(My birthday present to myself was a brand new phone, so rather than the mediocre pictures you've seen from my Samsung Galaxy SII, these photos are coming to you from a fancy schmancy Nexus 5.)
Ampersand 27, or &27 is certainly "crafted to be different". Something like a fine-dining tapas-style restaurant, it is located on Whyte Ave at 10612-82 Avenue, where Murrietta's used to be. As you sit and enjoy your meal, and look around at, well...everything, you can't help but feel how well the food and space complement one another, courtesy of Chef Patron and Owner, Nathin Bye.
We started off the meal with our drinks, which they charmingly referred to as "Causes, Cures, & Remedies". P opted for a glass of Merlot, while I indulged in a virgin rendition of one of their cocktails - Hot Days. The regular Hot Days includes a concoction of Appleton Rum, Giffard Apricot, Pomegranate Honey Reduction, Almond Milk, and Earl Grey Ice. While the regular cost for one of their cocktails averaged at about $11.50, they only charged me $4 for a virgin one. It was a great deal, but I'm sure I was missing some extra notes by passing on the rum and brandy. Perhaps there will come a day when I choose a boozy drink with the actual booze in it :)
Ampersand 27 also serves Q water in its still or sparkling form, for which they charge $1. There has been some criticism due to the fact that they charge for water, but part of the proceeds from the water sales goes to the Stollery Children's Hospital Foundation.
The dinner menu, for the most part, is a collection of share-able items, which means that you can try multiple inventions of theirs at the same time. P and I decided on the Seared Albacore Tuna from "Share & Share Alike", creating our own "Charcuterie" board, and the Seafood Paella from "Larger Provisions".
To really top off the experience, Executive Chef, Greg Myshynuik came around to greet customers at their tables including ours. He asked us if we had just ordered charcuterie, and before we could say "Seared Albacore Tuna", he recited the rest of our meal from the top of his head. He also said that he would check to make sure our food was coming out in a timely manner, and that it did.
|Seafood Paella ($28) - The seafood paella changes daily, so the price will vary by market price. Ours had mussels, clams, and chorizo. The rice had a divinely smooth texture with so much flavour, yet not too much. Yum.|
|My favourite part of the restaurant. Apparently it was meant to emulate a forest scene with mountains and a river with a starry night sky, and I love it.|
I'm not sure how it's possible, but while everything at Ampersand 27 looked beautiful, it also tasted beautiful. It felt as if each morsel had been cared for individually...Bravo.
P and I were so full after indulging in our savoury dishes, that we had to opt out from ordering dessert. But don't you worry - we will be back.
If you're in a mood for indulging your eyes and tastebuds simultaneously, but don't necessarily have a huge budget, I'd recommend a visit to Ampersand 27. And please try the peanut fries for me :)
P.S. Check out the winter issue of Fine Lifestyles Magazine for a featured article on Ampersand 27, and more amazing photography by P!