Hardware Grill - Eating Out
I joined some fellow Edmonton foodies at the Hardware Grill some time ago. (Ok, it was probably 2 months ago and I'm only NOW getting to posting it! tsk tsk). I was looking forward to getting together with some new and old foodies and pushing my taste buds to newer levels.
I am not too adventurous in the carnivore department. It took me almost into my adult life to actually eat and somewhat enjoy meat. I have also not eaten game or most seafoods and I certainly do not even know how to prepare most of it. But, I've always thought if I was going to go out to an upscale restaurant, this is where I would try these things since they usually offer extraordinary tasting & innovative meals.
The chef's table was reserved for us and a 5-course chef tasting menu (~$90) with optional wine pairing ($35) was presented. We were seated at the chef's table, which is 6 seats, facing all the action of the kitchen. The first course arrived, an starter of ultra thin slices of duck.
The next course was a beautiful sea bass with scallop and lobster on a bed of creamed spinach. Followed by kobe beef carpaccio with perfectly seasoned potato chips and aioli dip. I also opted for the wine pairings, which matched wines with each course.
Quail atop a red wine risotto and camembert cheese, followed by venison with squash and gnocci in a cherry reduction. I believe I ate enough food to feed many, many people. My mother would be very surprised to see all that I ate too. I'm finally a child that will at least try and eat the food off her plate!
Overall, everything was top notch. Meal, wine, service and atmosphere. We had mixed reviews on what was the favorite course. I love rich foods with lots of flavour notes so I found the quail course my favorite. I really enjoyed the alioli and chips and the warm, sugary-sweet donut was so mouth watering with its flavor and texture. I think I would have preferred a chocolate or fruit based dessert at the end of my meal but that did not stop me from scraping the bowl clean here!
In addition, I would highly recommend wine pairings, if you are offered it. I wish I had written down what some of the glorious wines I imbibed because I was pleasantly surprised with the quality and different tastes! I think I will have to get more educated about wines as there is so much to learn there too.
9698 Jasper Avenue