820 Centre Street SE
Dinner Host: Sumeet
January 21st, 2017
It was up to me to bring it home for the final dinner of Round 3. We had gone to some great restaurants so far so I knew that if I had any chance of winning the round I had to pull out all the stops! The first thing I did was build my benchmarks. Looking at the stats from the round so far.. because hey .. that’s what I do… I knew that the better dinners were set menus and had an average cost around $85.00. Next, I had to find a place that would be best suited for the group, aka play to my audience. I needed a place that had a great atmosphere (where we could be loud but itself wasn’t too loud;) where the food was full of flavor and hign in fat (no low-cal on-a-diet type of menu for us;) had great drinks (self-explanatory;) and where the portion sizes were not reasonable! The place that met all of my requirements was One 18 Empire (820 Centre St SE.)
So the night started off on a great note because Jesse, who had cancelled within 24 hours of our last dinner, had to drive everyone to the venue. Lucky for him, and us, he had a Suburban that could hall 6 full sized men and 2 meh-sized men. Once at the venue we were seated in a semi-private room which definitely met my requirements for atmosphere. We started the evening with some marinated olives while the manager prepared Old Fashions for everyone (the mandatory drink element of the dinner.) I had pre-selected Black Walnut Old Fashions but each member got to choose the smoke that their glass was infused with, which was done table-side on a wine barrel. The first course also consisted of Maple Bacon Wrapped Dates and Honey Bourbon Wings, both of which were amazing. After some mingling time the second course was brought out, this consisted of Braised Octopus, Bourbon Short Ribs, and Alberta Rib Eye Steak with the fixings. The octopus was super tender and the steak was done to perfection. After another little break, which included two votes on prospective changes, course three was served. Each member got one-half an One18 Burger and one-half a Buttermilk Fried Chicken sandwich with parmesan fries and pickles on the side.
With that my last requirement was met, we were all super-stuffed! But I had one more surprise- we ended our meal with coffee and a shot of either Amaretto or Baileys… the kicker though was that this shot was brought in custom engraved Man’s Dinner YYC shot glasses, because hey .. that’s what I do!!!