January/February Kitchen Sink

Recipe of the week: Fish Pate from Kathryn Joel of Get Cooking.

Video: You Gotta Eat Here! Eats at Highlands Kitchen

The City Market on 104 has moved into City Hall for the winter. You’ll find over 50 vendors including Irvings’ Meats, Kuhlmann’s, Medecine Man Bison, and Natures Green Acres set up in the beautiful main floor rotunda every Saturday. Check it out!

Make sure you check out Cibo (11244 104 Avenue, 780-757-2426), a handsome room in Oliver Square. Contemporary Italian, good wine list, lunch, Tuesday through Friday, dinner, Tuesday through Saturday. We love the easy and quick $10 lunch — bucatini aglio olio hit the spot on a sub sub-zero day this week.

Looking for a terrific spot for weekend brunch? The Blue Chair (9624 76 Avenue, 780-989-2861) offers great music, real hollandaise sauce, delish bacon and the best pancakes in town. Saturday mornings also feature the brunch menu sans tunes. Friday and Saturday music nights still rock with the right talent, and they will be selling tickets. All events online at café bluechair.ca soon.

More 104 Street news: Expect more coffee come 2012 with the opening of the Mercer Roast House in the historic Mercer Warehouse along with Mercer Tavern (brilliant name for a resto), a flower shop and event furniture rental company.

Wild Earth Bakery Café’s (8902 99 Street 780-425-8423) new spot in Laurier Heights (14238 85 Avenue) is now open and, we’ve been told, they’re working on a third location in Epcor Tower. We’re hoping that the denizens of Epcor Tower take advantage of their proximity to Chinatown for lunch.

Bonjour Boulangerie/Treestone Bakery (8612 99 Street, 780-433-5924) café renovations should be complete late January. Pick up their delicious breads on Friday and Saturday at Everything Cheese (14912 45 Avenue, 780-757-8532)

Coming soon: a bigger menu of pizza, foccacia, soup and pasta at the Italian Centre cafes. “We should be ready to go in a couple of days”, says owner Teresa Spinelli. “By February we should be experts!”

The Butler Did It has relocated and, as owner Marianne Brown says, “rightsized.” No more retail or lunches, just a concentration on fine catering. Reach them at tlagency@shaw.ca or 780-455-5228.

Wine from Brazil? Yes, Brazil. The wine region is not in the tropics, but at the same latitude as Mendoza. Pampa is carrying several Brazilian wines from the Salton and Miolo wineries. We were especially impressed with the Salton Talento a well-balanced Cabernet Sauvignon dominant blend. It has aromas of berries and cedar, juicy black fruit and chewy tannins, perfect to have with roasted beef ribs. Try the crisp and lively Salton Sauvignon Blanc with salads and chicken.

Slam @ the Chair: A monthly storytelling tournament every second Wednesday at the Blue Chair Café (9624-76 Avenue, 780-989-286). Enjoy compelling stories, and a lot of fun. The first ten original storytellers to sign up at 7:00pm will start at 8:00.

Enjoy Veuve Clicquot in the Snow at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge January 10-12. Treat yourself to a weekend of fine dining, spectacular Champagne and an abundance of outdoor activities in a sparkling winter wonderland. The package (from $698 per couple) includes two nights accommodation,Veuve Cliquot welcome reception, après ski canapés and gala dinner. To book: call 1-888-270-3374, visit fairmont.com/jasper.

Edmonton hosts the Slow Food Canada National Meeting May 2-6. Of note to local foodies, two events that are open to all, a rural farm tour on May 2 and the Roots, Shoots and Garden Boots Gala, May 5. Enjoy a multi-course menu with beverage pairings prepared by a crew of local chefs headed by Paul Shufelt of Century Hospitality and Blair Lebsack of Range Rd. $145 inclusive, proceeds to Slow Food Canada. Sounds like a good time— who doesn’t want to go to a dinner where you are encouraged to wear your gardening boots? Visit SlowfoodEdmonton.ca for details or to buy tickets.

Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development offers Exploring the Allergic and Gluten-free Marketplace February 21. The all-day event, of interest to farmers, producers, chefs, researchers and marketers, includes an allergy free lunch at Ernest’s, NAIT. Register by February 17, $30. Call 1-800-387-6030 for more information on either session and to book.

Viphaly is opening a second locaton in the La Tapa space at 10523 99 Avenue. No word yet on the exact opening date or menu details but we bet it will be just as delish at the Little Italy location.

Brad Smoliak is cooking up something downtown on 105 street in the former Butler did It space. Expect a research and development kitchen, cooking lessons, events and private dinners come March.

Sun Peaks Winter Festival of Wine Enjoy the delicious pairing of culinary events, wine tastings and outdoor sports, January 18-22 at the Sun Peaks Winter Festival of Wine with a package from AMA Travel. Includes four nights, two days skiing, three events and airport transfers. From $799 per person, land only. Call 1-866-667-4777, AMATravel.ca.

Visit Narayanni’s (10131 81 Avenue, 780 756-7112) to enjoy their compelling South African Indian flavours. The chef, and matriarch of the Naidoo family, Selwa Naidoo is a flavour maven bar none. Highlights include impeccable vegetable dishes such as spiced squash and cabbage with kale, crispy chickpea fritters and toothsome curries. The Naidoos, known for their hospitality, opened Block 1912 several years ago.