Wildflower Grill (Dinner)

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10009 107 Street NW, Edonton

I’ve been to the Wildflower Grill a number of times now for brunch, but never for dinner. They’ve received a number of awards such as best brunch, top new restaurants in Canada, etc. For me, it’s literally a ten-minute walk away from me, but I’ve never really had a good reason or occasion to go for such a fancy dinner but a couple weeks ago, I decided that it was finally time!

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I actually didn’t go during downtown dining week, I went a week afterwards, but luckily they were still during their set menus and prices as if it were still downtown dining week! It was actually quite fortunate. It’s located right beside the Matrix hotel, right off Jasper Avenue and around 107 street. There’s a lot of street parking around, and meters are free after 6:00PM. There’s also an Impark right beside it, which is never completely full. The interior of it is actually really nicely done, with nice decor. There are two wine racks on either side of the entrance when you walk in. There are some nice portraits and paintings of different flowers on the walls throughout the restaurants and it’s actually really cool!

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Downtown Dining week menu

I went here with Jamie, and we both decided to coordinate our dishes so that we could maximize the different things that we could try. From all the options that we could get for the set menus, we went with Jumbo Prawns, Three Mushroom Ravioli, the Angus Striploin, Wild Coho Salmon and Crab Brandade, and each of the crème brulée and milk chocolate tart. Shortly after we ordered and our wine came (fancy!) the waiter came and placed the napkins on our laps for us. I’ve been to a few really fancy places before where they do this, and if you’re not used to it, it can be a little bit unexpected.

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Amuse-Bouche and Brioche

Anyways, the first thing that came out was an amuse-bouche, which is french for mouth-amuser. It was a a barbecue roast with a puff pastry served with a red curry jam. Or at least that’s how it was described to us. It sounded really good when it was described to us, but it was a little bit bland, the puff pastry was soggy, and I couldn’t really taste the red curry jam. It wasn’t really bad or anything, but it wasn’t really anything amazing either. The next thing that came shortly after was a freshly baked brioche served with Himalayan-salted butter. This was absolutely amazing! It was really fresh and fluffy. Definitely one of the highlights of the entire meal. The presentation was a little bit weird, I’m not sure why it was in a measuring cup, but I took mine out to take a nicer picture.

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Gnocchi with Triple Smoked Bacon

They actually didn’t have any more ravioli, so they substituted it with their gnocchi. I found that the gnocchi itself was really soft, almost a little bit overdone. Overall, the flavours were really nice. It was served with a generous amount of triple smoked bacon which was delicious and complemented the gnocchi nicely.

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Jumbo Prawn, served with an orange jalapeno emulsion, crispy polenta, and tobiko caviar

Our other appetizer was the Jumbo Prawn, served with an orange jalapeno emulsion, crispy polenta, and tobiko caviar. The orange jalapeno was a little bit mild and a weak flavour that’s hard to detect when you eat everything together. The prawns were cooked nicely and well seasoned. The star of this dish though would have to be the crispy polenta. It was so nice and soft and had a lot of flavour. I’d order this dish just for the polenta.

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42-day-aged striploin with red wine infused musrooms, truffled mac and cheese, peppered califlower and tangerine aioli

This is the 42-day-aged striploin with red wine infused musrooms, truffled mac and cheese, peppered califlower and tangerine aioli. I tried to look at this from multiple angles but I would have to say that the presentation of this was a little bit lacking, especially beside my friend’s beautifully plated salmon dish. I think they could have even added a small garnish or green to the mac and cheese and it’d be nicer. Anyway, the steak itself was relatively okay, nothing amazing. The red wine sauce was a little bit strong. The mushrooms that accompanied the sauce were very salty and I would have preferred my steak without it Again, this the photo is how my dish was present to me, so not very aesthetically pleasing. The cauliflower was a little bit on the firmer side, but the tangerine aioli was very good. It was nice and sweet with a nice flavour. The truffled mac and cheese was good as well. Overall, I think the salmon was the better choice.

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The Wild coho salmon and crab brandade

The Wild coho salmon and crab brandade was beautiful, and full of different elements and flavours. It’s served with with baby carrots, asparagus, and on top of a layer of some tender lyonnaise potatoes. The best part of this dish in my opinion was the crab brandade. It was so rich and buttery and went well with the salmon. This dish is nicely layered and you can get a little bit of everything with each bite. It’s a nice and light dish, with many different elements being combined.

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Milk Chocolate Tart and Crème brulée

Lastly, for dessert we had the crème brulée and the milk chocolate tart. At this point, we were both absolutely stuffed, but pressed on anyways. The milk chocolate tart had a few layers, and to be completely honest, I could only take one bite. I couldn’t really identify the individual layers. The chocolate was very rich and sweet, but tasty. One of the layers was a gelatin-based layer, and lessened the sweetness of the chocolate a bit. I enjoyed the crème brulée a little bit more. It was nice and smooth, and I actually enjoyed it a lot. Definitely the better of the two desserts. I managed to eat all of it because it was so light and airy and smooth.

Overall, I really my experience at the Wildflower Grill was a bit disappointing. I didn’t really find it was worth it, and without the prices of downtown dining week, I would have been really discouraged from coming back. Even though I didn’t quite enjoy my entrée, it was still an okay experience, and the other dishes that I tried and ate were pretty good. If you don’t want to commit to such high prices, but still want to experience this restaurant, I definitely recommend going here for brunch. It’s much more reasonably priced, and still very very good. I’ll have to go back there for brunch and add another post about this place! Maybe they were having an off night, but I’d need a reason to get me to come back for dinner.

EDIT:

I went here a few weeks ago for my sister’s surprise birthday. This will now only be my second time coming here for dinner, with my first time, being a bit of a disappointment, but I figured I might as well give it another try.

The venue is relatively nice, and very accomodating. We had a part of around 16 people and they moved some tables around so that we could all fit. They do fixed price menus all year, where you can either do a 2 course meal, or a 3 course meal. Gauging by the prices, if you were going to get an appetizer anyway, you’re better off getting the 2 course meal, so that’s what I opted to get.

The meal started off with an amuse-bouche, something that they always do, and their freshly baked brioche with himalayan butter. The amuse-bouce this particular night was salmon-based, and not much to talk about, but their brioche was amazing, just like the last time I had it. Nice and fluffy and great flavours.

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Gnocchi

The appetizer that I opted to get was the gnocchi. This comes with potato gnocchi, roasted vegetable, herb pesto, sundried tomato sauce, hemp oil, and cocunut espuma. This was a very nice dish, and everything worked quite well together. My gnocchi was cooked perfectly this time, and the right tenderness. Overall, one of my favourite appetizers.

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Fillet Mignon Tournedos Rossini

For my entrée, I got the Fillet Mignon Tournedos Rossini. This comes with foie gras, black truffle, madiera demi glaze, buttery mashed potato, mesquite aleppo, broccoli, and lemon aioli. This was much better than the last steak I got from here. Everything worked out much better, and the flavours were more balanced. Definitely some redemption for the last time I was here. The potatoes were nice and buttery, and the broccoli was firm and well cooked also. Overall, very good.

It seemed like everyone else enjoyed their meal too, so I’m glad that we went on a good night. I really don’t mind paying extra, as long as the meal is actually well done.

 

Wildflower Grill on Urbanspoon

Quality of food: 4/5 (much better the second time)
Service: 4.2/5
Value: 3.7/5
Atmosphere: 4/5
Expectation: 4/5

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