Edmonton restaurants rush to meet New Year’s Eve dining demand

As many people prepare to stay in to ring in the new year, local restaurants are hoping to meet demand for dining at home.

With COVID-19 public health orders keeping restaurants closed for dine-in, and social gatherings off the table, local restaurateurs have prepared menus that cater to households or singles.

At Filistix, a Filipino restaurant in downtown Edmonton, 8 p.m. Tuesday is the deadline to get an order in so the restaurant will have time to prepare the food and get it ready for pickup on New Year’s Eve. 

Co-owner and chef Ariel del Rosario said their four-course menu comes from a fusion of traditional and modern Filipino dishes, as well as influences from China and Indonesia.

Pre-orders are rolling in but del Rosario said he doesn’t expect there will be quite as much demand as there was for the Christmas special, as Christmas is traditionally the bigger celebration in Filipino culture. He said the holiday menus and other special events are helping them get through the pandemic.

“It was a really, really great response, and we are really, really grateful that Edmontonians came out and supported,” he said of the Christmas orders.

Christian Mena is the co-owner of Sabor and the several Bodega restaurants in the Edmonton area. (Sabor. )

Christian Mena is the co-owner of Sabor, a casual fine dining restaurant, and the Bodega restaurants, which focus on tapas. He said the Bodegas are doing special New Year’s Eve dinner menus, but Sabor is sticking with its normal menu with the addition of extra seafood options.

“We’ve come from a bit of a dark year, and we’re trying to go into 2021 with our heads held high and lots of positivity and hope,” he said.

Mena said there’s no cutoff time for placing an order for New Year’s Eve dinner, but he said pre-orders are stacking up, and calling sooner is the best way to ensure customers can get orders for their preferred time slots.

“Get your order in ASAP,” he said. “In particular because if you’re doing pickup there are only some many orders we can take per time frame.”

Both del Rosario and Mena said that while 2020 has been tough, they have felt supported by the local community.

“Honestly, I think people have gone far and above to support us and we’ve been nothing but grateful,” Mena said.

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