What’s new and notable
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Get ready to dine downtown during Downtown Dining Week, March 10-19. Enjoy a variety of two-course lunches ($15), three-course dinners ($28), or executive dinners ($45) at several downtown dining spots including the Cavern, Chateau Lacombe, De Dutch, Hardware Grill and The Marc. Visit edmontondowntown.com/diningweek for menus.
Lots of news from the Juniper Café & Bistro (9514 87 Street, 780-490- 6799, juniperbistro.com): the Handheld Bennie hits the Tomato Top 100 again, they now offer catering for family and business events and you can have their good food delivered via Skip the Dishes.
Bubbles and burgers? Oh yeahh. Here’s a dinner we can’t resist; a bottle of Taittinger Brut Prestige with two Angus beef burgers and truffled Parmesan fries, $135. At Hardware Grill, 9698 Jasper Avenue, 780-423-0969.
Love a nice chewy pretzel? Check out Zwick’s Pretzels (12415 107 Avenue, 780-451-8882, zwickspretzels.com), offering pretzels, sandwiches (on a pretzel bun, natch), sides and a soup, along with sweet and savoury dips. Yum! Now that the pretzel jones has been satisfied, all we need is a cinnamon bun shop. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.
Bar Clementine (11957 Jasper Avenue, 780-756-4570, barclementine.ca) now offers brunch from 10am-4pm on Sundays with dishes in the $10- $20 range, brunch cocktails and a special wine list along with coffee from Transcend. No reservations. We love Roger Letourneau’s thoughtful, Frenchinspired cooking and can’t wait to see what he does with the brunch lexicon.
Recent openings: The long awaited ALTA (10328 Jasper Avenue, 780-244- 3635, altayeg.ca), Tuesday-Saturday, 11-1am. Love those hours, no resos, no tipping. Baijiu, (10359-104 Street, baijiuyeg.com) Kevin Cam’s new spot in the Mercer Building, with a focus on fine cocktails and Asian-inspired plates; drinks by Tommy Cheng, food by Alexei Boldireff, deliciously fun. Expect seasonal Canadian cuisine with a short and sweet wine and cocktail list at Bündok (10228 104 Street, 780-420- 0192, bundokyeg.com). Open Tuesday- Saturday 5pm ’til late.
wine tastings, happenings and events
Experience a French Canadian sugar shack at Café Bicyclette’s (8627 91 Street, 587-524-8090) long table dinners in a tent, with a menu of dishes from a variety of French-speaking cultures and countries, March 24, 25, 31 and April 1, 6 and 7. Not just any tent; think comfortable and heated outfitter tents with an urban rustic vibe. Tickets, $75/p+, reservations, 587-524- 8090 or book on OpenTable. Bien sûr!
The Glass Monkey (5842 111 Street, 780-760-2228, theglassmonkey.ca) offers their popular Monkey Business, five courses paired with five wines, Thursday, March 23 and, Wednesday, April 26, 6:30 pm, $79/p++. Call Janine or Rob 780-760-2228 for tix.
Upcoming tastings at Aligra (1423, 8882 170 Street, Entrance 58, 780-483- 1083, aligrawineandspirits.com): March 14, 7pm, Great Wines Around $20, $20/p; April 4, 7pm, Wine Winners for Easter Dinners, $25/p. Visit aligrawineandspirits/events to book.
Tastings at Hicks Fine Wines (109- 150 Bellerose Drive, St. Albert, 780- 569-5000, hicksfinewines.com): Bar pours, Friday and Saturday afternoons; wines from the Enotri Wine Agency, March 10; Native Grapes of Piemonte, Thursday, March 15, 7pm, $75. Congratulations to Hicks manager Marcia J Hamm, who was awarded the WSET Wines and Spirits Diploma in February, joining Juanita Roos, Margaux Burgess, and Mary Bailey.
Meet and taste with Luis Pato at Vines of Riverbend, $30/p, Thursday, March 23, firstname.lastname@example.org and dinner at Ernest’s (NAIT, 11762 106 Street) Friday, March 24. Tickets $95/p, email email@example.com.
Tickets are on now sale for the Northern Lands Dinners. The Italian winemaker dinners are Wednesday, May 3; the Canadian Italian collab dinner is May 4. On Friday, May 5 there are several winemaker dinners. Will it be Hardware Grill with Calgary’s Cam Dobranski, and chef Andrew Fung from XIX? Both chefs began their careers at Hardware. The dinner promises to be an extraordinary culinary reunion, paired with wines from Darryl Brooker, Mission Hill, John Skinner, Painted Rock, Summerhill’s Ezra Cipes, and Leslie LeQuelenec from Clos du Soleil. Or chef Shane Chartrand’s amazing food paired with NK’MIP winemaker Justin Hall’s delicious wines at Sage at River Cree Resort? Visit Northernlands.ca to book all dinners.
Don’t miss The Italian Centre Shops monthly Chef ’s Inspiration Series with recipes, demos and dinners. Each chef presents a pop-up dinner at Spinelli’s Southside (104A Street and 51 Avenue) featuring the recipe paired with wines selected by Juanita and Kelsey Roos of Color de Vino. Chefs include Brad Smoliak (Kitchen by Brad), Blair Lebsack (Rge Rd), Lino Oliviera (Sabor) and Doreen Prei (Get Cooking). Book at the italiancentre.ca.
Massimo Capra headlines The Tomato Cooking Stage at the Edmonton Home and Garden Show (edmontonhomeandgarden.com) March 23-26, along with lots of local talent. Fill out our entry forms for chances to win tickets and to cook with the pros at the Tomato Pro Am.
Love gin and tonic? Eau Claire Distillery launches two new tonic waters April 1. Find the Original and Elderflower tonic waters at retailers around the province. Check eauclairesoda.ca for locations.
New at Heart of the Home (High Street, 12539 102 Avenue, 780-705- 4928, heartofthehomeyeg.ca): Le Crueset’s Oyster collection in enamelled cast iron and stoneware; Sophie Le Girafe natural rubber children’s accessories and the Mealtime melamine set ($65), and spring designs from Fringe Studio (mugs from $16.50). This newish store in the High Street is chock full of useful and beautiful items for your home and kitchen.
Fin’s Seafood (278 Cree Road, Sherwood Park, 780- 449-3710) now stocks Haida Wild seafood from Haida Gwaii, BC, as well as Paradise Valley Pork and Brandt Lake Wagyu. Fin’s introduced the fine meats and the Haida Gwai products at an event at the Common with chefs Jessie Morrison- Gauthier (The Common/Grandin Fish & Chips), Edgar Gutierrez (Tres Carnales/Rostizado) and Shane Chartrand (Sage). Chef Chartrand, who has been using Haida Wild for several years, tells us that the razor clams, ling cod and spot prawns sourced by this company can’t be beat in terms of freshness and flavour.
Get your Newget at the Make It! The Handmade Revolution, March 24-26 at the Northlands EXPO Centre (7515 118 Avenue) on Friday, March 24, 11am -9pm; Saturday, 10am-6pm and Sunday, 11am-5pm. Tix $5.
Dull knives are dangerous and smash food. Knifewear (10820 82 Avenue, 587-521-2034, knifewear.com) wants to save you from being dull and cutting your finger off. Learn to sharpen and keep your blades in tip top-condition with their hands-on classes: Cut like a Chef, 9am Saturdays, 9am and 10am Sundays, and the Sharpening Class, on Thursdays, 6pm. Call the shop to book, $65 each.
at the cooking schools
Laissez les bons temps rouler! On Saturday March 11, 18 and Tuesday March 21, Tracy and Brad at Kitchen by Brad explore the food of New Orleans and Mardi Gras—jambalaya, gumbo, crawfish étoufée. Start with pecan hummus, crab and artichoke dip and end with everybody’s southern favorite dessert, pecan tart. The North American Italian class explores Italian classics with a North American twist. Learn to make fresh tagaliatelle with Bolognese sauce, fluffy and light potato gnocchi, vegetable sides (contorni), classic Sunday gravy and a chocolate and cherry tiramisu, Saturday, March 4 and 25 and Tuesday March 7. Classes at Kitchen are $145/p+, email info@ kitchenbybrad.ca or call 780-757-7704 to book. Visit kitchenbybrad.ca after March 15 for April classes, or contact for private classes or kitchen parties.
The ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen (Main Level, 10035-105 Street) offers hands-on cooking classes even for non-cooks. ATCO Adult Cooking Basics Part 1 covers kitchen safety, knife skills, food storage guidelines and you learn to make soup and biscuits, Saturday, April 22, $50/p+. Part 2 teaches menu planning, nutrition basics and the concept of planned-overs, Saturday, April 29, $50/ p+. Adult Cooking Basics Part 3 is all about meat, what cut to buy and how to cook it, Saturday May 6, $50/p+. Visit atcoblueflamekitchen.com for the entire spring schedule.
Kinnikinnick (10940-120 Street, 780- 732-7527, kinnikinnick.com) corporate chef Lori Grein demonstrates recipes for piecrust, cakes, cookies and roux using the gluten-free Kinnikinnick All Purpose Flour Blend, March 16, 17, 23 and 24, 10am-1pm. On April 6, 7 and 13, 10am-1pm, chef Grein creates quick and easy dishes ideal for Easter Brunch. Come for a taste; take the recipes home.
Love to cook? Learn a new skill, play with unfamiliar flavours or brush up on technique at a NAIT Cooking Class. Here’s a couple that caught our eye. Cheese Making Fundamentals: learn how to make your own ricotta, mascarpone and mozza, Tuesday, March 21, $155+ materials fee. Sign up early for the always popular BBQ Basics, Saturday, April 29, $150+ materials fee, or take a Tour of India to learn about the flavour profiles and pantry essentials in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian cuisines from several regions: three days starting Monday, March 27, $255+ materials fee. Find all the spring classes at nait.ca/culinary.
Lots of classes at the Pantree (220 Lakeland Drive, #550, Sherwood Park, 780-464-4631, thepantree.ca): Mediterranean Classics with chef Stefan Cherwoniak, ceviche, paella, patatas bravas, Tuesday, March 7, $95/p; Sausage Making, with chef Richard Toll, bison, chorizo and duck and orange sausage, Tuesday, March 28, $95/p; Learn to use your Cookware with chef Michelle DeLand and Bill Marshall from Zwilling, Monday, May 8, $30/p includes a glass of wine and a $25 gift certificate.