Cross-posted from Calgary is Awesome.
Thanks to my brother for re-schooling me in the Rule of Thirds.
Mama T's birthday was a few weeks ago and she picked the new Redwater Rustic Grille at Aspen Landing as her birthday dinner destination.
Squeezed in between two clothing stores in the open air mall, the restaurant looks small at first, but once you go in, you immediately descend a flight of stairs into the spacious dining room. The space is dimly lit and elegant, with dark wood finishes and red and black accents. Large windows overlook a gorgeous [fake] lake. A "private room" sits in the centre of the restaurant, and I say "private" because the walls are made of glass! A fairly large group was dining in there and they looked like they were having a good time.
Although it was only a Thursday night, the restaurant was super-busy and it only got fuller as the night went on. Luckily for us, my mom had made reservations using OpenTable.
Redwater is known for its extensive wine list, but unfortunately my parents are essentially teetotallers, so I can't really comment on that.
After placing our orders, dinner was kicked off with the usual bread and a creamy brandy butter flecked with peppers, giving it just a bit of heat.
We didn't have to wait *too* long before we got our appies - my brother and I shared the Margarita Lime Chicken Tacos ($9), which were smoky and messy, though I wished the tortilla chips would've been a little crunchier.
My mom gave us her Roasted Tomato and Corn Soup ($7) as she'd been hoping that there would be more corn than tomato. It had a hint of "southwestern" spice, making it a good match with the tacos.
My dad had the Iceberg Wedge Salad ($17). Instead of the usual iceberg wedge and blue cheese dressing, this one also came with tomato wedges, a smattering of red onion and bacon, sauteed baby shrimp and a black pepper lime dressing, topped with some fried wonton wrappers.
We had to wait a while before the mains arrived; this was the situation with dessert as well - just when I was about to mention how long the food was taking, the servers would come. If I'd known I would've said something sooner!
My brother and I both weren't feeling particularly hungry that evening, so we shared their smallest piece of meat - an 8 oz beef tenderloin ($35). All of their entrees come with one of three sauces, as well as your choice of two sides. The restaurant was nice enough to split our entree onto two plates, and charged us $3 for double the amount of vegetables.
For sides, my brother chose grilled white asparagus, while I chose the dill and honey roasted golden beets and carrots. The asparagus was ok, a bit woody in some parts, which is completely understandable given that it's September (and not spring). I really liked the beets and carrots - sweet and earthy, very seasonal. We ordered our steak rare as that's how my brother likes it. Even though I usually like my steak medium-rare, I enjoyed our tenderloin as it wasn't bloody or too raw in the middle. The garlic poblano butter that we chose as our sauce was a nice complement.
My dad and sister both ordered the half-rack of lamb ($35), which looked very tender and juicy. My sister shared a bite of her mashed potatoes, which were creamy and buttery.
My mom ordered their Field Mixed Greens ($9) with an additional side of seared ahi tuna ($7). This was a springy salad with curls of carrot and beet, crunchy pumpkin seeds and a sweet strawberry peppercorn vinaigrette.
For dessert, my sister chose the Chocolate Temptation Platter - a choice of two chocolate desserts for $9, or all four (flourless chocolate cake, chocolate mousse, chocolate ice cream and chocolate mint crème brûlée) for $18. My sister got the chocolate mousse and chocolate mint crème brulée - both were very rich and chocolatey.
I ordered the lemon tart ($9), which was served with a scoop of crème fraîche and honey ice cream.
Unfortunately it wasn't anything special - the lemon curd in the tart was ok, but the crust had no flakiness or crumbliness at all; it was a little on the soft side. I did enjoy the ice cream - the tanginess of the crème fraîche was front and centre, with just a hint of sweetness.
Overall I felt that my experience at Redwater was like the lemon tart - ok. The food was good, but nothing special, and the relatively slow service didn't help either. Coincidentally, some of my fellow food blogger have been at Redwater's Macleod Trail location - feel free to take a peek at Wendy's and Jen's experiences.
Redwater Rustic Grille (Aspen Estates)
114 - 326 Aspen Glen Landing SW
Calgary AB T3H 0N5
Open for lunch Mon-Fri at 11:30 AM, dinner every day at 5 PM. Online reservations available.