A meal at Three Boars is what you would expect of an autumn dinner with your trendy Amish neighbours. Your orders are set on platters from which the group can pick off their food, and the ingredients come straight from the field: Beef cheek, lentils, squash, quail, brussels sprouts, duck, oxtail. If the food was any fresher, you could have a conversation with it. And it’s conversation that’s made Three Boars as popular as a new restaurant could be. The way the meal is laid out stimulates dialogue and Three Boars’ notoriety spread, sans-advertising, with talk of succulent dishes like smoked olives, elk and boar terrine, or scallops with pickled kale that would be there one day and gone the next. There’s such a plethora of recommendations that “you have to try …” is practically its slogan. So, with that in mind, you simply have to try Three Boars.-Caleb Caswell
8424 109 St., 780-757-2600, threeboars.ca
By now, we’ve come to expect middling food when we’re out for drinks. Average-tasting burgers, sandwiches and frozen fries are unspectacular accompaniments to our pints and cocktails. But, at The Common’s new 109th Street location, bar food has been turned on its ear. Delicate lamb hot dogs, delicious herbed fries and the square umami burger are decadent. And, a pub that can finish your meal with crme brle topped with pop rocks shows that it can be both playful and excellent. Set down the microwaved nachos – you deserve better.-Steven Sandor
9910 109 St., 780-452-7333, thecommon.ca
Ironically, you have to drive to the far north side of Edmonton to get to East, which is located in an area dominated by fast-food outlets. But the Malaysian-Chinese fusion restaurant easily stands out by focusing on very unique dishes inspired by Kuala Lumpur street food from owner Richard Lim’s upbringing. Also the owner of Wildflower Grill and Lazia, Lim, along with corporate chef Nathin Bye, secured the help of several Malaysian cooks in the kitchen to create dishes like the butter prawns, which come on a flash-fried bed of sweet egg floss. -Caroline Barlott
16049 97 St., 780-457-8833, eastedmonton.ca
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