{Chef’s Tasting at The Living Room, Sunfest & Riverwalk and Macarons}

I can’t believe the long weekend has already come and gone. To recap, we started it off right on Friday night with a six-course Chef’s Tasting Menu for two at The Living Room (courtesy of a gift certificate I won through where.ca).

And since we were indulging, we decided to add-on the wine pairings to complete the dining experience.

We were seated right next to the cozy fireplace on the patio and clinked our glasses of Alize Mango Passion spritzers to celebrate the end of a busy week.

Served with our amuse bouche, the chef’s take on “bacon and eggs” – a crostini draped with a crispy slice of prosciutto surrounding a sunny side up quail egg and purple basil. It was like a sophisticated two bite breakfast.

Our next course were these beautiful medallions of yellow fin tuna, seared to perfection (the server said the curing process is what gave the tuna its brilliant ruby red colour) and served alongside a mango, cucumber, pepper relish and a lightly dressed arugula salad. We had this with a refreshing and fruity chardonnay.

Our third course was a golden and crispy quail, served on a bed of spring pea and bacon risotto and a dollop of tangy goat cheese. The quail practically melted in your mouth and paired beautifully with the creaminess of the risotto. Served with a dry and crisp white wine.

Next up was our palate cleanser, a lovely strawberry basil sorbet served in a martini glass. So incredibly smooth and bursting with sweetness, it was like biting into the ripest and juiciest strawberry you’ve ever tasted. I could have easily had 3 or 4 more of these..

To finish off the savoury entrees of our meal, filets of tender muskox atop a mound of  thick and cheesy polenta and a morel mushroom demi glace and tendrils of garlic scapes….

This. Dish. Was. Amazing.

I’ve never had muskox before, a lean meat with a slightly gamey flavour, kind of reminded me of bison. The full-bodied and earthy flavours of the morels really complimented the muskox. Served with a bold red wine (a Malbec I think..) Dee-lightful.

To finish off our meal, we ended with a decadent and silky chocolate creme brulee, encased in a crispy golden sugar crust and plump black cherries. Served alongside a tiny glass of maple syrup infused whiskey.

We’ve always had exceptional meals at The Living Room and Friday night was no exception. We definitely recommend splurging on the chef’s tasting menu with the wine pairings on a special occasion. 

The Living Room | 514 – 17th Avenue SW  |  Reserve online or call 403.228.9830


The next day, I hit the gym bright and early for a 2 hour session of cardio classes. By the time I was done, I was famished, so we stopped by a place we’ve heard a lot of buzz about lately, Holy Smoke Barbeque and Smoke Pit located in the SE industrial area on Manhattan Rd. Lucky for us, a short 5 minute drive away from home 🙂

The menu is simple and straight forward, specializing in ribs, brisket, pulled pork and comforting sides.

We both went with their regular sized pulled pork sandwich ($5.49) , topped with a mound of crispy slaw in between a fluffy white bun. The sandwich comes “unsauced” which allows the customer to choose from their wide range of housemade sauces – I went with the honey garlic and a smidge of their mama’s hot.

This sandwich had the perfect ratio of bread to meat. The bun was fresh and light and really let the pulled pork take center stage. The meat had just the right amount of smokiness and was tender without being dry. Perfection.

After reading some online reviews, I HAD to get a mini loaf of cornbread ($1.49). Yes folks, it definitely lived up to the hype. Buttery, slightly sweet with a crisp golden exterior. Um…yea…I could eat a tray of these.

And of course I always end a meal with a sweet, so I picked up one of their buttery pecan tartlet (which was just ok. The crust was pre-bought – like a tenderflake). They also offer buttermilk tarts which looked intriguing.

The boy opted for a small bowl of their Chili Con Carne. Thick, hearty, smoky and filled with generous chunks of meat. This would be a HUGE hit at the Stampede or to warm up to on a cold winter’s day.

The boy was still hungry after his sandwich, so he went back in to try their beef brisket sandwich, equally delicious and as tender as the pork.

Washed down with an old-fashioned fizzy Pop Shoppe  pineapple soda. Very retro.

After filling our bellies, we walked it off and took in the gorgeous sunshine strolling down 9th ave to enjoy the Inglewood Sunfest – lined with various street performers, vendor tents and tasty food.

They even had a pie eating contest every hour (pies made by Inglewood’s Wild Grainz Bakery). It was quite the sight watching the kids frantically dunking their heads into the pies and coming up with their faces covered in a big blueberry mess.

The festivities continued down the way in East Village to the newly opened riverwalk, where they were celebrating the grand opening of the new pedestrian and cyclist pathway connecting to downtown.

It’s so nice to see this whole area being revitalized 🙂 Sure makes my morning runs a lot more pleasant and less shady.

After hours in the sun, we cooled down by heading down to 17th to grab a nice cold glass of my favourite summertime beverage, the carrot apple ginger juice at Meet (the casual lounge part of the vegetarian restaurant, The Coup).

While nibbling on batons of oven baked rosemary yam fries dipped in their crazy addictive signature sauce, their miso gravy.

On Sunday, I headed out for a sweaty 24km training run. I’ve really got to start leaving the house around 7 or 8am instead of my usual 9am cause it gets WAAAAY to hot out by the time I do my turnaround. But I was reading in this month’s issue of Runner’s World that running in the heat could be beneficial to my training. Plus its way better than running in -30C, so I really shouldn’t complain..

After a light lunch, I made a quick stop to Yann Haute Patisserie for one of my Parisian favourites, a croissant aux amandes.

And a box of assorted macarons (one of each flavour) to bring to a family BBQ. The flavours included: hazelnut, salted caramel and apples, blackcurrent & violet, lemon, rose lychee, PBJ, 70% chocolate, strawberry, pistachio and coconut & chocolate.

Looking at this picture brings blissful memories of Paris. Speaking of which, I am thinking of returning to the city of lights next April to run the Paris marathon..

5 Responses to “{Chef’s Tasting at The Living Room, Sunfest & Riverwalk and Macarons}”
  1. Tatiana says:

    Sounds like a fantastic weekend – the Living Room dinner looks wonderful, and I’m glad you made it to Holy Smoke – definitely worth a summer lunch. I am quite excited to check out riverwalk – we used to live in Inglewood around 2002-2003, in fact my grandmother and father still live there, and it was a much seedier area back then. Not that I minded, it was colorful and fun, but the bike rides towards downtown were a bit sketchy at times. I think I’m in the area on Sunday, will see if I can check it out then.

    • Yes!! It was your post that got me craving that lunch at Holy Smoke, and your’e right. That cornbread was the BOMB!

      We’ve lived in the Inglewood area for the past three years and its even cleaned up quite a bit in the area in the past couple years. The riverwalk is so nice cause its a lot less busy than Prince’s Island (and not swarmed by Canadian Geese). They’ve got funky sun chairs to chill out on too all over so you can sit back and people watch too 🙂 Apparently there is a restaurant opening up in the old building around there too, can’t wait 🙂

  2. Tatiana says:

    Thanks – and to trade inspriation, I’m going to Wurst tonight based on your fantastic review. I’m already craving that duck appy you talked about. 🙂 Have fun at Piq Niq too – it’s been fantastic when I’ve been there, although that was several years ago now.

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