Friday, June 27, 2014

"Oreos" & Gnocchi

{As per usual, an excuse for my absence. Work was a little really crazy this spring, but I think I've got a short lull, so here's hoping for a few posts. I'm off to Vancouver for a few days, so any recommendations are appreciated since I've never really been... I know! What!?}

Earlier in May I made a couple items that I considered of note. Firstly, "Oreos". With both of us on the brink of colds, Claire suggested we tackle the project. I had read about them on Smitten Kitchen some time ago, but passed since I don't really have a particular attachment to the cookie. At any rate, it was fun and they were delicious.

Next time I would lean toward a T.K.O. (Thomas Keller Oreo) with white chocolate ganache instead of icing, but none-the-less, the flavour of these was great, and I'm sure a little mint oil would add a new level.


And gnocchi. This one has been on my list for years. Years. I don't know why it took me so long, but it's incredibly simple. The only thing left to tackle is the perfect fork-tine-roll.


As an aside, I had the best burger I've ever eaten (...in Edmonton) at Sugarbowl earlier in the week. A perfectly cooked Four Whistle Farms beef, simply topped with pickles, mayo and lettuce. Delicious. Can't wait until that special roles around again...

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Southside

I don't want to jinx it or anything, but the warm weather, patios and length of my workdays has been increasing. It must almost be spring. That means saying a temporary goodbye to the rich, brown sipping liquids of the winter, and hello to my very favourite - gin. While browsing Food 52 last week, I came across this lovely looking thing.

I enjoyed citrus throughout the winter (this lemony corpse reviver, for instance), so the mint makes for a fresh transition. Not only that, but the ingredients - gin, simple syrup, lime and mint - are easy enough to keep on hand, and come together quickly. I'm looking forward to a couple slices of cucumber a little later in the season for an Eastside.

A little note on the hipster cocktail shaker there. Yes. A belated birthday gift from a friend {believe me, he saw this and loved the irony... Hipster}. I didn't have a cocktail shaker before, so this worked out well, and just in time for the summer when drinks want to be shaken.

Anyways, I've been on the hunt for a while, and after reading a whole lot of reviews, seriously considered this one. Just look at it. I couldn't do it. While the mason jar thing has certainly run its course, this shaker did not leak, and it holds a lot of boos. The two main items on my list. My only complaint is that the un-insulated glass vessel can be a little chilly on the hands. I guess that's what those hand knit cozies are for...

Southside
From Erik Lombardo of Food 52

2oz gin (I used Victoria)
1oz lime juice
3/4oz simple syrup
4-6 mint leaves

Place ingredients in a shaker and shake. Strain into your glass of choice.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Beer Revolution

We found ourselves at Beer Revolution Monday evening, perfect since I realized I hadn't posted on the spot. Since opening last summer, we've probably stopped by at least a dozen times - The beer menu changes lots, and there are almost always seats, particularly important at the end of a long summer day of EFMF set up.


Considering the recent addition of beer focused spots to Edmonton (MKT, Underground and Craft Beer Market), Beer Revolution is easily my favourite. While I'm not particularly drawn to the food at any of these places (the nachos at BR are notable), I'm consistently impressed with the beer selection at Beer Revolution. Fewer taps mean the board is constantly rotating, though familiar brews from the likes of Granville Island and Brewsters are always around just in case. There is also no Bud, Coors, Molson, etc. masquerading as 'craft beer', something I've had issue with at MKT, Public House (which is apparently now closed) and most recently, Craft Beer Market.

Since Beer Revolution is Calgary based (owned by Brewsters), there's almost always something from Wildrose or Village, though it is consistently matched by a brew from Alley Kat. And almost anytime I've had something from Hog's Head on tap, it's been at Beer Revolution. So kudos for keeping the locals in rotation. On Monday evening we enjoyed the Natural Born Keller from Wildrose, alongside Hog's Head's Hop Slayer IPA, and Fallentimber's Hopped Mead; Incredibly impressed to see the latter on tap.


And a moment of appreciation for those beer boards. While they can be a bit of a pain depending where you're seated, it allows them to change a keg and let you know right away (they added two or three during our visit). It also tells you when the keg was tapped, and about how much is left, and makes it easy to tell which beer are on special. As you can see, they also give you the option of an 8oz size, which I love when I want to try a few different brews.


Food wise Charles and I decided to share the Chopped Salad ($13) along side the Furious Pete ($19) pizza. The pizza was as expected - Lots of toppings served on a crust my dad likes to refer to as 'cracker crust' (super hard and crispy). Okay, definitely not great. The salad, however, was pretty solid. A little sweet thanks to a maple vinaigrette, but balanced well by tart green apple, smoked gouda and a little bacon. I definitely wouldn't hesitate to order it again, save the bread/croutons served with.


While I'm still holding out for a small tap room, with hard to find beer, good snacks and a killer atmosphere, cozy and not-corporate-feeling, with solid music, beer-geek staff and growler fills (hey, I can dream), I'm happy that Beer Revolution is keeping things interesting, on the beer end at least.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Eggs

Earlier in the month some of the Provisions ladies got together for an Easter egg dyeing party, with the hope they'd turn out well enough to use in our window display. That they did.

We used this oil technique to achieve the marbleized look, and kept it classic and pastel like for the rest. Not the most involved thing ever, but crafty enough for most of us at the table that evening. Happy Easter, everyone!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Bar Bricco

We're pretty spoiled living downtown - So many options. The newest of which is Bar Bricco, Daniel Costa's newest addition in a still growing little stretch between 103rd and 104th on Jasper Avenue. I stopped by with a friend a couple weeks ago to check it out, and we munched away on a large plate of cheese and fennel salad, alongside a Negroni and grappa.


Since then I've been back twice - once for a belated birthday dinner, and another for drinks and snacks. Both times I've ordered the egg yolk ravioli... Make sure you order the egg yolk ravioli. And order a little bread (if you didn't save any from your meat or cheese dishes) to help soak up whatever remaining ricotta/brown butter/egg yolk is left on that plate.

The salumi tasting plate with homemade porchetta, and delicious Iberico ham, prosciutto and mortadella is wonderful if you're feeling carnivorous, and don't skip on the fennel salad or the house ricotta.


In addition to that Negroni, they have a lengthy lists of grappa, and of course, wine. Though I'm not a wine drinker, I enjoyed a glass of sparkling red (Lambrusco) the other night that I wouldn't hesitate to order again.

This is a bar, and they don't take reservations, so if at all possible, get there at six when they open to score seats at the bar or one of three tables. A groups of us (4) arrived around 7pm on a Wednesday and waited for about a half-hour before being able to grab seats... and there were people behind us.

Bar Bricco
10347 Jasper Avenue
Wed-Sun {6pm - 1am}

Friday, April 11, 2014

Edmonton List

I've had various Edmonton related lists on the blog for a long time, but as I made lists for other cities (especially that New York one), I knew I wanted to do something similar for Edmonton. The little template-lift back in February got me going in earnest. Now that I've worked on it for a few months, I think it's good enough to share.

As I mention at the top of the list, there are some really good guides around Edmonton. The restaurants, shops and other things here are simply my favourites. Happy weekend!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Lunch - Café Bicyclette

It took me an embarrassingly long time to get to Café Bicyclette. I stopped by for a quick lunch with a co-worker just last month, and enjoyed a smoked meat sandwich and tea before heading out.

Last week a friend and I decided to meet up for lunch, and I suggested this spot... And not just because I wanted to eat there again. They have parking right out front/beside the building, and the restaurant features lots of banquette seating, two things I've recently learned are handy when travelling with a two month old.


When we arrived just after noon, they had clearly hit their lunch rush. Thankfully though, there were lots of take-out orders, which meant we had our pick of tables. We joined the line - which moved at an impressive pace - selecting Niçoise (~$10) and orzo salads (~$12), and sat down at our table with our number.


Marie's salad - the Niçoise - came out quickly, and my warm salad followed 10 or so minutes later (we did pay separately). The piece of salmon that came with my pasta salad was cooked and seasoned perfectly, and went well with the simple mix of orzo, red pepper, onion and cucumber. There were very good reports from Marie about the Niçoise salad as well.

Apparently the dinner menu at Café Bicyclette is wonderful, and I can't wait to check it out. I have big plans for patio season this summer. Until then, I'm happy to stop by during the day for wonderful light lunches.

Marie's adorable little girl... And me.

And a little Duchamp.