Brunch. The fourth meal of the day. Not quite breakfast and not quite lunch, as Marge Simpson's ulterior-motive-driven-bowling-instructor Jacques proclaimed one fateful morning. This meal between meals thrives in Edmonton; its most beautiful incarnation thrives at Zinc, the restaurant housed within the Art Gallery of Alberta.
I confess that I've never been enamored of the art gallery's exterior. To me, it evokes a crumpled tin can and not the northern lights. On the other hand, the interior - especially that of Zinc - is unquestionably art. Zinc's space is open, framed by enormous windows, and garnished with sheets of its eponymous metal. The food is befitting of its artistic home. As follows:
Lobster Benedict places sweet morsels of the crustacean atop nutty buckwheat blini. An elfin poached egg and a judicious drizzle of Hollandaise sprinkled with fish roe crowns this triad of sweet, savoury and earthy. The cheese platter presents a trio that includes mushroom brie, provolone and little-known letensia (which superficially resembles cheddar but is far more demure). A scatter of walnuts, a tiny pot of raspberry preserves and a row of crackers ride shotgun. Banana bread French toast is as decadent as its name implies. Fruity, dense banana bread is lightly dipped in egg and pan-fried, accompanied by gently sweet syrup and refreshing fruit salad. A miniature mug of Mexican hot chocolate compresses an impressive hit of cocoa into a compact vessel. The mimosas, an archetypical brunch cocktail, are deceptively powerful. I will err on the "less is more" end of the spectrum and simply state that one may gain a new and unusual appreciation of the likes of Emily Carr and Lawren Harris.
Above (from top to bottom): Lobster Benedict, cheese platter, banana bread French toast, and mimosas.