Alder Room: Keeping it Close to Home with Regional Ingredients

As Food Day Canada approaches (August 5, 2017), I thought this would be an excellent opportunity to highlight Alder Room, which does a fantastic job of highlighting what we can do with regional ingredients. The tasting menu at Alder Room is regionally and seasonally inspired, so it will probably be a different experience each time you go. The Alder Room website describes itself as follows, so that gives you a hint of what’s to come.

Alder Room is a modern, experiential restaurant; a place to interact with regional, seasonal cuisine and those who prepare it. Our menu is inspired by our connection to the land.

Alder Room can host up to 12 diners at its single 7pm seating (Wednesday to Saturday) and we arrived for our reservation on a Friday night. We had a group of four and there was another couple there as well, bringing the total number of people in our seating to 6. This was certainly an intimate meal and it definitely helped that the initial bites were served in the front seating area, where we would be able to chat while having champagne and snacks.

Before diving into the snacks, Chef Ben Staley (owner of Alta and Alder Room) gave us an overview of Alder Room’s philosophy and noted that he uses regional ingredients from Alberta, Saskatchewan and British Columbia. In particular, he indicated that he had a partnership with Vesta Gardens (in Thorhild) where they supply both his restaurants with produce. Each week, he heads out to Vesta Gardens to see what is available and tailors the Alder Room tasting menu to whatever is ripe and in-season.

Snacks (Clockwise L to R): Pickled carrots, Dried fermented peach, Quail egg rolled in vegetable ash, Fried sunchoke skin

Snacks (Clockwise L to R): Pickled carrots, Dried fermented peach, Quail egg rolled in vegetable ash, Fried sunchoke skin

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Living La Vida Local: Canova Pasticceria

Hey friends! I am still here and kind of around… Even though we all know that I am not one of the most consistent bloggers out there (ha!), I do try to keep up on social media and I am just going to say it now – school is killing me on all the social media fronts! Somehow, I decided that completing all my classes by April (just in time for June graduation) was a good idea and I am taking seven classes this semester. Past me was obviously more energetic than current me! One of the upsides and downsides to doing a MBA program is the tremendous amount of group work that happens. The perks are working with insanely fun and bright people, but the downside is definitely trying to coordinate the schedules of 5 people – I have had meetings at 9:30pm and that makes me a sad panda… The only thing that makes group meetings fun would be snacks and coffee (lots and lots of coffee!), so luckily for me (and my group), Canova Pasticceria reached out to share their story and they offered to put together a pastry tray for our MBA group so that we could see what they’re about and to provide feedback on their products.

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Vegan Buffet at Narayanni’s

A few weeks ago, A. and I popped down to Whyte Ave after work to check out the Tuesday vegan buffet at Narayanni‘s. I have walked past Narayanni’s several times in the past, but have never gone in, so this was a first for me! To be honest, I had assumed that all the Indian buffet places were the same, so once I found one that worked, I kind of stopped looking for new places – shame on me… So really, I need to thank Narayanni’s for reaching out and inviting A. and I in for lunch/dinner. Unfortunately, I work all the way across the river so lunch is not an option but if you’re on the south side, Narayanni’s does offer a lunch buffet, which includes soup, salad, chicken curry and three vegan dishes for $12! The lunch buffet runs Tuesday – Friday from 11:30 – 1:30, but word to the wise – it’s a cash only lunch, so make sure you hit up the ATM before going.

Narayanni's

Narayanni’s

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Brunching at Cured Wine Bar

Despite my social hibernation this month, I have taken some time to meet up with some friends and lengthy brunches have been on the agenda. Cured Wine Bar recently started offering brunch and my fellow food loving friend Cindy rounded a bunch of the “food friends” up to go for brunch (her review is already up!). Cured Wine Bar is located in Ellerslie and I have to admit, my preference is usually to head out to the city centre instead of the suburbs, but for good food, I am willing to make the drive.

Love the Cured Wine Bar space - especially the antler chandelier

Love the Cured Wine Bar space – especially the antler chandelier

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Alberta Hotel Bar + Kitchen – Soft Opening Review

There is a space that I absolutely love in downtown Edmonton and that is the restored Alberta Hotel on Jasper Avenue. When it was Tavern 1903, it was my go-to place for all occasions, so I was devastated when it closed. Recently though, the Alberta Hotel Bar + Kitchen has taken over the space and started serving up delicious bites and drinks.

Earlier this week, Alberta Hotel Bar + Kitchen had their grand opening with a set menu. A few friends were there for dinner and I heard it was a wonderful meal. I wasn’t able to make it but I did pop over during their soft opening phase! I am always dubious about reviewing soft openings and I tend to go in expecting to see kinks that need to be worked out. In fact, I was not planning to write about Alberta Hotel Bar + Kitchen, so didn’t even bring my camera with me (sorry for the lower quality phone photos), but *spoiler alert* my meal was so good that I had to share it with y’all.

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