Recap: Swine & Dine at Alberta Hotel Bar & Kitchen
It had been a few months since our last Swine & Dine Edmonton and I was itching to get a summer edition in before I headed out on vacation, so I reached out to Chef Spencer Thompson at Alberta Hotel Bar & Kitchen, who quickly accepted the challenge of a three-course all Alberta pork menu. When I invited my friend and Edmonton blogger Linda Hoang to join she asked if this Swine & Dine could be an unofficial ‘Lindork Bday Swine & Dine.’ Since Linda likes to celebrate her birthday for weeks on end – how could I say no?
If you haven’t been to the Alberta Hotel Bar & Kitchen, it is a beautiful space with loads of natural light thanks to the safe facing windows on Jasper Avenue. Every Monday they offer a three-course family style menu for $28, often posting the menu on social media the day before. Chef Spencer decided on a plated dinner for our Swine & Dine but kept the $28 price for our Monday night event.
Our first course of the evening was a house-cured guanciale salad topped with a sous vide 63 degree egg, Sunrise Gardens Greens, and guanciale vinaigrette. Guanciale is an Italian cured meat or salami product prepared from pork jowl or cheeks. The fancy word was lost at my table as we renamed the dish a bacon salad. But I mean this house-cured guanciale tasted like the most incredible bacon. My friend Marc described it as – the best salad he’s ever had. It was salty and paired perfect with the sous vide egg and greens. Honestly – I wish Chef Spencer had made it family style because i’m sure I could have eaten a whole bowl.
Next up was our main course – an Irvings Farm Fresh Ltds pork chop, paired with rhubarb jam, beets and greens, potato pave, and hazelnuts. The pork chop was cooked perfect – juicy and full of flavour. When chef Spencer visited our table at the end of the evening he shared that the chop had also been sous-vide prior to grilling, a technique that helps keep chops juicy. He modestly brushed aside our compliments believing you can’t really screw up a chop from Irvings Farm – the pork is just that good.
Finally for dessert we were treated to a horseshoe shaped chocolate ganache layered on dulce de leche and topped with bacon ice cream and market berries. The combination of chocolate with the caramel flavour of the dulce de leche and the saltiness of the bacon ice cream was a hit for me. All of the plates at our table looked licked clean and a few of us longed for another scoop of bacon ice cream.
A huge thank you to Chef Spencer and his team for hosting Swine & Dine Edmonton at Alberta Hotel Bar & Kitchen. The menu was beautifully presented, full of flavour, and if possible, I would order each of those dishes again if they made it to the regular menu. Chef Spencer is certainly a fan of Alberta Pork – visit Alberta Hotel to try more dishes off their regular menu at: