Murrieta’s Bar & Grill
10612 Whyte Ave.

Rating: *****
Dinner & drinks for 2: $100

In my six years of restaurant reviewing, there are a few places that have repeatedly drawn me back. For a special occasion, the West Coast-inspired cuisine of Murrieta’s Bar & Grill is always guaranteed to please.

Its impeccable service and delightful Pacific Rim wine list are just overkill.

On this visit, I started with an herb-crusted fried Brie ($13.39).

A crisp exterior hid its gooey molten interior as I attacked it with my crostini. A sip of my tart, tannic Punto Final Malbec ($8.12) perfectly balanced the weight of the cheese.

My 12 oz ribeye ($29.78) arrived under a luscious roasted garlic Béarnaise sauce.

I savoured each sliver of the tender cut, and alternated with bites of my mixed greens salad and crisp sautéed vegetables.

Whether a glutton for punishment or simply a glutton, I decided to forge ahead with the macadamia nut and peanut butter mud pie ($9.13) under a warm rum caramel sauce, which was exactly as sinfully sweet as it sounded.

My only issue with Murrieta’s is the main dining room: its vaulted ceilings seem to collect and amplify the din of conversation.

It is perfect for a boisterous meal with friends or a business round of drinks, but if you want a quiet space for a romantic tête-à-tête, ask to sit in the bar area.

Dining out

Dinner and a movie
On Sunday and Monday nights, visit the Elephant & Castle in Edmonton Centre. For just $18.99, enjoy a classic English pub dinner and receive an Empire Pass to see the latest flick at the theatre that can be found just outside the restaurant’s doors. I don’t know about you, but a roast beef-stuffed Yorkshire pudding with rich gravy and a pint sounds like perfect dinner-and-a-movie date fare.

Fighting to find a better place to party
Free beef on a bun, drink specials and wings for $2.98 a pound plus a second Tito Ortiz and Forrest Griffin match-up in a pay-per-view UFC fight. If this sounds like paradise, call 780-436-1950 and prepare to pay your $10 cover when you show up at the Gateway Sawmill location at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Latest From ...