Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival, 2011 – A Foodie’s Dream!Posted: October 23, 2011
As a food festival lover, I cannot believe that I haven’t yet been to the rocky mountain wine and food festival. Now in it’s 10th year, this food festival is a wine/beer and food lover’s paradise. Justin and I weaved through the isles of foodie heaven, sampling dishes and beers from restaurants I’ve never had the opportunity to visit, and ones that are tried and true Edmonton local favourites. It was like a one stop shop of local foodie awesomeness. It was like a Taste of Edmonton (by far my favourite Edmonton summer festival,) but turbo-charged and liquored up! I will hereby go ever single year. I loved it. It was such a great food festival! Justin almost had to wheel me out of there, I ate so much!
Here is a brief overview of what we sampled. I had dreams about the food last night. That’s how good it was!!
The first dish we tried was from Haweli. Stewed curried veggies and rainbow rice. Delicious! Haweli never disappoints.
The next item we tastily sampled was a smoked salmon crepe with Canadian Brie, topped with fresh dill, red onion, capers and a grainy dijon sauce from Sunterra Market in Edmonton. For a marketplace, I was blown away by Sunterra. I’ve only ever been there for a quick lunch, and had no idea the depth of their culinary awesomeness. I have to say, this was one of my favourite dishes of the evening, and it was right out of the gate. This dish had an incredible dynamic, that was sweet, savoury and bold all in one bite, and was definitely worth the ticket price for the amount of food you received. Well done Sunterra!
Justin also got a dish from Sunterra, the Chipotle Beef Brisket with Pineapple Salsa and a bourbon peppercorn sauce on a fresh baguette. My only criticism of this dish was that chipotle was an unfortunate misnomer. I couldn’t taste any heat at all… And this is coming from someone who is mega sensitive to heat… It was an honest attempt though! The Brisket was cooked perfectly and the salsa was a great additive. Another winner from Sunterra!
This next dish was quite interesting! It was fresh Kataifi from Koutouki’s . It was basically Baclava, but made of shredded filo, rather than the sheets. Very interesting and innovative dish Koutouki! Their booth was very cute too, set up like a fish and pastry market. Well done!
The next item we tried was the cheddar melt from the Druid. Another misnomer. This dish was all meat (which was also a little dry…) and barely any cheese. We were hoping for a melty cheesy concoction, which this unfortunately wasn’t… Probably one of the biggest let downs of the night…
Next, I sampled a few beers. (I won the rock paper scissors of who would drive us home at the end of the night… lol!) I tried Leifmans, and Mill Street Organic Lager. Wow, the lager was good! Very light and refreshing! I felt that for a fruit beer, Leifman’s was trying a little too hard, and had too much of an intense taste to be considered a beer. It tasted more like a cooler or a very sweet cider… I wouldn’t seek it out in the future…
Next, we were so lucky to find that the Niche had a booth! I’ve wanted to try this new-ish Edmonton restaurant for a while, but haven’t had the chance yet. They were serving a Venison Meatball with wild mushrooms in a red wine blueberry reduction. It was a very very good meatball, however I felt the blueberries were pretty absent. Overall though, Great job Niche! Very tasty dish!
Next, we tried Escargots en Croute from the Sawmill Prime Rib and Steakhouse. WHOA! This was a tasty treat! For some reason, I’ve always loved escargots, even when I was kid. These were some very good escargots too. It makes me want to take a trip down to the sawmill to have the whole appetizer, or two, for dinner, for the rest of my life!! Ya, they were that good.
Next, we had to force ourselves to stop eating our way through the room and head to the very opposite of the room, because we were running out of room fast, and we hadn’t even made our way through half of the stalls yet! And I’m so happy we did, because we stumbled upon Sador Divino. Another restaurant that I’ve always wanted to go to, but have never had the chance! This was a Cayenne Chocolate Mousse. It was probably the most interesting dish of the night. It was velvety smooth rich chocolate mousse, which left a lingering spice at the back of your tongue after it was gone. This dish had a complexity to it that I couldn’t even imagine trying to make. Well done Sabor!
Next, I tried the Original 16 Canadian Pale Ale. WOW! This is a new beer from Saskatchewan. Very impressive, clean, clear taste. I would hunt this beer to enjoy on a Friday evening with friends. Well done!
Next were the Garlic Prawns on Orzo Pasta from the Chateau Louis. Very tasty, but didn’t leave as much of an impression as the next dish did…
They left such an impression that we ate them all before I could even snap a picture of them. Muscles Diablo from Billingsgate Lighthouse. These muscles were incredible and had a deep, rich flavour. I made Justin’s top of his list of favourites of the evening! Cooked to perfection and a great price for food amount. Incredible!
The last dish of the evening was an interesting desert from the Shaw Conference Centre themselves, the gracious hosts of the evening! It was a warm chocolate cake with amarula ice cream. I feel like there was a little too much going on in this dish. The amarula didn’t necessarily go with the ice cream or the chocolate cake. I wouldn’t give this dish my biggest appraisal of the night. It was ok…
All in all, the Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival was fabulous! Next year, Justin and I are both not going to drive. There was far too much enjoyment to have! I think we might have just started a new family tradition!