Edmonton’s very first Secret Supper took place on Monday, November 4th, 2013. Hosted by Dishcrawl, the event served up 8 courses of Cajun cuisine, including an icy-tart Intermezzo, at Creole Envie in Edmonton’s Highlands district.
Edmonton’s first Secret Supper has come and gone! On Monday, November 4th, 40 people arrived at Creole Envie to indulge themselves in Dishcrawl’s inaugural Underground Supper Club event. Guests were informed of the restaurant’s location only two days before the event and all dishes were kept secret until arrival.
The Secret Supper was a unique experience and we tried some new and interesting dishes that aren’t on the usual restaurant menu. Everyone got the chance to add another taste or a new flavour to their repertoire, whether it was frog legs, turtle soup, or a gin old fashioned.
Overall, the event was a success. The length of time between courses was a bit longer than I would’ve liked, but it’s understandable when you have a small kitchen trying to get out 40 simultaneous courses. Each dish came out beautifully presented and our empty plates were cleared way extremely promptly–thanks to Gemma and Tracy for all of their hard work!
Guests paid $79 for 8 courses ($109 for a meal with drink pairings, if one so chose) over 2.5 hours. We went over the time frame by about 70 minutes but it was really nice to see the unique items created by Chef Danielle Majeau.
Here’s an overview of each course and my responses to it:
Amuse: Tasso Prawns
Served with pickled okra, crystal salt, and hot sauce, this first course set the bar very high. The hot sauce added a beautiful kick to the prawns, while the pickled okra was crunchy and flavourful. This course was paired with the Hurricane cocktail, a very sweet vodka drink that tasted very much like grenadine. Luckily, I like grenadine, so the drink was a win. Verdict: Great.
Appetizer: Crab Stuffed Portabellas
Our next course was a gigantic portabella mushroom topped with a crab and cream mixture and parmesan cheese. I enjoyed this dish, although the crab didn’t have as much of its usual moisture, likely as a result of the sauce it was mixed with. The mushroom had a strong taste that complemented the crab mixture well and the cheese was a nice finishing touch. Verdict: Very good.
Soup: Turtle Soup with Sherry
The soup course afforded me my very first taste of turtle soup…and I rather liked it! Mixed with sherry, hot sauce, and the Creole ‘holy trinity’ (onions, bell peppers, and celery), the soup had a meaty taste that was offset beautifully by the sherry. Only midly spicy, the soup offered a warm intermission after the cooler prawns and portabellas. This course was paired with a Gin Old Fashioned. I’ve never had an Old Fashioned made with gin before; it was strong, but I enjoyed it. (The girl next to me found it much too strong…heh heh.) Verdict: Very Good.
Salad: Bay Scallops with Pancetta
I love scallops. I particularly love scallops when they’re cooked well. The salad course offered two gorgeous scallops amidst a sweeter-than-sweet cherry tomato and cooked pancetta. Beautiful. The mixture of flavours was amazing. Verdict: Great.
Starch: Smothered Grits with Crawfish
For the starch course, Chef Majeau cooked up a true Creole favourite: grits. These were cooked in whipping cream and riddled with crawfish and topped with cheese, green onions, and paprika. I’m usually a huge fan of starches, but I found the grits just a little too rich for my tastes. They had a nice flavour but the whipped cream was a bit too powerful. The crawfish was a nice touch, though. Verdict: Ok.
Intermezzo: Meyer Lemon Ice
An orangey-lemon sorbet to cleanse our palates! Very delicious.
Protein: Frog Legs Sauce Piquant
I’ve had frog legs before, so this course wasn’t that unusual to me, although it seemed as if many in the room had never tried them before. They’re not bad, right? Frog legs taste very much like a firmer, drier chicken wing. These ones were tossed in a not-so-spicy sauce made from tomatoes and the holy trinity. They were nice, although the amount of meat on them was pretty minimal (to be expected, I suppose). This course was served with the New Orleans Fizz cocktail. Now, I’m pretty good with drinks. I’ll drink just about anything. When it comes to creamy, milky drinks, though, I usually pass. The New Orleans Fizz was made from gin (which I usually love!), cream, lemon juice, and lime juice. In my opinion, gin and cream are not a good mix, and this drink didn’t do much to change my mind. Verdict: Good (except for the drink).
Dessert: Peaches with Bourbon Cream and Pecans
Whipped cream made from bourbon? Pecans? Peaches? I’m sold. This final course was paired with a shot of straight bourbon, which I did, in fact, shoot. After delighting in the bourbon’s burning sensation, the peaches and cream dessert was a great end to my meal. I heard from others (non-drinkers) that the cream tasted too much like bourbon. After my shot, it tasted like heaven. Verdict: Great.
Overall, I enjoyed this event and would definitely attend another Secret Supper. It was a bit difficult to fit in over 3.5 hours for a meal when we had other things to do that evening, so the time frame was a little bit of an issue. As this was the first event, though, I know that things will be ironed out in the future. I truly did enjoy indulging myself so thoroughly! Time for another Gin Old Fashioned, methinks!
6509 112 Avenue NW