DT Urban Kitchen & Oyster Bar

February11

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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.

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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.
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Prawn Cocktail

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.

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Recipe in honour of a regular guest

I also had a chance to sample

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the WPG Burger

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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

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his Coconut Shrimp with a crumble of macadamia nuts and cilantro crème fraiche.

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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….”

295 York Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote:“If you are a chef, no matter how good a chef you are, it’s not good cooking for yourself; the joy is in cooking for others – it’s the same with music.”-will.i.am
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Love never fails.

 

 

 

 

Sous Sol

February8

Sous Sol is somewhat of a mystery, including its location. When we instructed friends to join us at the restaurant we gave them the address and then had to add that it was in the basement and that they must enter from a back lane where they would get no assistance by signage. Searching it out was well worth the trouble.

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The funky Parisian interior features whitewashed walls, turquoise painted wooden chairs, dim candlelight and mismatched china plates. It all worked and created an intriguing, cozy ambience. The evening that we dined was a chilly one so our shawls and fuzzy sweaters were in keeping with the casual décor.

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On the night that we visited the appetizers featured on the ever changing menu were steak tar tare, scallops done in a Coquille St. Jacques style as well as a little pot of poached shrimp and clams. Keep in mind that if you go to check out the little French bistro you may find something entirely different on the menu. This meant that we could count on the use of fresh seasonal items in the dishes and it also added to the mystique of the restaurant.

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Our mains were as delectable as the starters featuring lamb shank, beef noisette and salmon. All meat entrees were tender and succulent and perfectly

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offset by savoury sauces and carefully selected and prepared vegetables.

For our party, crème brulee was a “must” testing the culinary skills of Chef Mike Robins. The thin caramelized crust of the custard dessert, splintered when struck by the back of a spoon, exactly the way the classic dish’s preparation might have been taught in culinary school. Perhaps too, Chef picked up the skill working at a Michelin starred restaurant in New York.

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A lovely amuse bouche of sea salted chocolate accompanied the cheque which was a fun surprise given that the treat from a chef typically commences a meal by “delighting (amusing) the mouth”. The final mystery of the evening revolved around the bill, but let’s not spoil all the surprises.

Sous Sol (when translated means basement)

The address is not included on their website but is at 22-222 Osborne St. Remember that you enter off of the lane which runs at a right angle to Stradbrook St. Look for a plain black awning and a glass door that says “Building B, Lower Level”.

Hours have recently changed an they are now open Thursday to Saturday, 5 pm – 2 am. Reservations not accepted. Not accessible to persons with disabilities which is such as shame as our daughter Beep would love it!

Sous Sol Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “A good cook is the peculiar gift of the gods. They must be a perfect creature from the brain to the palate, from the palate to the finger’s end.”
-Walter Savage Landor

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Love never fails.

 

 

Celebrating Mom’s 89th Birthday!

February4

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Yes, our family is a close knit one. In winter it is more challenging to find reasons to assemble every month or so. But Mom’s 89th birthday was the perfect opportunity.

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I hope that I look as youthful and happy as Mom when I am 89 years young.

But what to get a Mom who never asks for anything and is always more willing to give than receive? Sister #3 had a great idea. Mom is so proud of her children, grandchildren and great-granchildren and all of their significant others, so it was decided that we would fashion Mom’s party around a talent fair!

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We set up three banquet tables to display photography, painting, writing, beer & wine making, wood working, leather work, other crafting and pottery.

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Many decided that cooking was their talent and having tasted everything, I can assure you that we have scads of culinary experts in our midst.

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In addition, everyone provided snacks, so there was more than enough for everyone.

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Once we had visited and tasted all of the fare, it was time for the entertainment portion of the evening. One sister-in-law recited a poem.

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Sister #3 serenaded us (acapella, no less).

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Three generations formed this musical trio and after a one night rehearsal, entertained us with “Crazy” by Patsy Cline, Elvis’ “Jailhouse Rock” and even a modified Ronny Milsap birthday themed song. It was the highlight of the evening and Mom grinned from ear to ear.

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A second sister-in-law baked Mom’s birthday cake.

Perhaps the secret to living 89 years is my Mom’s atttitude of giving, of gratitude and in the joy of her family. Mom lives a simple, blessed life that is full of love given and experienced.

Kath’s quote: “I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.” ― Albert Einstein

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The youngest member of our clan sitting on her soon to appear cousin. Birthing another member of our big loving family-a wonderful talent indeed!

Love, that is all.

Isla Mujeres Trip Report-Day Eleven, Part Two

January29

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Before we walked into Centro, I did some beachcombing and then we had a little visit with friends of our next door neighbours (from Saskatchewan). Their friends were from our home town of Winnipeg and because everybody knows everyone else back home-it turned out that he had done an inspection of our beach house at the lake.

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We walked through Centro to meet the rest of our entourage at the old Playa Sol for sunset. Along the way I captured a couple of moments that I was particularly enthralled by, including the above. What I liked about it was that often times when you see a depiction of the madonna, she has a halo and rays streaming from her head/crown but in this, the halo is in the heavens. Pretty cool, I thought.

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Even chipping plaster strikes me as pretty; especially when it is the backdrop for these dashing musicians.

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Oh that I could have a retro floor like this in my home……

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What came first, the restaurant or the vine?

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The deep sea fishing boats.

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Live lobster tank.

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The palms silhouetting the firey sky.

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Sailfish statue.

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This too was one of my favourites. The wide flung door says “possibilities” to me. The fading sun was now pastel and that is my borther, my sister, my sister-in-law and an honourary sister waiting for us on the far dock.

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This was our view as D poured us Kahlua and banana cocktails and we nibbled on snacks.

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That evening we had dinner a fabulous (as always) at Fredy’s  before wandering down to watch a game of basketball near the square, a stroll home to Luna d’ Miel and lastly moon gazing by the ocean. Another perfect day.

As much as I know that all the walking that I do from the airport strip to Centro and back again is good for me, I am very much looking forward to staying in Centro for our upcoming trip. I haven’t done so in years. We will be at the Villas San Miquel, a relatively new build of apartments clustered around a walled pool. The kitchen is beautifully equipped so we anticipate making lots of good food and hosting happy hours. We will be nice and close to our favourite juice man and to fetch tortas first thing in the morning at the Supermercado. Counting down the days now…..

Kath’s quotes: “The moon is a loyal companion. It never leaves. It’s always there, watching, steadfast, knowing us in our light and dark moments, changing forever just as we do. Every day it’s a different version of itself. Sometimes weak and wan, sometimes strong and full of light. The moon understands what it means to be human. Uncertain. Alone. Cratered by imperfections.” ― Tahereh Mafi

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Love, that is all.

Isla Mujeres Trip Report-Day Eleven, Part One

January28

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We spent lots of time on the back patio of Luna d’Miel on this day for a couple of reasons: 1) the sunrise was gorgeous (would you agree?) and we had new neighbours in the apartments. It is fun to write this months later as Kelly & Peggy are my Facebook friends and I hope to see them on the island in a month or so.

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We waited on the airport road for Sister #3 and Dona to pick us up in a cab. We were on our way to visit Fredy and Anna’s breakfast restaurant in the Colonias. Fredy explained how Mel and Alda’s was named for their grandkids Melodie and Aldair.

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In the vicinity was a home with a with this uniquely crafted wall. On one side you could see the bottle bottoms but through the curved window, you might be able to see that the entire bottle had been plastered in. Home owners on Isla are so inventive!

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Our next stop was to tour Joyce and Bob’s Casitas. I mentioned in a previous post that even though we had just met, we had lots of commonalities between us. The Casitas are so beautiful, carefully decorated and equipped with every convenience you might need for a couple of weeks stay. Can you imagine this view from your bed? I love the stretch of beach, across the road-perfect for beach combing, one of my favourite Isla past times.

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Joyce was also kind enough to let us have a peak at their own home-equally gorgeous with little touches that I was particularly fond of.

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Our gang on their second floor terrace.

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I was especially enamoured by this exquisite tree that was carefully tended in their yard.

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We walked around the neighbourhood a bit before heading back to the north.

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By the time the sun was lowering in the sky we were on our back into Centro. But those photos and narrative will have to wait for another day.

Kath’s quote: “The traveler sees what he sees. The tourist sees what he has come to see.”  ― G.K. Chesterton

coralheart

Love, that is all.

 

 

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