I was not of the opinion that 295 Lobby on York needed sprucing up, but I was nonetheless impressed when Mr. WOW! Doug Stephen conducted a personalized tour of the restaurant for me. The former floor to ceiling draperies which separate tables along the round banquette were being replaced and cozy round booths now line the north wall and will certainly satisfy diners who are looking for romance or extra privacy. The back rooms are still in tact which I am pleased about, as I attend a group that utilizes the space on a regular basis.
D and I have a particular inclination for seafood and make it a priority to scope out the best places when we travel. We have a fondness for the oyster and raw bars of Boston where amicable oyster shuckers will listen to your woes (and joys) like a bar keep. Modifications have been made to 295’s bar so that Chef Jesse Friesen can hold down the fort from their new oyster bar. Jesse is not only a talented chef but passionate about fresh products, innovative cooking preparations and his home town of Winnipeg, so he is the perfect personality to take on a limelight role such as this.
On this evening, I divided my time between the raw bar where I sample the poached prawns (above) and a bevy of oysters including the cooked ones below.
Recipe in honour of a regular guest
I also had a chance to sample
the WPG Burger
and the back bacon cheese toast. Both were fabulous, but Chef Jesse has a deft hand with seafood, so when you go, ensure that you same some room for
his Coconut Shrimp with a crumble of macadamia nuts and cilantro crème fraiche.
My 295 favourite of Tuna Tartare featuring Canadian albacore has thankfully remained on the menu. I enjoyed the toasted panko flakes which provided a subtle crunch, but particularly the silky drizzle of a fine sesame oil producing additional depth.
DT’s is the first restaurant that I know of in Winnipeg to print a gluten free menu. I am sure Winnipeggers will applaud this.
So, check out the changes in décor and the new food offerings, but in particular spend some time with Chef Jesse. Readers in this space know that I am a big fan of his and predict great things for him. You’ll be able to say “I knew him when….”
Love never fails.