25 Prince's Island Park
Last weekend was Calgary's folk fest. If I had remembered that that was the weekend where hippies seize control of Prince's Island Park, I would never have gone to the River Cafe. But I digress. If you were not able to comprehend that second sentence I just wrote, River Cafe is located on Prince's Island Park in Eau Claire. Since the restaurant is located inside the park, it is only accessible by foot or non vehicular traffic. It's probably a good 5 - 10 minute walk just to get there. The things I do to eat delicious food...
I had the octopus bruschetta as my appetizer. Wood grilled octopus, lamb merguez (sausage meat) and marinated chick peas topped a slice of toasted baguette. There was a total of 2 slices for a whopping price of $13. Interestingly enough, it was not the most expensive appetizer at the table, that honor goes to my mom, who had a single scallop (albeit a large one) that cost $15... The octopus was decent. It's not as chewy as the steamed variety you get at sushi restaurants. The chick peas and lamb were really flavourful. I eat every last piece. Mostly because there wasn't that much.
For the entree, I had the spring salmon. Also known as chinook salmons, spring salmons are found the pacific ocean and are the largest of the salmon family. The filet is grilled over a wood fire and served over morel mushrooms, sea asparagus, a potato rösti and a bed of flower pedals with a goat cheese sabayon sauce. The salmon felt a little dry but other than that it was pretty good. On a side note, Is it just me or is this morel mushroom the hot new thing to be eating? The first time I had it was back 'round '04-ish... They look really weird but super tasty and very flavourful. Not to dissuade anyone from trying it but it looks kind of like a cow's stomach. Hmmm.
River Cafe is priced similar to Rouge but I felt that Rouge was a much better "deal". I use the word deal very loosely here because there are no deals to be had at either of these restaurants. The service was definitely a step down. Likely due to the number of people dining there that evening. Aside from explaining the features of the day, the server was non-existent for the majority of the night. The food took forever (Maybe that's why my salmon was dry...). It was definitely good enough to warrant a second try. Just not during folk fest. Perhaps a quiet Wednesday evening or something.