Alberta Primetime: Pop Culture Panel (April 17, 2014)

April 24, 2014

Recap: Behind-the-scenes cooking experience at The Fairmont Hotel MacDonald!

April 24, 2014

Recap: #yegfoodblog(gers) at La Ronde Revolving Restaurant

April 24, 2014
Alberta Primetime Pop Culture Panel (April 17, 2014)
Food bloggers/chef assemble!
La Ronde Revolving Restaurant inside Crowne Plaza Chateau Lacombe Hotel downtown.
La Ronde Revolving Restaurant inside Crowne Plaza Chateau Lacombe Hotel downtown.

La Ronde Revolving Restaurant inside Crowne Plaza Chateau Lacombe Hotel downtown.

On Tuesday, April 15, myself & a bunch of Edmonton food bloggers got together for an evening at La Ronde Revolving Restaurant! La Ronde’s Sherry Parker (@HotelGalYEG) invited us to check out the restaurant’s new “Tieless Tuesdays” after she saw tweets about the #yegfoodblogs tweetup at The Common that Maki & Marianne had organized in March.

Tieless Tuesdays! Live jazz fun at La Ronde.

Tieless Tuesdays! Live jazz fun at La Ronde.

Tieless Tuesday is new to LaRonde. It just began on April 8 and is a night of live jazz, signature cocktails, 1/2 price bottles of select wines and a special menu. It was a great night to get about 20 of us food bloggers and some significant others together!

La Ronde's in-house pastry chef Scott Parker and executive chef Stephen Chung!

La Ronde’s in-house pastry chef Scott Parker and executive chef Stephen Chung!

La Ronde’s executive chef Stephen Chung and in-house pastry chef Scott Parker greeted our group and sat down with some of the tables to talk about a bit of their history and what La Ronde is all about.

In-house pastry chef Scott Parker talks up La Ronde with Mike.

In-house pastry chef Scott Parker talks up La Ronde with Mike.

Chef Parker has been with La Ronde for more than a decade. He’s a traditionalist, who puts out classic, tasty desserts. Chef Chung is still new, and the current La Ronde menu isn’t actually designed by him ~ so I imagine we can expect some changes in the near future!

A bit foggy but still a wonderful view!

A bit foggy but still a wonderful view!

With La Ronde you’re not only going for a great dinner and service, you’re also going for the spectacular view. That night was quite foggy so the view was a bit muddled but it was still nice and a perspective on the city/river valley that you don’t get to see often.

Our group was given a set menu, with a few options for appetizer, entrees, and dessert. Check out some of the #foodporn below:

Seafood Trio (sashimi style tuna and chilled spiced scallops with marinated shrimp served on miso ice, wakame and tempura "crunchies"

Seafood Trio (sashimi style tuna and chilled spiced scallops with marinated shrimp served on miso ice, wakame and tempura “crunchies”

Escargot Vol au Vent - Saute of wild mushrooms, escargot and shallots in a cognac cream topped with arugula and hard cheese shavings

Escargot Vol au Vent – Saute of wild mushrooms, escargot and shallots in a cognac cream topped with arugula and hard cheese shavings

Alberta Rack of Lamb - Mustard and herb crusted rack of lamb, triturate of potato, Tuscan jus

Alberta Rack of Lamb – Mustard and herb crusted rack of lamb, triturate of potato, Tuscan jus

Deconstructed Beef Wellington - Sterling Silver Beef Tenderloin, mushroom duxelle, sauce perigueux, puff pastry trellis.

Deconstructed Beef Wellington – Sterlign Silver Beef Tenderloin, mushroom duxelle, sauce perigueux, puff pastry trellis.

Creme brule!

Creme brûlée!

Banana and mango bomb!

Banana and mango bomb!

Beautiful plating. Bright colours. Good food! I wasn’t a big fan of the wakame in the seafood trio but thought the rest was great, very fresh and flavourful. I loved the escargot (creamy goodness) and thought the microgreens, cheese and mushrooms were a great combination. You get a LOT of lamb in the Alberta Rack of Lamb, pretty solid quantity there, and the deconstructed beef wellington was tasty, though I prefer it non-deconstructed as the puff pastry just seemed like sort of an afterthought. I am not big on dessert and by the time we got to dessert I was pretty stuffed but I did love the banana mango sorbet. Tablemate Brittney wasn’t a big fan of the creme brûlée though I thought presentation was great! I have also tried La Ronde’s new lunch time offering and actually thought their dessert selection for lunch was quite good and varied.

If we’re talking price points – I’ve said it before and I would say it again, La Ronde is not cheap. You are paying a lot for the great view and experience of a revolving restaurant (fun fact: it takes 88 minutes to make a full revolution!) This particular night was complimentary (thank you La Ronde!!) so we didn’t see price points, though Lillian (@beyondumami) had asked to see a regular menu at one point, and noted that the rack of lamb was more than $40 so you are looking at more of a $30-$40 entree price range.

A great night at La Ronde!

A great night at La Ronde!

Overall the food was good and our service was fantastic. Our server was very friendly and attentive and the dishes came out in good time. The atmosphere was lovely. I really like jazz so I really liked the live jazz – though there were a couple of periods of music technical difficulties throughout the night that hurt the mood a bit. (Tieless Tuesdays is still new so working out kinks is understandable).

I love that La Ronde is trying new things – from a refreshed lunch menu to the Tieless Tuesday jazz night – in order to try and stay competitive, keep regulars and attract new customers. As Edmonton’s only revolving restaurant, it’s got a pretty big selling point already. The food is good – maybe not as great for the higher price points – but balances out when you consider you’re paying for revolving restaurant + spectacular views. They’ve undergone some management changes and with a brand new executive chef, I think we can expect some great changes from this Edmonton institution.

Something I heard from several bloggers was that they hadn’t been to La Ronde in years (for some, more than 10 years!) Tieless Tuesday is definitely worth checking out! As is La Ronde’s lunch. I’m very grateful to Sherry and the La Ronde team for hosting our group. I only heard great things during and after the night wrapped up. Great experience, great company. It was a really lovely evening!

Check out Teresa’s review here, Eva’s review and Cheryl’s review here!.

Linda

La Ronde Revolving Restaurant‎ on Urbanspoon

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