Cask and Barrel is the latest injection into the Edmonton food scene. The prairie tavern is a cross between a local pub and a homey neighborhood restaurant. Susan Forsey and Wayne Jones, owners of Cask and Barrel, wanted a space that was welcoming and felt like home. To bring their vision to life they went to designer and friend Chris Smith, formerly of Hot House Designs. Chris made the tavern feel warm and inviting and decidedly not like a typical Edmonton pub.
Reclaimed wood and repurposed fixtures catch your eye throughout the restaurant. The chandeliers are from the Sutton Place Hotel as are the salad bowls that became lamp shades. The wood above the bar was all but garbage until Chris bought it for $100. The bar is complimented by beautiful stools made by Ian Crawford from Montana wine barrels. The tables were made by another Hot House Designs alumni Donna Nygren, and they are stunning and full of character. I don’t know how she made them, but I would love to find out so that I could use the same treatment on my kitchen table.
As much as I love restaurant design, it won’t keep people coming back, that’s up to the food. With regulars already frequenting the restaurant you can tell they are doing things right. The menu was created by chef Mikael Charlton and he creates the dishes from scratch daily. The menu is compact and focuses on comfort food like macaroni and cheese, sandwiches, and shepherd’s pie but with twists that keep it interesting and lively. Expect the menu to evolve and expand to include more dinner entrees to satisfy the evening crowds. And during the summer they will offer a Saturday brunch inspired by what chef Mikael finds that morning at the farmers market.
As the name suggests, Cask and Barrel has a superb selection of beers and a healthy supply of whiskey. They are the first place in Edmonton to carry Innis & Gunn on tap, and based on customer response they are going to need to order a lot more. As I write this article they are sold out of the beer and are urgently awaiting their next shipment of kegs. For all the scotch lovers like me there will be monthly “connoisseur” tasting events to allow both new and experienced drinkers to try new offerings and learn more about their favorite spirit.
Cask and Barrel feels like it already holds a place in the Edmonton food scene and should for a long time to come.
Cask and Barrel
10041 104 Street
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