After a long day, and hungry for a unique dining experience, we settle on the Cafe de Ville. This restaurant on the Edmonton downtown fringe is likely pretty easy to miss, but should not be passed up. The decor is rather unique and difficult to classify...sort of a bistro with a distinct European flair.
Can be very intimate in the right area of the restaurant, and the staff is very polite, very unassuming, and between them and the music, almost give the place a bohemian sort of ambiance. Absolutely not pretentious in any way.
We departed a tad from our usual drinks...as we do when we see unique eye catching cocktails...and order the DeVille Island Iced Tea and Frontera Sangria. Both were delicious and a pretty good value for $9, as they were thankfully not filled to the brim with ice.
Instead of bread being brought out to start, we were brought the single greatest mini croissants. Completely unique and unbelievably good, these pastries were glazed on the bottom with honey, and dusted on the top with poppyseed. I cannot say enough about how great these tasted. We ordered a dozen to take home, and while not nearly as good the second day, they were still pretty tasty.
SJ decided to go for the escargot as an appie, while I went with the coquille...a jumbo scallop wrapped in duck prosciutto. Understanding that escargot is somewhat of an acquired taste, these were served in a slightly different way than has been done traditionally. Typically you will find that the escargot are hidden underneath a mushroom cap, and drenched in butter and garlic. And while they are usually pretty good that way, these came with portabello mushroom, various cheeses and a balsamic vinegar, all mixed together that made for a very delightful taste. The scallops that I had were extremely tender, and the duck promiscuity added just the right touch.
For our main course, SJ, on suggestion from the waiter, ordered the lamb, while I went with my usual chicken route. Now it is worth mentioning that neither of us are Lamb fans so this next statement means ALOT. It is impossible to have done the lamb any better. It was possibly the tenderest and juiciest piece of meat that either of us have ever tasted. The combination of pesto, dijon, junipers and chutney provided the ultimate blend of complimentary tastes that made this the perfect meal. My chicken was also prepared perfectly. It came stuffed with wild boar bacon, sun-dried tomato, feta, roasted garlic, spinach, and a touch of amaretto. Furthermore, it was so good I even ate the skin and I never, ever eat chicken skin. However, this time, the skin was crispy and juicy, and did not have the texture of skin...I was very surprised and impressed.
Although completely stuffed, we both felt compelled to order dessert. SJ had the mocha creme brulee, and I chose the chocolate mousse. They were both done quite well, but frankly after being somewhat jaded by the perfection of the lamb, they were both a slight letdown. At any other restaurant however, they would have both been excellent. We can chalk it up to being victims of the the rest of the meal setting the bar so high I suppose.
Overall, a near perfect dining experience. Excellent service and an extraordinary meal make this place an absolute must if you are in Edmonton.
Location visited: 10137 124 Street NW
Ambiance: High end Bistro
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