Last fall, the Edmonton Sun’s Graham Hicks approached Mack to see if he would like to be a part of the 2009 ATCO and Edmonton Sun Christmas Charity Auction. He would be paired up with a restaurant, and people would bid on the chance to have dinner with him, with proceeds going to charity (coincidentally, my agency is one of the four that benefit from the funds raised).
Ultimately, a bidder paid $140 to have dinner with Mack at Ric’s Grill downtown, and we arranged to meet up with the winning party this past Wednesday.
Though we were expecting a pair of diners, we ended up being joined by four people – it turned out the bidder, Terri Lynn, had actually done this once before, having secured the opportunity to dine with Vinomania’s Gurvinder Bhatia and CBC’s Ron Wilson the year prior. Along with Terri Lynn’s friends Kelly, Sue, and Ginette, the night was filled with good conversation, and of course, wine (a lovely Malbec that my usual sweet palate didn’t mind at all – good choice Ginette!).
Mack didn’t get much choice in the restaurant that he would be paired with, but since each establishment had donated a certificate that would cover most of the costs (in this case, $300), we were thankful that Ric’s Grill stepped up to the plate. My last meal at Ric’s was nearly two years ago, and given the experience I had, I wouldn’t have considered coming back without a push.
Although our server gave us a tad too much time and space (perhaps she was deterred by the amount of laughter emanating from our table), it was a solid evening overall. Mack, the goat cheese lover between the two of us, enjoyed the almond goat cheese crostini ($12) starter, a cheesy, rich cousin of garlic toast.
Our steak dinners were equally agreeable. My six ounce, bacon-wrapped filet mignon ($31) was nicely prepared, perhaps on the medium rare side of medium. My side of celery root and cauliflower soup was the standout part of my meal – creamy and well seasoned. The crispy leeks (reminding me a bit of fried onion straws) added some textural flair.
Celery Root and Cauliflower Soup with Crispy Leeks
Bacon-Wrapped Filet Mignon with Chef’s Potatoes
Mack’s sirloin Oscar deluxe ($33) was topped with sautéed prawns, scallops, asparagus and housemade Béarnaise elicited no complaints. He said that the scallops in particular were cooked well.
Sirloin Oscar Deluxe with Rice Pilaf
I’m glad I had the opportunity to visit Ric’s Grill again. And while we don’t usually eat out at steakhouses, I would consider giving them another try in the future. It was good to meet all of you – thank you for a great night!
10190 104 Street (2 other Edmonton locations)