REVIEW | THE BUTTERNUT TREE | EDMONTON



Living in Edmonton, a relatively small city by other city standards, word tends to travel fast around here. If you want to be 'in the know' of the city's growing and developing food scene, it's just a matter of scrolling through #yegfood on Instagram to be caught up on what's hip and happening. That being said, I don't think there's been nearly enough attention on the Sunday brunch at The Butternut Tree. So here I am, professing my love for it.

The Butternut Tree is a relatively new restaurant that opened last September. Its home is Ledgeview Centre, a relatively nondescript office tower from the outside, but panoramic views of the Legislature grounds certainly make it a postcard-worthy destination.

Headed by Chef-Owner Scott Downey, The Butternut Tree is a celebration of Canadian cuisine, showcasing seasonal ingredients sourced from within our country's borders. We had a chance to speak with Scott after our meal and his passion was apparent. He's worked in New York, Copenhagen, and Vancouver, but always wanted to return to his roots here in town. Thus, The Butternut Tree was born. 


The restaurant just started brunch service mid-January, on Sundays from 10am to 1pm. A relatively short window, but certainly one you don't want to miss. (Set an alarm if you have to.)

We made a reservation for 11:30 and there weren't too many other tables around. Maybe a couple larger groups and a few pairs of two. Seating is spaced out nicely, so you don't feel like your conversation is being interrupted by the ones of your neighbours. Depending on where your table is, there's uninterrupted views of the Legislature or of the park adjacent. An open look into the kitchen is also a cool view in itself. 

A brunch menu can be found on the restaurant's website, but even comparing it to the menu we had, there were a few changes here and there, reflecting the seasonality of their ingredients. Brunch picks are thought out and interesting, certainly more elevated fare than your standard eggs and bacon.


The restaurant takes its pride in Canadian ingredients so seriously that it's even apparent in the drinks it serves. Brunch beverages consist of specialty coffee and teas, cocktails, beers and ciders, sparkling wines, and juices, all of which are sourced from Canadian suppliers. That's the reason why you won't find any OJ on the menu.

KN got a small pot of tea ($4.00), specifically the alpine glow Banff blend, a peppermint chamomile of sorts. I decided on the BC pear juice ($6.00), mild and sweet. 


First on the table was the pomme Anna ($8.50) with savoury butter, kelp salt, and pickled spruce tips. Yes. Spruce tips. Who knew those were edible?

Pomme Anna is a classic French dish consisting of thinly sliced potatoes. They're layered neatly in a cast iron skillet and cooked in a generous amount of butter. Think fancy version of a hashbrown if you will. The outside wasn't as crispy as I had hoped but the inside was soft and fork-tender. The whipped savoury butter on the side (if there wasn't enough butter in the potatoes already), certainly elevated the dish, adding a nice salty and creamy element.


The elk ($26.00) is one of the restaurant's top brunch sellers, and I can see why. Grilled elk with roasted mushrooms, sunny side up eggs, and a nest of crispy potato strings. The meat is accompanied by a jus, poured tableside. Like with all meat, there's a slight chew, but it's still quite tender and delicious. Not too gamey at all. Eggs are cooked perfectly with runny yolks while the potato nest is a nice salty crunch to keep things interesting. The star of the plate though? The roasted mushrooms. I usually don't even like mushrooms but I can eat these all day. If I could, I'll just order a plate of them and be happily satisfied.


Our last dish was the duck leg Benedict ($23.00). They take shredded duck confit, form it into small little cakes, and pan-fry them as the base of these Benedicts. (Who needs English muffins anyway?)  The eggs are perfectly poached and topped with a creamy Hollandaise. If there wasn't enough luscious duck meat to satisfy you, the plate also comes with three slices of Irvings Farm bacon. Oh yeah, and a side of greens to make you feel like you're making healthy life choices.


A quick note about the service before we end things: our server, Matt, was attentive, friendly, and professional. You can tell his excitement about the restaurant and his job, a testament of the environment and the people surrounding him.
 
And there you have it, one of the best brunch experiences I've had in Edmonton. If brunch is any indication, I better find an occasion to book those dinner reservations.


The Butternut Tree
#101, 9707 110 ST
Edmonton, AB
(780) 760-2271

The Butternut Tree Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

- CT

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CT is a 20-something Edmontonian who started blogging as an excuse for taking pictures of her food.

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well." - Virginia Woolf