Restaurant Yarrow’s constantly evolving menu doesn’t make it easy to pick a favourite dish, especially because it might not be there at your next visit.
Created by local chef Ben Staley, the Queen Mary Park restaurant is his latest offering to Edmonton’s fine-dining scene, and the follow up to the wildly popular Alder Room, which closed in 2018.
Like its predecessor, Yarrow straddles the line between high-end eats and conceptual dining. Any given evening at the restaurant is a three- to four-hour dining experience featuring just 10 guests, the chefs and a locally-sourced tasting menu that changes with the seasons.
“Since the menus are not released in advance of each dinner, there is a sense of excitement as each plate is delivered — something I have not felt at any other restaurant,” says Danny Ross, business manager at the Edmonton Arts Council.
It’s a night spent with Staley, his team, a few friends, 20 to 25 tasting plates and an intimacy that was a hallmark of pre-pandemic life.
“I appreciate that Yarrow relies on ingredients that are sourced or foraged locally,” Ross says. “And I love hearing the stories of how a dish comes to be, at the chef’s table, directly from the chef.”
Yarrow has since launched the French bistro pop-up, Ceci N’est Pas Yarrow, in response to the pandemic, but luckily for Ross, his favourite item hasn’t been cycled off the menu just yet.
“I love the Jersey milk ice cream with maple syrup,” Ross says. “We often stop by for take-out ice cream to keep us happy between quarterly dinner visits.”
Over the better part of a decade, the 25 Best Things to Eat feature was a summer staple for Avenue readers. Edify keeps the spirit of that program alive in 2021; we will feature the food picks of prominent Edmontonians throughout the spring and summer. Keep checking the food section at EdifyEdmonton.com for weekly updates to our Best Things to Eat recommendations!
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