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“Disappointing food and restaurant lacking ambiance”
Review of Characters

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Ranked #184 of 2,761 Restaurants in Edmonton
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: US$29 - US$36
Cuisines: Canadian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Dining style: Fine Dining
Description: Restaurants come and go. The good ones last for years. Characters Fine Dining has been at the heart of Edmonton's downtown restaurant scene for over 15 years.The seasonal menu allows not only for the freshest produce to be served but also for owner, Chef Shonn to take the diners' experience to the next level by exposing their taste buds to contemporary dishes inspired by his extensive training in European, Asian and continental Canadian Cuisine. Located in a restored warehouse on 105th street, the simple elegance of the dining room is resonated by the copper finishing, brick walls and wood beams.
Reviewed 25 June 2018

My husband and I dined at Characters this past weekend to celebrate our anniversary. We had high expectations and unfortunately everything, aside from the service, fell short. When I made the reservation a week prior, I requested a romantic table and the hostess recommended the elevator room. The table was semi private but it lacked ambiance. There was no decor or candles - just a linen covered table and four chairs. I asked the waiter if he could bring us a candle for the table and he informed us that the owner "does not like candles" but he would see what he could do. He returned with one tea light.

We shared the shrimp cocktail and short rib risotto appetizers and had the duck and lamb for our main courses. We found the shrimp cocktail to be average and the cocktail sauce was blended with cilantro. The short rib risotto was very bland and the risotto was crunchy. The duck was mediocre and we weren't fond of the pineapple glaze. The lamb was the most disappointing dish - presentation and flavor-wise. It was two medallions of rare lamb served on a bed of re-fried beans with bubblegum pink colored sauce pooled in the four corners of the plate. At $18/appetizer and $45/main, we found the dishes to be quite overpriced for the quality. The complimentary french fries and dip were the best part of the meal; however, when you're expecting a "fine dining" type experience, getting a bowl of french fries to have with a bottle of Amarone wasn't ideal. Nice breads and butter to start would have been more appropriate. Aside from the disappointing and underwhelming food, the service was very good. Our waiter was attentive, friendly and polite.

    • Value
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank Lianne P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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5 - 9 of 86 reviews

Reviewed 24 March 2018 via mobile

I’ve had numerous business lunches at Characters and it’s fantastic for several reasons.
- the food is simply fabulous!
- it’s never overly busy for lunch so it feels more private than other places where you’re practically sitting on top of each other because the tables are so squished into the restaurant.
- service is excellent, always!
- free parking lot, where does that happen in downtown Edmonton!?!

I’ll keep coming back for more, great job!

Thank trevamy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 March 2018 via mobile

The ambience and the serving staff were the best part of our experience. I have eaten fantastic meals at numerous fine dining restaurants and this was not one of them. Dishes, both apps and entrees were overpriced for the serving portion. Fill up on the fries and crisps because you will be hungry. The octopus when I found it ( minuscule pieces) were over cooked.
Sides are not offered, so the entrees were all about the protein. But again, small portions.

Thank 4everdining
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 March 2018 via mobile

A lovely spot with great ambiance.

The food is great and although it is expensive it is good value. The service is the best.
Probably the best restaurant in Edmonton.

1  Thank douglasmh
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 December 2017 via mobile

Long time customer Started eating there when they opened as they were one of the top restaurants in town it’s been a year since we last dined as there are so many new great restaurants in town disappointed best described it without too much detail appetizers seemed to be more interested in presentation then quality had a T bone steak that was tough and tasteless the dessert was uninteresting Time to breath new life into the place your slipping behind the new young hungry chefs

Thank Zanzed
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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