Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Ric's Grill - Steak and Seafood

Located in downtown Edmonton, Ric's Grill is an upbeat little restaurant that my husband and I had the pleasure of visiting last Saturday thanks to two of our sons.  It was a gift from them and one of the best!  The service was attentive, the ambience perfect, and the food absolutely delicious!  My husband had a steak with the house special mashed potatoes, vegetables and a Greek Salad.  I chose the Chicken Tetrazzini (chicken and penne noodles in sauce) accompanied by an organic salad drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette dressing.  The sauces and dressings are made in house with the exception of ranch dressing.  As the aromas enveloped us, we knew we were in for a treat.  The chicken was tender, the vegetables cooked to perfection and the sauce on my dish was exquisite!  My husband's steak, cooked to medium-well, was a bit gristly but the side of potatoes mashed with carrots and basil was delectable.  For dessert we ordered creme brulee.  Though the customers at the table next to us raved about this dessert, we were less pleased.  Next time I will go for the cheesecake. 

The staff are excellent and very knowledgeable.  Our waitress was sure to ask our opinions on the foods.  Not just if everything was good but our opinion.  I heard her offer the same request to other connoiseurs nearby.  Definitely a must visit.  Make sure you have your credit card on hand or plenty of cash.  Good food and service comes with a price.

Note there is a location in West Edmonton as well as franchises in Calgary, Lethbridge, Sherwood Park.


Saturday, March 13, 2010

Revisiting Nights in Rodanthe

As I had dozed off last time, I proceeded again last night to determine if what I had missed was truly crucial to the story and it was!  Adriene and Paul, in four days together, accomplish more in their relationship than many others do in months, even years.  Each struggling with their own demons and with the freedom that being strangers offers, they confront eachother often in ways that come across as cruel.  Calling it like it is, their confrontations force them to do some real soul searching thus realising life changing actions.  A deep love and respect develops as each supports the other through this.

"It's one of the most intrinsically romantic novels I've ever done. It has a storm, an isolated beach and a wounded couple who come together and heal each other, and it involves a whole range of human emotion: happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, passion, impatience and patience." Nicholas Sparks.

"Paul chose early on to put career first, to be the best doctor he could be, not for the money but genuinely to help people. And he has accomplished that, though, in the process, he is estranged from his adult son and has lost his marriage and his home. Now, facing this emotional and spiritual crisis, he walks away from all the former touchstones of his life. He arrives at the inn uncharacteristically untethered," says Richard Gere.

Diane Lane comments about her character Adriene, "She's in a 180-degree spin, first bracing for divorce, now a possible reconciliation. Adrienne has given up a lot of freedom over the years by putting her family first and she's been comfortable with that, but lately she's been honing a new identity for herself as a single woman and finds it's not so easy to abandon that and go back," says Lane.

"What Paul stirs for Adrienne, and vice versa, is the audacity of  'Who do you think you are?' That's a good question," says Lane. "'Wait a minute while I think about that...who do I think I am?!' That's what people bring each other at the beginning of a relationship; the opportunity to say and do something intentional instead of just coloring by the numbers. It may be uncomfortable but it's liberating."

Each acting as a catalyst for the other, self-realisation unfolds as each rediscovers who they are and what they really want.   Where better to get to know yourself than away from everything and everyone else,  face to face with the forces of nature.

I like this movie for its ability to make one ponder within oneself.  On the surface it is a love story, shrouded in storms external and internal, and what I note as some over-acted parts that don't quite ring true.  But if one looks deeper, and sees the premise to it all, Nights in Rodanthe brings one to question, "Who do I think I am?" Sometimes friends and loved ones can help you answer that.  Truly that answer comes from within.  Look into the looking glass, who do you see?  Sometimes spirituality provides the answer. Whatever your means, this movie reminds you to search within.

Though not overcome by the theatrical version, the premise is good and for that I do recommend Nights in Rodanthe as a rental.  A 3/5.   Tissues please.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Nights in Rodanthe on DVD

"It's never too late for a second chance" (movie tag line)

Picture an inn on the Outer Banks.  Imagine seclusion.  Peace.  Soul searching. 

Picture a white sandy beach, waves lapping the shore and an encroaching storm.  Picture two individuals, both troubled by inner turmoil, alone together in the remote inn and facing a raging hurricane.

Nicholas Sparks is one of my favorite authors and so you can imagine my excitement upon discovering this movie based on his book!  Diane Lane and Richard Gere, both exceptional actors in their own right, play the lead characters: Paul a noted surgeon estranged from his family and Adriene a recently separated mother of two.  Adriene is looking after the eclectically decorated inn for a friend and has but one guest, Paul.  A romance ensues after a somewhat rocky start as they each struggle with their own inner storms.

A good premise indeed. Now I don't want to come off pessimistic here and perhaps it was the script, but the story seemed to drag on and I admit I dozed off and woke just in time to see Diane's character Adriene become the recipient of Paul's (Richard Gere) best loved belongings, all in one box and delivered by his son.  What did I miss?  Today, perhaps, I will revisit Nights in Rodanthe to ascertain if what I missed was worth a few minutes sleep.  I will get back to you on that.