State & Main Kitchen and Bar

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My brother and sister-in-law came to town for the weekend, and we hooked up for dinner and drinks. My brother lives in Edmonton, and last year, we welcomed his beautiful wife into our zany family. They had a small beach wedding in the Mayan Riviera, with family and close friends. It was perfect.

We decided on a casually classy joint and new-ish fixture on Stephen Avenue – State & Main Kitchen and Bar. The decor was classically modern with open seating near the front and booths towards the back. The bar offered a substantial amount of seating, and the lighting was subdued but didn’t hamper visibility. It was quiet, being the Victoria Day long weekend. Even though we snuck in thirty minutes before the kitchen closed for the evening, our server was very accommodating.

There were many options for drinks, and the restaurant offers a wide selection of draft beer. I opted for a pint of Kronenbourg 1664 Blanc, a light and fruity
Belgian-style beer and one of my favourite brews.

We ordered a few appetizers to share – pretzel sticks, Bang Bang shrimp, and Mama’s meatballs. The pretzel sticks were sprinkled with sea salt and served with a red ale mustard sauce. The Bang Bang shrimp were tempura battered, sauced with a spicy chili aioli and garnished with togarashi seasoning. Mama’s meatballs were house-made meatballs in a tomato and basil sauce and topped with melted mozzarella and parmesan cheeses. They were all delicious, but my favourite was the Bang Bang shrimp – crispy and spicy enough to keep my palate entertained, without burning my face.

For my main, I ordered the butter chicken. The dish included tender chicken simmered in a tomato curry sauce, which was garnished with a spicy yogurt sauce and fresh cilantro. It was served on a bed of basmati rice and coupled with garlic naan bread. My only complaint was the cilantro, but I hate cilantro, so that’s nothing more than personal preference. The portion was huge, and I saved half to take home – easy lunch for the following day.

My boyfriend ordered the jalapeno macaroni and cheese – classic and creamy macaroni and cheese with chopped jalapeno peppers, topped with parmesan and panko bread crumbs. He also added cajun chicken. Considering the speed at which he devoured the dish, I have to assume it was good. My brother ordered fettuccine and meatballs, which were house-made meatballs in tomato and basil sauce, served on a bed of fettuccine and garnished with fresh basil. He had no complaints about the quality of the dish, but expressed disappointment with the flavours. Once again, this was based on personal preferences. My sister-in-law ordered the clubhouse cobb salad, which looked delightful and disappeared in a flash.

No dessert for us – we were all stuffed, and we left with smiles on our faces. I enjoyed the atmosphere, and our server was chatty and friendly. Since my boyfriend also works in the area, there’s a good chance we’ll we back.

State & Main Kitchen and Bar is located at 601 – 8 Avenue S.W. and at Chinook Centre. You can also find them at http://www.stateandmain.ca/.