Little touches make big meals memorable.
Gini‘s is celebrating its 24th year of serving French food in Edmonton – not bad for a restaurant that sits in a strip mall perched on a traffic circle.
While the location is unassuming, the rich creations from chef Mark Gjini have helped make the restaurant a survivor in the fickle fine-dining scene, even with so many headlines earned by new, trendy downtown spots.
There are little touches that make the dishes memorable – such as using herbed, mashed rutabaga as a side rather than potato. The rutabaga has a nice balance between potato-earthy and squash-sweet to make for a side that deserves some recognition.
Each day, the restaurant features a unique omelet. On the afternoon of our visit, spinach and kale were stuffed inside the eggs.
And the light cream of the smooth wild mushroom soup highlights the fungi, though there aren’t any big chunks. It’s a subtle start to the meal.
The stand-out entres? The filet mignon is flambed in cognac, giving a really unusual-but-tasty floral feel to the meat. And Gjini doesn’t skimp on the peppercorns. When the kick of the peppercorns and meat come together in one dish, there isn’t anything like it in the city.
The flambed shrimp is served in a curry sauce that’s subtle enough to allow the sweet taste of the protein to come through.
Finish it off with a poached pear: The fruit is soaked in white wine and grenadine. It comes out of the kitchen looking more like a red plum than a pear, and is served with whipped cream and chocolate sauce. (10706 142 St., 780-451-1169)