Browsing: Restaurant Features

Bonfire Bistro

January26

IMG_0323I love the taste of char and anything cooked on an open fire.  I drive my husband crazy when I asked for my wieners and smokies burned on the barbecue in the summer.  This obsession dates back to my childhood when we would celebrate summer birthdays at the “pits” before Bird’s Hill Park was built just north of Winnipeg.  My Dad would choose our sticks and then carve a point to spear the wiener or marshmallow.  The buns also got toasted on the fire and there was always a jug of A&W root beer to wash it all down.

My love of food cooked on an open fire was wonderfully satiated by Pasta la Vista-a favourite but now defunct Winnipeg restaurant.  There is a great place that we go to in the summer at the Manitou Lodge in Pine Falls, which is not far from our cottage.  They cook most of their selections on the open fire, including the bread that is hot, soft in the middle and crunchy on the outside.

So it is quite natural that I would love having lunch at the Bonfire Bistro.  I met with three old friends-one who had just arrived that morning from Toronto.  IMG_0326

This was one of their delicious salad offerings.

IMG_0324And this was one of the half pizza and salad specials of the day.  The salads were oh so garlicky and the pizzas delicious.  The mushroom is illustrated here.  I had a spicy sausage that was even better.

The Bonfire Bistro is owned by the same gentleman who has Cafe Carlo and Burrito del Rio.  This Mexican restaurant in Osborne Village has been on my hit list for a long time and tomorrow is the day!
Bonfire Bistro on Urbanspoon

Winnipeg Winter Wedding

January25

19167_440978905286_530215286_10850711_5885164_s

The January Wedding of our son and his long time love took place in a winter wonderland.  Although the weather had been mild of late, there had been a fresh sticky snow that had clung to the trees.    To be prepared for pictures they had booked the Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature.

They had a cocktail reception at The Academy which in our opinion is the perfect venue.  It had comfortable booths close to a small stage for speeches and video presentations.  This area was the ideal place for some of the older guests to sit.  The bar is beautifully lit and very inviting so a number of family members congregated there.  The dance floor is at the far end and was set up for the live band.  The younger guests assembled here at high cocktail tables.

The appetizers were well prepared and came out before the wedding party arrived.  19167_440979195286_530215286_10850736_5756438_nAfter speeches there was milk and cookies.  A tiny melt-away favourite of the bride’s made by her Mom (I promise to share her recipe here) and the groom’s pick of Winnipeg’s famous  Imperial Cookies.

Manager Brian Allison and the staff were very accommodating.  They even had an AV person available for all the technical aspects of the evening.  Special mention must be made to John the Bartender who was the epitome of what Winnipeg hospitality was all about.

17938_270483545457_540230457_3865163_6330854_s

Fav Winnipeg Foods

January15

I think you can tell so much about a person by their fav food list.  So here’s a start on ours and please add yours in the comments.  I will get a followers favourite list together with your responses.

cake2Cake-easy…Jeanne’s Banana Cake in the log style because that way you get more icing.  I’ve been requesting this for my birthday since I could speak.  One year I bought one for myself.

6a00d8341c63d853ef00e54faf598d8833-800wiCookie-easy again.  Imperial Cookies.  I like them best from the east side of  Lake Winnipeg.  We couldn’t get in touch with Einfeld’s to order them for our Son’s wedding so we’ve ordered Diplomat cookies from Gunn’s instead.  We heard that Imperial Cookies been served at the upcoming Golden Globes in Hollywood this weekend.

Chips….a bit harder as it is a tie.  They must be kettle chips.  And it is  between the course pepper ripple chips from Costco and the Miss Vickie’s Lime and Pepper chips available most places.  We also loved the Basil and Rosemary chips that Miss Vickie’s had out for a while but we must have been in a minority because we can’t seem to find them any more.  I know I should be saying an Old Dutch variety to support a home town product.  We used to get cast offs from the factory when I was growing up and they were my favourite because they were too brown and folded together.  The first time we tasted a kettle chip was on our honey-moon in Cape Cod and they were called Cape Cod chips.  I’ve also found them in Toronto.

Tortilla Chips-La Cochina hands down.  The tortilla chip I’ve tasted anywhere including Mexico.

Fries-I have an in town version and a lake version.  In town I would say Daly Burger’s but I am willing to continue my quest for the best Winnipeg fry.  I would love to say from the blue chip wagon on the way to Lester Beach but they’ve closed.  Kenora’s fries are up there but I’m a Grand Beach girl myself so I just can’t declare them the winner.

Ice Cream Cone-a chocolate dipped chocolate swirl in a sugar cone, rolled in peanuts from the BDI.

Gelato-one scoop of coconut and one scoop of mango from the little Eva’s on west Corydon near Kenaston.  This was the first Eva’s and is walking distance from our home.

Burger-Pete’s Place on Main St.  Has to have a steamed bun and fried onions.

Breakfast-Falafel House if you can get in.

Fish and Chips-I would love to say the Valley Room at Eaton’s because they had the most authentic served in Winnipeg for many years but Ducky’s on Notre Dame is probably my new fav.

Steak or Prime Rib-hands down The Keg.  Been enjoying these for 35 years the-kegand they are consistently still our first choice.

Dim Sum-Dim Sum Garden on Rupert at lunch time.

Vietnamese-Little Saigon on William.

Thai-Sukhotai on Osborne.

In the pizza category there are 3 categories:

Retro Pizza-Gondola thin crust bacon.

Boutique Pizza-Pizzeria Gusto on Academy.

Friday Night Pizza-I hear Diana’s is excellent but haven’t had a chance to sample.  We like Colloseo’s and Mona Lisa’s but there are really too many for me to declare my fav.  We’ll have to continue the quest for this one as well.

Perogies-Anne’s in the North End are very good but I also like the ones made by the babas as a fund raiser for the Holy Family Nursing Home.  A new entry on the scene are the ones made by the youth group at St. Aidan’s Church.  When my Mom was young enough to make them though-they were absolutely stellar.

Hot Dog- Lockport Skinners of course.  Half Moon a close second but they have to be a European Wiener with the crunchy skin.  When we have wieners on the barbecue I love mine burnt-don’t knock it til you try it.

Salsa-homemade of course but if purchased, another tie between the lime salsa at Superstore and the deli salsa at Safeway.  The mango salsa from Sobey’s is right up there.

BothwellBlackTruffleCheese-Bothwell‘s black truffle!  (enough said)

Bread- Gunn’s marble rye.

to be continued……

Bistro 7 1/4

January13

IMG_0286Bistro 7 1/4 is one of my favourite Winnipeg restaurants and I have been going there for years.  Usually it is at lunch with a business colleague.  Tonight was the first time that I had ever been for dinner.  It was also the first time that I went with my husband and the first time that I sat at the “bar” (which is the Chef’s cooking station near the front door of the restaurant).  One time when I was there in the summer, there was a miniature version of Chef Alex assisting in the preparations.  His son has his own Chef’s “whites” and seemed right at home.

I have not sampled very many things on the menu because I absolutely love the way they prepare moule & frites.  There are a half dozen choices but I always have the Pernod and fennel.  I have blathered on about the dish for so long that my husband ordered it as well.  IMG_0288He also wanted to sample a starter and so we also had a “gnudi”.  We had to ask what we were ordering and a gnudi is the Chef’s version of gnocchi but is lighter as it is prepared with ricotta cheese.  Our selection was mixed with corn, jalapenos, shrimp and a lime wedge, then topped with a sharp cheddar.  IMG_0289Before the starter a baguette that was finished in the oven and served hot and crunchy with a tomato pesto and butter and citrus salt arrived.

Everything was beautifully prepared and absolutley delicious.  The skinny french fries are perfectly salted and very close to the top of my best french fry list. IMG_0292 My husband and I were in Europe this fall and he had a big feed of mussels in Paris on our last night.  When he offered me a taste, I said “I know that you are going to have a hard time believing this, but these are a poor substitute for what we can have back home in Winnipeg”.  Tonight he agreed.

Last Dinner in Paris

Last Dinner in Paris

On one side of us at the bar sat a couple who I think ordered buffalo and it must have been very rich as the female took home almost her entire plate.  On the other side were two travellers-one from Toronto who was obviously a regular as the Chef remembered him from previous visits.  He says that he likes to sit at the bar when dining alone because he doesn’t feel like a schmutz.

The place is on the small side and was packed.  For an early Wednesday evening in January that is quite an accomplishment.

Bistro 7 1/4 on Urbanspoon

Hu’s at Leon’s

January7

There are a couple of Hu’s in Winnipeg and I was actually not in a hurry to try this venue. But I was very pleasantly surprized and happy that I did.  As an appetizer we had the Tuna garnished with panko flakes, green onions, ginger and a special soya sauce.  It was plated like a Christmas tree and I did not know if that was because it was December or if that is the usual plate design.  It was delectable to the eye and the taste buds.

IMG_0180

Tuna Tree

Although the Korean Beef was way to hot for my liking, one of my lunch partners thought that it was perfect.  I enjoyed the noodles and the shrimp far more.   We also ordered a specially bottled Hu’s beer which had a taste of infused ginger-loved it!  The decor is gorgeous.  Give it a try….
Hu's Asian Bistro on Urbanspoon

« Older EntriesNewer Entries »