2015 Spring Menu Tasting – Earls Kitchen + Bar

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The warm-ish weather is back in Edmonton, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect for Earls’ recent Spring Menu launch. Just like in the past, Earls hosts local media at the flagship location (Tin Palace) and treats them like family. From cocktails to burgers, wine to shortcake, the staff and chefs continue to make this one of the best restaurant experiences you can attend. We started the evening outside (with the patio heaters on) where we could enjoy the new cocktail menu and some delicious Tuna Tostados. A light, fresh appetizers, this is something I’m going to try and recreate at home.

Tuna Tostado

Once all the invitees had arrived, we moved our drinks inside and started filling out belly’s. First up was a Fattoush Salad. It’s not your typical looking fattoush salad, but once you dig in and start combining the flavours, it really sings. Fresh, bright, and well portioned. A lot of people like to enjoy lighter fare when they are out, and I can only hope enough people take a chance on this salad. It’s well worth the order.

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Fattoush Sald

After the salad course, we were on to the seafood. With a glowing, crispy skin, you can tell that Earls is doing the right thing with the Moroccan Salmon. Atop a plate of  charred cauliflower, peas,  and pearl onions, you realize they are serving this dish without a starch. Thankfully, the cauliflower adds enough to the dish that you don’t really miss a starch. The chermoula sauce completes the dish and is strong enough to provide contrast to every other item. In fact, it might actually overwhelm the fish.

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Moroccan Salad

Once the salmon was cleared, we were welcomed to a sampling of beef from Spring Creek. As an added bonus, Kristin and Bern of Spring Creek, were at the meal and engaged the diners at this point to tell some poignant stories about Spring Creek. Adding freshly shredded horseradish to the platter was the right call, and helped add enough tang to an otherwise massive hunk of beef. I don’t think Earls has this on their menu, but I have a lot of friends who would be happy to go out and order a plate of meat.

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Beef Sampling

With a group of diverse chefs in the Earls test kitchen, it’s almost no surprise that Earls takes on dishes typically out of their realm. Take this next offering, the Korean inspired Bibimbap. Arriving in hot clay bowls, the colourful bibimbap is worth a round of applause. With enough sizzle in the bowl to toast the bed of rice, we had a rainbow of toppings, a perfectly poched egg and homemade gochujang. Making this offering a hit. Now I’m not about to replace my favourite version of bibimbap for this version, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Earls helps enlighten and introduce a lot of people to this signature Korean dish.

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Bibimbaap

Dessert was originally scheduled to be just one offering – Berry Shortcake – but with more savory cravings at the table, we were also delivered Earls signature Royale With Cheese Burger. Something sweet and something savory. Try either for yourself and you won’t be disappointed.

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Berry Shortcake

 

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Royale With Cheese Burger

 

Whether it’s for work or catching a quick bite out, Earls is a frequent stop in my life. For those reasons alone, I continue to applaud Earls for their dedication to use their test kitchen to its full extent, all in an effort to make ‘our’ experiences tastier and more memorable.

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