Monday, March 7, 2011

Small sips and small bites: d'Lish urban kitchen & wine bar

My girlfriend and I were looking for a place where we could eat, relax and talk. There have been many places opening in the downtown area for a great place to have sips of cocktails and wine, while eating appetizers and/or charcuterie. The Educated Palate featured their second class (now sold out) at d'Lish urban kitchen & wine bar, so we were both curious about this new establishment.

d'Lish was formerly a meal assembly business under the same name. We chatted up with our waitress as I questioned about the newly opened business. The owner, Amanda Babichuk, was named Top 40 under 40 in Avenue Edmonton's magazine in 2010. The reason they changed from a meal assembly to a urban wine and kitchen bar was because of the recession. Not many people were willing to fork out $$ to have supper already made for them. Instead, heading to the grocery store and making your own food was the best way to save money. They have created a new concept of ordering desired portion sizes; mix and match appetizers and charcutie one would like, and the size of drinks (2 oz. is the smallest you can order for wine, and they have specials like flights, which are a trio of  small cocktails offered at a special price a certain night). This works out perfect for people who do not wish to drink a lot or would like to taste a sample of drinks. It works out great for me, because, well, ahem, let's just say it doesn't take much for me to get my cheeks nice and rosy.

We went on a Friday night and it didn't seem too crowded. Although, it was a good idea I made a reservation because not long after we arrived, it started getting busy. My girlfriend and I ordered the same drink special that night: a flight of mimosas. Mimosas are yummy. I don't go out very often to drink them,but I know they are sweet and bubbly! I chose vanilla bean, pear and berry, while my girlfriend opted for the pear, berry and grapefruit. We decided to share charcuterie and a salad together, since we can try a bit of everything. We ordered a warm salad that consisted of wilted spinach, butternut squash, Mo-Na mushrooms, wheat berry, and zucchini with a very light tasting vinaigrette, pulled pork sliders and for our charcuterie, we ordered chorizo (from O'sol meatos) and edam cheese from Sylvan Star Cheese Farm. The charcuterie was also paired with homemade crackers, olives and housemade marmalade.

My flight of mimosas (first set) L to R: berry, vanilla bean and pear.
The warm salad was pretty tasty, but sort of bland. My girlfriend, on the otherhand enjoyed it. The charcuterie portions were quite small, definitely not enough for two people. The cheese had enough flavour to it, wasn't too strong or too weak. The chorizo, I thought, could of been spicier. Most of the chorizo I've had has always been spicy, so that's what I was expecting. The homemade crackers and marmalade were delicious-the crackers were crisp and buttery and the marmalade tastes just like homemade!

Charcuterie plate.

Warm'd  spinach, wheatberry, Mo-NA 'shroom and butternut squash salad.
 The bun on the pulled pork sliders were buttery, soft and fresh. The actual sauce and meat didn't really taste unique to me in anyway. My girlfriend enjoyed them very much, nevertheless.

Pulled pork sliders.
We waited quite a while for our food, at least 30 minutes. Our waiter, who is also the restaurant manager, came and apologized for the long wait. She offered us dessert on the house, in which my friend refused at first. Refuse dessert? And it's free? Never, not me! We both decided to share the creme brulee on the menu. The creme brulee was infused with blackcurrant, though I found the flavour to be on the weak side. The flambe sugar was a little too burnt for my liking. Though I've had better creme brulee in the past, I certainly appreciated that it was kind gesture.

Creme brulee for dessert. Sorry, a little on the dark side.
 Overall, my girlfriend and I enjoyed this place. The prices were somewhat affordable, nice ambiance, though we both agreed that it was incredibly difficult to hear one another over the conversations of others beside you. Aside from that, and the service that night, we'd probably come here in the future.

Verdict: pretty scrumptious!

1 comment:

  1. Yes, as was the Creme Brule on top, but i still enjoyed it :)