Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Posthumous Review of 104 Street Grill (CLOSED)

Seared scallops, boar bacon vinaigrette,
wilted spinach and shallots
Even though 104 Street Grill is now defunct before I got a chance to post this, I've had some requests from readers to see my post anyway. So here is my posthumous review of 104 Street Grill .

We were invited to give 104 Street Grill a try when they first opened and they generously sent us a $50 certificate to encourage us to come for a visit. Unfortunately, they opened just before I went on my whirlwind tour of Europe and there was no way to squeeze it into an already busy schedule. However, they generously let us utilize the certificate after our return, once we had recuperated from eating out more in a month than we generally do in a year!

Occupying the former home of Ric’s Grill, the dimly lit room was filled with worn, dark wood tables and comfortable looking booth seating. We opted to start with the seared scallops, boar bacon vinaigrette, wilted spinach and shallots. The boar bacon was smoky and slightly sweet, but tended to stick together and had a somewhat chewy texture, which unfortunately stuck to my teeth and I wished that it had been cooked until it was crispy. The vinaigrette tasted nice but was a tad too acidic for my taste and the scallops were sadly watery tasting and chewy.

Steak trio with risotto and poutine
The female human opted for the steak trio consisting of feeb tenderloin and ginger parsnip puree, rib eye and wild mushroom ragout, and venison tenderloin with blueberry port. The female human remarked that the feeb tenderloin was a bit on the tough side but the parsnip puree was flavourful. Meanwhile she wasn’t pleased with the tenderness of the rib eye either, but enjoyed the earthy mushrooms. Thankfully she thoroughly enjoyed the venison tenderloin which she commented was very soft and the blueberry reduction was mildly sweet.

The side of risotto with wild boar bacon, grana padano and arugula was unfortunately much thicker than I preferred. It had the texture of a gluey paste and I was able to turn my fork upside down with a scoop of the risotto hanging onto it comfortably, with no signs of falling back down to my plate. I know there are many that do like it this way, however I prefer it creamy and loose.
 poutine made with roasted fingerling potato, cheese curds, bacon and pan gravy.

Meanwhile the male human ordered a rib eye medallion with wild mushroom ragout, which he enjoyed. But the same could not be said about the side of fingerling potatoes. The potatoes were dry and incredibly salty, while the accompanying aioli was very acidic, which only helped to enhance the saltiness of the dish.

We finished with a coffee cake with espresso cream, which was the highlight of our meal. The cream was extremely thick and rich. The cake was warm and not too sweet, and had a mixture of textures that worked well together including bits of crispiness along the edges and softness inside, and finished with a nice cinnamon taste.

We had a few hiccups when we ordered, per usual we asked if there were items that might be an issue for the male humans alcohol allergy, particularly the risotto and was confidently assured there would be no issue with the risotto or the mushrooms on toast he had ordered. Unfortunately after we ordered, the server returned to inform us that the mushrooms on toast did have alcohol in it, so we cancelled our order of it and stuck with sharing an appetizer. After we finished our appetizers and waited for our entrees, the server returned again to inform us that the risotto also had alcohol in it, as the pan was deglazed with wine. So the male human, who had also ordered the risotto, wound up ordering the unfortunately salty fingerling potatoes.

Coffee Cake with Espresso Cream
We did speak with the manager about the issues we’d encountered that evening, including the problems we had ordering, how we felt about the food up to that point, which included the incredibly salty poutine. We asked specifically if the chef happened to be a smoker, as many other chefs had told us that smokers have a harder time tasting things accurately than non-smokers. The manager confirmed that the chef was a smoker and we politely suggested that was likely the reason for the over salted poutine. The manager apologised and deducted a few items from our bill, which was unnecessary since we ate the food anyway, but was greatly appreciated. So even with dessert, the certificate we received covered the entire bill, minus tip.

Overall we thought the meal was an average meal at best, with the best part being dessert. Again, servers at any restaurant need to be familiar with the dishes on the menu, particularly when food allergies are involved. With all the different restaurants that already exist and with more opening in or near downtown, I wasn't planning a return visit to 104 Street Grill even before I heard they had shuttered their doors.

104 Street Grill
10190 104 Street NW
Edmonton, AB  T5J 1A7

104 St Grill on Urbanspoon

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