Thursday, July 24, 2014

Rustic Aboriginal Dinner by Chef Shane Chartrand at Sage Restaurant

Enjoying the wine
Although I had met Chef Shane Chartrand at a few previous events around Edmonton and sampled a dish here and there, I’d never actually eaten at any of the restaurants he had cooked at prior to being invited to a media dinner at Sage Restaurant at the River Cree Casino. Admittedly, I’d wanted to try his food for a while now, but driving all the way out to the River Cree Casino, for a meal of unknown caliber wasn’t at the top of my list of things to do. However, the media dinner gave me an excuse to go there to experience a guided dinner while surrounded by others we knew.

Corn and Confit Turkey Leg Soup
The tasting menu that evening consisted of five courses, each paired with wines from Simmer Wines. The signature menu, which was for a limited time only, was to celebrate Aboriginal Day on June 21, which was the 18th year it was officially recognized. Although the tasting menu did not focus on the culinary traditions of any one particular aboriginal group, Chef Chartrand explained that it was a joining of all nations and tribes, using truly aboriginal ingredients.

Chef Shane Chartrand
The first course was a pulled turkey leg, deep fried into a croquette served with cranberries, and confit turkey leg soup. The croquette was moist, while the unexpected spiciness of the brother lingered in the back of my throat, but was balanced out by the thick, sweet and mouth coating Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry.

The second course consisted of chilled west coast scallops. The scallops were plump and buttery with a hint of saltiness from the caviar. The scallop chip was surprisingly good, not salty or fishy tasting as I was expecting it to be, paired with The Whip, an off dry white wine.

Chilled West Coast Scallops
For the first protein course, a bison short rib crepinette with goat cheese was served, which included a piece of bison tongue. The humans took pleasure in enjoying this in front of me, raving about how tender the meat was, and how the black garlic gravy had a similar flavor to that of reduced soy sauce, slightly sweet and salty. The second entrée consisted of a licorice lamb loin, BBQ lamb leg, and rack of lamb. Although I’m not normally a fan of licorice, it wasn’t overwhelming, allowing the tender and subtle taste of lamb to come out. Even the man human who normally finds the taste of lamb too overwhelming enjoyed the well seasoned and moist lamb bits.

Bits of Lamp
The sweet ending was fry bread with the most moolicious maple ice cream I had ever tasted! The fry bread was only mildly sweet with Saskatoon berries, and I could have eaten a giant bowl of the maple ice cream. The cabernet sauvignon ice wine paired with it was not cloyingly sweet as I had expected that it might be.

Fry Bread with Maple Ice Cream
Overall our evening at Sage Restaurant was spectacular, with an extremely well paced and portioned tasting menu, with us leaving happily satiated and looking forward to a return visit to see what else Chef Chartrand could whip up from his imagination! If you’ve got wheels and the time, Sage Restaurant is worth the visit and they’re extremely lucky to have such a talented chef at its’ helm.

More photos at PhotoBucket!

Sage Restaurant
300 E Lapotac Blvd
Enoch, AB  T7X 3Y3

Sage Restaurant on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. I was so choked to have had to miss the event that night! Shane always does such an amazing job :) Glad you enjoyed it!


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