Two Birds With One Stone

Hope you’re all doing well. Long weekend!!! WOOT WOOT!!! I’m going to have to do two posts in one today. I wanted to post one this morning but didn’t have the time. Don’t worry, there’ll be lots of pics and very little talking. On Wednesday we had dinner plans with our friends Nancy and Frankie. Okay I’m going to have to do a little complaining first. We were going to go to a restaurant called Sofra but when Nancy tried to make a reservation they said they don’t accommodate to children under 10 years old. I was SOOOO NOT impressed when I heard that. I mean I’ve heard of dogs not being allowed into restaurants (which I don’t know if I totally agree with) but children??? You’ve gotta be kidding me!!!  Until they change that policy, I will never step foot into that restaurant. Actually even if they do change it I don’t know if I would still go. So there’s my rant, thanx for listening. On with the post.

We decided on the Cactus Club Cafe in West Edmonton Mall.

I couldn’t get a good picture of the inside but it’s very nicely decorated. I didn’t want to disturb anyone’s dinner with flashes from my camera. I don’t mind taking pictures of food but when I have to take a picture of the restaurant and there are people i the shot, I like to respect their privacy.

We started with some crispy yam fries with garlic aioli.

These yams were super tasty and not oily at all. Perfectly crispy on the outside.

Our second dish was the tuna tataki -seared albacore tuna, green papaya slaw, orange, avocado, pine nuts, yuzu vinaigrette 

Another great dish! All the ingredients complimented each other so well that when we were finished, there was not one strand of papaya left on the plate. Delicious!

On with dinner. My hubby had the raincoast greens – grilled chicken, avocado, tomato, feta, egg, pecans, seasonal berries, lemon-thyme vinaigrette. Instead of chicken he asked for salmon. One of the most beautiful salads I’ve seen. I had a bite and it was YUMMS! (and I’m not a salad girl) Don’t know why he ordered this cause if you know Gary, you know how much dude can eat. I know my friends can back me up on this one.

Nancy recommended the butternut squash ravioli. I trust her taste in food so I took a glance at the description and decided to go with that.

pan-seared scallops butternut squash ravioli – truffle beurre blanc, amaretti, pine nuts and crispy sage

Holy moly! Best ravioli I’ve ever had! There were deep-fried mint leaves on top of perfectly seared scallops. The only complaint I had about this dish was that I wish it was bigger. Great recommendation Nancy!

Nancy’s husband Frankie had the four mushroom steak – 9oz certified angus sirloin with shiitake, portabello, button and crimini mushroom demi.

And Nancy had the short rib sandwich – caramelized onions, beef jus and emmental cheese on toasted sourdough.

For dessert we had a chocolate peanut butter crunch bar – with tahitian vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce and crunchy chocolate pearls.

And a white chocolate cheesecake – dark chocolate crust and the sweet in-house made mixed berry compote, topped off with a chocolate fudge sauce.

Needless to say, both desserts were spectacular. I’ve been to the Cactus Club before and every time without reservations cause by the time we tried to make some, they were already all booked so we just went with first come first serve and waited. I’d have to say, they are definitely worth the wait. If you haven’t tried this restaurant, take a look at the menu here . This is definitely one of the tops on my Edmonton restaurants lists. Nancy was extremely generous and paid for our dinner. Thank you dear! Next one is definitely on me!

On with post #2. Today we had dinner at my parents’ house again.

That’s my mom cooking up this dish. It had shrimp, snow peas, oyster mushrooms, wood ear, and celery (my least favorite veggie but I’ll still eat them).

Next it was my turn. After seeing this razor clams recipe on Denise’s blog I had a craving for razor clams but couldn’t find them. So I went and bought some normal clams and made two dishes with them.

A stir-fry clams in black bean sauce. You can definitely add red chili to this but I left them out cause of my kiddies.

Then I tried stir-frying another batch with fish sauce. I liked the black beans recipe better. I think this fish sauce dish would have tasted better if I added some lemon grass.

My mom also made a seafood soup for dinner.

Here’s everything all together.

Because this is the MOMoirs of a Food Enthusiast, I gotta include my kiddies. After dinner when it came time to go home, someone wanted to stay and play longer. He was not very happy.

Gary had to step in and work his magic. Good job hun 🙂

Well there you have it, two posts in one. Are you still here? If so, thank you. I hope you all have a great long weekend. Do you celebrate Easter? What is your favorite dish to make for Easter?


20 Responses to “Two Birds With One Stone”

  1. 1 Jessie April 2, 2010 at 3:34 am

    Haha, I guess we both don’t like celery! Looks like you cooked up some delicious food at your parents’ house 🙂 Your poor boy! I’m glad he felt better with a little airplane action. (I just noticed that your tagline is MOMoirs of a Food Enthusiast – I like it!)

    That’s so silly about the restaurant not allowing kids. If they’re that snooty, I don’t think they deserve your patronage anyway. Looks like the restaurant you choose was fabulous! Were the scallops actually embedded in the ravioli?

    • 2 luvtoeat April 3, 2010 at 1:02 am

      i like the tagline too. one of my good friends actually helped me come up with that tagline. i think it does well in explaining what my blog is exactly about.

      no, the scallops were just sitting on top of the ravioli. although it does look like they were embedded in there eh?

  2. 3 Stella April 2, 2010 at 6:31 am

    Hey, dinner at your parents looks so much better than the restaurant (to me at least). I’ve been meaning to make Denise’s razor clam recipe too-looks delicious.

  3. 4 eatspinlive April 2, 2010 at 12:49 pm

    I am sorry about the restaurant mishap! Your sweet potato fries look DELICIOUS though! And the desert is definitely amazing looking too 🙂 And I love the idea of seafood soup!

  4. 5 Roti n Rice April 2, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    I like dinner at your home 🙂 As for the restaurant, the squash ravioli looks pretty good.

  5. 6 Lele April 2, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    Oh wow I desperately want to try your appetizer from last night! Two of my favorite things on earth are green papaya salad and seared tuna salad- why did it never occur to me to combine them?!

    • 7 luvtoeat April 3, 2010 at 1:06 am

      haha, sometimes the obvious is right in front of your eyes but you don’t see it until someone else invents it huh? i always see such great ideas from people and wonder, “duh, why didn’t i think of that?”

  6. 8 whydeprive April 2, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    I LOVE the yam fries at Cactus Club!! Theyre amazing arent they?
    Also, so is that chocolate peanut butter crunch bar. Now I want to go there for dinner instead of cooking tonight. Hmmm . . . I wonder if the boyfriend can be convinced?

  7. 10 Ameena April 2, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Cactus Club sounds and looks delicious. I love sweet potato fries, I assume yam fries are the same thing, right?

    Thanks for the great info on public schools. I feel a lot better after reading everyone’s great suggestions and opinions. I was feeling like a terrible, cheap parent but I now realize I was just succombing to the LA mentality. Sometimes I need my good Canadian friends to give me a dose of reality. I love Canada!

    Have a great weekend!

  8. 12 denise @ quickies on the dinner table April 2, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    Aww…LeQuan! Thanks for the mention and the link back – you are a sweetheart! I’d really love to have dinner with your family – you guys seem so warm and there’s always tons to eat 😀

    Now Sofra should be taken to task! What outmoded thinking! I’ve had my share of such pompous establishments and I’m glad you’re making a stand. Shame on them!!

    Glad that you did manage to have a fabulous meal at Cactus Club though 🙂 I am just a teeny bit jealous – haven’t gotten out much lately 😦 Love the tataki, that ravioli with scallops, the rib sandwich! Oh and the desserts!! Definitely one of the best restaurant meals I’ve seen online! YUM!!!

  9. 13 denise @ quickies on the dinner table April 2, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    Oh! I meant to say, “Happy Easter!” Hope you and your family have a great one this Sunday 🙂

  10. 15 Cindy Aguilar April 2, 2010 at 10:48 pm

    Happy Easter LeQuan!! Your Ravioli looked sooo good!! And the dessert ohh boy, you make me hungry!! I love how you and your Mom cook together, my Mom and I do this also, I love it, great times. Your little one is adorable!

  11. 16 luckytastebuds April 3, 2010 at 11:01 pm

    SO many delicious looking meals. I have to say though, your mama’s cooking looks more tasty to me than a restaurant meal!! *drool* I’m not celebrating easter the usual way…i made shrimp dumplings today and it’s delicious!! :0)

    I totally have chicken powder that I use er…all the time in my cooking too! SO good…must be the mSG factor. heheh

    • 17 luvtoeat April 4, 2010 at 11:31 pm

      ooooh shrimp dumplings are so yummy. actually shrimp anything is so yummy. Yeah total msg, but I prefer to use that over salt if i can cause it adds a bit more flavor (don’t know if that makes sense).

  12. 18 A Canadian Foodie April 6, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Happy Easter to you, too!
    The dinner at your parents house looks WAY better than the one ate Cactus Club, and was definitely more economical. That kind of cooking I would like to whip up like your parents seem to!

  13. 19 Can You Stay for Dinner April 6, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    This meal looks absolutely delicious! I love your eating style and philosophy. I feel like you’re so balanced in your appreciation and ability to eat the foods that you crave. I would have ordered the same things as you. The ravioli look unbelievable! And oh wow, the desserts were what really really did it for me! Chocolate bar cake sounds to die for!

  1. 1 Two Birds With One Stone « luvtoeat | Make your pets food Trackback on April 2, 2010 at 9:34 am

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