Meat – Old Strathcona

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A group of us had a craving for mountain-loads of salty delicious meat and decided to indulge ourselves in a visit to a restaurant that serves just that. Meat, as the name suggests, is a smokehouse with a wide selection of BBQ, house made sauces, and a great selection of local beers on tap. Meat takes no reservations so seating is prioritized on a first come first serve basis. We arrived with a party of 6 at 5:30 pm on a Saturday evening, and the restaurant was already full. We had to wait an additional 40 minutes to be seated, which was expected given its popularity at the moment. While we conversed over beers in the waiting area, I admired the contemporary, clean, open layout of the restaurant and a nice use of a blue/white colour scheme.

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As we were finally seated at our table, which was designed to look like a large outdoor bench, we browsed through the simple, well organized menu. The types of meat were clearly laid out as were their sides and beer selection. We wanted to try a bit of everything, so we decided to try the Meat Platter and added a half pound of extra brisket, extra order of sausage, and a few extra sides.

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Meat Platter: 1/2 lb Brisket, 1/2 rack BBQ Ribs, 1/2 lb Pulled Pork, 1/4 Smoked Chicken, Fried Chicken, and 1 link of Andouille Sausage. Sides: Mac And Cheese, Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash Chicken Stew, Creamed Corn, Large Garlic Fries, 2 Pickles

Let’s start with The MEAT:

Beef Brisket – Tender, slightly dry, nice crispy charred crust, and medium smoke flavour. Overall, quite enjoyable and paired extremely well with the cherry and bourbon BBQ sauces.

Pork Ribs – Tender, slightly dry, blackened outside, and medium smoke flavour. The smoke enhanced the flavour of the ribs and paired well with the spicy and bourbon sauces.

Pulled Pork – Soft, moist, and medium smoke flavour. Paired well with the bourbon sauce.

Andouille Sausage – Flavourful combination of spices and light smokiness. They were excellent and we were glad we ordered an extra serving. Best enjoyed without any sauce.

Smoked Chicken – Tender and moist inside with rich smoked outer crust. It can be had without sauce or with the spicy BBQ sauce.

Fried Chicken – Very crispy outside with a moist inside and not greasy. Definitely memorable fried chicken. Best enjoyed with no added sauce.

The Sides:

Mac & Cheese – Creamy but not cheesy enough for my taste. There was nothing special about this dish.

Garlic fries – Crispy fries with rich garlic flavour. These fries were phenomenal.

Brussels Sprouts – Shredded and served like a warm salad. This was definitely an interesting new way to enjoy brussels sprouts and it was definitely good.

Creamed Corn – Infused with subtle dill flavour. It was a little on the watery side, but still a very enjoyable side dish.

Butternut Squash Chicken Stew – Shredded chicken stewed in a creamy butternut and tomato sauce with spices of cumin and coriander. The descriptions sounds better than the dish tastes. The butternut squash was very subtle and the dish tasted more like a weak version of Indian butter chicken

Overall, the meat was good, but not outstanding. It was not too dry, not too salty, and not too overly smoked. The BBQ sauces that accompanied the meat were great though. We enjoyed the Cherry and the Bourbon sauces the most. The sides, however, were hit or miss. The Brussels Sprouts and fries were a definite hit. I wouldn’t recommend the chicken stew or the mac & cheese though. Overall, if you are looking for a place to eat BBQ meat and to relax over a few local beers with a group of friends, Meat is the place where you want to be.

Service: 3.5/5
Food: 8.0/10
Atmosphere: Contemporary, Smokehouse, Relaxed
Price: $30-40

~Thomas

Meat on Urbanspoon

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Cibo – Edmonton (Oliver Village)

Cibo is quietly located in Oliver Village just north of downtown Edmonton near the Macewan University City Centre Campus. It offers excellent Italian food made from fresh local and in house ingredients. The result is an excellent food experience that satisfies the palate. DSC_0768

Inside, is a cozy, candle lit environment, which can be intimate, yet casual enough for gathering with friends. Tables are wood finish with a central modern looking bar and an open concept kitchen. There is also a large table tucked away in a semi-detached room giving you more privacy for a larger party. The servers were friendly and knowledgeable.

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Polpette – veal and pork meatballs, tomato sugo, dried apricots, peperoncini, pine nuts, Pecorino

We started off with the veal and pork meatballs. The appetizer presented simply yet elegantly. There were three very large meatballs topped with microgreens and pecorino romano. To start, the sauce was a robust and spicy tomato, which packed a punch but was not overwhelming. The meatballs themselves were quite delicious. They were soft, moist, and flavourful. The incorporation of the dried apricot gave it a nice fruity sweetness that complemented the veal and pork flavours very well. Together with the tomato sauce, these meatballs were excellent. The serving size was quite generous as well. Overall, it was a very good start.

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Brussels Sprout – sautéed with garlic, shallots, fresh lemon, and pancetta

With our mains, we ordered a side of Brussels sprouts. The sprouts were sauteed with pancetta to add a buttery and peppery flavour. Although the Brussels sprouts were a little undercooked, they were quite enjoyable and was generously portioned.

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Pappardelle – braised lamb, sugo pomodoro, mint, Pecorino Romano

For our mains, we ordered the pappardelle and the gnocchi. The hand made pasta was cooked al dente and gave a perfect bouncy texture with each bite. This is how pasta should be done. It was coated lightly with a garlic tomato sauce. On the first initial bite, you taste the soft tender lamb and the warm tomato sauce. Immediately after that you notice a refreshing flavour of mint which fills your palate and nostrils, but not in an overwhelming sense. It adds freshness to an otherwise warm dish, which gives this dish such uniqueness. I have to say, it was an excellent pasta dish and I would highly recommend this dish to anyone.

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Gnocchi – Truffled cream sauce

My better half ordered the Gnocchi, which was excellent as well. The gnocchi was soft and tender and “melted” in your mouth. The filling was quite light and fluffy. The cream sauce is not at all heavy. The initial flavours are light and subtle hints of the romano cheeses and the gnocchi filling followed by the rich and earthy truffle. The soft gnocchi and the flavours of the romano and truffle make this a very comforting dish. If you are a fan of gnocchi, this dish is a must try.

Cibo is an excellent asset to Edmonton’s growing restaurant scene. Their ever changing menu provides fresh local and house made ingredients that cater perfectly to the season. Their dishes are simple, yet unique and creative, and focus on providing complementary flavours. I would highly recommend this restaurant to anyone looking for a new contemporary Italian restaurant and excellent pasta.

Service: 4/5
Food: 8.9/10
Atmosphere: Contemporary, Bistro, Cozy, Romantic
Price: $30-40

~Thomas

Cibo Bistro on Urbanspoon