A frequent member of our Best Overall list, Uccellino continues to impress with every plate. Its informal atmosphere provides the perfect setting for you to truly savour the ingredients — I pause after almost every bite. For a prime dining experience, make a stop at every section on their menu. Start with crostini and marinated olives, share a rich, creamy pasta — the obvious star here — and finish with the smooth and light chocolate budino (think Italian custard). You’ll have a truer and finer Italian dining experience than the cast of The White Lotus had at that hotel restaurant. — Matthew Stepanic
Downtown | 10349 Jasper Ave, Edmonton | 780.426.0346 | corso32group.com/uccellino
RGE RD is, no surprise, packed, even on a cold Wednesday evening. The dinner-only restaurant has been a favourite of Edmontonians since opening in 2013. Chef Blair Lebsack and Front of House Manager Caitlin Fulton have created a comfortable, casual space and a short but substantial menu featuring beef, pork, elk, bison and Arctic char.
The ethics of food production are as important to RGE RD as the quality of the meals. The restaurant emphasizes local, small-scale producers and the use of the entire animal, meaning there is an appetizer called “questionable bits” and a variety of butcher’s cuts offered at different price points. As our server says, a cow is not entirely composed of striploins and T-bones.
RGE RD is known for its multi-course, blind-tasting adventure known as the “road trip,” which features everything from farm classics to modern and experimental dishes. Another highlight is the “kitchen board” appetizer, a selection of meats, cheeses and pickles highlighted by the house-made boar sausage. — Michael Ganley
Westmount | 10643 123 St NW, Edmonton | 780.447.4577 | rgerd.ca
Whether you head to the south side location or the St. Albert spot, you have a choice: Do you and your party decide to go for the entrees, or do you share a bunch of the hefty starters? The menu may call them “starters,” but it’s best to see them as sharing plates. Whether you go for the mains or for a bunch of smaller plates, you’ll see that Chef Andrew Fung cherry picks favourites from a variety of global cuisines — it’s hard to really pin down XIX’s menu. But, whether you go for the sesame and hot-sauce combo in the Korean Fried Cauliflower, or the mussels served in a sauce of cream, gorgonzola cheese and chili, you’ll see there’s a global culinary tour happening on your table. With Wagyu Beef Ricotta Gnocchi, Coconut Salmon and Hoisin-Glazed Beef Short Ribs all on the menu, your biggest problem of the night is deciding what to order. Luckily, XIX serves one of the best takes on the Old Fashioned in town, so you’ll have something to sip while you decide. — Steven Sandor
Mactaggart | 5940 Mullen Way, Edmonton | 780.395.1119
Oakmount | 150 Bellerose Dr #104, St. Albert | 780.569.1819
A common refrain I hear from anyone who’s dined here is you need to try the Gnocchi Parisienne (they’re like eating scrumptious little clouds!). Oh, and the Fried Chicken Skins. Oh, and the list goes on, and no one’s ever wrong in their recommendations. Order at least five dishes for a pair and savour them in this modern dining experience. — Matthew Stepanic
Downtown | 10228 104 St NW, Edmonton | 780.420.0192 | bundokyeg.com
Yes, this north-side community hub takes its place amongst some of the most notable chefs in town. For sure, it’s not a common thing for a mom-and-pop place to go head-to-head with the places that get lots of headlines, but, Turquaz Kebab House is no ordinary spot. Our judges keep mentioning this place not just as having the best kebabs, but being one of the best places to eat in town. Sure, you could choose to eat at any of the chain-restaurant spots on 137th Avenue — but why would you, when you could enjoy a platter of beef, chicken or lamb? This is a place that offers the best of the Middle East, in the north. — Steven Sandor
13310 137 Ave NW, Edmonton | 780.476.4511 | turquazkebabhouse.com
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This article appears in the March/April 2023 issue of Edify