Five Pork Dishes To Try On Zinc’s Tapas Tuesday Menu

Looking for some inspiration for date night in the capital city? The Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton is free to explore on Tuesday & Wednesday evenings, and Zinc Restaurant is making the experience even more desirable with their new Tapas Tuesday menu.

I recently had an opportunity to check out the new Tapas Tuesday menu along with some other Edmonton food bloggers and the dish that had everyone talking was Chef David Omar’s Pretzel bun Bear and The Flower Farm pulled Alberta pork sandwich with coleslaw, red onions, mayo and pickles for just $4. They even made a special gluten free version just for me.

Here are five pork-packed dishes to try on Zinc Restaurant’s Tapas Tuesday menu:


  1. Pretzel bun Bear and The Flower Farm pulled Alberta pork sandwich with coleslaw, red onions, mayo and pickles
  2. Grilled chorizo sausage on a demi baguette, with sauerkraut and Dijon mustard
  3. Bacon roasted wild boar terrine with butter poached onions, foie gras, Dijon aioli and onion jam

    Photo courtesy of Linda Hoang
  4. Escargot with chorizo, shallots, green peas, sweet potatoes, gorgonzola, cream reduction and baguettes

    Photo courtesy of Eating is the Hard Part
  5. Grilled romaine lettuce with Parmesan croutons, maple bacon, fried capers, preserved lemon, and confit garlic emulsion


In case that doesn’t get you hungry, you can also check out Linda Hoang’s and Chris’ Eating is the Hard Part recaps of Tapas Tuesday at Zinc Restaurant for more inspiration.

Zinc Restaurant is located inside the Art Gallery of Alberta on:
2 Sir Winston Churchill Square
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
T5J 2C1

Edmonton’s Downtown Dining Week March 10 – 19, 2017

Downtown Dining Week: March 10 – 19, 2017

Pork and wild mushroom Vol au Vent at Zinc Restaurant

For the next ten days, over 30 of Edmonton’s downtown restaurants will feature two-course lunches for $15, three-course dinners for $28, or an Executive dinner for $45.

The event is the perfect opportunity to treat your taste buds to a variety of flavours throughout the downtown core, but without breaking the bank; I look forward to Edmonton’s Downtown Business Associations annual Downtown Dining Week each year.

For a full list of participating restaurants and menus visit the Downtown Business Association’s website. This year there are loads of options for those of us who have a passion for pork. I’ve created a hit list of restaurants featuring pork dishes you won’t want to miss:

Zinc Restaurant’s Chef Dave Omar is featuring a pork and wild mushroom Vol au Vent

$15 Lunch

Atlas Steak & Fish
Chopped Canada winner Chef Shelly Robinson is serving up spaghetti carbonara made with Josper smoked pork belly, garlic, parsley crumbs, Grana Panado, and a poached egg at Atlas Steak & Fish in the Edmonton Ice District.

Zinc Restaurant
Zinc Restaurant’s Chef Dave Omar is featuring a pork and wild mushroom Vol au Vent with bechemel and pickled Saskatoon berries on his Downtown Dining Week lunch menu.

The Free Press Bistro
For a dose of comfort food, head over the The Free Press Bistro for their BBQ pulled pork sandwich pressed on ciabbata bread and served with house potato chips.

$28 Dinner

The Common
Chef Jesse Morrison is offering a braised warm cabbage salad with bacon on his $28 dinner menu at The Common. This dish made an appearance on their recent Swine & Dine menu in January and it was delicious!

$45 Executive Dinner

Crash Lobby Bar
Chef Nathin Bye is at the helm of one of Edmonton’s newest restaurants – Crash Lobby Bar. For the executive menu, Chef Bye is introducing diners to his Brussel sprout & bacon dish featuring Moroccan spice fried chickpeas.

Chef Larry Stewart is serving a heritage pork chop at Hardware Grill

Hardware Grill
Chef Larry Stewart is sharing his love of Alberta pork on his executive menu at Hardware Grill by featuring a heritage pork chop white bean Cassoulet with bacon.

Chef Alberto’s Prosciutto Affumicato at Sorrentinos

Madison’s Grill
Start your three-course dinner at Madison’s Grill off with the duet of pork – hickory smoked jowl with braised cheek paired with spicy blackberry gastric & chipotle tossed frisee.

Chef Alberto shares his house-made smoked ham wrapped around honey melon pickles and layered on a crostini at Sorrentinos Downtown. The Prosciutto Affumicato is availailable as a starter on the three-course executive dinner.

The Marc
Over at The Marc, Chef Bryan Cruz is featuring an organic pork chop served with smoked paprika spaetzle, lettuce greens, garlic, and espelette oil.

Normand’s Bistro
Warm your belly with a winter duck ragout with braised pork belly, mashed potatoes & vegetables at Normand’s Bistro located in the Citadel Theatre.

Pop in to Share at The Westin where the downtown dining week executive menu features a Bear and the Flower grapefruit beer brined pork chop with corn and chorizo fricassee with braised Alberta wild rice, and citrus honey glazed heritage carrots..

Check out Chef Lino’s take on surf and turf at Sabor with a Valenciana paella made with chicken, pork, seafood, saffron rice, and vegetables.


Sabor’s Valenciana paella made with chicken, pork, seafood, saffron rice, and vegetables.

Chef Omar’s Braised Pork Shoulder with Pomegranate Molasses Sauce

Chef David OmarYou may have noticed that pomegranates have started to make a more prominent appearance in grocery stores, that’s because the season is typically October to February. The unique fruit flavour was featured by Chef Dave Omar who featured a braised pork shoulder with pomegranate molasses sauce at Zinc Restaurant during Alberta Pork’s June is Pork Month promotion.

For this recipe you don’t have to worry about the challenge of de-seeding a pomegranate, because Chef Omar makes things easier by sharing his recipe for pomegranate molasses which uses the juice and not the seeds. (If you aren’t up for that, pop by the Italian Centre for some pre-made molasses).


Braised Pork Shoulder with Pomegranate Molasses Sauce
Chef David OmarRecipe courtesy of Chef Dave Omar, ZINC Restaurant

3 lb piece Alberta pork should (trimmed of silver skin and excess fat) and cut into 2 pieces
½ Tbsp toasted fennel seeds
3-4 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
1 large onion (1 lb), peeled and sliced
3 cloves garlic
2 bay leaves
1 cup white wine
2 cups water
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
¼ tsp black pepper
½ tsp kosher sale
¼ cup cold pressed canola oil
4 cups beef stock
2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses*

Rub pork (delete Alberta) with spices and canola oil and allow to rest in fridge for one hour. Heat a large sauté pan and sear all sides of the meat. Place into a deep oven-proof dish. Add carrots, onions, wine and water. Cover with parchment paper and foil. Braise at 300 F for 3 hours, or until pieces are fork tender. Carefully remove pork (delete Alberta) pieces to a parchment lined baking sheet to cool.

Remove bay leaves and puré the braising liquid. Add stock and pomegranate molasses. Cook for 25 minutes on medium heat.

Serve with roasted baby potatoes and a good hearty bread to make sure you get all that beautiful sauce.

Serves 6

*Pomegranate molasses is available at the Italian Centre Shops, or make your own using Dave Omar’s recipe.

Pomegranate Molasses (makes 3 cups)

7 cups pomegranate juice
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed Demerara sugar
½ cup lemon juice

Place all ingredients into a heavy pot and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugars. Reduce heat to medium

Recap: Swine & Dine YEG at Zinc Restaurant

On Sunday May 24, 2015, Chef David Omar hosted Swine & Dine Edmonton’s first ever brunch at Zinc Restaurant. Located in the Art Gallery of Alberta, and with a glass wall giving way to a view of city hall and Churchill Square, I think Zinc is one of the most beautiful rooms Edmonton to have a meal. 

IMG_4903While past Swine & Dines have had a start time with all diners digging in at the same time, we switched things up and allowed Swine & Diners to book their own table anytime during the regular Sunday brunch hours of 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. I organized a table of 14 for the occasion – finding friends who want to indulge in an all-Alberta-pork brunch was not difficult. 


When we arrived Chef Omar allowed me to have a sneak peak in the kitchen where he was carefully dunking slices of bacon in chocolate in preparation of our dessert course.


An assortment of pork-packed pastries had just come out of the oven when we arrived. 

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The smell of bacon, fig, strawberry and orange tarts, bacon cinnamon buns and croissants filled the kitchen.

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When I mentioned that it looked like someone had taste-tested these bacon cinnamon buns, Chef Omar confessed it was him. 


There is no room for plain pastries for a Swine and Dine brunch at Zinc Restaurant – instead patrons were treated to these caramelized pear, bacon and nutmeg croissants. 

IMG_4910The pastries course was complimented with root beer bacon butter and blackberry jam.

FullSizeRender (14)Sadly, this gluten-free girl couldn’t indulge in the bacon-packed pastry course, but Chef Omar did make me a plate with the bacon, fig, strawberry and orange tart filling to be enjoyed with crisp bacon bits, blackberry jam, and a selection of cheeses from the traditional brunch menu. It was delightful!


The pastry plates from my table of Swine & Diners were sent back to the kitchen licked clean. 

IMG_4919Next up was the entree – a generous serving of Paradise Valley free range Alberta pork belly atop a white bean ragout, gala apples, onions, horseradish, and Saskatoon berry syrup and topped with a fried egg. Sweet and savoury – I let my egg yolk drip over my plate before polishing it off.

IMG_1156To finish our meal we indulged in a bite of maple bacon crème brûlée topped with candied pork rinds and served with a crisp piece of chocolate dipped bacon. With just one bite I knew that a Swine & Dine brunch was a great idea. 

Even though we were stuffed, Chef Omar brought out an extra plate of chocolate dipped bacon; it disappeared immediately.

Chef Omar and his culinary team produced an amazing three-course meal for our first ever Swine and Dine brunch. Zinc’s regular brunch menu is full of delicious pork dishes, you can visit them inside the Art Gallery of Alberta at:

Zinc Restaurant 
2 Sir Winston Churchill Square