Creole Envie – VIP Grand Opening
Disclaimer: This grand opening was a private, invite-only event, hosted and complimentary by Creole Envie. The following post is still based on my personal opinion on the food, service, and atmosphere.
Last Friday was a day full of food events in Edmonton: a chili cook-off in Churchill Square, the first of the two-day Edmonton Rocky Mountain Wine and Food Festival, and Creole Envie’s VIP event for the grand opening. If my entire life revolved around food (you’d think it does), I would have gone to all three events. Unfortunately, I need to work to fund my food addiction and could not make it to sample the chili or the festival. Hopefully I can plan ahead next year and ask it off! From what I hear though, both events were fantastic. I expect plenty of blog posts from fellow Edmonton food bloggers so I can live vicariously through them!
I did manage to attend Creole Envie’s dinner event at their new location. What use to be Highlands Kitchen, now lies the Creole restaurant. Originally at 151 St and Stony Plain Road, owner and chef Danielle Majeau decided to pack it up and move over to the Beverly neighborhood. Since closing a month ago, I had long-awaited for them to re-open so I could try their food! I know they had a stand at the 104 St farmer’s market but it just seemed like the type of food where I want to sit down and enjoy it properly. With my date cancelling on me that day, Sharon quickly filled the role as my +1 and met me there.
We both received a warm welcome by Danielle and was given a brief description of the food: authentic southern, Creole food. Neither of us had actually been to the southern states and we can only imagine what authentic jambalaya, gumbo, fried chicken and waffles, and po’boys can taste like. Our only experience is probably similar to Edmonton’s majority – Dadeo’s. Now I don’t know how authentic Dadeo’s on Whyte Avenue is, but all I know is that it’s delicious! We were informed that although they most certainly had the influence of Creole cooking, in the past few years have turned more bar/diner. All very true, Dadeo’s atmosphere was much different to the one we just stepped into. Creole Envie’s interior was small, very quaint, and very warm. I could really imagine a cute candlelit dinner here! Gathering bits and pieces from Danielle and her husband, I found out that her love for Creole/Cajun food started with a trip to New Orleans and taking cooking classes there. Since then, there’s no looking back. Note: I had thought they had property down south but that was my mistake. Although Chef Majeau said she’d move in a heartbeat.
After schmoozing around, the space started to get packed! The food was buffet style and it was time to dig in. The Creole style deviled eggs were my favorite! Topped with a pickled okra and house made pork crackling, it had a nice crunch to it!
It started to get crowded at the buffet table so I resorted to taking my share and sitting down instead – fried chicken and waffles, collard greens, and alligator sauce piquante with grits.
I tried two batches of the fried chicken (another fresh batch served half way through the meal) and both Sharon and I thought it was a bit dry. Serving buffet style might have caused this so I’m determined to try the dish again off the menu. The waffle wasn’t as crisp as I’d like either but both items were nicely flavored and had the potential to be fantastic! Note: After emailing to Chef Majeau, the waffle isn’t meant to be crisp. It is a buttermilk waffle and is always soft.
The collard greens were unique. I had never had it before and it had a bit of a sour note to it. Went well as a side to the alligator and grits! The stew (I was too lazy to scoop into a proper bowl) had good depth of flavor. I never had alligator before and the texture is almost like chicken! It’s interesting and different though and I’m not even sure if anybody else has alligator in Edmonton… much less Louisiana gator. Their gator comes straight from a Louisiana alligator farm, to the warehouse, packed and shipped on a plane directly to Edmonton airport for this event. A lot of work for this exotic meat!
Best part of the night, aside from meeting Danielle and her staff, was the Bourbon bundt cake. I also heard the word “coke” thrown around but not sure if I’m correct. It was absolutely delicious! Moist, full of chocolate flavor, and not too sweet. Not going to lie, I grabbed a second and I’m sure I’m not the only one. These should be on the menu permanently!
Speaking of menus, Danielle was kind enough to give her guests the menus of the restaurant to take home. Breakfast/brunch and dinner looked particularly mouth-watering and lunch focused more on po’boys, which you can still order for dinner. I’m most definitely coming back on a Thursday for their special of the day, fried chicken and waffle (a fresh one!) and need to try at the very least one po’boy sandwich, the fried alligator sausage, sweet potato fries and don’t get me started on desserts! I’ll be sure to order the beignets, Bourbon pecan pie, and the bananas foster bread pudding. How many trips do you think that will take me? Who’s in?!Creole Envie
6509 – 112 Ave
(780) 477-2422 Twitter: @CreoleEnvie