The Grape Count

In Vino Veritas- "In Wine there is Truth"
Grapes to try to date: 200

Grapes tried: 104
Grapes to go:

Sunday, October 23, 2011

2 of 4- Review of the Rocky Mountain Wine & Food Festival- the Food!

The more and more I learn about wine, the more I can appreciate how a good bottle of wine can suddenly become a great bottle of wine-- it's all in the food! If you find a perfect wine pairing, my God the combination can be devastatingly fabulous. Again, the pictures are from our Thanksgiving and again, the actors in this event are real!

Part of the allure of the Rocky Mountain Wine is the food! Oh yes, divine delicious foods. And many of the restaurants do bring wine that are perfect pairings to the wines being offered. 40 restaurants offered up their wares and again between the 4 of us, we managed to try quite a few different foods. Some were good, other stood out.

I'm not going to go into great detail about food as I'm not a great observer on my food other than whether I like it or whether I'd pass. I don't pick out ingredients or tastes or smells. I know what I like and what I don't and I know what the others liked as well so we'll touch on what we loved.

The Food

To make it easy on myself, I've basically broken it down into the "best of" for lack of imagination. Hopefully that'll do!

Best Appetizer

Blue Willow- The Blue Willow Restaurant is a well known and well established Chinese restaurant here in the city. I've never been but I've heard rave reviews about it so we were more than happy to drop some coupons on their table. Kristin chose the vegetarian spring rolls. They gave her 3 full sized rolls with a traditional sauce drizzled all over them. Light and crunchy, I bit into the rolls and it was instant love. I really enjoy Chinese food but it can be hit and miss in many instances. But the Blue Willow is hit all the way.

 Best Soup

Westin Hotel- It was at the end of the evening and we were down to just 4 tickets for the 4 of us as we walked by the Westin's table. We couldn't help but stare at their dessert- it was figs on some type of cracker and had the most amazing cream cheese topping. But then they topped themselves. The Chef generously offered us 4 bowls of their mushroom soup. It was just what we needed and we all found it to be tasty and full of flabour goodness. My mom was so full she couldn't finish it (so I helped myself to it). The Westin hotel is in downtown Edmonton and close to all of the amenities including Churchill Square. It's a lovely hotel and obviously serves great soup.

Best Seafood

Billingsgate Fish Co. I love seafood. Like a lot. Mussels, shrimp, scallops, oysters, lobster-- sometimes I wonder why I live in a landlocked city. Well you can't have everything. So when the mussels were spotted at Billingsgate Fish Co.- we pounced. I'm kicking myself for not paying attention to the sauce (it was a tomato based sauce but was quite watery). Definitely very garlicy! And oh so good. Given 6 mussels, the 3 of us (mom passes on mussels) each had our two apiece and were quickly disappointed there weren't more to eat. I can't wait until I crave mussels because I definitely know where I'm going for them!

Best Main Course

The Red Piano- Reservations are recommended! And after having a taste of their pulled pork slider, I can totally see why. It was melt-in-your-mouth goodness. Quite literally. The pork was so tender and juicy, not one of us turned down a second bite. My mom tried their meatballs and they weren't bad but not as good as the slider. The Red Piano has been around for a little while on the restaurant scene and can be found in West Edmonton Mall. Their entertainment (the name gives it away) is dueling pianos! It is so much fun (I've heard) and a great night out. Kristin's birthday is coming up soon so we'll have to check into making reservations at the Red Piano!

Best Dessert
Chateau Louis Hotel- They aren't listed as having been at the Festival but I'm almost positive they were there- I took note of it because of the excellent hospitality we received when we were there and she was kind enough to point out the pictures of the Hotel to us. Please correct me if I'm wrong. It wasn't the dessert we had originally intended to have at the table. In fact we were eating a different dish that escapes me but one of the hostesses then kindly offered us a free brownie. I was the first to dig in. I had to work for it at first and break the brownie up into the melted chocolate sauce that was melted over it. Putting a piece of the brownie into your mouth was heavenly. I'm not a big dessert person but I could've eaten about a dozen of these brownies no problem!

Next up- the people! We met some amazing people at the Wine Festival and definite standouts who deserve a little recognition (and for some, your patronage). All my opinion of course but let's see if I have any influence here at all...

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