Published Jan 3rd, 2013

By Steven Sandor

Fish and Chips?

Chef Andrew Fung pushes the culinary envelope

Photography by Curtis Trent
Photography by Curtis Trent

Former head chef of the Blackhawk Golf Club, Andrew Fung, opened Nineteen along with the club’s majority owner, Al Prokop. The name is a throwback to their beginnings — golf-course lounges are often referred to as the “19th hole.” 

Located on Rabbit Hill Road, the restaurant is in an airy, open space at the end of a strip mall. It may not be smack dab in the middle of downtown, but it’s well worth the trip. Buttery leather couches and the adjacent lounge suggest you’re in a spot that isn’t too stuffy, but the creations from Fung’s kitchen are pushing the culinary envelope in the city.

For openers, Fung takes a Latin American classic, ceviche, and turns it on its ear with Asian influences. Sliced ahi tuna and sweet scallops are served in ponzu sauce and a wonderful wasabi pea foam, which is really more like a cream. The heat from the wasabi, the saltiness of the crackers and the sweetness of the fish create a decadent and perfectly balanced appetizer.

For mains, Alberta pork is served in multiple ways on one dish: a braised pork belly, alongside two tenderloin medallions and a ring of crisp pancetta. Or, for something a little less fatty, Atlantic salmon is drizzled with a sweet ginger sauce and miso above a bed of arugula. And though, even in the dining room, you can see sports on the big screens in the lounge, you never lose the feeling you are having a special experience.

Worth the drive to the south side? Absolutely. (5940 Mullen Way NW, 780-395-1119, dinenineteen.com

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