January 12, 2013

The Tomato’s 2013 Edmonton food and drink trends – What we’ll fall in love with this year.

Love Champagne? Enjoy Clicquot in the Snow presented by Champagne Veuve Clicquot and the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge March 1-3. Begin with an outdoor Veueve Cliquot ice bar reception by a roaring fire under the sparkling stars of the world’s largest Dark Sky Preserve. Clicquot in the Snow includes two nights’ accommodation, après ski champagne and canapaes, the glamourous Saturday night Moulin Rouge-inspired Zeste de Folie of Clicquot, after-party and Sunday Champagne brunch. Rates begin at $499 per person based on double occupancy.

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.

Doreen Prei and Shane Loiselle. 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) on February 11. 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 a capable board and as 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.

Wine and Beyond is offering free tastings at Windermere (6276 Currents Drive 780-439-5130) and Emerald Hills (300, 7000 Emerald Drive
, Sherwood Park, 780-417-2821) January 6, Windermere, Peller Family Series, Trius, Sandhill & Red Rooster, 12-5pm; January 11, Emerald Hills, Maisel’s Orginal & Dunkle Weisse Beer, 5-8pm; January 12,Windermere Maisel’s Orginal & Dunkle Weisse Beer, 5-8pm; January 12, Marques de Caceres,1-4pm; January 13, Emerald Hills, Peller Family Series, Trius, Sandhill & Red Rooster, 12-5pm; January 16, Emerald Hills, Brown Spirits 101 with J Wheelock in the Education Center, 7-9pm; January 17, Windermere, Brown Spirits 101 hosted by J Wheelock in the Education Center, 7-9pm. Check the web site for all events and tastings.

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

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 are creating a resto called Woodwork in the McLeod Building, opening early summer. Expect 50 seats and “smoked and wood-fired meats paired with dark spirit cocktails—those great flavours you get from wood aging or cooking slowly over wood,” says Andrew.