This morning on CBC radio I reviewed Zinc, the new restaurant at the Art Gallery of Alberta. You can listen to the review here. Usually when I review restaurants for CBC, I leave my camera at home. I don't want to draw atttention to myself and make the restaurant think I'm doing some kind of review. But I really want to return to Zinc if only to take photos! It's the most beautiful restaurant I've been to in Edmonton, and one of the most beautiful I've been to anywhere. Chic table settings with luminous blue water goblets, light coming in everywhere from floor-to-ceiling windows, and that amazing end-cut douglas fir wall.
The food looks great too, but the results weren't always fantastic. Definitely not worth the price tag for us. I found the menu pretty blah - a lot of typical choices, and very French preparations. Food like this doesn't have to be boring, of course - it all depends on the chef. The cocktails were delicious, though, and there are some other dishes I'd like to try (like the blueberry and lemon panna cotta and the Brome Lake duck breast).
I've read a lot of negative comments about the service on forums and other blogs, but our service was quite polished. A bit too earnest, and as others have noted, pretty green, but well-timed and polite, even when my husband had to send back an after-dinner drink twice.
We generally eat out at moderately-priced, casual places. The only other high-end restaurants we've visited in Edmonton are the Red Ox and the Blue Pear. We went to the Blue Pear during Fork Fest for the reduced price menu, and I still consider their regular prices prohibitively expensive. The food there was impressive and really pushed the envelope, but the service wasn't great and the atmosphere stank. We really liked the Red Ox and I think it is worth the price. The other high-end places I am itching to try are Madison's and Wildflower Grill - and although it's a little more casual, Wild Tangerine is also near the top of my list. It would be nice to find another special-occasion restaurant in Edmonton.
What are your favourite high-end Edmonton restaurants?