Thursday, April 17, 2014

Go for a Twirl at La Ronde

Caught with my hoof in the bread basket!
After our previous food blogger meet up at The Common, Chateau Lacombe Hotel and La Ronde, Edmonton’s only revolving restaurant, offered to host our next get together. So the talented Linda Hoang managed to organize a night that we food bloggers and plus ones could attend. Although it seemed like a bit of a feat to figure out a date and sort out who was all coming, we finally received confirmation that the food bloggers get together would be going ahead and that we could indeed bring our plus ones! I have to admit, I wasn't sure what to expect, as our previous get together was a very casual come and go event at The Common. I hadn't even been sure I would show up to the previous get together as it happened to be on the same night as the Taste of Iceland event at Characters Fine Dining.

@beyondumami brought Gravol!
 I had never actually been to La Ronde prior to this, partially because I had always heard it was quite expensive, and also because I was worried about the revolving motion of the restaurant for mooself, but especially because my male human and any moving object seemingly to never mix well – throw a full meal into that and I wasn’t sure what would happen! It turns out that the restaurant revolves fairly slowly, one rotation every 88 minutes. For those that get motion sick easily, you’ll notice the rotation just slightly when you first arrive, but unless you’re staring at the wall the whole evening, you will quickly get used to the rotation. Although I was extremely grateful, as were many others that @beyondumami came prepared with a bottle of Gravol, that many of took as a precaution. It was always a surprise to look out the window and notice that we had a new view of Edmonton below!
Escargot Vol au Vent
It was Tieless Tuesdays at La Ronde that evening, which featured a live jazz band and a selection of half priced wines. They had also prepared a special menu for us that evening, a selection of appetizers and entrees from their regular menu that they thought would showcase the best that their restaurant had to offer. Sherry Honey-Parker, Director of Sales and Marketing for Chateau Lacombe Hotel, brought Executive Chef, Stephen Chung, and Pastry Chef, Scott Parker around to meet everyone before we began our meal.

Crab Cakes
We opted to start with the crab cakes and the escargot Vol au Vent. The crab cakes were most, in the butter zone of being texturally appealing as they were neither mushy nor chunky, and had a nice acidity to it. Meanwhile the escargot rested on puff pastry and was smothered in sautéed wild mushrooms, shallots, and gently enrobed in a cognac cream sauce, topped with arugula. Despite this, the taste of the escargot shined, the creamy sauce was delicate, so it didn’t overwhelm the wild mushrooms or escargot. The portion was extremely generous and could have easily been shared between two people. However, perhaps another vehicle to deliver these delightfully earthy morsels could be utilized as the puff pastry suffered under the moistness, becoming wet and dense as they absorbed the liquid from the sauce and mushrooms.

Alberta Rack of Lamb
The Alberta rack of lamb proved to be a popular dish, as four out of five people at our table opted to have it for their entrée. The rack was large enough for two meals, with a mustard and herb crust, set atop triturate of potato and Tuscan jus. The lamb on its’ own was moist and tasty, with a very distinct, but not unpleasant mustard taste. I enjoyed it, but did wish the crust wasn’t quite so thick so that I could enjoy the natural taste of the lamb a bit more. Meanwhile the free run supreme breast of chicken with wild rice herb and yam cake and Baumanier lemon sauce was juicy and very simply done, allowing the chicken flavor shine.

Chocolate Torte

Feeling already stuffed, we forged ahead to dessert, which was surprisingly light. Their milk chocolate torte was made with alternating layers of creamy milk chocolate filling and fudges cake. Layered with a crunchy praline, it was the perfect ending to the meal.

Overall, we enjoyed our meal at La Ronde, as well as the company of the beautiful @beyondumami, @michpetersjones and their photographer/lighting assistant/designated driver @danprime. La Ronde had hired a photographer to wander around and take photos of our evening, and she took a particular liking to @beyondumami, taking a ton of photographs of her drinking her cocktail and eating.

Beautiful @beyondumami posing for the photographer
We didn’t get to visit much with others in attendance including @littlemissandrea, @Argenplath, @ThePorkGirl, @MakiBca, @MarianneStover, @CottrellSmithC, @britl, @baconhound, @LadyAgathist, @MikethyKing and our wonderful organizer, @lindork. However, there were some food blogging antics to be sure, especially when you had this many food bloggers in one room together. Many photos of everyone photographing the same dish, photo-bombing, bunny ear pictures, and our poor plus ones sitting, waiting patiently to eat while we all took photos of the food. Check out the #yegfoodblogs and #TielessTuesdays hashtags on twitter to see some of these antics.

Edmonton at night
The views were surely spectacular and unique from atop the 24th floor of Chateau Lacombe Hotel, and it would be a great place just to enjoy a drink on a clear evening. Definitely if you want to impress some out of town friends, family or a date, this is the place to go. Not knowing what the price of the dishes were, it’s hard to tell you whether or not the meal was worth the money though, as La Ronde and Chateau Lacombe Hotel were kind enough to provide us the space to have our meet up, but generously provided the meal as well!

Thanks to La Ronde, Chateau Lacombe Hotel, and Sherry Honey-Parker for reaching out and giving us Edmonton food bloggers a great night out, and to Linda Hoang for organizing and wrangling all of us trouble makers!

More pictures on PhotoBucket!

La Ronde
24th Floor
10111 Bellamy Hill
Edmonton, AB  T5J 1N7
Twitter: @LaRondeDining

(Note: There was no financial compensation from La Ronde for this blog post, although they provided free food. Any review provided by me will completely reflect my thoughts and opinions – good or bad, and will not be swayed by having free food provided.)
La Ronde Revolving Restaurant‎ on Urbanspoon


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