The sophistication of French cuisine

Referring to France, in addition to the magnificent Paris, in addition to the poetic and peaceful Seine, people also mention exquisite and extremely interesting cuisine. We, who are learning French, learn about these poetic traits.

With its vast expansive vineyards, France is one of the European countries with the longest history of wine production. Wine in France is not only a party drink, but also a special ingredient that contributes to the success of the dishes.

Bordeaux is a city located on the banks of the Garonne River, the world leader in the amount of wine produced and is considered the wine capital of the world. It is these factors that make the striking difference of French wine.

Kết quả hình ảnh cho Rượu nho pháp

France is considered to be the largest cheese consuming country in the world, and perhaps nowhere else has there been a lot of cheese and a delicious, characteristic flavor like in France. Here, there are more than 500 types of cheeses with different flavors, mainly made from cow’s milk, sheep and goats.

Blue cheese in the famous Roquefort region with a strong aroma but easy to crush. Old Saint – Nectaire cheese made from fresh cow milk in Auvergne region. Camembert cheese has the fatty taste of milk and the aroma of fruit, covered with a layer of bread crumbs or salty bacon … Remember French, please try cheese to see cheese How easy is French being addicted to.

In France, whether enjoying the food in the luxurious restaurant or the rustic dishes, the dishonest style of the French people always keeps the polite and sophisticated. The skill is best shown when eating at a restaurant.

Kết quả hình ảnh cho Rượu nho pháp

Fatty goose liver is often processed into pâté and is present in the menu of high-class international restaurants in France. Gourmet food is called foie gras. Best of all, French people often use Foie Gras with Sauterne wine – a white wine made from grapes.

Narayanni’s

I can’t say I had ever tried South African food until last night, which, as I quickly discovered, has been a deplorable loss on my part. I’ve been completely missing out.

Narayanni’s, a Whyte Avenue staple since 2010, serves up some of the finest curry I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting. While the food is primarily Indian cuisine (as a result of immigration in the late 19th/early 20th centuries), it comes with a delightful South African twist: fewer dairy-based items, roti instead of naan bread, and a subtle European spin on items like the braised kale and cabbage. It’s the kind of cuisine that will leave you feeling content and full–warm and fuzzy–without weighing down your stomach with starches.

The restaurant itself is really hard to miss, once you know where you’re going. Just head one block south of Whyte at 101 Street and you’ll find yourself in front of a bright red door and panel, with a huge sign right above it. Inside, Narayanni’s is homey and comforting, with relaxed ambient lighting and the friendly murmur of other guests filling the spacious room. The buffet stands at the centre, with dishes lined in a circle around a barista used to make their signature hot chai drinks.

They have a neat selection of South African wines by the bottle, giving diners the authentic cuisine experience. We were recommended a bottle of the Excelsior Cabernet Sauvignon (2010) by daughter and Front of House manager Youmashni Naidoo; to our delight, it was amazing. Similar to a full bodied malbec but with less powerful tannins, this wine paired beautifully with the spicy curries on the menu. The only danger lies in the wine’s drinkability–we had polished off the bottle before we knew it.

The food–oh, the food–was delightful. It’s strange to enjoy a meal that’s both hearty and filling and yet not feel sluggish afterwards. The majority of Narayanni’s menu is dairy free, many items are gluten free, and vegan options are abundant (they even offer a vegan buffet on Tuesday nights). My favourites were the chicken curry (moderately spicy), the grilled masala chicken (tender and flavourful), and the braised kale and cabbage (surprisingly spicy).

While Narayanni’s has only opened for dinner in the past, Old Strathcona residents and employees can now rejoice in the fact that the restaurant will be open for lunch Tuesday to Friday, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The lunch buffet features four gourmet South African Indian courses: home-cooked soup, salad, chicken curry (local, free-range, hormone/antibiotic-free), and three vegan entrées for only $12 a person. If I worked anywhere near Narayanni’s, I’d make this lunch buffet a weekly routine. For the quality of food you’re getting at that price, you’ve really got no excuse.

One of the things that makes Narayanni’s such a genuinely friendly restaurant is that it’s completely family owned and run. The Naidoo family, also the proprietors of Whyte’s Block 1912, are the brains behind Narayanni’s South African Indian cuisine. In one of my tweets during the visit, I likened the restaurant’s chicken curry to my own mother’s excellent curry–unsurprising, really, since the curry at Narayanni’s was cooked by the mother of the Naidoo family and co-founder of the restaurant, Selva Naidoo. We also finished off the meal with some cinnamon-infused rice pudding, prepared by Narayanni’s dessert master and father, Daya Naidoo, as well as cups of regular chai and pistachio chai.

Along with their new lunch buffet ($12), vegan nights on Tuesdays ($15), and lamb items in the buffet on Saturdays ($25), Narayanni’s is currently also holding a spring special on Wednesday nights, offering the dinner buffet at $15 a person, rather than $20. To be honest, even $20 a person for an all-you-can-eat buffet of this quality is extremely reasonably-priced. You’ll be hard pressed to find the same quality of food at a better price at any other Indian restaurant in the city. At $15 a person, it’s a bargain!

My experience at Narayanni’s was excellent and beyond expectations. The friendly, welcoming atmosphere, the unbelievable food, the clear passion each member of the family has for the business they’ve created–every aspect of this restaurant appealed to me. They’ve made it very easy for me to give a rave review because, quite simply, Narayanni’s is wonderful. And I cannot wait to go back.

Narayanni’s
10131 81 Avenue
Edmonton, AB
(780) 756-7112

5/5

Cured Wine Bar

A great charcuterie is a beautiful thing. And its recent popularity, Edmonton’s growing need for meat, cheese, and selected accompaniments, has stemmed additions to menus all across the city. Every aspiring restaurant, pub, and gastropub has a variation of charcuterie on offer—and the sad thing is that many of them are supremely disappointing.

I mean, sure, you can stick a few slices of salami and a chunk of cheddar on an oddly-shaped slab of wood and call it whatever you like, but a great charcuterie—a charcuterie you go 25km out of your way to enjoy—is a work of art.

Cured Wine Bar, a recent addition to south Edmonton’s Ellerslie and Summerside neighbourhood, clearly takes pride in their art. Similar to Ampersand 27 on Whyte Avenue, Cured offers a build-your-own charcuterie and cheese board, with a variety of cured and dried meats, seafood, paté, and imported and domestic cheeses to choose from. Partner that with a selection of shared plates, from simple olives and pickles to clams with double smoked bacon, squash salad, and phyllo-wrapped brie, and you’ve got a well-rounded menu to appeal to even the most pretentious self-proclaimed foodie.

The restaurant also offers an excellent wine list, including two bottles of red priced at $1000 for the big spenders and an enomatic wine system, which allows them to offer small (as tiny as 1oz) tasters of select fine red wines.

I’ve dined at Cured twice now and each time I have been wholly satisfied with their charcuterie. While Ampersand charges per item, Cured lets you choose five meats for a set price and an addition of cheese at $5 an ounce. The “small” board (1-2 people) is $32 and the “large” (approx. 3-4 people) is $46, although you can get all of the meats on one board for $125. Each board automatically comes with accompaniments such as crostinis, condiments, and dried fruit, so you don’t have to pay extra for mustard like you would at Ampersand (thankfully, since Cured’s mustard is unbelievable).

Between my two dining experiences at Cured, I’ve decided that my favourite meats were the spicy soppresata, smoked salmon, and smoked duck prosciutto. I’ve yet to try one of the patés, though, and am dying to give the rabbit and blueberry terrine a taste.

Cheese-wise, you can’t go wrong with favourites such as the smoked gouda, seven-year aged cheddar, and gorgonzola. The highlight of the cheese section, though, was the saganaki. We saw the server walk by with a sizzling, fiery pan of some kind of cheese and knew we had to try that for ourselves. It’s a beautiful addition to any charcuterie and I strongly recommend you give this cheesy Greek delicacy a try.

It should be noted, however, that Cured only takes walk-ins and the dining area is fairly small. We’ve never had any issues going before 6pm or going a bit later in the evening, but it fills up fairly quickly during peak hours, particularly on the weekend. It is a beautiful dining room, though, and the ambience is romantic, slightly bustling, and perfect for any number of occasions, from date night, to work meetings, to drinks with a close friend.

Cured Wine Bar
2307 Ellwood Drive
Edmonton, AB T6X 0A9
(780) 756-3722

5/5

Giveaway: Tickets to the Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival

It’s one of Edmonton’s biggest foodie events of the year–filled with tasty nibbles and more booze than you have time to taste–and, this year, it will be even bigger.

Here at Wine + Dine, we’re giving away two tickets to the Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival Saturday afternoon session (12-4pm) on Saturday, November 7th!

Simply enter by retweeting the following tweet BY MIDNIGHT ON OCTOBER 31, 2015:

You can learn more about the event, which vendors will be present, and what breweries and wineries to expect at rockymountainwine.com.

And that’s it! Best of luck! We’ll announce the winner on Monday, November 1st.

Please note that tickets include admission to the event; tasting coupons must be purchased separately.

Dundee Hills Pinot Noir and Sautéed Pacific Salmon

When I first made the foray into drinking red wines, pinot noir was always a favourite. The pinot noir grape produces a softer, lighter wine with low tannins that acts as a perfect entrance into the wild and wonderful world of reds. For newbies, it’s a great starter wine. For those who have been in the game for quite some time, it’s a beautiful alternative to the full-bodied, heavier options. Pinot noir wines can have as much complexity as their bolder cousins and even more versatility–it’s a great wine to pair with any number of dishes: red or white meat, sweet or savoury.

On a cold and quiet winter night, I sat down to taste the Dundee Hills Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir for the first time. The first few sips showed a delicate, dry red wine with minimal sweetness but an almost overwhelming hint of berry fruits. The best part about the wine is its ability to give off flavourful hints of raspberries and cherries without actually being sweet.

I paired this wine with L’Extra’s Pure Goat Cheese, which has a light yet distinct taste. Similar in appearance to a round of brie or camembert, this goat cheese is delightfully creamy and delicious when eaten alone, atop a cracker, or paired with a nice red wine.

I haven’t had a pinot noir I’ve enjoyed this much in quite some time and I highly recommend it for newer wine drinkers or established winos looking for an intriguing lighter option. And, if you’re someone who’s concerned with pesticides in wine, you’ll be happy to know that the Sokol Blosser Pinot Noir is made from 100% organic grapes. The wine itself retails for around $35-45 a bottle.

Sokol Blosser recently partnered with several restaurants in Calgary and Edmonton to challenge local chefs to create a perfect salmon appetizer to go with the wine. In support of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, restaurants such as Edmonton’s Bothy Wine and Whisky Bar and Calgary’s Q Haute Cuisine and La Chaumière develop unique salmon recipes to pair with the Dundee Hills Pinot Noir at each of their locations. A portion of sales of the wine are donated directly to the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society. The full list of participating restaurants can be seen on the Sokol Blosser website.

Below is a recipe for Sautéed Pacific Salmon, courtesy of La Chaumière Restaurant. We hope you enjoy it alongside a bottle of the pinot noir!

Sautéed Pacific Salmon with Lentils, Bacon and Red Wine Butter

By La Chaumière Restaurant (Calgary)

Main Dish

  • 4-120g Pacific salmon filts, skin on
  • 160g cooked red lentils
  • 50mL chicken stock
  • 25g finely diced bacon (approx. 3 strips)
  • 1 shallot finely chopped
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 1 leek finely chopped

Instructions:

  1. Sauté shallot, carrot, and leek with bacon, slowly rendering fat and cooking the vegetables.
  2. Add lentils and soften with chicken stock; reduce gently.
  3. Season and sear salmon (skin side down) slowly until top is warm to the touch. Finish with lemon juice.

Sauce

  • 120mL Sokol Blosser Dundee Hills Pinot Noir wine
  • 1 shallot sliced
  • 30g unsalted butter
  • 1 lemon

Instructions:

  1. Whisk wine and shallots until thick syrup is achieved.
  2. Add butter and whisk over low heat.
  3. Season with salt and white pepper.

Cookie Pairing at Baseline Wine

Wine and cheese: standard. Wine and steak: played out. Wine and cookies: wait…what?

It might sound like an unnatural pairing, but Baseline Wine recently bit the bullet and put the two treats together in a Cookie Pairing event. In partnership with Kathy Leskow from Confetti Sweets, the two Sherwood Park businesses combined their wares to offer a selection of delectable cookies paired with wines and liquors chosen to enhance flavours, bring out subtleties, and shock those who thought it couldn’t be done.

However, if you’re an avid wine drinker or someone who likes the challenge of a pairing, you’d know that anything is possible. Ryan Tycholas, manager of Baseline Wine, was our gracious host during the Cookie Pairing event on November 14th, which focused on a variety of six alcoholic drinks selected to pair with six of Kathy’s cookies.

We started the evening with a glass of prosecco to cleanse our palates then dove right into a Hochheimer Königin Victoriaberg Riesling and coconut cookie pairing. These two tastes, when put together, brought out another depth of flavour in both the cookie and the wine. As we would learn throughout the night, a perfectly paired couple has so much more to offer as a pair than as individual tastes. In any case, I loved this pairing and bought myself a bottle of the riesling after the event–which is fairly significant, since I don’t usually drink white wine.


We moved onto the next pairing: Smashberry White with Kathy’s sugar cookie. I’m not usually a fan of sugar cookies and I wasn’t a huge fan of the Smashberry on its own, but I well and truly liked these two together. The sweetness of the cookie amped up the sweetness of the wine, making them a great mix. The vanilla flavouring of the sugar cookie was an excellent counter to the acidity of the wine.

Course three included a glass of Earthquake Zinfandel and a delectable chocolate chunk cookie with Skor pieces. This was one of my favourite pairings of the evening–rich, heady flavours with a beautiful hint of caramel decorated each bite and sip. Delicious.
Next up was Molly Dooker’s The Boxer wine with Kathy’s peanut butter cookie–a good pairing, as all the others had been throughout the evening. I’m not much of a peanut butter cookie person, though, and shiraz is always touch-and-go for me, so this was probably the least memorable pairing for me. (Which isn’t to say that I still didn’t enjoy it!)

My ultimate favourite came near the end with the Taylor Fladgate Port and breakfast cookie pairing. The breakfast cookie had a nutty flavour that went brilliantly with the heavy sweetness of the port. Together, they were a beautiful pairing with hints of cinnamon throughout.

Finally, we paired a glass of RumChata with a ginger snap cookie and enjoyed the combination of milky sweetness with the gingery bite of the cookie. I thoroughly enjoyed this pairing and thought it was a brilliant end to a great tasting event–akin to a glass of milk and cookie before bed time.

And with that, we were all stuffed to the brim with excellent sweets and drink. Ryan and Kathy provided a unique experience that takes a daring spin on the traditional wine pairing event. That risk paid off with a number of perfect pairings and a room full of convinced tasters. I’m looking forward to seeing what Baseline Wine and Confetti Sweets will come up with next!

Baseline Wine
11 Athabascan Avenue, Unit 172
Sherwood Park, AB T8A 6H2
(780) 449-4448

Confetti Sweets
41 Broadway Blvd
Sherwood Park, AB T8H 2C1
(780) 570-5080

Cavern

Serving up delicious espresso-based beverages with local chocolate fixings, charcuterie boards made with a variety of cheeses and cured meats, and liquor to delight everyone (wine, scotch, bourbon, port, cognac), Cavern is a revelation in everyday coffee shop gastronomy.

Cavern is a next generation coffee shop. Similar to (the dearly departed) Roast, the cafe offers not only amazing coffee, but a variety of beautiful food items and lots of liquor. Lovely, lovely liquor.

Found in the basement of Phillips Lofts on 104 street, Cavern is a small (i.e. four 4-top tables and a small bar) but beautifully well-kept cafe that specializes in one of my favourite things in the world: cheese. The restaurant sells retail cheese along with a light menu for brunch and lunch that features some excellent cheese board and charcuterie options.

Featured cheeses include anything from Spanish manchego, to the Cheesiry’s lavender pecorino, to British cheddar. Cheese-lovers will find much to rejoice in at this particular location – pair your favourite cheese with a hearty latte, a glass of malbec, or mini chorizo. Whatever you like.

It might sound like a regular cafe/diner/cheese shop to you, but there are several things that make Cavern really stand out above the rest.

First, they’ve built a partnership with JACEK Chocolate in Sherwood Park and have utilized this partnership to expand their menu offerings. Guests can order a hot chocolate made from JACEK chocolate, or a mocha – a latte that comes with a chocolate JACEK spoon for you to stir in. You can order a cheese and JACEK Chocolate pairing for nibbles. You can buy JACEK Chocolate bars at the till.

Secondly, I’m a fan of nice bathrooms in restaurants. It’s that small, unexpected touch that can really impress me about a place. Cavern’s individual bathrooms are a work of art in white marble and shiny brilliance. They’re just lovely.

As for food, I’m convinced. I ordered a Charcuterie for One, which included two cheeses or meats. I selected the prosciutto di parma and the brie de meaux, and paired them with the Don Rodolfo malbec. Beautiful.

The charcuterie came served on a lovely slate cheeseboard with a handful of almonds, figs, cranberries, apricots, and pears. On a separate slate board came half of a baguette and a delicious jam, both of which were spectacular when combined with the brie.

The prices are reasonable at Cavern, too – $16 for a Charcuterie for One, which is enough for a light lunch, and $8 per 6 oz glass of wine. You can get a fresh baguette sandwich for $11 and a UK-inspired brunch of baguette, cheddar, fruit, and accompaniments for the same price.

All in all, Cavern won’t break the bank, but it’ll definitely tantalize those taste buds.

Cavern
#2, 10169 104 Street
Edmonton, AB T5J 1A5
(780) 455-1336

 5/5