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I Heart Risotto

February 22, 2011

Hazelnut-crusted Mahimahi Risotto

Hazelnut Mahimahi with lobster and truffle risotto, broccolini, in a chai cream sauce

I admit I have an affinity for fictional villains and character-driven stories. I want to know the whys and hows of the people, even if the story is as old as time—boy meets girl, man versus the world, etc.

And so it goes that I’ve fallen for Moriarty’s Bistro & Wine Bar, a gem tucked in Rice Howard Way, beside its rough-around-the-edges counterpart, the Sherlock Holmes pub. While I love burgers and fries like the next gal, and who doesn’t enjoy a pub atmosphere once in a while, Moriarty’s Bistro simply underscores why every hero needs an excellent nemesis.

Medley of Mushrooms Cheese plate

And that nemesis can often be more interesting than the hero.

When I go to places like Moriarty’s Bistro, with its chic black and white interior, padded leather walls, and fancy bathrooms, I wonder in amazement why chain bars like Hudson’s or Brewster’s are more popular, especially since they are at a similar pricepoint: but neither Hudson’s or Brewster’s are necessarily manned by trained chefs with innovative menus.

I know that Edmonton is considered a blue-collar town, and in many ways, that’s true, but going into Moriarty’s is like a breath of fresh glamour, without overt pretentiousness or the reputation of being a gang hangout (I think locals know which place I’m referring to here…) It’s a place where you feel like you can dress up and fit in, but aren’t rejected because you aren’t wearing designer duds. I like that the menu seems to allow for a wider economic range of customers, since it does give $13-16 sandwich options, along with $17-25 entrees. I like that, considering that other restaurants only serve the lighter fare for lunch specials, and doesn’t provide more affordable options for the evening.

It’s a relatively small restaurant, not made to be bursting at the seams with people, but that’s also why it feels like a great place to drop in for a quick martini after work and feel like indulging without breaking the bank. I forgot to take a picture of the dessert, dramatically called Modern Opera, which is an exclusive to Moriarty’s and provided by Duchess Bakery. It was incredibly creamy and smooth, without being too heavy and cloying.

I would recommend going to Moriarty’s. They have done the professor proud.

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