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Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Cheese, Charcuterie and Cupcakes, Oh My!

I think Niche has crept to the top of my 'favourite Edmonton restaurants' list.  My most recent visit included observation of an Edmonton Journal photo shoot.  I watched, intrigued and transfixed, as the photographer captured plate after plate of gorgeous food, including the now-infamous salted caramel brownie.  I marveled at the interchangeable lenses and the fluid use of both natural and artificial light sources.

But on to the food... This time we indulged in charcuterie and cheese. Niche's charcuterie platter included truffled roast beef, shaved musk ox, proscuitto and spicy Italian sausage. Amicable garnishes included grainy mustard, olives and pickled asparagus.  The cheese platter featured double-smoked gouda, old white cheddar, double creme brie and Danish blue. I must confess a deep-seeded dislike of brie and other semi-soft cheeses. But here, smudged on a crisp crostini and dabbed with house-made raspberry-mint jelly, I came to see brie in a different, positive light. A Niche meal is never complete without a brownie.  Paired with a bracing cup of coffee spiked with Bailey's, it was a decadent coda to an artistic meal.


I must add an over-due mention of Flirt Cupcakes. I recently attended a cupcake workshop at Flirt, which allowed carte blanche for selecting cake flavours (e.g., cinnamon, vanilla, chocolate, marble), icing (vanilla, strawberry and chocolate) and any number of chocolate shavings and sprinkles.  I also devoured numerous Flirt creations, among them "Wild on Whyte" (which features a chocolate bottom with strawberry icing) and "Heartbreaker" (red velvet with cream cheese icing).  My own creation, pictured below, is hereby dubbed Cupcake alla Neopolitana as an homage to my childhood favourite, Neopolitan ice cream. I deeply appreciate the use of real butter in Flirt's icing. It adds unmistakable richness to which no other ingredient can compare. Mmm...rich creamery butter...


Niche on Urbanspoon

Flirt Cupcakes on Urbanspoon

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