I realized there’s a backlog of posts I need to write, and I want to justify spending exorbitant amounts of money on food again, so here we are.
Sometimes if you take 5 minutes and read the website, you can get an eerily accurate representation of the dining experience.
- “throw out all checklists, pre-conceptions and rules that govern what a “good” restaurant ought to be.”
- “a restaurant where you can experience food that is both classic and original, both innovative and comforting.”
- “quality local and regional products”
- “natural, sustainable and responsible methods”
- “organic, bio-dynamic and natural wine making”
Sure, your website is a means of advertising and you don’t want to sell yourself short, but this level of textual masturbation just reeks of self importance.
Pre-conceptions and rules that govern what a “good” restaurant are there for a fucking reason. I have pre-conceptions that the staff will be friendly, service prompt, and food edible.
Of course they’d cream their panties over the fact that they only serve local, natural, sustainable, responsible, organic, bio-dynamic products, but did they really need to share that with us?
What does this mean to the average consumer?
Next to nothing.
Local doesn’t mean better, regional delicacies exist for a reason and I highly doubt Albertan agriculture is known for anything other than grains, canola and cows.
Natural could mean literally anything. Everything we consume originates from the natural world.
What exactly is responsible food? What is it responsible for?
We get it, you need to set yourself apart from the other trendy, new-age establishments, but this is stupid.
We went on a Monday night right after work and the restaurant was understandably empty. The staff were friendly and attentive and smelled of arts majors and new-age spirituality.
When we weren’t ogling their trippy mandala-print leggings and 4 inch gauges, we had the opportunity to check out the rest of the restaurant.
To be perfectly honest, the place was wonderfully decorated. I read somewhere that the space used to be some sort of milk bottling depot (hence the name), and it had been perfectly re-purposed into a dining space. Bare brick walls, faux-retro light fixtures, and a two-level layout with exposed kitchen combined to make the space unique and welcoming. If you’ve ever dreamed of that open-concept loft in New York with the bare bricks and exposed rafters, you’ll love this place.
They get another point for having the dining area brightly lit. Nothing like being able to see what you’re eating.
Well, it was pretty damn good.
We started with the MM Beef Tartare and I ordered the “Ewe-nique Farms Lamb”.
The tartare was served with a creamy pistachio mixture, as well as blitzed romaine and horseradish sauces. No complaints on the texture or quality of the meat. The raw steak was combined with olive oil, raw egg and green onions to nullify the potentially bloody tang. The result was creamy, smooth and surprisingly heavy.
To accompany the tartare, we were given “seed bread”, which, to be honest, was horrible. Don’t get me wrong, I still ate it, but society has moved away from making bread from ancient grains and seeds for good reason. The bread was crumbly, had little to no gluten, and tasted like a bird feeder, wood and all.
There’s nothing wrong with a few slices of grilled baguette. Hell, you can tell people the profits go to support the liberation of trans-gendered Somalian child soldiers if it helps you sleep better, just don’t serve me hamster food.
The lamb, however, left little room for complaints. The protein was cooked to perfection, with the interior retaining the consistency of semi-melted butter. While I don’t generally advise the usage of root vegetables or other bland starches as seasoning agents, the root vegetable ‘jus’ added a buttery sweetness to the dish and tied the grain, lamb and turnip together with its earthy undertones.
Even the turnip was well cooked, and the slightly charred exterior speaks to ancient cooking methods where root vegetables were buried under the ashy remains of the camp-fire and left to roast.
The most interesting thing on the plate was the mound of ‘kamut’. For the uninformed (gonna be honest, I Googled it), Kamut is an international brand and trademark for certain strains of Khorasan wheat. An ancient, middle-eastern wheat species, the crop grows well in arid environments, and is known for its unusually large grain, nutty flavor, and ‘moistness’.
Having tried some, I would have to agree. While I can’t overlook the puddle of butter that it was served in, the grains themselves were rich and nutty, while maintaining a satisfying chewiness from the bran.
From the pictures, you probably wouldn’t expect the meal to be filling, but you’d be wrong.
While the individual portions were not large, they weren’t afraid to use heavy and greasy ingredients to fill you up. The tartare was smooth and creamy due to the liberal usage of olive oil and creams, while the jus and grains served with the lamb were saturated with butter.
This was actually quite clever, and allowed for high-fat content dishes, without having customers pass out mid-meal.
Beyond all the pomp, pretense and politically correct causes, Model Milk still delivers sufficiently technical, creative and delicious food.
Give them a try if you haven’t already.
If you can get past the hipster vibe and holier-than-thou attitude, you might just be in for a treat.