December 24, 2012

A few more days only for the Knifewear pop-up store (8422 109 Street) right beside Three Boars Eatery, December 28 to 30, 10am – 6pm daily, and December 31 until 2pm.

cococo won a prestigious award for a new chocolate bar debuting Christmas week. Their milk chocolate infused with rosemary, thyme and habanero sea salt took a silver award at The International Chocolate Awards 2012 World Final.

There may be a few spots left for NYE at Moriarty’s Bistro | Wine Bar (10154 -100 Street, 780-757-2005). Enjoy four courses $80 plus optional cheese course and wine pairing $80 plus tax & tip. Check out the website to book.

Rock New Year’s Eve at the Blue Chair Café (9624 76 Avenue, 780-989-2861). One seating, fun menu, and a great band. Visit their website for the latest info.

More New Year’s Eve frivolity: The southside Bothy’s (5482 Calgary Trail 780 761-1761) NYE is a sit-down dinner with choice paired wine or whisky for the night, $110/person. The downtown Bothy’s (10124 124 Street) 780-760-8060 is having a masquerade party with appys through the night and drink tix. $100 /person. Call to book.

On February 11, Doreen Prei (Zinc, Hotel Macdonald) becomes chef de cuisine and head of culinary development at the Edmonton Petroleum Club (11110 -108 Street, 780-474-3411). Exec chef Patrick Chaudet’s focus remains business and administration. Shane Loiselle ((Zinc, Hotel Macdonald) signs on as exec sous with responsibility for banquet and catering. The club, founded in 1950, is undergoing a culinary renaissance under the capable board and general manager Charles Rothman. Expect great things from this kitchen.

Frank and Andrea Olson’s new venture Canteen (10522 124 Street) is now open and it’s luscious. Expect winter-happy dishes such as butternut squash ravioli with sage and brown butter Brussels sprouts; beef shortribs on cornmeal gnudi, and rosemary pecorino fries. Stellar crew includes front of house Justin Vion, Erin Slade and Kim Sala. In the kitchen: Colin McFall, Rob Ingram, Chris Tom Ke, Jonathon Ruby, Heather Dosman, Roger Letourneau, Melissa Ndwove, and Ron Balanos. Open lunch and dinner daily with weekend brunch starting in January.

Love wine? Looking for practical techniques to help you make the best choices? WSET Level One (Wine & Spirits Education Trust Foundation in Wine & Wine Service) begins Monday, January 7. The 11-week WSET Level Two Intermediate begins Tuesday, January 8. French Wine School will start in April. For more information or to register visit

The just-opened Smokehouse BBQ on 124 Street will be out of commission for a few months while they rebuild the back end of the resto after a fire recently. The important thing? Nobody was hurt. In the meantime visit their Leduc location (5410 Discovery Way, 780-996-2010) for deliciously smoky ribs, brisket and their amazing turkey gumbo.

We’re sad to see the Blue Pear shuttered after 11 years (their last night is December 31) but at least the space will be put to excellent use. Chef Blair Lebsack and front of house manager Caitlin Fulton will open RGE RD (10643 123 Street) featuring Blair’s seasonally expressive cooking, what he aptly calls untamed cuisine. Expect 35ish seats and a warm ambiance with a rustic contemporary look. The duo are shooting for an April opening.

Chef Mike Scorgie of Nomad Food Truck and cocktail impresario Andrew Borley of the Volstead Act team up to open a restaurant downtown. Ballpark opening is early summer. Expect 50 seats and “those great flavours you get from wood aging or cooking slowly over wood,” says Andrew. The name? TBA. “We’ve got a short list right now.”

Finding the best spot for business dining is now as close as your phone. Eat Canada is the ultimate restaurant guide for the business traveller with recommendations for over 200 restaurants in 11 major Canadian cities complied by Gold Medal Plates senior judges. Find the ideal downtown resto for a power breakfast, business lunch, or client dinner, or scout out where the locals go for after-work drinks and private functions. Available at the App store or through the Eat Canada website.