Hardware Grill Restaurant | Our Story
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Our Story Continued

Indeed, words like bacon, lobster and truffle are sprinkled like confetti throughout chef Larry Stewart’s seasonal menu of French and Italian classics updated with bold, new-world flavors. You can sit at the chef’s table in the kitchen for front-row action and a set five-course menu, or slip into a curved banquet and peruse the dinner menu and 19-page wine list.

Larry’s Wine Spectator award-winning list is symbolic of his more-is- more approach. See, for example, his posh take on a cherished prairie favorite: perogies. His are decadent, stuffed with truffled potatoes and fried in butter until golden, arrive with an entourage of grainy mustard-cream sauce, smoked salmon, and (why hold back now?) salmon caviar.

For dessert, a large wedge of moist and comforting gingerbread cake so good it’s been on the menu since day one. It, too, has an entourage: rhubarb saskatoon compote, warm caramel sauce and mango ice cream. Yes, it’s all a bit rich (as is the crowd), but this is, after all, Edmonton fine dining at its best.

History

The Goodridge Block

9696-9698 Jasper Avenue

Description of Historic Place

The Goodridge Block is a rectangular, three–storey brick Edwardian style commercial building. Located on a corner lot at the intersection of 97 Street and Jasper Avenue, it anchors the historic East Jasper district in the City of Edmonton.

Heritage Value

The Goodridge Block is historically significant as a mixed-use retail and office block developed by Leonard Goodridge in the heart of Edmonton’s business district at the height of the pre ­ WWI economic boom. The Goodridge Block has a strong historical association with the hardware business beginning with the opening of W.W. Sales in 1930 under the direction of S.P. Wilson.

Our Philosophy

If every dish is an extension of the cook, then this restaurant is an extension of me and the talented team. Our goal is to provide extraordinary, contemporary Canadian cuisine with a spontaneous, open-minded approach to food. We must forge an intimacy between the kitchen and dining room.

Anyone who wants to come in our kitchen and talk to the chefs or take pictures is welcome. Our cuisine is defined by the simple idea of letting the ingredients taste like themselves – using foods at their peak with simplicity to become a middleman between farm and guest. I think simple, delicious food is sometimes harder to make than intricate, over-handed food because you have less to hide behind. Dishes do not need foams, gels and other slights of hand to comprise a sophisticated, technique-driven menu.

Our Purveyors

We are proud to support the following purveyors of fine goods and services:

GFS (Gordon food service)
Wild Game
Rocky Mountain Foods
Fins Seafood
Alley Kat
World Wide Foods
Mona Foods
Pinocchio Ice Cream
Canterberry Coffee
Irving Farms

Our People

The Hardware Grill Family Tree

The Hardware Grill celebrated its 20th birthday on October 20. That must by 150 in restaurant years. The restaurant business is notorious for its lack of longevity; how does a restaurant not only survive but stay relevant? What effect does a restaurant with longevity have on our food culture? Lots apparently. Hardware Grill alumni own restaurants and businesses, are exec chefs in amazing places, carry on with creative pursuits and there are a good number of folks who have made hospitality careers at Hardware Grill.

To show this in a graphic way, I asked Melinda and Larry Stewart, owners of the restaurant, to help me put together a family tree. During the project, much wine was drunk and there were moments of hilarity that began with ‘do you remember’? Being a proud alumnus myself, it was a delight to do.

Tomato food & drink publisher Mary Bailey can still balance three plates on one hand and pour wine with either, but misses having a bus boy.

1. Amanda Van Brabant
2009-2011
Then: baker. Now: owner, Amanda V’s Bakery.
2. Andrew Fung
1998-2002, 2004-2006
Then: cook. Now: chef/owner at XIX.
3. Brad Smoliak

1996-2000
Then: co-owner, sous chef. Now: owner, Kitchen by Brad Smoliak.
4. Brad Waritsky
1997-2002
Then: cook. Now: registered nurse.
5. Brian Waritsky
2002-2006
Then: busser. Now: assistant manager PCL Tools.
6. Cam Dobranski
1997-2000, 2002-2003
Then: cook. Now: chef/owner, Kensington Brasserie, Calgary; owner, Medium Rare Chefware.
7. Chris Thompson
2008-2010
Then: cook. Now: owner, Hawkers Market, Vancouver.
8. Cindy Lazarenko
1996-1997
Then: server. Now: co-owner, OnOurTable.
9. Clark Yuill
2001-2008
Then: cook, executive sous chef. Now: journeyman electrician.
10. Clint Zaiffdeen
1996-2001, 2004-2010
Then: server. Now: owner/operator, Famoso West Edmonton.
11. Cory Welsch
2002-2010
Then: cook. Now: chef, Craft Beer Market, Calgary.
12. Curtis Beer
2005-Present
Then: waiter. Now: waiter.
13. Dan Strelow
2011-Present
Then: cook. Now: HWG sous chef.
14. Danielle McLaughlin
2001-2015
Then: office manager. Now: financial controller, Mayfair Golf & Country Club.
15. Dean Lonsdale
2003-Present
Then: waiter. Now: waiter.
16. Dylan Prins
2010-2013, 2015-Present
Then: cook. Now: HWG sous chef.
17. Evan Robertson
2000-2007
Then: cook. Now: chef at Pig ’n Duke, Calgary.
18. Garnet Madsen
2010-2013
Then: cook/apprentice. Now: chef instructor.

19. Garrett Ross
2004-2007
Then: busser. Now: actor.
20. Gary Stinn
1996-Present
Then: server. Now: server.
21. Graham Versailles
1998-2000
Then: intern baker. Now: wine agent.
22. Jennifer Cockrall-King
1996-2000
Then: hostess. Now: writer, owner, foodgirl.ca.
23. Joanne Lofeudo
2006-2013
Then: hostess. Now: artist, Kelowna.
24. Jordan Abbott
2012-2014
Then: cook. Now: cook, XIX.
25. Jordan Wiggins
2009-2013
Then: cook. Now: chef, Woodwork.
26. Kieran McKinney
Then: server. Now: retired.
27. Kyle Wilson
1999-Present
Then: busser. Now: waiter.
28. Lacey Cormier
2010-Present
Then: baker. Now: veterinary assistant.
29. Laine Colman
1996-2008
Then: server. Now: business owner/operator.
30. Leona Mihaljisn
2012-Present
Then: daily cash. Now: office manager.
31. Margo Maria Klimowicz
2003-2006, 2012-2014, Present
Then: busser. Now: photographer.
32. Mark Jackson
1996-1997
Then: Our first dishwasher. Now: Professor, Oxford University.
33. Mary Bailey
1996-1997
Then: server. Now: writer, owner, The Tomato Food & Drink.
34. Matt Hauca
1996-1999
Then: busser. Now: university instructor, Japan.
35. Matthew Steppan
1997-2004
Then: busser. Now: director of stakeholder relations, ASET.
36. Michael Love
2012-2016
Then: apprentice cook. Now: cook, Corso 32.
37. Mike Buckley
1998-2004
Then: sous chef. Now: business manager, transportation.

38. Mike Caldwell
1998-2001
Then: busser. Now: English teacher, Japan.
39. Nigel Weber
1996-2001
Then: exec. sous chef. Now: culinary arts instructor, NAIT.
40. Patrick Leano
1999-2003
Then: cook. Now: chef, Osteria, London, England.
41. Pauline Ulliac
2000-2007
Then: hostess. Now: artist.
42. Perry Wenham
2004-2005
Then: cook. Now: bakery owner, Ontario.
43. Peter Keith
2012-2014
Then: cook. Now: chef.
44. Pietro Scontrino
1996-2003
Then: cook. Now: pork and poultry trader, Calgary.
45. Rino Lam
2008-2014
Then: cook. Now: chef, XIX, St. Albert.
46. Ronald Bolanos
2010-2013
Then: cook. Now: cook, XIX.
47. Russell Frame
1999-2008
Then: server. Now: R.I.P.
48. Ryan Vickers
2006-2012, 2014, Present
Then: cook/baker. Now: baker, HWG.
49. Sean O’Connor
2006-2010
Then: cook. Now: exec chef, Red Ox Inn.
50. Sarah MacKinley
2007-Present
Then: server. Now: hostess.
51. Sasha Sproule
2013–Present
Then: server. Now: licensed practical nurse.
52. Shane Thomas
2001-Present
Then: busser. Now: waiter.
53. Steven Hugens
1996-2001, 2011-2016
Then: server. Now: F & B director, Mayfair Golf & Country Club.
54. Tracey (Lomnes) Waritsky
2002-2006
Then: sous chef. Now: assistant manager, NAIT Catering.
55. Wendy Perusini
1996-2006
Then: busser. Now: OnOurTable.