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Category: Weekly Dish columns from The Edmonton Sun

Weekly Dish columns from The Edmonton Sun

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Tastes of Edmonton 2019 By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, December 26, 2019

Braven's prime rib will make meat-lovers think they have died and gone to heaven. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS/EDMONTON SUN The best of meals, you remember for a long, long time. The very thought arouses the memory’s tastebuds, accompanied by a sweet sigh of taste recollections. The longer the memory lasts, the better the original must have been. Here are my Weekly Dish highlights from 2019. From Cyrille Koppert’s new Partake, for example, way back last January, I have total recall of the ever-changing complimentary snack given to all guests before dinners are ordered. Not silly old popcorn or peanuts, but, that night, mushroom and melted brie combo on toast. How to start right! Imaginative and complimentary starters set the tone at Partake restaurant. At the Gui Lin Noodle House on 97 Street was the lightest, most fragrant beef noodle soup I can remember, thanks to orange zest and the addition of an exceptional fruit never before tasted, especially in a soup. STORY CONTINUES BELO ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Dorinku Osaka — Casual, stylish & delicious By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, December 17, 2019

Dorinku Osaka's pork katsu, from the restaurant's noon menu, is presented with a variety of smaller dishes. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Dorinku Osaka 10328 Jasper Avenue 780-761-9990 Osaka.dorinku.ca No listed delivery or reservation service Hours:  11 a.m. to late, six days a week, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sun. Dinner for two, excluding beverages, tip and taxes: Basic, $30; loaded, $70 Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns By GRAHAM HICKS Restaurateur Isaac Choi has a magic wand. This past decade, Choi has opened Japonais Bistro, Dorinku Tokyo and DOSC (Drunken Ox Sober Cat). All have been unique and popular. All have boasted consistently excellent food quality. STORY CONTINUES BELOW Dorinku Osaka on Jasper Avenue is no exception. If anything, the latest offering from Isaac Choi is even more interesting food-wise than its predecessors, offering separate lunch and dinner menus, a fresh fish bar and, at the back of the stylish yet casu ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Braven lives up to expectations By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, December 10, 2019

Braven's prime rib will make meat-lovers think they have died and gone to heaven. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS/EDMONTON SUN Braven JW Marriott Hotel, Edmonton ICE District 10344-102 St. 780-784-8580 bravenrestaurant.com Reservations: opentable.ca No listed delivery Hours:  Mon. to Fri. 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 pm., 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sat. and Sun. 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Dinner for two, excluding beverages, tip and taxes: Basic, $60; loaded, $150 Food: 4.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns By GRAHAM HICKS Braven, to our great relief, is all it’s cracked up to be. The more formal of the lobby-level restaurants in the new, exciting JW Marriott Hotel, Braven is doing an extraordinarily good job of having something for everybody, of offering top-notch quality and dining satisfaction within the “something”. STORY CONTINUES BELOW Its traditional steakhouse selections – the five-to-14-ounce steaks, roast beef, lamb, 14 oz. pork chop, salmon a ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Brasserie Bardot - casual continental dining at its best By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, December 3, 2019

The Brasserie Bardot calls this combination of poutine with fondue cheeses a "fontine." PHOTOS BY GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Brasserie Bardot 10109-125 St. 780-757-8702 Reservations: brasseriebardot.com Hours:  11 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week. Dinner for two, excluding beverages, tip and taxes: Basic, $40; loaded, $80 Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4.5 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns By GRAHAM HICKS Breathe easy. The new Brasserie Bardot, taking over the lovely old Edmonton mansion vacated by The Manor Bistro, is NOT a high-falutin’, snotty, pretending-to-be-a-five-star French restaurant. STORY CONTINUES BELOW Quite the opposite: it’s a comfortable, casual bistro with a menu that, like so many good restaurants of late, offers twists on the familiar. I would describe Brasserie Bardot as “French-inspired” or “In the French style.” It has poutine, burgers, steaks and wings. But over the poutine’s French fries, cl ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: The craft-beer pub craze By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, November 26, 2019

Campio brew-pub makes an excellent, super-crunchy Korean fried chicken sandwich. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS/EDMONTON SUNEdmonton Polar Park 10416 80 Ave. 855-934-2337 polarparkbrewing.com Reservations: opentable.ca Food: 4.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Hours:  Wed. 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Thurs. 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Fri. 2 p.m. to 1 a.m., Sat. 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Sun. 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Closed Mon./Tues. Dinner for two, excluding beverages, tip and taxes: Basic, $30; loaded, $70 Campio 10257 105 St. 587-635-1953 campiobrewingco.com Reservations: opentable.ca Food: 3.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Hours:  Sun. to Wed. 11:30 am to midnight; Thur. to 1 am; Fri./Sat. to 2 am. STORY CONTINUES BELOW Dinner for two, excluding beverages, tip and taxes: Basic, $30; loaded, $70 By GRAHAM HICKS There is much joy in all the new craft/artisan in-house brewpubs opening in Edmonton. At least until the market works its magic, an ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Toast Culture is curiously bland By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN November 12, 2019 Updated:

While "toast" is the name on the game, Toast Culture makes fabulous pizzas, such as the potato, capicola and truffle oil pictured above. PHOTOS BY GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Toast Culture | Food + Drink 11965 Jasper Ave. 780-761-4482 Toastculture.com Seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Mon. and Tues. to 4 p.m., Fri and Sat to 10 p.m.) Food: 3.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 3 of 5 Suns Dinner for two, excluding beverages, taxes and tip:  Basic, $18,  loaded, $48 By GRAHAM HICKS Toast Culture is soft and soothing. But don’t go looking for bold flavours, new or unusual tastes. STORY CONTINUES BELOW It’s a peculiar situation at this pleasant, modern and casual restaurant on Jasper Avenue West. Owner/operators Josh Wilhelm and Joel Margolus present a menu that’s all toast ‘n’ toppings, “artisan” pizza and salad. There’s also an extensive craft beer/cocktail and spirits list, designed to attract an ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks Weekly Dish: Turquaz Kebab House by GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, November 5, 2019

The Turquaz Trio - left to right, chicken, beef kafta and lamb with fries, rice, salad, hummus and garlic spread. Photos by GRAHAM HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Turquaz Kebab House (Turkish & Lebanese Cuisine) 13310 137 Ave. 780-476-4511 turquazkebabhouse.com Seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 9:45 p.m., 10:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday Food: 4 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Dinner for two:  Basic, $25,  loaded, $50 By GRAHAM HICKS The city’s Arabic/Middle Eastern community, both Christian and Muslim, is resolutely concentrated north of 132 Avenue. STORY CONTINUES BELOW Its better-known restaurants, some eight to 10, each with particular specialties within the broad category of “Mediterranean”, rarely advertise outside that ethnic/geographical community. Consequently, outside of donairs, shawarmas and baklava, mainstream Edmonton is little exposed to Middle Eastern fare. A great pity. The food – kebab cubes, fatouche, ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: Pie time at Jason Gregor’s Pizza Pigout By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN, October 29, 2019

Panini's Italian Cucina's healthy thin-crust pizza was a favourite at Jason Gregor's Pizza Pigout. GRAHAM HICKS/EDMONTON SUNEdmonton By GRAHAM HICKS It was a splendid fund-raising idea for Kidsport, albeit borrowed from Calgary. Jason Gregor’s Pizza Pigout, hosted by the popular TSN radio show host, was held last week in The Molson Canadian Hockey House (in Ford Hall, in turn in Rogers Place). In the “best pizza” contest, 30 pizzerias donated six or more pizzas each, in return for bragging rights if named to any of the nine “people’s choice” categories.  Plus four judges – ex-Oiler Andrew Ference, CBC  reviewer Twyla Campbell, Phil Wilson the Baconhound and yours truly – each picked our three pizza favourites. Several hundred folks showed up – and why not?  The Pigout was an inexpensive way to help a charity ($50 for one drink and all-you-can-eat pizza) enjoy an early-evening social gathering with entertainment, and discover new ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: The wit and wisdom of Chef Shane Chartrand By GRAHAM HICKS first published EDMONTON SUN October 22, 2019

Chef Shane Chartrand, SC Damn Good Food Restaurant at River Cree Resort & Casino, holds a plate of pan-seared strip loin steak, fingerling potatoes and broccolini.Larry Wong / POSTMEDIA NETWORK By GRAHAM HICKS Many years ago, at the opening of the West Edmonton Mall Cactus Club, mall owner (with his family) Nader Ghermezian couldn’t stop singing the praises of a young indigenous chef recently placed in charge of the dining room at the mall’s Fantasyland Hotel. It culminated, a few weeks later, in one of the best multi-course chef’s dinners I have ever eaten. All kinds of wonderful edible things were going on – like meats literally being smoked at the table. The chef was none other than Shane Chartrand, barely out of his ‘20s and already making his mark on the city’s culinary scene. Chef Chartrand’s story was all the more interesting, as he is Cree First Nation, adopted into loving Metis family from Southern Alberta at the age of six. ST ... Read the rest of entry »

Hicks' Weekly Dish: A tale of two burger joints By GRAHAM HICKS, first published EDMONTON SUN October 15, 2019

Winning a comparison between the Fox and Woodshed craft burger eateries was Woodshed's "The Woodshed" burger. Photos by GRAHA M HICKS / EDMONTON SUN Woodshed Burgers 10723-124 St. 780-752-2874 thewoodshedyeg.com Food: 4.5 of 5 Suns Ambience: 3.5 of 5 Suns Service: 3 of 5 Suns 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. seven days a week  (11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 9 p.m. Sundays) Dinner for two, excluding beverages, tips and taxes: Basic. $28; loaded, $52. (No publicized delivery service) Fox Burgers 6423 112 Ave. (Gibbard Block) 780-250-0369 foxburger.ca Food: 3 of 5 Suns Ambience: 4 of 5 Suns Service: 4 of 5 Suns Monday to Sunday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., closed Tuesdays Dinner for two, excluding beverages, tips and taxes: Basic. $36; loaded, $50 STORY CONTINUES BELOW (No publicized delivery service) By GRAHAM HICKS I liked this idea, a comparison of Edmonton’s two new “craft burger” restaurants. Two well-known chef/entrepreneurs are behind two new, updated, ... Read the rest of entry »
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