Tzin Wine & Tapas, Edmonton

Tzin Wine & Tapas - could this be Edmonton's best restaurant?

Tzin Wine & Tapas – could this be Edmonton’s best restaurant?

Our good friend Hilary is a chef.  Now moved on to the West Coast to pursue university studies, she and her mom were back in Edmonton and invited Ingrid and me to dinner as as a thank you for house-sitting.  Hilary, whose restaurant recommendations I accept without question, says Tzin Wine & Tapas is one of – if not THE – best restaurants in Edmonton.

The four of us dined there on a Thursday evening and the tiny downtown restaurant was jam packed.  This is one of the smallest restaurants I’ve ever seen, with perhaps thirty seats.

“How does a restaurant this small make any money?”, I asked.

Hilary said the restaurant is always full and there is a minimum of staff:  one chef, one sous chef and two servers.

We asked Hilary to do the ordering.  The menu consists of a selection of tapas (ranging from $14-$18, with the exception of the seafood paella for two, $37.)  Hilary asked for all the tapas items on the menu excluding the cheese board and potato dish.

Some of the particularly memorable dishes of our meal included Baked Brie with Red Wine Reduction, Roast Pork Belly, Pulled Pork, Lamb Meatballs, Grilled Alberta Beef Flat Iron Steak, Seafood Paella.

Tzin advertizes itself as a WINE (and Tapas) bar, so Hilary asked the server to bring her recommended wine for the dishes.  A red wine was brought for the three ladies.  (I don’t drink any alcohol, but tasted the red wine with our first three dishes and the experience was spectacular.  The wine distinctly changed its flavour with our first three dishes.)  I was astounded how the wine and food combinations changed flavour, and I now understand how people become obsessive about pairing wine with food.

Service was excellent and the servers had what seemed an encyclopedic knowledge of the dishes’ ingredients, where they were sourced and how it was prepared.

Our very leisurely dinner took three hours – the longest timespan I’ve ever spent over a superb meal.  Service wasn’t slow.  The length of time was partially due to the time our servers took to explain each dish in detail and the pleasure of catching up with old friends.

Tzine Wine & Tapas leaps to the top of my favourite restaurants in the city.

Simply outstanding. Highly recommended and deserves a Destination Dining designation.

Tzin Wine & Tapas, 10115-104th Street, Edmonton, AB.; Tel.: 780-428-8946.  Open Tuesday-Thursday 4:00-11:00 PM; Friday-Saturday 4:00 PM-12:00 AM.  Closed Sunday-Monday.  Reservations recommended.



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