Looking for a unique and intimate dining experience? Consider dining in a dome! I visited Riverisde Bistro at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in downtown Edmonton to check out their seasonal themed domes. Here’s how it went!
I was invited to Riverside Bistro for a hosted experience. A collaboration for social media posts was completed but a blog post was not expected. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
This was my first dome dining experience and it made for the perfect date night – cozy, intimate and warm. But of course this dining experience would be fun for any occasion, date night or not.
Each dome at the Riverside Bistro is themed. When I visited, there were 3 different themes – Love in Pairs, Scandinavian, and Country. It seems that the dome themes change seasonally as there is a Valentine’s theme in the works right now! During my visit, I liked how each theme felt like a completely different room and the details in decor really added to the experience. I was able to check out the Love in Paris and Country theme and they were very unique from each other. Love in Paris felt more romantic and classy while Country gave off more of a cozy, cabin aesthetic. Nonetheless, both domes offered a fun and intimate experience.
Each dome is equipped with a space heater and there are blankets available for your use as well. Despite it being winter now, the domes were fairly insulated and overall, I felt comfortable dining in there. I would still recommend dressing for the weather to be safe. Outside of the heating situation, I was also impressed with how sound proof the domes are. Despite the domes being see-through, outside and nearby other patrons, it still felt like we were in our own world in the dome. My partner and I were pretty amazed that we couldn’t really hear anything happening outside of the dome and conversations were still private in this sense. The service at Riverside Bistro is also great, they come right to your dome for everything so you do not have to make any trips out to order and whatnot.
To book a dome, it is suggested that you email or call Riverside Bistro. There is a reservation/rental fee of $50 for each dome and a minimum spend of $150 towards food and beverages per table. Each dome can fit up to 6 people. Though this is a little pricier, I think the $150 spend is easy to attain if you are hoping to get a full meal with drinks, appetizers, entrees, and dessert, or simply if you are dining with a group. You can order from their regular menu or you can find a recommended set menu in each dome, as well.
Food-wise, I am very thankful to Riverside Bistro for providing the full dinner experience. I was able to try some different appetizers, including the Escargot, Scallops, and Beef Tartare in Bone Marrow. Of the three dishes, I really loved the scallops which were seared perfectly.
Onto the main dishes, Chef Pawan selected Bison Osso and Hudson Valle Duck Leg Confit for us. Both were a large portion. The duck confit was flavourful and I enjoyed the harissa carrot puree. I personally was not a big fan of the bison as the meat felt tough but I did like the pearl couscous. Overall, if I were to come again I’d like to try other entree dishes as there were a number of dishes that sounded really great.
We eventually moved over to the country dome to finish up with dessert and it was a really lovely switch as this dome was set up a bit differently. In the country dome, the seating arrangement allowed us to sit next to each other in a more conversational way. I enjoyed this a lot and it felt like we were sharing desserts fireside – though the fire was more of an LED flicker, the ambiance was amazing!
Dessert was good and plated nicely but ultimately, nothing that blew me out of the water. Between the cheesecake and mouusse, I liked the mouuse more as the cheesecake was more tarte than I would normally prefer. We were also treated to some specialty coffee cocktails. As someone who doesn’t often order coffee-based cocktails, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it!
All in all, while this is a bit of a pricier meal, I would say the themed domes at Riverside Bistro was unlike any other dining experience that I’ve had before. I really enjoyed the intimate setting and being in my own “bubble” while dining with table side service. With the amazing river valley views, fairy lights and themed decor, the ambiance is unmatched. We had some dishes that we liked and others that were so-so, but I truly think the experience is what I’d be revisiting for. Check them out!
1 Thornton Ct NW, Edmonton
(located in Courtyard by Marriott – Downtown)