Crab Cake at Sorrentino’s Italian Restaurant in Edmonton
I frequently order Crab Cakes whenever I see them on a menu as I love comparing and contrasting the different styles in various places. One of the best versions I have had ever since I started keeping notes was the Crab Cake at Salty’s right here in Halifax, while the most unusual, though far from the best, was the, almost spherical, Crab Cake at the Oyster Shack in Montreal. As for the one pictured above, this was served to me at Sorrentino’s in downtown Edmonton. It wasn’t a winner in the grand scheme of things, but it was still very enjoyable.
The Crab Cake at Sorrentino’s was prepared with Snow Crab, served in a pool of Saffron Aioli, and came with a bruschetta style topping of tomato and black garlic. There was also a salad of mixed greens with a light olive oil dressing on the side which was very nice, but otherwise not especially remarkable.
One thing I have to not about this appetizer was the very nice plating job. If you look, you will see that the chef has offset the main ingredients so that they are arranged around the far side of the plate from the diner. This is a plating technique often used in Japanese cuisine, although, in Japan, you would probably see a ‘round food’, like this Crab Cake, being served on a squarish platter.
The Crab Cake itself wasn’t too bad, but not especially good either. For one thing, the choice of Snow Carb was a poor one. This species is one of the cheaper available and I never buy it myself as it is generally not very good. The flesh is more fibrous than meat, dry rather than succulent, and not terribly sweet even when not processed in any way.
Here, the meat was too finely minced. This is an issue I have harped on about in many previous posts dealing with Crab cakes and, as I have said before, if Crab is too heavily processed and chopped up, it tends to lose some of its better flavors. The other issue in this particular case is that the Cake was over-fried, as you can see by the dark color of the breading, and this made it even drier than is the case with Snow Crab.
The Saffron Aioli was interesting, and I like the flavor well enough, but I am undecided on whether it was a good pairing for Crab. As for the topping, this was pretty decent, and the garlic flavor came through nicely, but something with just a little more tang would have made a better accompaniment.
All in all, the Crab Cake at Sorrentino’s were middle of the road in quality. The plating was excellent, and ‘food for the eyes’, but the execution was not the best and I was able to give this a Rating of 3 out of 5.