It serves gourmet meals with home-cooked tastes, thanks to locally sourced organic meat, some freshly plucked vegetables from its greenhouse and just-baked bread from the neighbouring Prairie Baker. When the sun sets, the view of Big Lake in Lois Hole Centennial Park is awesome. But once the food comes, it’s easy to refocus on a beautifully presented dish, possibly a beef tenderloin framed by seasonal vegetables and mushrooms, drizzled in espresso chocolate veal jus. –Caroline Barlott
101 Riel Dr., St. Albert, 780-651-7361, prairiebistro.ca
New at the helm, Christophe Ithurritze (featured on Discovery Channel’s Great Chefs of America) puts his internationally trained touches on an already popular menu that he’s transformed with such dishes as Marilyn crab cakes with lobster reduction and petite salad. And, as a trained pastry chef, his talents are displayed in the desserts. –C.B.
Whitemud Drive and Winterburn Road, Enoch, 780-484-2121, rivercreeresort.com
ZAIKA INDIAN BISTRO
Zaika has elegant decor and great service, yes, but the food is what magnetizes people to this deep south bistro. The focal point is the sprawling, circular buffet which, despite offering more than 15 items at once, always tastes fresh. Each dish has a distinct flavour that makes driving to the ends of the city seem feel like a walk in a park. –C.B.
2303 Ellwood Dr., 780-462-8722, zaikabistro.com