You pull up to The Forks and make your way down to the riverfront, past warming huts and twinkling lights, and alight on a wooden bridge that takes you down to the frozen river. You walk, sliding your feet on the frozen surface wondering how you came here--the air so cold, you can feel it in your bones. You walk under the railway bridge and it appears--an igloo of sorts--made from metal and fabric.
At the entrance stand two pillars of ice (cut from the river itself no less). As you bend over and enter the small tent entrance, you are transported into another world. In front of you is a bustling kitchen, seeming to have risen out of nothing. Chefs move about, somehow creating magic in this unlikely setting.
You are greeted by the friendliest of hostesses as they immediately put a warming shot of Jagermeister in your hands. Being the inagural evening, you are privy to the last minute scramble as a long, wooden table is being given its final touches. The gathering diners cheer and clap as the table receives its ceremonial "flip" and dinner can begin.
Sitting on tree stumps covered in fur, small glowing orbs dangle from the ceiling giving a soft glow to the room. You look down marveling at the ice beneath your feet--it's hard to believe you're about to have dinner here. Diners smile shyly at one another--the communal table means you will leave as friends tonight.
Then the show begins. An amuse bouche, pickled anchovy and olives, sea salted almonds tossed with rosemary. A first course of foie gras and scallops. The feast continues--sea breem with carrot and mint salad, gnocchi with spicy mustard, elk tartare with curry spice and a goat cheese and white chocolate parfait (possibly one the best things you've ever eaten) with carrot cake finishes out the night.
As each course arrives, diners come out of their shells, playing a name game around the table, getting to know each other. The wine flows. The chatter ensues. Cheers are toasted as Chef Hitzer of deer + almond and Chef Donnelly of Segovia share the stories behind each dish.
The evening ends too quickly, smiles all around, emails are exchanged and kudos are given.
RAW:almond, it's a restaurant created on the frozen Red and Assiniboine rivers by the city's hottest young chefs. It's an experience that could just be the first of its kind in the world--it's about food, it's about love and it's about doing something completely different.
The details are here. Go now. You don't want to miss this.