Solstice Seasonal Cuisine is the latest fine dining establishment to join the continuously expanding, popular area of 124 Street. Right across the street from Duchess Bake Shop, blink and you might miss it. Just look for the blue awning. Named for the change in seasons that occurs every few months (along with a menu that coincides with these changes), Solstice is all about using fresh, seasonal ingredients. There’s that seasonal word again.
The interior is dark and candle lit with most of the tables lining both sides of the walls and a bar in the back. We went on a Saturday evening and while most of the tables were full, it didn’t feel full, if you know what I mean. Maybe it’s the layout of the restaurant but I can’t put my finger on it. A really odd thing that kept on occurring throughout our meal was that the lights kept on flickering. I didn’t notice it at first but once my friend pointed it out to me, I couldn’t stop seeing it. We guessed the flickering was happening each time the washing machine was being used. Um, pretty ghetto for a place that charges $$$$!
We went when their “Spring” menu was on deck. One page consisting of appetizers and entrees.
Market salad ($14.00)
Market greens, asparagus, yellow wax beans, radhis, marinated mushrooms, hazelnut vinaigrette and mushroom hazelnut soil. The market salad was delicious and fresh, especially the marinated mushrooms. The hazelnut vinaigrette really brought everything together. But for $14.00, this was one teeny dish! A couple bites and it was gone. Way overpriced. If it was half or even two thirds the price, it would be much more justifiable.
Beef tartar ($16.00)
House potato chips, shaved parmesan, soft boiled egg, greens and nasturtium vinaigrette. According to our waiter, the egg was done sous-vide style. Tasty but again, the portion was quite small.
Pig’s tails ($14.00)
Edamame and chickpea ragout, bacon jam, Everything bagel cracker and grainy maple mustard vinaigrette. This was my favourite of the three appetizers that we ordered.
2x Bacon-wrapped rabbit saddle ($28.00)
Herb spatzle, carrots, sweet garlic puree in a red wine reduction. My buddy and I both ordered the rabbit. Bacon wrapped in anything makes things better. This was no different. The rabbit was nicely cooked but the flavours/texture was a bit mundane.
Lamb rack ($30.00)
Blue potatoes, spring succotash and caramelized onion jus. My other friend ordered the lamb rack and was kind enough to share with us. We both agreed that the lamb was tender but was lacking depth in flavour. It was very one-dimensional and didn’t have that gamey, robust flavour that I love from lamb. The potatoes were also disappointing – dry to the point where it was tough to chew them. I thought everything was fresh?
Chef’s ice cream ($9.00)
Orange hebiscus, banana, and Arnold Palmer. The Arnold Palmer was homage to the Master’s golf tournament going during the weekend. Solstice’s spin on the Arnold Palmer beverage (which is a mixture of iced tea and lemonade). Our favourite was definitely the orange hibiscus. So refreshing and light on the palate. The banana was meh.
Chocolate parfait ($11.00)
Cashew ice cream, dehydrated milk and chocolate mousse chip. All I can say is that you NEED to order this dessert. Everything about this dish was incredible.
Solstice is a fine addition to Edmonton’s dining scene. If I were to come back again, I’d skip on the appetizers but make sure you get the desserts! So bomb. If you’re interested in the menu changes, keep these dates in mind: Spring (March 20), Summer (June 21), Fall (September 23) and Winter (December 22).
Solstice Seasonal Cuisine
10723 – 124 Street