Finally! I’ve been wanting to try Red Ox Inn for the past couple of occasions but the timing/stars weren’t aligned. Things finally panned out so I made a reservation for three to celebrate my mom’s birthday. I was able to snag a decent time slot, 7:45pm on a Saturday, even though we booked less than a week ahead of time. Take that Corso 32 and Rge Rd.
Red Ox Inn is hidden away in the neighbourhood of Strathearn. If you go to Edmonton Folk Fest, then you’ll know the area well. It’s located right beside the The Wired Cup and the lucky duck that lives above ROI. That must be either a blessing or curse.
The inside is warm and inviting with a mixture of tables and booths but it’s definitely tight space wise. It can fit 36 people and we were lucky to get the corner booth in the back that gave us an extra bit of privacy to celebrate! Our waitress was great and even remembered to wish my mom a happy birthday, which was a pretty endearing gesture.
Closed Mondays and only open in the evenings.
The menu is tiny but I actually really like how there’s only 5 appetizers and 6 entrees to choose from. It’s called focused quality in my books.
Appetizers sound good but unfortunately, my parents aren’t the biggest fan of raw meats so throw out the tartare and carpaccio options.
Lamb sounds so good. Too bad it has cardamon in the sauce meaning my mom can’t eat it. Oh well, guess we’ll have to order four entrees to make up for it.
Seared scallop, roasted fennel, pancetta and sweet potato. You can see the scallop poking out. Perfectly seared but these were tiny! Go to The Marc if you’re craving a scallop as an entree. But don’t fret, the sablefish was superb. Incredibly tender and flaky. I wasn’t a huge fan of the pancetta as it seemed a bit out of place but the sweet potato puree was creamy and the julienned apples added a bit of sweetness and acidity to the dish.
The roasted fennel came on the side so that my mom could still try the sablefish. I’m not sure how I felt about the fennel, it wasn’t particularly memorable.
Cornmeal gnocchi, ramps, fiddleheads and a fried egg. I don’t think I’ve had cornmeal gnocchi before but everyone loved this dish. There was a pleasant texture to the gnocchi and they were cooked perfectly. The fiddleheads were also delicious – wish I saw this at restaurants more often. You probably can’t see it but there’s also a fried egg underneath that had an oozy yolk to mix in with the rest of the dish.
Duck breast ($34.00)
Farro risotto, carrots, smoked beets and roasted apple. This was hands down our favourite entree of the night. So succulent, tender and cooked to a perfect medium rare. Oh my god, everything on this plate was amazing. The farro was perfectly cooked (farro is seriously the bomb – try it). The beets and carrots were heavenly. The sauce underneath was like crack – I’m not sure what it was but it was almost like a butternut squash puree. GET IT!
Beef ribeye ($34.00)
Mushroom and leek bread pudding, bordelaise and broccolini. We rarely, if ever, order beef but this might just put my parents back onto the beef eating track. Again, cooked to medium rare. The mushroom/leak pudding was interesting but I thought it was lacking flavour. The bordelaise sauce complemented the beefy meat nicely. Wished there was a bit more broccolini though.
Dessert time. We let the birthday girl decide what she wanted.
Peanut butter and chocolate mousse, peanut butter shortbread and salted caramel peanuts. That’s a lot of PB. We were a bit iffy on whether the combination of flavours would work but it did. This is one of those desserts that grows on you. Rich but not heavy. The key here is to grab a bite of everything otherwise it doesn’t work.
After hearing so many great things about Red Ox Inn from friends, I’m glad we were finally able to indulge. This is one of my buddy’s go to and I can see why. A great high end meal that I thought was worthy of it’s price point. Impressed!
Red Ox Inn
9420 – 91 Street