Wildflower Grill – Downtown Edmonton

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We were most excited to try Wildflower Grill because we had heard some amazing things about this restaurant. Our first impressions were good ones. The decor was inviting and warm. However, for a grill, it was a bit more formal than expected, but we were quite ok with that. With a higher price point and more of a formal environment, we were treated with service that passed our expectations. After ordering, we were given Amuse-Bouche to start, which consisted of grilled salmon, feta cheese, and roasted peppers. All I could really taste was the feta cheese and a heavy dose of cumin spice. We did not really enjoy it.

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Amuse-Bouche – Salmon, feta, roasted peppers

But, then came the fresh baked Brioche with a side of sea-salted butter. They could have done without the measuring cup, but we very quickly let that go because the brioche was amazing. It was fresh, hot, moist, fluffy, buttery, and just melt in your mouth – basically all of that good stuff that just makes brioche amazing. Hands down the best brioche we’ve ever had.

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Fresh Baked Brioche

We ordered 3 appetizers and 1 main to share, mostly because we were more interested in trying different dishes, but also because the mains did not really appeal to us as much as the appetizers. Our first appetizer was their famous braised beef short ribs. The two very large pieces of braised short rib were melt in your mouth good. They had a very strong beef flavour. You can tell they use very good quality Alberta beef. The reduction and celeriac puree together with the beef gives the beef a sweetness that brings out even more of that beefy goodness. A very delicious appetizer.

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Braised Beef Short Ribs – celeriac puree, port demi glace & white balsamic reduction

Our next dish was the Cioppino. After visiting San Francisco and having the Cioppino at Taddich Grill, I was craving for another one just as good. Surprisingly this one delivered, but in a different way. As opposed to Taddich Grill, which stuffed their Cioppino with loads of seafood, this one used a very conservative amount of seafood – only a few small pieces of salmon, 2 shrimp, and a few mussels. The flavour of the broth however, was absolutely amazing. The broth was a very rich tomato based broth that tasted like it took hours to prepare. Flavours like fennel, tomato, fish and italian spices realy made the broth very tasty. The seafood was very fresh, but again, lacked in quantity. But really, the star of this dish was that wholesome broth.

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Cioppino – salmon, prawn, clam, mussel, charred tomato sauce, fennel

Last to arrive was the mushroom ravioli. The dish comprised of ravioli stuffed with a puree of three mushrooms, on a bed of asparagus, topped with a creamy peppercorn truffle oil sauce and shredded cheddar cheese. On our first bite, the fragrant and rich truffle oil kicks in with the flavourful peppercorn sauce. The ravioli are loaded with mushroom but unfortunately, the mushroom flavour just wasn’t as prominent as we had expected. The sauce itself is very good, but that is all that you really taste. For a mushroom ravioli, we expected more of a mushroom taste. The dish was good, but could definitely be improved.

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Three Mushroom Ravioli – truffle, smoked applewood cheddar fonduta, asparagus, piave vecchio

Now onto our main course: The Bison Tenderloin. The bison was very tender and moist. The outside crust was not that noticeable so you don’t get that crunch with the softness that you get with a really well grilled steak. However, the bison was very tasty. The blackberry sage reduction and the butternut squash puree complemented the bison very nicely as the reduction was fruity  and the puree was salty, making the dish sweet and savory. It was another very well prepared dish by Wildflower Grill.

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Peppercorn Herb Crusted Bison Tenderloin – fig & chanterelle bread pudding, butternut squash puree, blackberry sage reduction

Wildflower Grill is more than just a grill. They are a very refined and unique restaurant in Edmonton that puts out creative, top-quality, delicious dishes that really impressed us. Everything was intricate and detailed in their preparation and presentation. Their quality really justifies their high prices. It was a real treat dining here tonight.

Service: 4.5/5
Food: 9.4/10
Atmosphere: Grill, Formal
Price: $40-60 per person

Wildflower Grill at the Matrix Hotel on Urbanspoon

~Thomas

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