Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Accent European Lounge Edmonton - Great place to grab a bite or beer with friends

Photo  courtesy of accentlounge.com
Rating: 8.0/10

Have dropped by several times over the years and the menu and staff are consistently wonderfuls.  Step into a dimly lit european bar with heavy dark tables, some bench seating, and usually packed with happy patrons.  They have great european fare that you can wash down with a wide selection of beer and alcohols.  Plain, simple barfood is definetely not seen. 

the DRINKS
Along with the aforementioned wide variety of international beers, Accent is probably also one of the few places in the city to try absinthe the traditional way.. drizzled over a sugarcube thats skewered onto a special fork, set on fire and put out with some water!  For the unintiated, absinthe is a licoricey-anise flavored pale green spirit made with wormwood - a mild hallucinagen, and no it won't make you blind or kill you unless you're stupid (Like with all alcohol, I shouldn't have to tell you to drink responsibley).  Despite it being banned in many countries after it was vilified years ago, its making a slow comeback in bars and lounges all over the world.  And it has the ooooh-ahhhh factor when the staff torch your absinthe soaked sugarcube thats affixed to the fancy fork. The staff are nice and will tell you the wild history of absinthe if you ask.



the FOOD
Appetizers
The beef carpaccio is always sliced so thin, light can be seen through it, so it simply melts on the tongue with bright notes of pepper, salty parmesean, and smooth olive oil.

The steak tartare has been one of my favs... the best one in the city i.m.o.  Hand ground steak gives it a surpringly smooth and sometimes chunky texture.  Flavored with a small amount of spicy peppers, diced sweet onions and other secret spices, its a bundle of flavorful balanced complexity served on warm pitas and rye bread rounds.  The serving size is very generous and can double as an entree. You can share as an appetizer, but I'm not sharing... nom!


The hummus, brushetta, and smoked salmon appetizers are also very toothsome, but I always tend to go back to the well executed steak tartare.

Entrees
The weiner schnitzel - medium thick breaded crust with tender, moist meat inside, fried to perfection.  Best served dunked in the French Mornet sauce.. yum.
The Classic French Mornet consists of several medium chunks of seasoned chicken cooked in a velvety, sinfully rich cream sauce with portabello mushroom bits and notes of white wine and parmasean cheese.  The sauce is liquid gold.
The Aussie rack of lamb is rubbed with rosemary, and I suspect marinated in a barrel olive oil prior to roasting, as its super tender and has a very mild gamey flavor.

Dessert
I've never had room to try dessert, so sadly, I have no idea if they even have a dessert menu - I suspect they do.


the VERDICT
Quibble - sometimes sticky tabletops (sorry, big turnoff), so rating is 8/10.  With a relaxed atmosphere, courteous service, hearty and consistently well executed food, its no surprise Accent is pretty packed every night, so plan ahead and make reservations.  Its well worth looking for that golden parking spot in the Whyte Ave area to settle in for a great meal and beer here.

Accent European Lounge
Address 8223 104 Street Edmonton
Phone (780) 431-0179
Hours varies, check website
Accent European Lounge on Urbanspoon


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