You’re a business traveller to a Saskatchewan city. You’ve checked into your hotel, you’re hungry for dinner and you’re feeling adventurous instead of yet another chain diner like last night. Here are the best independent restaurants for dinner in Regina, Saskatoon, Prince Albert, Moose Jaw, The Battlefords, Melfort, Yorkton and Estevan. Bon appétit!
Chef Jonathan Thauberger, two-time Gold Medal Plate winner, serves up fresh, clever dishes sourced from Saskatchewan producers at Crave in the former Assiniboia Club. Start with the Butcher’s Cut platter (house-cured charcuterie meats) and order the nightly feature. Private rooms for business dinners. Closed Sundays.
Chef Jure Kacicnik at 20Ten City Eatery serves up fine dining in an ultra-contemporary resto located at the base of the Mosaic Tower. Start with the Warm Crusted Panko Brie then dig into the Honey-Pistachio Glazed Chicken. Closed Sundays.
Chef Hiro Oishi runs Sticks & Stones, the popular Japanese-Korean fusion resto on 2nd Avenue South. Start with a Spicy Trout Roll (Diefenbaker Trout) then order the Pork Belly (Miso glaze, beet & pear slaw). Vegetarian choices include the Vegetarian Ramen and Green Dragon sushi (asparagus tempura). Closed Mondays.
Taverna opened in 1969 and renovated in 2017 yet they’re still at their familiar 21st Street downtown location with Italian chefs who know traditional dishes. Start with the popular Arancini appetizer (seasonal zucchini rice croquettes) then order the Ravioli di ricotta e spinaci (fresh house-made ravioli) or the Saltimbocca alla Romana (sautéed veal or chicken scalloppine, prosciutto).
Amy’s on Second
Amy Hadley has provided Prince Albert with the best fine dining dishes since 1991. Start with the thick and creamy wild rice soup, the signature dish made with Saskatchewan wild rice, then tuck into the savoury Saskatoon berry chicken.
The Grant Hall Hotel opened in 1927, shuttered in 1989 and re-opened in 2012. Moose Jaw’s 30-room boutique hotel features a fine dining room where Chef Lyle Twan serves up appies like Smoked Salmon Pedestals and entrées like Garlic & Rosemary Crusted Rack of Lamb.
Porta Bella is North Battleford’s “multi-cuisine” restaurant with a nod towards Italian and other Mediterranean dishes. Start with a Sicilian Arancini (rice balls made in-house) then order the Tuscan ribs or non-battered local Northern pike (lemon, garlic, sage).
RJ’s Raianne Maga and her staff prepare fresh dishes for omnivores, vegetarians and the gluten-free diner at this Melfort nosh spot. Start with the Basil Bruschetta then choose from the Ginger Pork Wrap, the Spicy Black Bean Burger or the Urban Sesame Slaw w/ potstickers.
306.752.4736, Facebook “RJ’s Urban Garden Café”
Arigato boasts a big menu filled with great sushi (Unagi roll), Sashimi (Spicy Salmon Sashimi) and other palate-pleasing Japanese dishes (Chicken Udong Noodle Soup; Gyu Donburi). Vegetarian choices include Wakame Seaweed Salad. Closed Sundays.
Formerly the Wicklow Café, new owner Jino serves up a mix of Korean, Japanese and familiar Canadian dishes in the centre of the southern Oil Patch. Start with the Spicy Estevan Roll (prawn tempura) then go Korean with Jino’s signature dish, Bibimbob in a hot stone bowl. Closed Sundays.