I discovered Alta couple months ago and it had easily became one of my favourite restaurants. All of Alta’s ingredients are locally sourced and carries a no tipping establishment. Their inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere. According to our server (and chef), the food is raw, preserved, or pre-cooked at cold to room temperature. Each dish is presented by the chef himself who can describe to you the finest details of every ingredient. You would never hear “I think” or “I’m not too sure”! We tried just about everything recommended on the menu. So grab a drink or snack while reading this, because it’s going be a lengthy review!
The interior has 30 seatings, the bar and kitchen are in the same area.
We started off with some drinks. The flora is a gin wild rose with sweet vermouth and aromatic bitter. It has a sweet finish after every sip. Our server sold us on the steep since it was one of their most popular drinks. It’s a strawberry vodka with rucolino and tisane. I could barely taste any strawberry, but it’s very sweet, almost resembling a long island iced tea.
The first dishes to come out were the sourdough & cultured butter, and unrip plums. Let’s start with these plums. According to the chef, these came in as rock hard, unrip, BC prunes. They had no idea what to do with them until someone mentioned how they looked like olives. It’s then cured and marinated for 4 months, then soaked in rye. They are dressed exactly like olives but sweeter. The sourdough bread is shaped like a ball. The meaning behind if is to break the bread apart, and give it to your loved ones.
The other recommendation was the charred romaine. I normally wouldn’t go out and order salads or greens because it’s easy to make at home, but this was a MUST. It’s a charred romaine topped with various seaweeds, fried garlic, hemp hearts, and spritz with horse radish water to balance out the acidity of the seaweed. This was one of my favourite dishes. It’s a balance of natural sweetness from the romaine and saltiness from the seaweed.
Okay, how amazing does this look?! (How can vegetables look this good tbh.) This light asparagus dish is emulsified with canola oil and topped with trout roe and walnut. The asparagus is cooked to perfection with a crunchy texture. The sauce almost resembles light hollandaise, giving it a sour note. The walnuts are caramelized which adds a nice sweetness.
The salmon is lightly cooked, paired with charred cucumber and fresh dill. It came out in room temperature with a cold buttermilk sauce.
The lamb tartare was the highlight of my night. The young pickled baby peaches are so young, they don’t have a pit, and if they do, it’s soft enough to eat. Half of the lamb is grinded while the other half is coarse chopped which gives it a different texture for each bite. It’s also topped with onion blossoms and served with regular potato chips.
There’s two methods of eating this: either eat the tomatoes as is with the bread, or mush everything together to create a stew-like consistency with the bread. We tried both methods, first eating the tomatoes as is, then breaking them apart. To be completely honest, I didn’t enjoy this dish as much as the others. The tomatoes were too sour and unripe for my liking, however, I’m usually not a fan of sour stuff in general. My friend enjoyed this dish a lot more than me!
For dessert, rice pudding with sake kasu and wild ginger root. I was intrigued with the aroma of wild ginger oil. The rice was imported from Grandin Island in Vancouver, and the sake ferment is lightly whipped into heavy cream. It was the perfect ending of the night!
FINALLY finished. Thank you all for sticking around to the end! It took me approximately 2 months to write this because we ordered too much food… Although the food portions are smaller than your typical restaurants, it’s quite filling since the food adds up! Alta definitely needs more publicity than it receives.
10328 Jasper Ave, Edmonton, AB T5J 1Y7