The ambiance of this coffeehouse is one of the best things about the place. The historic brick building plays host to a hip crowd of patrons who embrace creativity and intellectual pursuits. Over espressos, cappuccinos and aromatic teas, they discuss what's new in politics, art and culture. To provide them sustenance, the Bowl sells pastries, muffins and light meals. On Friday and Saturday evenings, musicians perform live. If you're in doubt as to its location, look for patrons gathered on the front steps when the weather's mild.
The Sutton Place Hotel's restaurant is a quiet enclave of tasteful décor and attentive service. From its perch on the second floor, you can gaze into the atrium and the bustling activity below, or simply relax over a fine meal. If you're visiting for dinner, you can enjoy a grilled steak, roasted rack of lamb, or grilled Atlantic salmon, each accompanied by a side dish that could stand on its own, such as lemon risotto, asparagus with Pernod butter sauce, or tarragon polenta. Lunch is quite popular with the downtown business crowd, who nosh on creative salads, upscale gourmet sandwiches and warming soups. And Sunday brunch is not to be missed, with a bounty of good things beautifully laid out atop groaning buffet tables. An excellent wine list rounds out the offerings.
A gracious, architecturally beautiful dining room looks out onto a stone-paved terrace and then across the river valley. It's a lovely space for dinner, or any meal for that matter. Conscientious servers attend each table, anticipating questions, providing ready answers. All of this goes hand-in-hand with the delectable cuisine, based on the best ingredients and culinary techniques. Among the options you'll find are Bow River trout, Alberta beef, Atlantic salmon, Saskatchewan venison, Arctic char, and maybe, pheasant. Each is perfectly complemented by an appropriate sauce and vegetables in keeping with the style of preparation. Desserts, of course, are absolutely sinful. Wines include Californian, French and Italian vintages.
Perennially popular for weekend brunch, Barb and Ernie's is a family-run establishment that takes great pride in offering not only fantastic food but fabulous, caring service as well. The old-world atmosphere is fun for kids too, so bring the whole family for a Sunday morning food-fest. Brunch options include an astounding 30+ omelette creations, a dozen versions of eggs Benedict, and an array of pancakes and sweets. Later in the day, the food takes a German turn, with wiener schnitzel, brats and fresh apple strudel taking center stage.
In the early 1900s, this attractive building functioned as a luxury apartment house. Today, it houses a fine restaurant on the ground floor and six spacious bed and breakfast suites (one to three bedrooms, with a kitchenette and elegant furnishings) upstairs. The restaurant is divided into five separate spaces, each with a French country atmosphere all its own. Food here is superb. Classic French dishes, such as beef tenderloin with Chambord demi-glace and Coquille St. Jacques, are presented alongside Canadian creations like elk medallions with saskatoon berry sauce and bison striploin with blueberry demi-glace. The weekly changing table d'hote menu is a great value – three courses for $50-55.
Some might dismiss this restaurant given its affiliation with a deliberately kitschy hotel, but that would be a mistake. The Grill offers delicious cuisine, some of it happily standard, some of it more adventurous. Following savory appetizers such as pan-fried alligator or wild mushroom soup, guests look to a host of entree choices for their main course. Included are Jamaican jerk shrimp pasta, grilled British Columbia salmon, broiled beef tenderloin, and Seafood San Francisco, which bakes lobster, scallops, and crab in a wine sauce inside of puff pastry. Other options include lobster tails, baby back ribs, rack of lamb, and chicken breast. If you'd like a little extra drama in your evening, order one of the flambé desserts and finish the night with style.
Appropriately named, this rooftop restaurant makes a complete revolution every 90 minutes, affording its guests spectacular views of Edmonton. The menu perfectly complements the gorgeous panorama, offering full-bodied entrees that meld European traditions and Canadian ingredients. Appetizers include potato and butternut squash soup, caramelized onion and Havarti flan, and pan-seared sea scallops. Main courses include tea-smoked Atlantic salmon, medallions of hazelnut-crumbled pork tenderloin, and pan-seared venison tenderloin. All dishes come with vegetable side dishes for a complete meal. A wine list, a martini list, cognacs, and live entertainment multiply the appeal of this fantastic restaurant. Pricey but worth it.
Kobe's chef and owner Victor Noborio has quite a respectable CV, having worked in various kitchens in Paris and the Japanese consulate in Edmonton. That experience translates well here, where sushi fans are treated to fabulous food in a stylishly spare setting enhanced with decorative screens that envelop each table in its own private little space. The best way to experience the kitchen's talents is to order a combination platter of sushi plus a cooked dish or two, and follow up with green tea ice cream.
In a structure originally constructed as an apartment building, this fashionable restaurant sports an eclectic decor that mixes historical and contemporary details. The menu, too, pulls in a range of influences. Appetizers feature everything from escargots and mussels to steak tartare and Thai dumplings. The main course selections include Pasta Vitello (white veal, prawns and wild mushrooms) and Pasta Bengal (chicken, prawns, curry and mint). Meat entrees include Kashmir chicken, flavored with banana chips, coconut and chutney, and pork tenderloin infused with lime, cilantro and honey. You'll also find gourmet pizzas and salads that use the same exotic ingredients to good effect.
Part of a small locally owned chain, Sawmill is at the top of the heap, offering a relaxed, upscale ambience and creative steakhouse menu that people adore. The temptation starts the minute you walk in the door: to get to the dining room, you have to pass by an immense salad bar that expands for wide-ranging lunch and brunch buffet. The regular menu includes AAA Alberta steaks and buffalo steaks; this location also has a particularly good seafood menu that includes oysters, sushi and mesquite grilled fish. Sunday brunch is a lavish affair with typical breakfast and lunch offerings, plus hand carved roast beef and ham, an omelette station, salad and seafood bar, and a loaded dessert table with a chocolate fountain.