10612 82 Avenue NW, Edmonton
A few weeks ago, I went to Ampersand 27 for the first time. I’ve always been meaning to go, but haven’t had the opportunity. I went with Jenn one Friday evening because we wanted to check out the new Cat Café as well (but we ended up staying too late and missed the café! Next time!). They’re located right on Whyte ave and 106th, so parking can be a challenge. There are city parking spots up and down Whyte, but I often like to park on one of the side streets and walk a bit.
Ampersand 27 is described to have craft cocktails & a range of upmarket local, seasonal fare served in an artsy, modern space. The interior is relatively nice and tall, and the venue is kind of hipster. It was relatively busy for a Friday, but there were a few spots at the bar.
The service at the bar was really good. The bartenders were attentive, took our orders, gave us recommendations at our request. We opted to get the Steak Tartare, Pork Belly “Al Pastor” and the Seafood Cioppino.
The Steak Tartare came with capers, shallots, mustard, potato chips and topped with a quail yolk. This was probably my favourite dish of the night. The steak tartare was nice and flavourful and went well with the potato chips. The chips were nice, and had a nice smokiness to it. It reminded me of Hickory Sticks. I’d definitely recommend getting this dish. It’s nice and light and easy to eat.
The next dish we got to share was the Pork Belly Al Pastor, which comes with a pineapple-adobo glaze, hominy, pozole verde, and served with an avocado cream. Not a bad dish, but the flavours didn’t really work together. And on top of that, there were very few pieces of pork belly. Not my favourite dish, I probably could have done with ordering a couple of other dishes. Sorry for the blurry photo! It’s hard to take photos in the dim light.
Lastly, we got the seafood cioppino. This comes with scallops, clams, mussels, shrimp, calamari, and served in a saffron-tomato broth. This dish had the same theme as the pork belly. Overall, just okay. There was a decent amount of food, given that seafood is relatively expensive. The quality of the seafood was also a bit subpar. I was expensive a bit better quality given the price. A bit disappointing, given the price of $27.
Overall, I had just an okay experience at Ampersand 27. I did like the atmosphere and the service. We also got a couple of cocktails which I forgot to take pictures of, but they were nothing extraordinary. I’ve read some pretty dynamic reviews about service/food and I wonder if my service experience would have been different had we not been seated at the bar. I enjoyed a couple of dishes from here, so I’d be willing to come back to try a few other ones, but I’d recommend giving it a try! Whyte Ave is a tough scene, with lots of options.