Bon Appétit at Ernest’s

by | Feb 21, 2018 | Featured, Uncategorized

Before you’re even through the door, some wonderfully smooth jazz is piping into the corridor, bringing a sense of ease and class. As soon as you enter, the hostess welcomes you warmly and offers to take your coats. The décor is thoughtful and elegant; the arrangements are tasteful and seasonal. It’s not long before you’re sitting down and being pampered by the wait staff while enjoying the beautifully crafted menu. I had the opportunity to experience Valentine’s Dinner at Ernest’s and was profoundly impressed.

The meal started with a fresh basket of bread. While it may seem like standard fare, the miniature baguettes were exceptionally done. They were both soft and flaky. It was a wonderful lead into the apple parsnip soup; a perfect purée of parsnips complemented by a drizzle of balsamic syrup and calvados foam, then topped with a delicate apple chip. The mix of puréed soup with the apple brandy foam was tantalizing. I especially enjoyed eating the apple chip with a spoonful of soup. I didn’t know what to expect and was more than pleasantly surprised by this delightful creation. Before they brought out the next meal, they served coconut sorbet as a palate cleanser. An excellent detail for a fine restaurant.

My second choice for the evening was the oven roasted chicken supreme. The name alone brings salivation. The entrée notably featured a tender chicken breast with roasted parsnips, yam purée and bacon braised cabbage. Along the side of the plate was a blackberry gastrique, essentially an elevated form of sauce. The plating was thoughtful, and each item was tasty on its own, or partnered together. I particularly enjoyed the bacon braised cabbage since it felt like a nice homage to Alberta’s pioneer heritage.

Lastly, there was dessert. Because of my wonderful dining partner, I was lucky enough to try both. I had olive oil cake and sticky toffee pudding. I was thrown by the mere suggestion of an “olive oil cake”, but I was also intrigued. The cake reminded me of dry cheesecake – a delicious and mysterious treat. I never knew olive oil and rosemary could work so well in a dessert. On top of that, I sampled the pudding and vanilla ice cream. The pudding was similar to a warm muffin dripping with delectable toffee. It reminded me of a warm kitchen in Newfoundland.

After the meal concluded, I was more than satisfied by the selection of dishes. The Junior Chefs are to be commended for their level of sophistication and brevity. Each bite felt like the first time and inspired me to take another. The restaurant is not only a fantastic venue for a romantic dinner, but meals with friends, family and colleagues. I can’t wait to eat there again!

– Arielle Trischuk

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