June 13, 2013

Two new restos in the works, downtown and on 124 street: The Tavern at the Alberta Hotel. The Hardware Grill’s Larry Stewart has leased the main floor space in the Alberta Hotel, new home to CKUA on Jasper Avenue. Expect a casual vibe with seating for about 100, and a menu of small plates and sharables which takes advantage of the historic long bar design. “We’re creating Edmonton’s first mozzarella bar,” says Larry. Jesse Chalmers will head up the kitchen. Opening late July.

Shane Loiselle (Edmonton Petroleum Club, Zinc) and Sue Kiernan, of the Empress Ale House plan a restaurant in the Eddie Shorts space, east side of 124 Street, north of 107

RGE RD's Blair Lebsack.
RGE RD’s Blair Lebsack.

Avenue. No word yet on when they may be opening or what the final concept will be but, as Charles Rothman of the Petroleum Club says, ‘knowing Shane there’ll be meat and smoke.”

And, of course, we eagerly await opening day at Rge Rd and Woodwork

A quick leaf through the new ATCO Blue Flame Kitchen Everyday Delicious cookbook cures the what-shall I-make-for-dinner-tonight blues with its emphasis on tasty yet not wildly ambitious recipes, such as panko-topped mac and cheese or pork lettuce wraps. The ATCO Blue Flame Atcospringcovercookbooks have got to be the best deal on the planet, $15 each, in a large, easy to use coil-bound format with good-looking photography. It’s always a successful feeling when what you make looks even remotely like the photo. Available toll-free at the cookbook order line: 1-800-840-3393, online as well as Chapters, Safeway and Save-on-Foods.

Lots of happenings at corso 32 (10345 Jasper Avenue, 780-421-4622), monthly dinners exploring pasta, more regional wine dinners, and a brand new resto next door. It’s still very much in the planning stages, but expect casual trattoria-style cooking — good simple Italian food.

Smokehouse BBQ (10810-124 Street, 587-521-6328) has come roaring back after the devastating fire late last year with a new chef, Steven Koch, and a new menu. Highlights; buttermilk-brined smoked chicken wings, hand-cut rib tips, pig balls (risotto balls with pulled pork— essentially barbecue shack-style arancini), along with a selection of craft beers and southern-style cocktails made with house-brewed sweet tea and lemonade. Can’t wait to dive in!

Where to eat on Thursday nights? Culina Muttart’s Thursday Night Prix-Fixe regionally inspired dinners are delicious and a good deal to boot. Check out the weekly menus and get ready for a delish treat.

Sault Ste Marie native Steven Furgiuele is the new Culina Mill Creek chef de cuisine, taking over from Christine Sandford who is in Spain for a year. “Our weekly specials will focus on Calabrese and Mediterranean flavours along with Brazilian influences, my most recent fixation,” says Steven. “I will also continue to expand on Culina’s use of local food producers and farmers.”

CheeseDiscsGet yourself down to The Cavern (10169 104 Street, 780-455-1336) pronto. The focus is cheese, really good cheese, including the local trio Sylvan Star, The Cheesiry, and Smoky Valley Chevre, along with pastry, sandwiches, espresso and wine (glass pours from a 16 bottle Enovin — how civilized). Find them at #2, Phillips Lofts, oh those lucky loft dwellers. It’s also our newest fave spot for breakfast, opening at 7am Monday to Saturday; and closing at 8pm Monday to Thursday, and 11pm on Friday and Saturday nights. Enjoy Cinq a Sept (the cocktail hour) from 5 – 7pm Monday – Friday. Closed Sundays. Read more about the Cheesiry.

Don’t miss Gin Yummy at Aligra Wine & Spirits June 18, $42/person. Visit Alligra Wine and Spirits to register.

Become a grill-master at the Outdoor Kitchen: Patio Entertaining class, Sunterra Market (Commerce Place, 201 10150 Jasper Avenue), June 25, 6:30pm, $50/person Each class includes cocktails, take home recipes, tastings and a buffet-style meal. Check out the full Sunterra cooking class calendar.

The Pan Tree (220 Lakeland Drive, Sherwood Park, 780 464-4631) now stocks excellent products from Gold Forest Grains such as golden flax, spelt flour, steel-cut oats, pancake mix, and Sturgeon River cereal. Prices range from $8 – $10. Also new: On Our Table charcuterie and butcher boards, made from solid walnut, ranging in size and price from $150 – $280. The wonderful Savon de Marseille liquid hand soap (300mL with pump and one litre refills) is available in unscented and grapefruit aromas, $20 – $30. Check out the vintage door knob wine stoppers called, naturally, Knob Stoppers, from $21 to $33, and the useful Charles Viancin silicone lids which create an air- and water- tight seal around any smooth rimmed container, in five sizes, from $12 to $27.

The Downtown City Market is back on 104 street until Thanksgiving. Expect a slightly different configuration due to the construction of Fox Towers; the market will be a T-shape running from Jasper Avenue along 104 Street, then reaching east and west along 102 Avenue. Visit the website or the Facebook page for the latest vendor info.