Food Notes for March 29, 2021

Hotel Macdonald To Launch Its First Pop-Up Restaurant

There is no doubt the hospitality industry has been forced to be innovative during the pandemic. The restaurants inside the historic Fairmont Hotel Macdonald have been no different, pivoting to curbside pick-up, producing pantry staples, and organizing socially-distanced outdoor events to sustain business.

Next month, they’re launching their first ever pop-up restaurant, called Ephemeral. Running over two weekends, April 15-17 and April 22-24, 2021, the Mac has partnered with Edmonton artist Giselle Denis, florist FaBLOOMosity, and Special Event Rentals to evoke a “magical garden sanctuary” in the Wedgewood Room. Guests will enjoy a 4-course meal and two signature cocktails inspired by the floral art and the promise of spring. Tickets are $159 per person, and as with all indoor dining, guests must be from the same household, or the 2 close contacts of a person living alone, in order to dine together.

Danielle Lundy, the Director of Sales & Marketing for the hotel, notes that it was the change in season that ultimately led to this pop-up. “We’ve infused this feeling of renewal into every part of Ephemeral, from the elaborate floral décor, to the forest landscape paintings to our nature inspired menu,” she said.

Executive Chef Jiju Paul embraced the challenge of creating a meal reflective of spring. “Chef Paul’s background growing up on a farm has imparted a deep appreciation for farm to table [and incorporating] fresh ingredients into his cooking style which is a perfect inspiration for this menu,” said Lundy. She promises that the dessert in particular will be an “absolute showstopper.”

Lundy said that the response to Ephemeral has been positive so far, with some seatings nearly sold out. Two other pop-up concepts are in the works.

COVID-19-related News


  • Edmonton’s first location of Canadian chain Leopold’s Tavern, located in the renovated Strathcona Hotel, is now open. Find them at 10328 82 Avenue.
  • Alberta’s first location of Canadian restaurant chain Pür & Simple opens on March 30, 2021 in Kingsway Mall. They offer brunch, breakfast, and lunch.
  • Edmonton will soon have its first Japanese bakery cafe in Old Strathcona, offering “the best cheese tart in Japan”. Pablo Cheese Tart will open in the spring at 10163 81 Avenue.
  • The Poppy Barn Cafe is now open at #100B, 10235 124 Street.
  • Indian Fusion has relocated to Old Strathcona, in the space formerly occupied by The King and I (8208 107 Street).
  • 70 Acre Brew Co., Strathcona County’s first brewery, is set to open in April.

Local News

Beyond Edmonton

  • Alberta Food Tours relaunched their Alberta Food Finder app in March. Described as an “escape room meets self-guided food tour”, it offers a socially-distanced way to explore the neighbourhood of Kensington in Calgary.

Urban Agriculture and Farming

What I Ate

  • We feel refreshed after a return to our favourite local getaway, The Prairie Creek Inn, near Rocky Mountain House. Their breakfasts (delivered to our suite) are always such a treat, especially when enjoyed amongst beautiful scenery.

Prairie Creek Inn

Breakfast from The Prairie Creek Inn

  • The staycations over the last year have allowed us to support local businesses in a different way (and to excuse me from doing the cooking!). We brought most of our food again on this trip; I love all of the heat-and-eat products available even now, a year into the pandemic. Pictured:  soups from Drift, pasta and chicken parmesan from Amore Pasta, ramen from Dorinku Osaka, pork adobo from Filistix, and hot dogs from YEG Smoked Meats.

Staycation Provisions

Staycation provisions

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