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July 18, 2011

Out and About: Culina Mill Creek

From the Culina Family's finest and most popular offering, Culina Mill Creek! A quaint place located just beyond the heart of Old Strathcona, Mill Creek delivers an intimate dining atmosphere as well as a cozy spot to relax after a long day! Plus, making a reservation at Culina is a snap - just look up your preference on OpenTable and presto! As a heads up though, to those of you considering this location, Scona Road (the easiest way to get there) is currently closed until November 2011 -- seems like Edmonton is constantly under-construction! -- so your best bet will actually be taking Saskatechewan Drive up until you reach 101 St. and then turning off to 89th Ave for the last two blocks! I, myself, had quite an interesting detour trying to get there from Connors Road (one particularly bad lapse in foresight) which ended with epic failure... seriously! Just a little tip =)

As the night was already getting on by the time we arrived... Seriously, it was Connors Road, not my fault! ...okay okay, we were like 30 minutes late but with some calling ahead, Culina was very willing to work with our reservation time to make sure we wouldn't miss it! For that, I have a hearty thank you! But enough distractions, back to the food! Because of the time, we decided to forego the whole appetizers shebang and just dive straight into the entrees. Make sure you don't forget to check out their specials though!

Overall Score:
Culina Mill Creek on Urbanspoon
What’s IN: Spring Creek Ranch Beef Sirloin (Blue Cheese & Chocolate Sauce!)

Lamb Leg: Well done. In terms of the cooking done-ness and the quality of the dish! I would definitely say that having the meat at well-done gave it a tougher texture - you'll have to use your teeth on this one - but it's still filled with flavour (a bit fatty) and a touch of spice! The sides were also good - the leek veggies were delicious and mashed potatoes have never let me down!

Chorizo Sausage Stew: Up next, the sausage stew! First off, this dish is beautiful. The grill marks on the cornbread and the little wedges just make you want to gobble them all up! As for the meat itself, it looks like a chili and basically tastes like one too. The meat is reminiscent of a sloppy-joe - minced meat, bit spicy - but not the chunks of Chorizo sausage I was hoping for! It still is tasty though, just a little disappointing once you eat it: You get the whole "I could have done that" feeling.

Butter Poached Halibut: Another stunning dish to look at but that's about it. The fish itself is juicy but overdone and tough.  The seasoning does give it a little spunk though! Mushrooms - great flavour, loved them; potato hash.. not so much, average more or less! There is a marked wine taste to the dish as well in case you're concerned about that!

Spring Creek Ranch Beef Sirloin: Oh boy. Really loved the dish and the creativity on this one! Blue cheese and chocolate sauce. Just think about that for a moment. Will it even work!? Oh yes. And Mill Creek serves it up spectacularly! The flavours just mix and mingle in your mouth and neither seems to overpower the other. Even if you don't like blue cheese or if you think chocolate is a dessert-only no-no, they make quite the duet here and I think you'll find that you actually like the dish! Good seasoning and marbling on the steak plus solid sides round out a great meal! I'm so glad the boys thought outside the box on this one and it turned out so great!

Now desserts are always a tasty way to end the evening and tonight, we decided to go with the Pecan Pie (above) and the Cambozola Toast (below). If you're looking for a classical dessert then look no further. A warm pecan pie lined with crunchy pecans and a healthy dollop of ice cream and caramel running down the top awaits! Everything mixes deliciously: it's sweet, it's savoury, it's a traditional dessert that tastes good!

However, if you're feeling a bit more risque, then you can go for the Cambozola toast. It's radically different - for the Cambozola cheese, think blue cheese, and combine that with Dolce de Leche, think caramel, and drunken cherries and you have yourself an insane dish! Salty, sweet, I didn't know what to think then and I still don't know what to think! If you want to try it, go ahead but I also won't blame you for going with the pecan pie -- Both are equally tasty in their own right but I have a feeling more people will like the pie!

The Verdict!: 84/100

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