Local dining has become one of the latest culinary trends as consumers think more about where their food comes from and about supporting regional producers — you can call yourself a locavore if this is something you practice. The terms “fresh” and “local” are often just used as trendy buzzwords, but here are four restaurants in Edmonton that really mean “local”. Each of these restaurants use ingredients from farmers and producers in Alberta, often within the “100 mile” range that has become the measurement for local in the trendy “100 mile diet” movement.
The Harvest Room
Chef Serge Jost has prepared a menu that uses locally sourced ingredients in many of its meals, and four dishes are true 100 Mile meals. Sink your teeth into the succulent Smoked Pork Hock and Hazelnut Terrine, sourced from Irving’s Farm, for a tasty and fresh meal. fairmont.com/macdonald-edmonton
Their name is pronounced “range road”, like the marker of rural roads in Alberta running north to south, which is indicative of the surrounding rural communities they source much of their food from. Where Edmonton’s pick for Best New Restaurant of 2013 offers fine dining with an unquestionably local take in a relaxed, unpretentious environment — “at the intersection of farm, food, and friends”, as their tagline accurately dictates. The menu changes seasonally but you can expect “meat and potatoes” style comfort foods — prepared in interesting and flavourful ways, of course. If you’re feeling adventurous, order the Questionable Bits: a daily special that utilizes whole-animal cooking. rgerd.ca
Chef Staley was inspired by the renowned restaurant noma in Denmark, who’s mandate is to “rediscover” Nordic cuisine using regional ingredients. In the same way, the North 53 team is attempting to redefine Canadian cuisine by only using ingredients that can be grown in Canada. That means no olive oil, no chocolate, and no black pepper — but you won’t miss them when you’re enjoying delicious creations like lamb tartare, wild boar, and a beet salad comprised of various styles of beets, including a beet meringue. Each menu item is served in small tasting portions, so enjoy the full six course tasting menu or select at least three dishes for a complete meal. north53.ca
The chefs shop at farmers’ markets weekly to gather ingredients — and inspiration — for their current menu, and also have regular local suppliers for their ingredients. This means that the menu changes frequently, sometimes even daily. Menu items are designed for sharing, with plenty of spare plates and portions large enough so everyone in your group can try a bite. Be sure to pair a cocktail with your meal too — their bartenders know their stuff. threeboars.ca