Kensington Riverside Inn recently launched Oxbow, their newest dining concept, in the trendy Kensington area. Gone is the white linen and patrician aire, giving way to a more casual yet stylish space. The cozy dining room has an open kitchen concept designed to encourage enjoyment of Chef’s flair while lending a notable fragrant air, and they boast a bright, inviting lounge attached to the main lobby which has an attached gorgeous patio with skyline views.
For starters, the Seared Scallop and Butter Lettuce Salad introduces the Chef’s creativity. This delightful combination of butter lettuce with caramelized scallops, parmesan crisps and sourdough croûtons, tossed in a parmesan vinaigrette, is artfully topped with jammy poached egg and a little pickled red onion.
All the pastas are made in house. The Pea and Ricotta Gnocchi were pillowy perfect. The accompaniment of Guanciale (Italian cured Pork jowl), grilled asparagus, mushroom, cured egg yolk, fresh peas, a wonderful lemon walnut pesto and topped with crunchy buckwheat made for a well balanced, delicious plate.
The bison was most memorable. While bison can tend to be dry and chewy this dish was nothing short of moist and tender. Alberta Bison Flank Steak is wood chip smoked in house, cooked sous vide to enhance the tenderness then finished in the pan offering a nice crust. Sided with Saskatoon berry compote that enhances the smoky flavour and loosely mashed, brown butter fried potatoes, thyme roasted beets and a rich classic Chasseur sauce adding an extra depth of flavour.
One of our dinner favourites has always been lamb and the Lamb Sirloin does not disappoint. Presented medium rare, the lamb sirloin is cooked sous vide then pan-seared and accompanied by Romesco, a traditional Spanish sauce made from roasted red peppers and in house baked sourdough bread, a herbaceous Portuguese style chorizo and wild rice with a charred onion purée.
Oxbow embraces the community by sourcing breads and specialty items from the neighbourhood, the surrounding area for produce and meats and keeping everything as Canadian as possible. This is an approachable menu designed to please every palate. Artful presentation combined with reasonable prices makes this spot a winner.
• Crushed cashews, Saskatoon berries, pickled carrot
• Compotes, preserves, pickles, crisps
• Roasted organic carrots, Hasselback potatoes, baby turnips, Oxbow butter, chermoula
• Rhubarb ice cream, oat crumble, strawberry crème fraîche