Having won a plethora of awards over the years, the Crèperie remains one of Edmonton’s favorite restaurants. Brick walls lined with grapevine and accompanied by low lighting and cobblestone flooring imbue this restaurant’s interior with an intimate vibe. As the name suggests, the menu offers savory crêpes filled with a choice of everything from seafood to vegetables. Other first-class meals offered include the fresh fish, a tender lamb shanks Provencale and a juicy AAA Grilled Striploin Steak.
Culina became a near instant classic when it opened, attracting raves both for its funky non-standard décor as well as its creative global cuisine. Even the music, piped in at exactly the right volume, is an eclectic variety that’s well-suited to the space and the innovative cooking. It’s all so very trendy, without being the least bit precious. Dinner options are wonderfully creative, such as pork tenderloin steaks in almond-cardamom cream sauce over cous cous, and goat cheese and channa dal in phyllo with tomato chutney and Chinese greens. For dessert, sample lemon cake and fruit dipped in butterscotch fondue. Sunday night is Family Night with special, prix-fixe dining with food served on family-style platters. This is fine dining on a casual dining budget.
LUX STEAKHOUSE AND BAR
“Where” magazine called Lux “Edmonton’s best new restaurant for 2005,” but the accolades keep rolling in. The stylish setting evokes a trendy NYC establishment, with a waterfall, dark wood, vaulted ceilings and plush upholstery. The menu is classic steakhouse with enough contemporary twists and unexpected delights to keep things fresh. To start, real men will want to order the Red Bull Shrimp “Shots”; groups would do well to decide on the Undecided Platter, which has smaller portions of four popular apps. For the main event, try a veal t-bone, peppercorn-rubbed ribeye, chorizo-stuffed chicken, or double cut pork chop; fancy a la carte sides include truffled lobster mac and cheese, perfectly steamed asparagus with hollandaise, sun dried tomato-goat cheese risotto, and Stella Artois battered onion rings. As you’d expect, the wine list is excellent and service is friendly but professional.
BAN THAI RESTAURANT
Alberta’s first Japanese restaurant, Mikado regularly turns up in first place on the local “Best of…” polls, and it’s easy to see why. Bento boxes are wildly popular, with neatly compartmentalized portions of beef shogayaki, chicken yakitori, barbecued shrimp, salmon teriyaki, rice and salad. But the menu includes other traditional options as well as more modern inventions. The signature dish, Ocean Wind, is a fabulous combination of squid, tuna and salmon wrapped around fresh veggies, seared and served with Dragon Sauce; the unusual Sushi Pizza (salmon, onion and seaweed on a grilled rice crust) is a winning creation with legions of fans.