Monday, August 8, 2011

Hardware Grill in Edmonton

"Where hammers and nails once ruled, now knives and forks await." Located on the site of an old hardware store, Edmonton’s Hardware Grill offers great modern food in a vintage location. Located on the corner of Jasper and 97th in the heart of the Arts District, Hardware Grill is currently one of Edmonton's top restaurants. The focus is on local, whether it's local artists, local trades or the freshest local ingredients. Casually elegant, this former hardware store has been handsomely refurbished, and has received numerous accolades including "Best Restaurant in the Prairies" from EnRoute Magazine, and with an impressive wine list with more than 500 selections, has garnered eight consecutive Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence.

Chef-Owner Larry Stewart of Hardware Grill

From the glassed-in kitchen, chef-owner Larry Stewart prepares progressive Canadian cuisine with fabulous flavours and fresh, creative presentations. There are no shortcuts here — almost everything is prepared fresh including breads, smoked meats, and homemade sorbets. First courses include Kobe Beef Carpaccio which is served with parmesan shards, homemade sea salt potato chips and an absolutely delicious Truffle Aioli; Fresh Mozzarella and Vine Tomato Stack with a caper vinaigrette, bacon jam and grilled crostini; and daily 'Soups of Yesterday', which the night we visited was a creamy Mushroom Soup finished with a brie topped crostini, blueberry chutney and finished with a shot of sherry. 

Kobe Beef Carpaccio with parmesan shards, homemade sea salt potato chips 
and an absolutely delicious Truffle Aioli

Fresh Mozzarella and Vine Tomato Stack with a caper vinaigrette, bacon jam and grilled crostini

'Soup of Yesterday' — Hardware Grill's Mushroom Soup with sherry and finished 
with a Brie topped crostini and blueberry chutney

Main courses are decidedly geared towards carnivores, however there are always a handful of pescatorian selections including one of Hardware Grill's outstanding signature dishes — Porcini Crusted Fish (tonight was Swordfish) with Lobster-Truffled Potato Crepes, White Corn-Arugula & Gulf Prawns with a Warm Portobello Vinaigrette; Angus Beef Tenderloin with Cambazola Melt, Cheddar-Chorizo Gratin Potato and Pea Shoot-Grape Tomato Sauté. They even feature a vegetarian option which sounded particularly appetizing — Truffle-Creamed Spinach, Wild Rice Timbale, Butternut-Cherry-Mushroom Hash, Pea Ravioli and Pea Shoot-Grape Tomato Sauté. We enjoyed the meal with Burrowing Owl Pinot Gris, a delicious west coast wine from the Okanagan.  

Angus Beef Tenderloin with Cambazola Melt, Cheddar-Chorizo Gratin Potato 
and Pea Shoot-Grape Tomato Sauté

Porcini Crusted Swordfish with Lobster-Truffled Potato Crepes, White Corn-Arugula 
& Gulf Prawns with a Warm Portobello Vinaigrette

Chef Stewart in Hardware Grill's glass-enclosed kitchen 

The Hardware Grill 'Snickers' Dessert — Chocolate-Toffee Crunch Bar and 
Raspberry White-Chocolate Mousse

Desserts at Hardware Grill are both inspired and delicious. My father and brother both ordered the Snickers — a decadent Chocolate-Toffee Crunch Bar with a Raspberry White-Chocolate Mousse and finished with a brushing of creme Anglaise and chocolate tuile. The Classic Profiteroles also looked too good to be true, with an espresso ice cream and hot fudge sauce.

 Classic Profiteroles

With a strong culinary heritage that has both supported and propelled local culinary students, Hardware Grill even caught the eye of Gordon Ramsey, who stopped by the restaurant last year when he made his first visit to Edmonton. If you're looking for contemporary regional Alberta cuisine at its best, be sure to make reservations at Hardware Grill next time you're in Edmonton — you'll be in for a treat. It's no wonder that Hardware Grill is proclaimed to be one of the best restaurants in Canada. 

Charming and delightful, Kyle helped make our evening at Hardware Grill 
a memorable experience

Warm Baby Asparagus Salad
Serves 4
Recipe courtesy of Hardware Grill

This makes a refreshing start to a meal or it can stand on its own as a spring luncheon salad.

olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
6 small new potatoes, scrubbed and cooked until just tender
8 oyster or shitake mushrooms
1 large red pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and cut into strips
1 lb. Baby asparagus, trimmed (use pencil asparagus if available)
4 cups mixed baby lettuces, rinsed and dried

1/2 cup olive oil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp chopped herbs, such as tarragon, basil or oregano

To make dressing, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together. To make the salad, cut the potatoes in half, bush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and grill or broil until browned. Toss the mushrooms in olive oil, season with salt and pepper and sauté in hot oil to brown. Place potatoes and mushrooms into a bowl and cover with foil to keep warm. Blanch asparagus in lightly salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain well and spread on a plate; drizzle with 2 tablespoons of dressing. Divide lettuces among 4 plates; arrange potatoes, mushrooms, peppers and asparagus on lettuce and drizzle each plate with 2 to 3 tablespoons of dressing. 

9698 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, AB T5H 3V5