The new Art Gallery of Alberta opened recently. It is a stunning building and is a significant addition to Edmonton's downtown. The building also has a new restaurant called Zinc. We were very excited to try it out as the word was that they intended to take the city's fine dining to another level. Boy were we disappointed.
When we arrived, there was no one at the door to greet guests. We waited several minutes and a number of staff walked by, but no one even acknowledged that we were there. The restaurant was not busy. Finally we were seated. The room is modern, but a little cold and the room dividers have a bit of a cubicle feel.
The server was nice, but obviously not comfortable in a fine dining atmosphere. The food was extremely bad and over-priced. Appetizers - Many of the "roasted" beets in the beet salad were raw. The foie gras with anise ice cream was horrible. The anise completely overpowered the foie gras. The flavours were not well balanced.
The main courses were not much better. The bison was dry and over cooked. The pickeral was cooked fine, but quite bland with some gluey potato thing on top. The only main that was decent was the duck. It was prepared very well, but was served with mushy, flavourless chickpeas.
The desserts were unremarkable. The frozen chocolate cake was fine, but the mango mousse tasted like styrofoam.
Not only was the food average to very bad, the prices are very expensive, particularly for the quality. Dinner for 4 with one bottle of wine (the wine prices are very high compared to most fine dining restaurants in the city) was over $125 per person.
The food lacks elegance, subtly and finesse. This is not honest food. The chef obviously lacks the understanding and the ability to combine flavours.
We really wanted this restaurant to be good. Unfortunately, if they do not get better quickly, I don't think that many people who dine at the restaurant would go back a second time. We felt ripped off. Hopefully they will get better, but I honestly do not think they will.