The Red Piano
West Edmonton Mall
Signature Dish: Blackened Salmon ($28)
“Theme” restaurants come and go, but I have never seen one so devoted to the idea of spectacle as The Red Piano. More accurately, the red pianos, since the two spotlit red baby grands face each other on a circular dais in the centre of the restaurant.
Unfortunately, they were unattended on our early Valentine’s Day celebration and we instead gazed around at the luxurious — if slightly scuffed —New Orleans-inspired décor of Canada’s first Cajun bistro and duelling piano bar. I had decided to skip the terrific wine list in favour of a California Dreamin ($7) cocktail of absolut, OJ and soda — which I found a little heavy on the soda. The menu was a Cajun marvel, from alligator to jambalaya, with prices in keeping with West Edmonton Mall’s Bourbon Street.
My mesquite-smoked wild boar loin was infused with notes of sweet apple, though a little expensive at $33.50, while my beloved enjoyed most of her over-sauced shrimp scampi ($24.50). We ended with classic French Quarter beignets ($10), which were delicious, piping hot square doughnuts piled with icing sugar.
I have no doubt that the stunning lounge is a piano-fuelled delight, and the food was quite good. However, The Red Piano needs to remember to show a different face during the day if it is serious about attracting Edmonton’s dining public, especially for a romantic Valentine’s Day meal
10 year anniversary
The Century chain (Century Grill, Lux, delux, Hundred) celebrates 10 years of grilling with the redesigned Century Room: they aim to provide the evolution of lounging on Edmonton’s south side. House DJ Nic-E spins on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays while patrons snack on locally-sourced, modern comfort foods with a twist. 3975 Gateway Blvd.
A Taste of Persia
On Tuesday, enjoy Sabzy’s Persian cuisine, drink specials and unlimited use of their hookahs. Their “green gourmet culture” spot on Whyte and 104th offers legendary beef, lamb and chicken skewers in a warm, exotic space. Enjoy the food and toke away on the flavourful hookahs for dessert. For more information visit www.sabzy.net.