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Posts tagged ‘Prime Rib’

Restaurant Review: The Keg

Location: 130 Crowfoot Terrace NW
Website: https://www.kegsteakhouse.com/

Tonight is a special night. It’s the eve before the Chinese New Year. And fittingly, we decided to have go out for dinner. I made the executive decision not to go for Chinese food as those places will be packed for weeks leading up to and after Chinese New Year’s. It’s been a long time since I’ve been to The Keg and as I have only gone one other time, I have no recollection of it.

The Crowfoot location is fairly new and looks absolutely breathtaking. As it is a newer location, the restaurant looks very modern, but the lights are turned down low to set the mood for a romantic “candlelit” dinner. Conveniently, it is located directly across from the movie theatre. When we first arrived around 5:30, there were already quite a few patrons, which surprised me. I didn’t expect that so many people would be there in the middle of the week, let alone that early in the evening. But as the evening progressed, more and more patrons arrived, until we were about to leave and the volume became so loud that I was no longer feeling the romantic atmospheriness that I felt when I first walked in. Since we arrived early, there wasn’t a wait, we were quickly seated and our waiter came by promptly to fill our glasses and take our drink orders. Almost immediately after he left, another waitress came by and dropped off a plate with the complementary sourdough bread and whipped butter. The sourdough was freshly baked and very aromatic. The butter melted on contact. The inside was fluffy while the “crust” was wonderfully chewy.

As it was a special evening, we indulged a little bit more than we usually do. We started with the calamari, that of course being my choice. I have apparently made it my goal to try out every calamari in every restaurant to compare and find the restaurant that serves the world’s best calamari. The calamari came with a mix of breaded and fried sliced jalapenos and pickled red bell peppers and two sauces: a spicy sweet ginger garlic sauce and a Greek feta sauce. In addition to adding a kick to the dish, the heat of the jalapenos and the pickled red peppers helped to balance the greasiness of the deep fried squid. Between the two sauces, my family and I preferred the spicy sweet ginger garlic sauce because like the pickled peppers and jalapenos, the acidity and heat from the sauce helped mitigate the oiliness even more.

For our mains, I had the Sirloin Oscar, my sister and father had the prime rib, and my mom had the Lobster and Shrimp Dinner Salad. Both my sister and father got the ten ounce and it was huge! Each came with your choice of side; my sister had garlic mash and my dad had mixed vegetables (carrots, broccoli, asparagus, red bell peppers), crispy fried onions, red wine herb jus, and horseradish. The onions were incredibly over-salted. Though I do love fried onions, these were nearly impossible to eat in large quantities without a need for gallons upon gallons of water or something kinda plain to eat alongside it to make the saltiness more bearable (like rice, bread, potatoes). For my Sirloin Oscar, I also chose to have the garlic mash. It was delightful, smooth, garlicky, and oh so buttery. I liked that there were potato skins in the mash, but I can also see that it might be a divisive point as some people would rather their mashed potatoes to be consistently smooth rather than having the random piece of skin in random forkfuls. Ah, but what is life without a few surprises? The Bearnaise sauce, like the red wine herb jus, came in a small creamer like apparatus so that I could control the amount I wanted added onto my shrimps, scallops, and asparagus. In the end, I just dumped the entire thing all over my steak, shrimp, scallops, asparagus and potatoes, wishing there was more and wanting to lick out the inside of the container, but deciding against it as it would be poor etiquette to do so. The shrimps and scallops weren’t over seasoned, with the exception of one piece. That was good because the Bearnaise and seasonings on the beef and the beef jus fulfilled that purpose. My mom’s salad was nothing special really. The salad consisted of Artisan greens, black beans, corn, charred corn, field mushrooms, tomatoes and fresh avocado with a mango sesame dressing, topped with pine nuts and of course lobster and shrimp. I’ll admit that the dressing was pretty good; it was light, but due to the acidity of the mango, sufficiently stimulated my appetite. Ironically, I found it weird to be eating leaves of salad and accidentally stabbing a hidden black bean or field mushroom or avocado and getting a strange, unfamiliar texture in my mouth when I least expected. Clearly, for me, some surprises are better than others.

For a steakhouse of its calibre and reputation, I expected nothing more than the very best and it did not disappoint. More often than not, when I go to a restaurant (claiming to be a steakhouse or just being an ordinary restaurant whose’s specialty is not steak), the steaks always come out so poorly that I’ve given up on ordering them all together. Oftentimes when I order a steak medium, I’ll get either a bloody steak or a well done steak. I don’t mind getting a well done steak because that’s what I actually want most of the time. However, if I order well done, I get to eat flavoured cardboard. I’m happy to say that is not the case here. Tonight I decided to go for a medium and I was pleased that they got the temperature correct.

Finally, for dessert we decided to get “two.” The first was the Billy Miner Pie and the second was a trio of samplers. The Billy Miner Pie, isn’t much of a pie. Essentially it is mocha ice cream on a chocolate crust (which was very crumbly and resembled crushed oreos) with hot fudge, caramel and almonds. It was way larger than I had imagined, but considering what we were paying for it, it was reasonable. The pie wasn’t really anything special. Essentially it was an ice cream cake drizzled with chocolate and caramel sauce. The trio of samplers were a fudge brownie, mango creme brulee, and a butter tart. The fudge brownie was my least favourite. It tasted like it had been in the fridge too long and had absorbed all the yucky tastes of fridge. It was served with whipped cream and vanilla ice cream. Funny thing was I wasn’t really paying attention when I took my first bite and grabbed a spoonful of cream and ate it instead of the ice cream. Well you can imagine what my face looked like after I had consumed it…The next one I tried was the butter tart. I had difficulty cutting into it with my spoon, but maybe that’s just because I’m gibbled. I have to say, the butter tart was my favourite. It wasn’t too sweet or rich and it was perfectly complemented by the vanilla ice cream. The only bad thing I could say about this sampler was that the vanilla in the vanilla ice cream was far more mild than most other vanilla ice creams I’ve had for dessert. The last one was the mango creme brulee. The caramelized sugar on top make the most beautiful crackling-crunch when the spoon broke through the surface. Inside, the mango filling was cold. Personally, I don’t like mango in my creme brulee, the tartness of the mango just doesn’t seem to go with the creaminess of this dessert. However, this was one of my sister’s favourites. I still prefer the original or maybe even coconut, and I prefer it warm.

Some would say that this restaurant is on the pricey side, but I’d have to disagree. Steak is often more expensive than most other menu items, but considering the portion sizes, I’d say the price is worth it. I was only able to finish half my entree, which was about $32.

All things considered, I would definitely return here if I’m craving a steak. Though there isn’t much else on the menu other than steak (understandably, as this is as STEAKhouse, not a chicken house or fish house or what have you), it has a great selection of steaks. I would rate this restaurant 4.5/5.

Sourdough and Whipped Butter

Sourdough and Whipped Butter

Calamari

Calamari

Lobster and Shrimp Dinner Salad

Lobster and Shrimp Dinner Salad

Prime Rib with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Prime Rib with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Sirloin Oscar with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potato

Sirloin Oscar with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potato

Background (left to right): Fudge Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream, Butter Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream, Mango Creme Brulee Foreground: Billy Miner Pie

Background (left to right): Fudge Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream, Butter Tart with Vanilla Ice Cream, Mango Creme Brulee
Foreground: Billy Miner Pie

Restaurant Review: Mercato

Location: 5000-873 85 St SW
Website: http://mercatowest.com/

An impromptu lunch with my parents found me sitting at this high end restaurant. I have always loved Italian food and was super excited to try this place out. The restaurant had a fresh modern look and the hostess and waitress were very friendly in welcoming us. A truly Italian restaurant, there wasn’t “coffee” or “soda,” instead the coffee they had was an Americano and the soda? Italian soda, naturally (although Italian sodas didn’t really originate in Italy, or so I’ve been told) . I ordered the sparkling lemon. The bottle told me that it was made from lemons grown on the Amalfi coast and the first thought I had was “I was there…well sort of.” It is nothing like lemon water, nor is it like the citrus sodas that we have in North America. It’s light and not too fizzy, which was refreshing.

For our mains, my dad had a prime rib dish, my mom had the Carbonara, and I had the Timballo. The prime rib was pretty ordinary, so I won’t delve too deep into that one. It was cut into strips and topped with fried green onions and a fried egg. The Carbonara was fusilli rather than fettuccine as it usually is. Though on the salty side, it was flavourful. I enjoyed the subtle hint of what I thought to be white wine on my palate as an aftertaste. My dish was the biggest surprise to me. I had never had a Timballo before and had no expectations. Actually, I thought, by the description that it’d be more like ravioli rather than a giant pie looking thing. The other thing I didn’t expect was the pile of prosciutto on the side. I couldn’t handle the rawness of prosciutto when I was in Italy and I didn’t think I could handle it on my plate again today. But I gave it a try and it turned out not to be too bad. It’s definitely less salty than what I had in Italy and I think that they cooked it slightly to give it a bit of a crunch. The presentation of my dish was quite rustic, serving it on a chopping board. However, if the utensils had been a little sharper, maybe it would have made it easier to cut and eat. I was a bit disappointed by my dish for the lack of seasoning and the dryness of the the ricotta and kale filling. It made it hard to swallow. The pasta exterior wasn’t much better. The bottom had been cooked to crispiness and almost looked as though it had been browned a little too much (like almost burnt, just like 5 seconds more and it would have).

Price wise, Mercato is not nice on your wallet. Not in any sense of that word. Lunch on average is about $15-$20 depending on which main you order, while dinner can be anywhere from $25-$200 for a main, which is a bit insane. That $200 one better have gold, caviar, truffles, and whatever else is so expensive to warrant that kind of price.

Unless Mercato steps up it’s game and serves up food true to its pricing, I won’t be coming back. I was thoroughly disappointed by the inconsistency in seasoning and feel that it’s ridiculous to expect that much from its patrons if it can’t even do that. I did not enjoy my lunch in the least. Unfortunately, first impressions are everything, so for today’s performance I will have to give Mercato a 2.5/5.

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Sparkling Lemon Beverage

Sparkling Lemon Beverage (Lurisia La Nostra Gazzosa Con Il Vero Limone Sfusato di Amalfi)

Complimentary Bread and Olives served with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar for dipping

Complimentary Bread and Olives served with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar for dipping

 

Timballo

Timballo

Carbonara

Carbonara

Prime Rib

Prime Rib

 

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