Live from Peoria, Illinois, it’s Saturday Night with this week’s host, Edge - By Chef Dustin Allen, and special guest stars, Heather, Lyndsey, Kristina, Ashley and Dustin and featuring the Ready For Prime Beef Player, Marty Wombacher. Now please welcome this week’s host from Junction City, Edge - By Chef Dustin Allen!
We have arrived at Edge in Junction City! So this is what living on the edge is like, so far it’s quite exciting!
They’re now open for lunch, well, seeing as it’s night time, that isn’t of great concern at this moment, but I will ask and file the information away for later. Maybe we’ll have an MBIP Contributor’s Lunch in here down the road.
Okay, let’s go in and start this week’s Saturday night adventure!
Feets don’t fail me now because...
There’s just one more door that separates us from this outside foyer to...
The Edge! We’ve arrived and I chose a spot at the end of the bar to settle in to. Time to get a drink...
Here’s Ashley, the pretty bartender for the evening serving us up a Seasonal Mule cocktail. This drink is a play on the Moscow Mule drink and it consists of top shelf vodka, orange bitters, fresh lime, orange liqueur and ginger beer and served in a chilled copper mug. And it tastes as great as it sounds! It turns out that Ashley is not only the bartender tonight, she’s the co-owner of Edge along with her husband, Dustin, who’s the Executive Chef here. Ashley told me September 27th is their second anniversary! Happy early anniversary to Ashley, Dustin and everyone at Edge! Oh, and Ashley told me that lunch is indeed served here Monday through Friday, 11:30AM to 1:30PM.
Before I went to dinner I was talking with my friend Lisa on the phone and told her I was going to Edge and she told me that the restaurant is one of her favorite accounts that she sells wine to. I’ve mentioned before that Lisa works for Maverick Wine Company out of Chicago and here’s Ashley showing off one of the bottles of wine that they have in stock from Maverick.
Heather was hanging out at the end of the bar looking so cute, love that outfit and hat! Heather has been a server here for almost the whole time it’s been open, wonderful to meet her!
Here’s the view of the back of the bar from where I sit. Ashley told me that all the woodwork was handmade, very impressive!
The middle section of the bar is really cool and I love...
These Edge letters up at the top!
Here’s the tables in the dining area behind the bar. The restaurant has an understated elegance to it, coupled with a comfortable casual vibe all at the same time.
There’s banquette seating available on the far wall, directly opposite the bar.
Here’s a view of the dining room from the back of the room.
Lyndsey and Kristina are two of the other pretty servers on duty at Edge. Everyone who works here is really knowledgeable about the unique menu here. And speaking of the menu...
It’s time to order. I have to admit being kind of taken aback from the menu, I’ve never had a four-course meal and I wasn’t sure what some of the items on the menu were. Ashley came over and helped me choose the courses. Ashley told me that everyone who works here is happy to assist in the ordering and if you want to let the server and chef pick the meal for you, they’re happy to do that too and let the dinner be a wonderful and tasty surprise.
The kitchen in the back of the restaurant is open for the diners to watch their meals being prepared. Let’s go take a look.
Wow, there’s a lot of action going on back here and it’s exciting to watch!
Okay, let’s head back to the bar and let this four-course dining experience unfold before our very eyeballs!
Before the dinner, they bring you fresh-baked artisan bread along with soft, creamy homemade almond honey butter. I could’ve just had this and been satisfied, it was so good!
Here’s course number one: Salmon Crudo. This is raw salmon mixed with radish, caper, mandarin oranges, Thai chili beets, olive oil and Maldon salt.
It’s served with crispy, toasted Bruschetta and the different tastes and textures are like a flavor explosion in your mouth. I’ve never had anything like it and it was so good!
For course number two, Ashley suggested the Cauliflower Agnolotti. This is something I never would have chosen myself as I’m not a big cauliflower eater. To me, cauliflower always tastes like...well, cauliflower!
This dish shows really shows the genius behind the restaurant and Chef Dustin! The cauliflower is loaded with flavor and in addition, there’s pasta ravioli stuffed with a pureed cauliflower and seasoned with mint and a brown butter lemon sauce and it is amazing! There’s sweet raisins and savory toasted Macadamia nuts complimenting the dish and bringing a perfect pairing of tastes and textures.
Here’s Lyndsey serving up the third course, which is the duck entree for the evening. Beautiful! And the duck entree looks really good too!
Holy freaking moly, this plated food presentation is so wonderful and appealing, I almost hate to spoil it by eating it, but it must be done!
This duck is the best I’ve ever had, it’s crispy on the outside and succulent and juicy and so flavorful! It’s served with more of the cauliflower, an apple puree, wild arugula and toasted Macadamia nuts. Once again, the different tastes and textures picked for this dish are perfectly chosen and they blend together for a delicious and unique dinner entree.
Before the fourth course was served, Chef Dustin came out of the kitchen area to say hello. Both he and Ashley are so friendly and fun to talk with and we had a nice chat about the restaurant, Peoria and their vision for Edge, which is really well thought out. So great to spend time with both of them!
Here’s the fourth and final dessert course for the evening, it’s a sweet corn custard topped with fresh popcorn and served with a corn grit crouton on the side. It doesn’t get much more unique than this!
It’s delicious in such a corny way! What a flavorful feast, thanks to Ashley for helping me pick it out and to Dustin and his crew in the kitchen, this was such a wonderful dining experience!
By now the place is getting ready to close and I saw Heather sipping a chocolate martini, so I ordered one up too! Thanks to everyone at Edge for a great Saturday night of drinking and dining! We’ll see you all tomorrow!
I’m not going to review the food here as I pretty much already did that in the captions above, but I will say that it was one of the most exceptional and unique meals I’ve ever had and if you’ve followed my last three blogs through the years, you know I’ve had a lot of meals in a lot of places and this dinner was outstanding!
What I do want to review is the thought process behind Edge’s dining philosophy. They have a different menu every day all consisting of farm fresh foods that they get from over 50 different farm suppliers in the area. Now that’s shopping local! When you dine at Edge you can order items off the menu, or have them assist you in picking a four-course dinner or you can enjoy a tasting meal consisting of many different selections from the menu. This is not just a place to go get something to eat, rather it’s a dining experience and one that’s totally unique to the Peoria area. If you haven’t experienced Edge, you should definitely check it out.
Four Galloping Gourmets—The food here is not only unique and bold in taste and preparation, but it’s a dining experience that’s really a lot of fun. This is the perfect place for a first date, the food and experience will definitely melt away those first date jitters!