Monday, April 18, 2011

Continental Treat

I've lost count of the number of times we've walked past Continental Treat. Though I had been for lunch about four years ago - and have always had fond memories of their Dill Pickle Soup - we always discounted the place for some reason. When Jason Foster mentioned the restaurant a couple weeks ago, we decided to grab a reservation for this past Friday evening in celebration of the end of essay season.

We arrived a little late for our 8:30pm reservation, but were greeted right away, told not to worry and our coats were hung by the front door. Happily we were led to the window seat on the 'lounge' side of things, as requested when we made our Open Table reservation.

As water, a half loaf of rye bread and butter were set in front of us, we contemplated the lengthy beer list. Our server told us they had about 60 on the list currently (heavy on European and Trappist), but the next goal is to get to 100. They are also getting a Trappist on tap at the end of the month and are the first in Edmonton to do so. As Jason reported, the restaurant is also focusing on beer and food pairings (Yay!), and they are slowly re-working the beer list to make it more presentable. In the end, Charles chose a Zywiec while I went for my beloved Rochefort 8 which I hadn't had in some time.

Rochefort 8 in appropriate glassware

Food wise I decided on a cup of Dill Pick Soup ($4.95) along with the Lamb Chops ($30.95), and Charles couldn't resist a bowl of French Onion Soup ($8.95) with the Polish Cutlet ($23.95) as his main.

Though service was friendly throughout, this place definitely doesn't focus on speed. Ultimately this allowed us to have a long, lingering evening (we were the last to leave the restaurant), but we were also happy to see each course on its way to our table.

The soup: the Dill Pickle soup was as remembered - creamy with chunks of potato and pickle throughout, and the perfect vinegar dill combo that sets the entire bowl off so nicely. I think many people have experienced a sad French Onion soup in a restaurant before, but thankfully this version was incredibly well done. A rich, earthy mushroom broth was filled with caramelized onions and topped with cheese and bread.

 The Dill Pickle

French Onion

Mains: Charles really enjoyed his main - breaded veal with dill cream sauce. It was rich and comforting and I think there was little nostalgia happening. The lamb was admittedly a let down. Though parts were tender, I also hit quite a few tough spots, and considering the cost of the dish more consistency would have been appreciated. The burgundy sauce served alongside was too peppery, though eating it with a forkful of spaetzle certainly toned things down a bit. The pickled beets, carrots and cabbage (aka the 'vegetable medley') that came with the plate were great, and ultimately I enjoyed them more than anything else.

Polish Cutlet with pan-fried potatoes and vegetable 'medley'

Lamb Chops with burgundy sauce, spaetzle and vegetable 'medley'

By the time we finished our mains the space had begun to clear out. After waiting for a bit, we were offered dessert and in the end decided to share the Napoleon ($9.95) - the flavours were enjoyed here but we both agreed flakier pastry would have been ideal.

Though my main was a let down, I would certainly return to Continental Treat. The soup was great, Charles enjoyed his main and there is no denying that their beer list is amazing. We also quite enjoyed the space - it, along with the menu, decidedly characterized classic 80s Edmonton. And though the service came with positives and negatives, we had an enjoyable, relaxing evening overall. Ultimately, I think our next visit will be for lunch - a Ruben and a bowl of Dill Pickle soup with a glass of the Trappist on tap alongside sounds like an excellent way to enjoy an afternoon.

Continental Treat Fine Bistro
10560 82 Avenue
Hours: Every day of the week from 11am to 10pm
Continental Treat on Urbanspoon


Chef Laurel said...

Wow - this review made my mouth water! I have walked by this restaurant so many times but never stopped in. I just emailed to see if they have a gluten free menu - it's hard to find a place for my beer loving fiance that also has options for a celiac. Fingers crossed that the dill pickle soup is gluten free. It looks amazing.

Marianne said...

Good luck, Laurel! Looking forward to a report if the gluten-free part pans out.

Exact same with us - it was time to stop in. The beer list and dill pickle soup are great! Again, fingers crossed on the gluten situation :)

Anonymous said...

This is one of the best hidden gems in Edmonton. Next time, try the borscht, tartar and schnitzel with potato salad - you WILL NOT be disappointed. Enjoy!