Optimistically Cautious

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Setting the Bar Low: Four Rooms Restaurant

Armed with an Entertainment Book coupon and low expectations, May and I headed to Four Rooms Restaurant (137 Edmonton City Centre) on Friday night.

After an overly negative experience in my high school days (involving rock-hard bread and food not remotely memorable), I was hesitant to return. But with a sweetened incentive of a 2-for-1 meal, and proximity to our second destination that evening, I was willing to give it another try. Lately as well, I had been reading about their popular Cosmopolitan Supper Club, a monthly concept event that offers dishes based around one ingredient or theme. Thus, I was hoping Four Rooms had improved since our last visit.

At around 6:15pm, May and I walked into the restaurant, greeted by four staff members who were standing around in the lobby casually chatting. Not a crime, but certainly not a good sign from a restaurant that, based purely upon location, should have been doing brisk business from the after-work and holiday shopping crowds alone. It turned out we were the third party in the dining room, though I did notice that the back room lounge contained other patrons as well. We were efficiently seated at a table along the wall, a thoughtful choice from the host who noted that the banquet would allow for ample space for our shopping bag.

The menu was more extensive and interesting than I could remember, though again, May and I were hard pressed to recall what we ordered the last time (keeping in mind that the selections had more than likely been overhauled since 2001 anyway). Though there were a few tempting selections, I ended up with the Marsala Bison Kafta ($13.50) - Bison Kaftas & mushrooms in a Marsala cream sauce tossed with linguine pasta - while May ordered the Banana Curry Chicken ($16) - grilled free range chicken in a Madras curry sauce with onions, bell peppers, yams and sweet potatoes.

When our server delivered our two dinner rolls, I couldn't tell whether or not they were fresh or not. I could, however, nitpick that they were of the 25 cent variety available at your neighbourhood Sobey's. Slicing into it, they were thankfully fairly soft, albeit a little cool to the touch.

Our dishes arrived fairly quickly, and on first glance, appeared quite small. By the end, however, between the meat and the pasta, I felt like the quantity was just about right. Perhaps due to my underdeveloped palette, the kafta, crafted from ground bison meat, tasted like a pan-fried Ikea meatball. The pasta, on the other hand, was superb. The sauce was creamy and sweet, with the only downside being that there wasn't more of it to go around. May said her dish was all right, though she would have preferred a more generous serving of chicken, and could have done without the out-of-place bananas.

As meals go, this wasn't half bad - service was good, and the food was reasonably priced. Of course, it was difficult to be objective given that we had set the bar so incredibly low. I may be back, but I wouldn't go out of my way for Four Rooms.

Banana Curry Chicken


Marsala Bison Kafta

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5 Comments:

Blogger Vitality said...

It looks like they give you more food than what I got last time I was there a few months ago! I saw Marty Reasoner a few days ago at Delux; he's got a bit of ego going. Check out this store I went to in SF: http://www.williams-sonoma.com/

December 2, 2007 at 12:03 PM  
Blogger Gravitas said...

Yikes, they must have given you an "appetizer" portion, eh?

Did you try to say hi to Reasoner?

Ah, Williams Sonoma. They have a location in Calgary's Chinook Mall. Perhaps the goods will be less expensive with the exchange down in the States!

December 2, 2007 at 6:10 PM  
Blogger Vitality said...

I ordered the salmon and it came with beets. It was about $20 so not worth the cost.

No, but I could tell he was looking to see if I'd recognize him before we went into the restaurant.

I also went into a Crate and Barrel. I'm sure there'll be many interesting stores you can shop in :)

Great Festival of Trees pics!

December 3, 2007 at 7:21 PM  
Blogger Gravitas said...

Thanks! Did you go to the Festival this year?

December 3, 2007 at 10:23 PM  
Blogger Vitality said...

This was the first year in about 7 years that I didn't go. I used to bring the kids every year but now they are uninterested and I'm not that keen either. But looking at your pictures it was as if I was there :)

December 4, 2007 at 10:40 PM  

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