A sumptuous meal, paired with the right wine and served by attentive staff—all in a dining room that overlooks one of the most breathtaking vistas anywhere. That’s what guests can expect when they step into Eden, the 60-seat restaurant at the Rimrock Resort Hotel in Banff.
That experience is assured by Eden’s recent, repeat designation as a Five Diamond restaurant—the only restaurant to achieve this top status in western Canada, and one of only three across the country. Awarded by the CAA/AAA, Diamond certifications are based on a 59-point evaluation conducted annually, and anonymously, by a qualified restaurant inspector.
Sommelier Chad Greaves has been Eden’s manager for more than a decade. AMA Insider spoke to him about true hospitality, the best way to get wrinkles out of a tablecloth and the importance of making every meal a special occasion.
What does the Five Diamond designation mean to Eden diners?
It means meeting that above-and-beyond expectation for every guest, anticipating their needs and giving them a chance to relax in our environment. It’s also about consistency, delivering the same high-quality experience on a Wednesday just as we would on a busy Saturday evening.
Eden is renowned for its tasting menus. What makes them stand out?
Well, there are three of them and they change seasonally. There is a three-course selection, or a six -course offering, or our Grand Degustation, which has eight courses. There’s also a vegetarian tasting option.
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We have elk and bison on the tasting menu, and our organic, sustainable caviar is from Northern Divine in B.C. Being in Alberta, the beef also resonates with our guests. We’ve got wagyu from Brant Lake in southern Alberta. And we source our lamb from Innisfail. These local products give us the opportunity to serve something unique, while keeping it close to home.
What’s Eden’s approach to wine selection?
There are 1,400 different wine labels in our cellar, representing thousands of bottles. Our wine staff will work with whatever combination of food has been ordered—as well as our guests’ individual preferences—to ensure each diner gets a perfect pairing.
What are some of the extras that diners will notice?
It’s a comfortable room, with dark wood panelling. We use Austrian crystal and have a nice thread count on our napkins and tablecloths, which we iron nightly for a pristine setting. Eden overlooks the courtyard, so there are weddings out there in the summer, and a skating rink in the winter. When guests depart, we’ll give them a seasonal gift, a coffee cake or chocolates tied with a ribbon.
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What differentiates a good restaurant from a truly outstanding one?
So many things. For example, we make our own bread: brioche, sourdough and ancient grain. Desserts are made in-house too, including ice cream. And it’s the servers themselves. We like to think of you being welcomed into someone’s home. A lot of our guests are celebrating and so not in a rush; it’s about taking time and being in the moment.