Gorgeous view showcasing Edmonton’s downtown and high-level bridge; The Butternut Tree opened its doors in early August 2017. I heard about this place long before it opened so I was very eager to try this place. It also took a lot of contemplation whether or not to post this blog review since every single person seemed to have raved about them positively. We came here around October 2017 but I never posted this until now.
My boyfriend and I made reservations to dine here for our anniversary on a quiet Saturday night. We were greeted by the hostess who sat us to the table right in front of the door. I requested for a different table, possibly one that’s deeper inside the restaurant or if there’s even one next to the window. There were at least 10 other tables open, but the hostess said they’re booked for a later reservation before quickly dismissing us and walking away. No apology, suggestions, or saying it was a requested from the other 10 reservations.
Now, after working as a hostess for over a year, I know a thing or two about the seating system. We used to say that to guests when we’re either too lazy to change seating rotations, or simply refusing to satisfy a guest; however, reservations should always be a top priority for better tables. I also didn’t realize it’s mandatory to request a table that wouldn’t be right in front of the door.
Despite the initial poor service, we hoped the food will make up for it.
Broccoli to start as recommended by our server. Oh, and, our server didn’t tell us anything regarding the dishes that wasn’t already described on the menu, so every description will be from the menu itself. The server seemed quite unknowledgeable with the menu when I asked how it was cooked or how it tasted. Anyways, this is a pork belly with “pickled garlic scape under a bed of cereal grains, and topped with a soft boiled duck egg.” The pork belly and egg was delicious. Only downside is how unevenly salted each element was. It was either salty or bland.
This seem to be one of their most popular dishes and I can see why! Look at how beautifully presented it is. Apples, crabs, herbs, and smoked crème fraîche all under a rye tart. When food looks better than it tastes. Traditional rye bread should have a sharp sour taste; however, the rye tasted burnt and bitter. The crab was dry and hard to swallow. The whole tart also fell apart before grabbing a piece off the plate.
Haida gwaii halibut with squash ragout, onion parsley pesto, braised leek, and lobster mushroom. Although I’m normally not the biggest fan of mushrooms, these mushrooms were the star of the meal. Meaty, dense, and nutty. The halibut was a little dry and didn’t flake right off the fork. Again, some parts were under-seasoned while others were overly salted.
My boyfriend got the bentley bison duo. There’s a small serving of lentils, carrots, cauliflower, and topped with a Saskatoon berry jus. Although the bison was a little dry, it’s understandable as buffalo meat is naturally a leaner cut with lower calories and fat. There was a seasoning problem as well. We just can’t justify this plate being a whopping $44 for such a small portion.
Dessert is always a must. This was also recommended by our server. We had a tough dilemma from getting the plums or berries, and didn’t want to risk another poor dish. The plums came with honey meringue, oat crumble, and a scoop of ice cream. Tart, sweet, and crunchy.
Also, this was when I just started posting live reviews on my Instagram snap story. I overheard the employees talking about it right behind me and laughing when I wasn’t enjoying my meal. This created a very poor and hostile environment. I didn’t even want to go to the washroom since all their eyes were already on me. Can’t see us coming back anytime soon, or ever. The service was mediocre at best and the food quality didn’t make up for it. They probably improved since the last time I gone (which was around October) since they won many rewards, but I’d spend my money elsewhere.
It’s also amazing to see how much I’ve improved and became comfortable with my blogging since then. I was embarrassed about the live stories before, but if that were me now, I’d own up to it and tell the owner that the service is complete garbage. I’ve never had such a negative experience at a higher end restaurant.
The Butternut Tree
9707 110 St NW #101, Edmonton, AB T5K 2L9