Saturday, October 16, 2010

New casual fine dining restaurant in new Southwest Edmonton hotel

My boyfriend and I tend to be quite tired Friday evenings; a long day of work and running around getting errands done. I usually love cooking for the both of us but today was no exception. I threw out a bunch of suggestions for restaurants since there has been a bit of growth in Southwest Edmonton. I've been wanting to try this new restaurant in the new Sandman Signature hotel that just opened in Southwest Edmonton, just off of Gateway Boulevard. It looked kind of pricey from the outside and I wanted to be sure. They didn't have an online menu so we drove there and asked for a quick glance at the menu. It was quite reasonably priced, so Rockford Grill it was for dinner!
The Rockford Grill is a new restaurant that is associated with the powerhouse franchisee  who also owns Moxie's Classic Grill, The Shark Club, Denny's and Chop Steak House. I would say it is classified as casual fine dining--as we chatted with our waitress, it's a "step above Moxie's."
Outside view of Rockford Grill
The ambiance of the restaurant is sort of typical in casual fine dining restaurants-oversized light fixtures, dim-lighting, dark booths and chairs and eclectic art pieces here and there.
Interior of Rockford
On the dining side of the restaurant (it's separated into the dining room and lounge side). On the dining side, there's a huge black chalkboard located on the corner of the wall with all the different wines they offer. I thought that was a cute and rather unique concept because as your wine selection changes, you can simply just erase and write over it. We sat in front of the lounge for a few minutes while we were waiting for our table. Not long after, we were seated in the lounge side of the restaurant. Similar to the dining room, we were seated in the back corner in a high booth. I always love sitting in booths!

I scanned through the menu and the dishes they offer are typical of a casual fine-dining restaurant; Asian-inspired cuisine, signature sandwiches, salads, and main entrees such as ribs and steak.  My boyfriend and I first opted for the five mushroom appetizer as we are both lovers of mushrooms.  Shitake, cremini and white button mushrooms and two other kinds I can't recall. Sauteed with wine and tonnes of garlic, you can't go wrong with this appie! We also each ordered a slushie drink each; mine was lychee liquor and mango and my boyfriend ordered the strawberry swirl with vanilla liquor. Yummy!

Our drinks and our appie; sauteed mushrooms.
I normally take a while to decide what I want at a new restaurant I've never been to, but I was craving flat bread (yes, flat bread) because I had just spoke to my mom and she had just ate at the Rocky Mountain Flatbread Company in Canmore.  That being said, I ordered myself the avocado and shrimp flat bread with house-made potato chips as a side. My boyfriend opted for the Mongolian BBQ sauce ribs with fennel salad and hand-cut french fries. I asked for my flat bread to be unrolled so I could eat everything separately (yes, I am odd that way). The flat bread was spread with avocado and the shrimp was marinated in a tangy lime sauce. It was pretty tasty, but the flatbread could of been toasted a bit more. The house-made potato chips on the other hand were a little too burnt for my liking; of course the lighting was dim so it made it a bit harder for me to see how badly burnt it was (I took a picture of my food but accidentally deleted it...)

Mongolian BBQ ribs with fennel slaw and fries
My boyfriend enjoyed his dish--I snuck a few tastings or two and the ribs were indeed tasty. I enjoyed the fennel slaw on the side; something refreshing. The fries were better than mine because they weren't burnt. 

We didn't bother with desserts as we were quite stuffed.

I think this restaurant was quite good. Perhaps the lighting was too dim for my liking, but the ambiance is nice. For a restaurant that's connected to the Sandman suites, I think it's worth visiting at least once if you happen to be in the area.

Verdict: scrumptious

Rockford Grill is located right in front of the new Sandman Signature Hotel on 10011 Ellerslie Rd SW, just East of Gateway Boulevard South.


  1. What was the hostess/servers attire like ? I would like to take my family there for a special occasion however I do have teenage boys. HAHA

  2. It sounds great. Always nice when you can have great casual fine dining experience.