Restaurants & Bars 5

Century Grill, Edmonton

Dan G | Apr 23, 200808:55 AM

Driving down Calgary Trail Monday evening in the blizzard, we decided we might as well stop somewhere for dinner. Choices are pretty dismal: Earls, Sorrentinos, Moose Factory, Montana's, Century Grill. Having had bad experiences at 3 of these, and refusing to eat at Moose Factory for political reasons, that left Century.

Wife and I split duck springrolls as an appetizer. 2 fairly large springrolls, cut into 3 pieces each. Duck, green peppers, green onions, not sure what else. They were quite tasty. Easiest to identify flavour was star anise. Came with a (too) huge pile of spiral-cut raw carrot and a very flavouful rhubarb/ginger compote. Listed at $13 on the menu, it seemed a bit steep but when the bill came they were only $9, which was more acceptable. Only criticism was that the wrappers were a bit too thick, so though the outside was crispy they were still a bit doughy and heavy.

For mains, wife and friend both opted for beef tenderloin. Both proclaimed it to be very good, though there was a bit too much sauce on the plate. But hey, how badly can you mess up a tenderloin! I went for the ahi tuna. When server (who was quite attentive, and seemed to know her stuff) was taking our order, I asked about the price of the tuna, which was listed at market price (a dumb concept, in my opinion...). When told $31, I sort of hummed and hawed a bit, not because of the price but because I was stuck between that and the salmon. When I commented, not really to the server but more to my wife who is used to me not deciding until the words come out of my mouth, that I was really trying to choose between the sides: I wanted the beet and goat cheese risotto that came with the salmon more than the polenta that came with the tuna, server immediately said I could have the risotto with the tuna, no problem. So that's what I did.

I asked for it rare, and that was what I got! perfectly seared on the outside and just barely warm (some might even say cold) at the centre. Nicely spiced and topped with a corn and grape tomato salsa, it was a great piece of fish. Risotto was...good, not great. Bright red, very flavourful, but a bit gooey. Probably the goat cheese acting as a binder. More the texture of a korean sticky rice than risotto.

Overall, it was better than I was expecting. Flavourful, well presented (well, they don't need to stick an 8" sprig of rosemary into each steak...I prefer the concept of nothing on the plate that isn't meant to be consumed...), etc. About $110 + tip for 3 people (1 app, 3 entrees, no alcohol), so not cheap, but that seems to be what good (not great) food costs in this city these days.

Would I go back? Not sure. At that price, it is just a few $ below Red Ox, Jacks, etc and not on par with those places, but in a pinch, it would be worth stopping at again.

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