Characters Blog

Symphony of cuisine to the Canadian culinary stage

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Downtown Edmonton’s finest, restaurant experience.  For over 20 years, Chef Shonn Oborowsky has brought an eclectic symphony of cuisine to the Canadian culinary stage.

Fall is upon us, which means that the new set menus have arrived for Fall 2018.  Inviting soups and rich, seasonal roast vegetables complement the vast menu of wild game, seafood, Alberta beef, Quebec veal, and other artisanal mains.  Chef Shonn creates these dishes with his worldly flair.

Swap your crisp light ales and summer cocktails for a single malt beverage, featuring Glennfiddich’s Rare Collection 1937, celebrating the year of King George VI’s coronation.  Warm, botanic gins and clean vodka’s make for the perfect aperitif.  Characters also features Sassicaia, an award winning, world-renown Bordeaux-style Super Tuscan.

A short venture away from plenty of Edmonton’s booming downtown night scene, and open late- perfect for a dessert or nightcap.

Many seem to forget that fine dining is available at lunch as well.  A set menu lunch, or a standard menu lunch is available for that escape from the office, or as a start to an amazing day.

Characters has been the pillar of quality ever since its inception.  A restaurant that prides itself as having a champagne selection- second to none, and an on-hand sommelier, Michael Lefevre, who will take you on a guided tour through the 400+ selections, featuring verticals of the aforementioned Sassicaia, as well as its worthy adversary, Tignanello.

Classic meets contemporary, with the culinary vision of a well-travelled auteur-de-cuisine, Chef Shonn and co. will collect your senses, sous vide them in a vacuum sealed bag, complete with seasonal aromatics, and then braise them in a brown butter.  Characters Fine Dining is the essential escape from the ordinary.  Canadian, world inspired fusion that seduces your palate, urging you to reserve another table, the moment you put on your coat and walk into the brisk autumn air.

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The Chef’s Table

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If you have not seen the Netflix show “Chef’s Table” you really need to, HOWEVER what’s even better, seriously, is having a FRONT ROW SEAT to a real live chef’s table!!! Well at Characters in downtown Edmonton, you can do just that!

This unique dining experience is perfect for aspiring chefs, food lovers, the epicurious and those looking for a little entertainment with their meal. The Chef’s Table places you and three guests right in the heart of the action. Chef Shonn and his staff welcome you to their busy kitchen and will answer your questions along the way. Imagine being able to inquire just why a chef is doing something a certain way. Feeling the actual heat of the flames as the symphony of the kitchen takes place! They are some of the best front row seats in the city of Edmonton!

Just like a sporting event there is something awesome about being really close to the action! Chef Shonn welcomes you to take that seat in his kitchen where you can see all of the intricacies involved in each and every artistic dish from the mind of Chef Shonn Oborowsky!

We really believe that this is such a great experience for you and your friends! Take the friends from out of town to a front row show they will never forget! Also the chef’s table is estequally very cool! With its copper counter top and high top chairs allowing you to see right into the front line of the kitchen itself!

Don’t hesitate, the Spring 2018 menu is already in place for you at Characters Restaurant in Edmonton, Alberta, pre-book your seats asap! Chef Shonn and his entire team look forward seeing you sit in the front row of Characters at their next dinner service!

For general inquiries, or to book a private dining room, please email or call 780-421-4100.

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Spring is at Characters Restaurant!

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Well FINALLY that snow is melting, and while Edmontonians are always ready for “one last snow” we hold onto hope that Spring, is just around the corner! And with that we have great news this week, chef Shonn Oborowsky has released the Spring 2018 Menu here at Characters Restaurant!!! So let’s dive into just SOME of the highlights featured on this seasons freshly designed menu!

First off there are 2 brand new set menus! If you have not yet experienced a set menu at Characters Restaurant, what are you waiting for! The two new menus (1 for lunch and 1 for dinner) are seriously a new level for Chef Shonn. Both the Lunch and Dinner menu have 3 different levels you can enjoy, each offering their own unique and creative journey!

Some of the standouts on the Lunch menu have to be the CRAB RAVIOLI – Creamed Kimchi & fried mustard greens, a great start to the hearty option on the list. As well as the BEET CARPACCIO which is a truly interesting take on Carpaccio consisting of, Korean spiced walnuts, mustard crème fraîche & mustard seed. For the proteins be sure to try the BROOKS ALBERTA PETITE BEEF with Wasabi hollandaise & chickpea fries and the IRVINGS FARM PORK CHOP Rösti potatoes & Chasseur sauce, which made its way onto much of the new menus!

For dinner all of the options are incredible but really try the ROOT VEGETABLE RISOTTO

Roasted carrot and beet, celeriac dust and the BURNT MISO TUNA LOIN Gingered black rice and edamame purée! For the mains the BROME LAKE DUCK BREAST Pineapple glazed

Herb & duck confit flavored Israeli couscous, is everything you could want in a duck dish!

The creativity Chef Shonn Oborowsky brings to your table is UNPARALLELED, and this years Spring menu is full of just that! Come visit us at Characters and ask for the Spring 2018 menu by Chef Shonn!

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Seriously Scotchy

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Well if this is the first Characters restaurant blog you have read, ok let me fill you in. Characters restaurant is the best, most romantic, creative and delightful dining experiences you can have in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. From ALL STAR Chef Shonn Oborowsky’ mind blowing dishes and creative presentation, to the spectacular wine list that will truly impressive most people, Characters restaurant is an EXPERIENCE, and now that you are up to date, here we go.

Today we want to point out the scotch selection at characters, yes scotch. Seriously, Characters has it all, and scotch is another level of what we are trying to tell you about Characters restaurant! And while the wine list is so incredibly impressive at Characters (by the way we have written about the wine list before) there is a scotch that Characters has that will blow your mind!

Characters has a bottle of the 1937 “King of Drams” YES 1937!!!  OK you have to read what Glenfiddich says about it’s scotch:

The King of Drams One of the Oldest and Most Expensive Scotch Whiskies Glenfiddich ® Rare Collection 1937 After 64 years of maturation, the world’s oldest and most expensive bottle of Scotch whisky has been released – Glenfiddich Rare Collection 1937. Only 61 bottles of this exquisite liquid will ever be available, priced at $22000 per bottle (the equivalent of $1500 a measure).Glenfiddich Rare Collection 1937 started its life one summer’s day in 1937 when oak cask 843, hand made by distillery coopers, was filled with spirit from the stills at The Glenfiddich Distillery in Dufftown, Scotland, and laid down in a dunnage warehouse to mature. Normally whiskies that reach this great age have either been spoilt or have lost their strength, however this whisky is exceptional having matured slowly, allowing it to develop a unique character. With its wonderful toffee caramel and cinnamon nose, chocolate and treacle flavors and unique rich walnut colour, Glenfiddich Rare Collection 1937 is an extraordinary whisky, full of complexity, subtlety and character. Cask 843 has lived through 64 years and numerous monumental world events, from the Second World War, to the first man landing on the moon and the demise of the Berlin Wall.

WOW is all we can say, the best part? THIS SCOTCH IS AVAILABLE AT CHARACTERS RESTAURANT TODAY! And don’t worry, if this is beyond your palate… Characters has a tremendous list of scotch’s from all the regions for your pleasure!

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The Wine Vault! Characters Restaurant

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What if we told you that there is a place in Edmonton, Alberta that carries a truly mind-blowing cellar of wines. Well look no further because Characters Restaurant boasts that very thing! Chef Shonn Oborowsky is not only a creative genius with all things food, but also have an incredible sense for wine, and he loves to showcase these in his restaurant!

Not only wine but Characters also keeps on hand a tremendous Champagne collection as well! You really need to know that this wine cellar at Characters is outstanding, with vintages from MANY years, and wine from all of the best regions from around the WORLD!  

Recently we asked a sommelier T.J Harstine to pick out a few wines that make the wine cellar at Characters stand out above the rest, here are his picks!

  1. Champagne Vanier Fannier – Awesome Grower Champagne based in Avize (Famous town in the Cote des Blancs – also where I spend a lot of my time in France) all of the grapes come from only 4 hectares of land!
  2. Henschke Hill of Grace Shiraz – perhaps one of the greatest Shiraz/Syrah in the world! The vineyard dates back to 1860, and coincidentally is also only 4 hectares of land is used to grow these grapes! If you have not tried this yet, you HAVE to on your next visit!
  3. Then there is Chef Shonn’s Sassicaia selection that goes all the way back to 1982! That is definitely something unique, especially the 1990 which was both a great year and is  probably at its peak drinking condition right now!

The food at Characters restaurant is exceptional, Chef Shonn Oborowsky’s vision is like no other, but now when you pair that with this exquisite wine list that Character’s boats, well, that is an evening that you will not forget for a very long time! Call in your reservation today and discover the wine cellar at Characters Restaurant in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada!

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It’s all in the ingredients Characters Restaurant

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If you have not experienced fresh, you need to do yourself a favour and find somewhere that knows how to give you fresh and heading to the big chain supermarket is not where fresh typically comes from… Finding the best grade of food, like cooking, can be an art form, and fortunately for us, Chef Shonn Oborowsky at Characters Restaurant has the art of feeding us FRESH.

If you follow Chef Shonn on a Saturday morning you will be sure to head down a busy street where fresh fruit and vegetable vendors come and market their locally sourced produce. The smell is that of nature, and Chef Shonn examines the colour, texture, smell, and taste of each ingredient he is about to turn into a vibrant work of art on a plate.

When you enjoy Characters restaurant you get the quality you deserve because there really isn’t another option to Chef Shonn, and it immediately translates to the plate and then to the palate. This level of freshness is incredibly rare in this part of the world and we are extremely lucky to have it at this level in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

With Valentine’s day here, be sure to book Valentine’s week so you too can experience the level of expertise that Chef Shonn gives you with every single course that comes out of his kitchen, you will not be disappointed!

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The Cities Most Romantic ELEVATOR!

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The Cities Most Romantic ELEVATOR!

When thinking of a romantic spot for dinner, one might think of Paris, or Venice, maybe the Hills of Switzerland, Niagara Falls, or Old Quebec City. But you most likely would not think that one of the most romantic places in the City of Edmonton is actually an ELEVATOR!

Characters Restaurant in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada boasts the Cities Top chef, Shonn Oborowsky, his artistic take on mouth watering cuisine leaves you satisfied and inspired after every meal. But beyond the food, and too rarely talked about, is the beautiful dining room that Chef Shonn creates in!

Even deeper is an incredibly unique table for 2 located in, you guessed it, an old elevator car! Of course this is decked out in the restaurants theme, but the top-down sliding doors can lock you and your date away on an incredibly romantic evening! In fact MANY people have discovered this gem, and there have even been wedding proposals in the elevator!

That would be a great way to tell the story of your engagement “Yes, He proposed to me in and ELEVATOR!” Give Characters a call and reserve the elevator for your next big date! Be sure to mention if you are planning to pop the big question!!!

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On Set At Characters Restaurant For The Short Film “The Moustache”

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Behind the scenes here at Characters Restaurant in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada for some of the filming of the short film “The Moustache” in December 2017. An amazing production by Silverayne Productions staring Donovan Workun who started atomicimprov, and is on The CBC’s Irrelevant Show.

We’re excited to see the finished project and we had a wonderful time working with all of you. Thanks again.

Photography by Jonathan Deschenes

You Have Not Experienced Edmonton, Until You Have Experienced Characters!

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It is, sadly, a common thing for people to knock Edmonton, Alberta. Admittedly yes, ok Edmonton can be horrendous in the Winter… But what is simply untrue is that Edmonton is just a “Blue-Collar” town that really doesn’t understand about food or drink. But I would tell you that you have not experienced Edmonton for yourself then! And if you are ready to change your opinion on this town, it’s time to experience Characters Restaurant!

Characters restaurant is the brainchild of Chef Shonn Oborowsky, a world traveled, artistic genius that not only creates compelling dishes in his beautiful building in downtown Edmonton, but creates a culinary EXPERIENCE that transcends all preconceived ideas that Edmonton, has no class.

Allowing yourself to be submerged in the journey that Characters Restaurant takes you on has been a MUST for many years in the city. People from all over the world make sure to book a reservation whenever they are in Edmonton, and it is time that you do as well!

For the local Edmontonian, it is rather easy to debunk the stereotypes that are spewed unknowingly in their direction, they just look at you and say, “Clearly you have not been to Characters yet.”

Book your Characters experience with Chef Shonn Oborowsky today! 

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Characters Restaurant, The Art of Dining

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What if I told you that you have a famous artist, sports athlete, musician, downtown offering to show you what they did in an up close, personal look? You would probably love to experience that right? Well guess what, the city of Edmonton Alberta has one of today’s top chefs, creating works of art, for YOU to experience NOW. So why haven’t you left yet?

Chef Shonn Oborowsky began his culinary education at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology’s School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts. In pursuit of his culinary dreams, Shonn traveled the globe to work and study. His stops ranged from Hawaii to Switzerland, where he finished his formal education at Centre International de Glion in Bulle.

But knowing a bit of back story really does not say enough. Creativity is where this culinary experience begins, passion is where the creativity starts to form, and vision is how all of that becomes a reality. To explain the level of genius that goes into every dish at Characters restaurant could fill books, it is revolutionary, it is truly an experience.

Chef Shonn is a visionary, he sketches what his mind sees into his notebook, studying the images he looks for those ingredients, not any will do, they must fulfill his vision. Working like an artist he formulates and prepares the piece, and finally his grand reveal, it is set on the table to be enjoyed, by you.

It is time for you to have an Experience at Characters Restaurant. Be one that experiences the mind of an artist come to life before your eyes!

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