Rge Rd Restaurant, Edmonton

Rge Rd Restaurant, Edmonton

Rge Rd Restaurant, Edmonton

My friend Steve recommended Rge Rd to me a few weeks ago.  (Rge Rd is the abbreviation for Range Road on road signs in rural areas in our part of western Canada.)  Steve and his wife are genuine foodys.  They’re  world travelers and actively seek fine dining establishments like those anointed by the legendary Guide Michelin restaurant publication in Europe.

Another friend, Hilary, worked with chef and Rge Rd co-owner Blair Lebsack and some of his current crew when they worked their culinary magic at Madison’s Grill, a popular fine dining eatery in downtown Edmonton.  (Madison’s Grill at the Union Bank Inn was the caterer of choice for son Chris when he and Paola were married a few years ago.)  Hilary also recommended Rge Rd.

With recommendations from two friends whose opinions we hold in high regard, especially when it comes to exceptional dining experiences, Ingrid and I were anxious to try this near downtown restaurant.

We easily made our reservation via the Rge Rd website and got the first sitting (5:30 PM) on the day we requested.

Dishes

In a word, our meal was spectacular!  Every course was perfect.  Ingrid and I share each others dishes so we can compare notes, and we had a very tough time deciding which were our favourites.

Questionable Bits - this appetizer comprises bone marrow with toast and delicately roasted slices of beef heart

Questionable Bits – this appetizer comprises bone marrow with toast and delicately roasted slices of beef heart

Ingrid started with the Potato & Leek soup ($10) and me, being Mr. Adventurous, had to order the Questionable Bits ($15) – a selection of parts of the animal not usually cooked and eaten, so explained our server.  It was a plate with bone marrow (about a 5-in. long piece of long bone sawn in half) with small pieces of toast, slices of tender, roast beef heart and a dollop of duxelles.  Both appetizers were superb.

Ribeye Grilled Beef smothered with a pot of braised beef and mushroom ragu on a bed of mashed potatoes

Ribeye Grilled Beef smothered with a pot of braised beef and mushroom ragu on a bed of mashed potatoes

Pilatus Farm Bison

Pilatus Farm Bison

 

For main courses, Ingrid selected the Pilatus Farm Bison ($29), with hazelnut infused spatzle, grainy mustard, charred carrots and white currants ($29) and I ordered the Ribeye Grilled Beef ($35), ‘butcher’s cut’ beef, mashed potatoes and a small, steel pot of stewed beef and mushroom ragout, which our server suggested pouring over the beef.  Ingrid’s bison came sliced in strips and we agreed it was the most tender, juicy bison we’d ever eaten.  The spatzle had little chunks of hazelnut in the dough, and we’d never eaten spatzle prepared in this way.  We gave it two thumbs up.  As much as I’m Albertan and its my birthright to love beef (and it was delicious), we decided the Pilatus Farm Bison was the better dish because we had never eaten bison prepared so well.

Ingrid and I are dessert aficionados.  We love desserts, and Rge Rd offered up some interesting finales.  A Chocolate Smore ‘cake’ ($9) was my choice, served warm with a rich, intense, dark chocolate flavour and an (intentional) grainy, sand-like texture.  Ingrid’s Apple Galette ($8) was a mini-apple pie served with a very unique smoke-flavoured ball of ice cream.  Imagine eating a warm piece of apple pie topped with a slice of smoked gouda cheese, and you get the idea.  It works!  The Galette was our favourite of the two.

Ambience

The restaurant’s decor is modern rustic, simple and very cozy.  Rough wood decorates the walls, tables are made from varnished 2 x 6 planks, and a half dozen or so sheepskins drape wooden chairs and are thrown on some of the upholstered benches.  Lighting is appropriately dimmed but still bright enough to easily read the menus without any effort.  And despite the younger (mostly 30-something) patrons dining on the Tuesday evening of our visit, there was a steady stream of ’50s and ’60s pop music piped over the audio system   The likes of Dinah Washington, Sam Cooke, and Wilson Pickett entertained us for the evening at a perfect volume that allowed conversation to take place with ease, yet loud enough to sit back and enjoy that special song.

Service

Our server was perfect.  She was well informed about every dish on the menu, explaining where the ingredients were sourced from local producers, and ably describing each item when she delivered it.  She promptly refilled drinks, yet she never hovered or intruded.  Interestingly, when I finished my main dish (well before Ingrid had finished hers), wait staff did not remove my plate and cutlery until Ingrid had finished hers.  I don’t know if that’s by design, but I thought it was a nice touch to give us more privacy.

Parking

Rge Rd Restaurant is easy to access, on the southeast corner of 107th Avenue and 123rd Street, but parking in the small, neighbourhood commercial plaza is tight.  There’s plenty of on street parking in nearby.

Highly recommended.  We loved Rge Rd.  Every dish we ordered was outstanding.  This definitely rates as a Destination Restaurant, and it’s become one of our favourite restaurants in the city.  The food is outstanding, the one-room restaurant (with seating for about 40 patrons) is relaxed and cozy, service is perfect for this style of dining, and the restaurant is staffed with very knowledgeable servers.  Yes, it is pricey, but not outlandishly so, and it’s worth every penny.  We’ll make up another reason to celebrate something or the other and return there soon.

Rge Rd Restaurant, 10643-123 Street, Edmonton, AB.; Tel. 780-447-4577.  Open Monday – Saturday, 5:00 PM on.

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