treatment. Porter’s brussels sprouts are sautéed in a house-created ... Read the rest of entry »
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