I think David and I can agree that our visit to Madison’s Grill in downtown Edmonton can be summed up as “over the top” good!

We were celebrating David’s fantastic Great White North half triathlon finish in Stony Plain, Alberta with a special tasting menu dinner. It’s a lovely restaurant, in the Union Bank Inn, with a vintage fine dining feel.

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We chose the six-course tasting menu option, with wine pairing, and it was a really original experience. We started with a glass of Cava and piping hot poppyseed and raisin bread served with poppyseed/lemon butter and salt to sprinkle on top. The lemon notes were lovely with the Cava pairing.

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We knew we were in for something different when the braised duck with peppers, yam and beet puree arrived as our first course. It is unusual to start with something like duck, paired with a red wine (pinot noir in this case). The wine from The Brothers Geisen winery in New Zealand was especially good, and its peppery and strawberry notes were fantastic with the duck (cooked to perfection).

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Our second course was when we started to realize the servings were all fairly close to entree size. Our fresh salad of greens with shaved vegetables, feta, strawberries and prawns with a poppyseed dressing was quite large. It was an interesting choice to move from a heavier duck course to a light salad, paired with another Giesen wine – this time a refreshing Riesling.

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As our server brought out the third Giesen wine, a Sauvignon Blanc, we realized we were new fans of this New Zealand brand.

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The Sauvignon Blanc was dry with hints of citrus and lightly floral grapefruit notes, and was a perfect pairing to our dish of slightly seared tuna with watermelon, grilled peaches, apple and a balsamic glaze. This light dish was quite wonderful at the mid-point of our menu.

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Another fish course came out for our fourth course – my favourite fish halibut with tomatoes and a dill-spiced fresh orzo. I absolutely loved this dish, paired with a Chardonnay from Washington State.

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As we rounded the corner to the fifth and main entree dish, we both realized the generous portions had now completely caught up with us! The Australian Shiraz-Cabernet-Malbec wine was a deep and bold pairing with the absolutely delicious braised short rib with corn, peach chutney and a purple gnocchi. This was probably our favourite dish of the night, so full with flavour, but we were so full by this point we couldn’t finish. Which was a real shame (and our only critique of the night). It’s hard to say that too much is… too much… but that was the case for us.

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We ended the night with a Gheringer Brothers ice wine from BC, and a (thankfully) very light chiffon cake with fennel ice cream.

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We both highly recommend Madison’s Grill for a special night out in Edmonton. The service was impeccable and the food/wine was spot on. If you are going for a tasting menu, our advice would be go for the three course option and completely enjoy all that the large portions have to offer!

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