Dish November and December 2017

Three Edmonton restaurants garner national attention; books on whisky, wine and home-style cooking; how to clean up with style

three best new restos are in #yeg

Cafe Linnea, one of three Edmonton restaurants to make Air Canada’s Top 10 list
Cafe Linnea, one of three Edmonton restaurants to make Air Canada’s Top 10 list

Congratulations to Bar Clementine, Café Linnea and the Alder Room! They placed on the Air Canada’s Best New Restaurants 2017  Top 10 list released in October. We couldn’t be happier for these independents. (Happy too, for one of our fave Calgary spots, Bar Von Der Fels.) The Top10, a really good indication of what’s happening right across the country, chooses the most directional, making it a reliable indicator of what we’ll be eating and drinking next. Visit for all the info and videos and make your reservations soon.

over the volcano

John Szabo’s fascinating Volcanic Wines
John Szabo’s fascinating Volcanic Wines

If you have been wondering what all the fuss had been about wines grown in volcanic soil, read this book: Volcanic Wines: Salt, Grit and Power by John Szabo, Canada’s first master of wine. Szabo connects the dots between soil, geology, grape varieties and producers and why it matters in an entertaining and accessible way. It’s fascinating, intensively researched, has terrific maps and charts and is an André Simon Book Awards winner. Published by Jacqui Small, $41.

make a happy kitchen

Festive and fun Swedish disposible dishcloths
Festive and fun Swedish disposable dishcloths

If you have to do dishes you might as well do them with something bright and well-designed. The Swedish Dishcloth is ultra-absorbent, ideal for mopping up all sorts of messes in a beautiful fashion. They are also biodegradable (made from cellulose and cotton) and go right into the compost heap when you are ready to say buh-bye. Designed and hand-printed in Sweden and England, priced from $7. We especially love the new holiday patterns for hostess gifts and stocking stuffers. Find at: Bella Casa, Heart of the Home, The Pan Tree, The Wired Cup, Zocalo and other fine retailers.

why canadian whisky

The indispensible guide to Canadian Whisky
The indispensible guide to Canadian Whisky

In the Canadian Whisky, Second Edition: The New Portable Expert, Davin de Kergommeaux starts to show why Canadian whisky is deserving of your attention in a section called Grains, Water and Wood, then continues the story of Canadian whisky leading to its current renaissance. This second edition is updated and indispensable; it’s a terrific book, Appetite by Random House, $24.

holy rollin’

Holy Roller’s Rafael D’Alcazar and Ari Uribe
The Holy Roller’s exec chef Rafael D’Alcazar and sous chef Ari Uribe

Check out the new Old Strathcona spot, The Holy Roller (8222 Gateway Blvd, 780-540-4659, The look is quirky and fun — distressed surfaces, animal sculptures, arresting art and eclectic furniture. “The food is multicultural,” says exec chef Rafael D’Alcazar; “food that brings people together.” We are very excited about the chocolate program D’Alcazar is planning, made with his beloved Mexican chocolate. Lucky people living in the Crawford Block — this is all just steps away. We love the energy that is coming to this once moribund alley. Sugared and Spiced is fully open now too.

your new local

Lindsay Porter and Evonne Li’s new resto, London Local (2307 Ellwood Drive, 780-752-2244, is now open. Lindsay, a Gold Medal Plates bronze medalist and former chef at Mercer’s Catering, El Cortez and Woodwork, offers the tastes of her English upbringing (think fish and chips, beef pot pie) at this casual gastro-pub. Expect modern, full-throttle flavours in her characteristic style with a well-chosen beer, wine and cider list. Portions are generous and we love that a gastro pub has a decent wine glass, the well-proportioned Schott Zwiesel. The action is in south Edmonton. London Local joins independents Pampa Steakhouse and Workshop Eatery to offer more choice on the deep south side. Choice is good!

it is always the best of bridge

Another cookbook classic in the Best of Bridge series
Another cookbook classic in the Best of Bridge series

Sunday Suppers, by Elizabeth Chorney-Booth, Sue Duncan and Julie Van Rosendaal, is the latest in Best of Bridge series. “These cookbooks were always about everyday ingredients, that could be picked up at any grocery store. But now, we can get more things at the grocery store,” said Julie, over coffee at the Ritchie Market. About working together. “Sue is one of the best cooks I know and I know a lot of chefs,” says Julie, “so technically detailed.”

“Elizabeth is a talented home cook and the consummate Best of Bridge fan; she even has an incredible Pyrex connection,” says Sue. “Julie tastes wide, she is curious about everything. And she is the best recipe writer. She gets the most info into the least amount of space and her instructions are clear as day.”

“There are a lot of beautiful books out there that I love,” says Julie, “but the request I most often get is for a really good banana bread. Or, how to roast a chicken. Solid everyday cooking.”