Saturday, October 1, 2011

Jasper Getaway 2011, Day Two: Evil Dave's Grill

Happy birthday to my amazing husband - he was the inspiration for the selection of our restaurant dinner selection. And it's not because he shares the same name but because we dined there two years ago by random chance. And we still talk about the meal we had!

I booked a reservation - absolutely necessary in the "high" season and likely a good practice in the off season. It is casual but still likely a step above most places and, I'd like to add, it is kid friendly. They have a super kid's menu and one day, I hope to take TroubleMaker there with us.

So, we entered already knowing it was going to be fabulous. And thankfully, we were not at all disappointed!

We started with an appy and a couple of cocktails. I had the Mother's Ruin, my hunny had the Perfect Storm and we'd selected the Holy Cow for our starter.

Holy Cow - that's all I have to say! The green onion cakes were fabulous - not a bit heavy or greasy and the soft inside was lavishly complimented by the banik like crunch of the outside. The beef was butter knife tender with a soft garlic taste. The chili aioli was outstanding!

The cocktails were great - my husband reported the Perfect Storm as one of those dangerous drinks - it didn't taste like alcohol and it could quickly and easily multiply! The Mother's Ruin hit the spot - but I'm a Bombay Sapphire fan to begin with.

For dinner, I ordered the Nefarious chicken. The breast of chicken is encrusted with a panko Parmesan breading, served with sauteed season vegetables presented on a bed of sour cream chive mashed potatoes. Drizzled with a sweet chili sauce and topped with fresh fried tortilla strips.

My husband had the Diabolical Tenderloin (petite). It was a four ounce Angus beef tenderloin served with sauteed vegetables on the same bed of sour cream chive mashed potatoes. The steak was topped with a pico de galo and a peppercorn demi glace. Also added, but not listed, were fried onion straws.

Both meals were perfect.

The chicken was tender, amazingly tender. The breading was light - almost not even there but it had a unique and pleasant flavour. Dipped in the chili sauce and it became a flavour explosion! The vegetables were tender crisp and the potatoes were good - albeit lumpy (I'm not a fan of lumps in my mashed potatoes). The vegetables lacked a little something - they were fresh enough (although we both agreed the carrots tasted a bit "old") and cooked just fine but with the devine chicken they were being served with, they could have been a little more innovative. The potatoes were good - but again, a little more flavour would have been welcome. And the lumps - not distracting from the rest of the meal lumpy, but a smooth whipped may have been more suitable.

The steak, ordered "medium", was just slightly under cooked for my husband's liking - but he ate it as it was because it was very good. He didn't care for the carrots but liked the potatoes. The onion straws and demi glace were absolutely the best compliment to the tender beef.

We each had a glass of wine (his red, mine white) that again only worked to enhance the amazing flavour combinations.

Dessert was a must.

He ordered the Mousse Head and I had the Cheesecake.

I seriously think I died a little death and went straight to heaven when eating the cheesecake. It was a Skor cheesecake, sitting on a bed of drizzled chocolate and caramel sauce, topped with whipped cream and Skor bits. It was simply the best dessert I'd ever eaten. I'm drooling just thinking about it!

The Mousse was a decadent white chocolate mousse layered with an all natural blueberry compote. He loved it and reported it was light and creamy and all the good things such a dessert should be!

We rounded off the meal with a couple of coffees and enjoyed the atmosphere.

The restaurant isn't very large and from certain points, you can see into the kitchen - which gives you a good view of the happening food magic. The decor is fun - all plays on "devil" like themes - devilish masks, fire place TV's, candles and hits of metal. It's dimly lit but creates a romantic and intimate dining experience. its busy and bustling but a refreshing retreat. Windowed well, a panoramic view of the mountains is always available.

The serving staff is light, friendly and helpful. They are attentive, but not "in your face" and it is evident they are proud of the the food they serve.

Our dinner, including wine, cocktails and dessert was $140 before tip. Some may consider it pricey but service, food and ambiance of this caliber is absolutely worth every cent. I would dare to say a finer restaurant could not be found in Jasper National Park. Chef Nicole Langille, owners Cyndi and Mike Day and their staff make Evil Dave's Grill an amazing, fun and real dining experience.

Out of five stars, we give Evil Dave's Grill:


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