Browsing: Restaurant Features

Peg Beer Company

June3

Ever since our son took his certified brewer training we have become a family of craft beer aficionados. I am the lone holdout, preferring my glass of red wine, for medicinal purposes of course!

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As a result, we happen to know of Nicole Berry, the sole owner and operator of Peg Beer Company. I have watched the renovation process of the building, which was the former home of an indoor skate park, in the Exchange District by following Nicole on Twitter. Her birthing pains have paid off because the rustic/modern interior is a beautiful , sleek space perfect for the neighbourhood and a venture of this kind.

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The evening we sampled the fare, the three beer drinkers in our group were duly impressed with the offerings, but they did indicate that they were really looking forward to the time when Peg Beer Company will be serving their own beer. We understand that this will be in the upcoming months.

peg2But, to the food! The menu is compact which I appreciate. I prefer when a few items are done exceptionally well rather than a bevy of options that are perfunctory. In the case of the Peg Beer Company, less is indeed more.

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We all chose flatbreads and the hits were the Roasted Beet and the Bacon and Egg. The former started with a smear of cream sauce and in addition to the delectable roasted beets, it was adorned with ham, mozzarella and a drizzling of dill oil.

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The bacon & egg flatbread was my favourite, reminding me (and I mean this as the highest compliment) of by gone days when my family would order the thin crust Gondola pizza with bacon. Gondola’s sauce was used sparingly and the bacon was cooked on top of the cheese. I have searched for a duplication of this decadent taste and I think that I have found it. Peg Beer’s version starts with garlic butter, diced bacon, aged cheddar and a free run egg. Next time, I may even suggest that they hold the egg!

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When I didn’t think the evening could get any better, I spotted Platz on the dessert menu. I am not a huge sweet lover but fruit platz (Mennonite coffee cake) is my favourite and this recipe is absolutely authentic.

Peg Beer Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.”  ― Abraham Lincoln

 

Love never fails.

Era Bistro at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights

June1

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A very good friend of mine has recently endured a significant loss. I want to treat her for lunch so that she could fill me in on how she was doing and so that I could lend an ear, if she needed to process some stuff. I thought that Era Bistro at the Canadian Museum for Human Rights was the perfect place for us to meet. I liked the free parking and she works very close by at Portage and Main. But I thought that the Museum building itself was so optimistic with its peace tower point piercing the sky, that the significance outshone the convenience for me.

As I settled in, I spent some time looking over their clever menu sighting many of my home-town favourites.

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My lunch mate choose Era’s take on a club house sandwich that she really enjoyed.

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I loved the beet salad with toasted pine nuts and field greens. The edible flowers were a gorgeous touch. I think that the goat cheese may have been mixed into the creamy red wine vinaigrette, another touch that I loved.

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For good measure I added the option of baked falafel and was delighted by my prairie lunch with an ethnic touch.

Turns out when the time came to pick up the bill, my friend was quicker than I was. In the end, I think too that instead of my being able to comfort her, she injected in me a fresh bout of resilience, perseverance and optimism.

Some of my favourite life moments are spent over a delicious lunch in the company of women.

Era Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “The oak fought the wind and was broken, the willow bent when it must and survived.”  ― Robert Jordan

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Love never fails.

 

 

 

The Gates on Roblin in Headingley

May30

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Have you ever noticed that you can almost always predict what a dining experience is going to be like, by the bread basket? And in this case, with savoury premise-baked pasties, we anticipated that our evening at The Gates would be perfect and it was.

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The perfect evening started with a great Canadian Merlot.

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D and I share spice rubbed, pan-seared scallops perched atop crisp lardon (similar to bacon), roasted grape tomatoes and brussel sprouts. The dish was enhanced with honey lavender aioli. Ohh la la!

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Our hosts shared their own scallops along with herb and flour crusted squid served with chili lime tzatziki.

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For our mains I chose the evening’s special of salmon in phyllo, with shrimp and beet risotto. The portion was so generous that I took home half of my meal which I understand even tasted great a day later.

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D was over the moon with the house-made spinach linquine, fennel, tomato, asparagus and honey lavender cream. He and our host both decided to team the pasta with seafood and were very impressed with the number of succulent mussels and shrimp.

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Our female host opted for the herb salted tenderloin with chirizo and apple salsa served with roasted tomato salsa hash. It looked so delicious that I think that I will have to taste it in the near future.

Some evenings are made because of the food. On this evening with these good friends and important conversation, the evening was perfect even before the food came along. Imagine our delight when it was so lovingly prepared and beautifully displayed. This night, the food was the “icing on the proverbial cake” (and we didn’t even have dessert)!

The Gates on Roblin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “Life is about the decisions we make to live passionately or passively. Where’s your passion?”
― Laura Castoro, Icing on the Cake    

 

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Love never fails.

Jonsey’s Restaurant & Lounge

May25

When spring arrives I love going for long drives with the sun roof open. Typically, an unvisited restaurant is my destination. Such was the case when I recently stopped in at Jonsey’s Restaurant & Lounge in Bird’s Hill. The restaurant was another of the locally owned places that Canstar readers suggested I visit. Even though I arrived for lunch rather late, the establishment was brimming with guests. The server was cheerful and helpful when I couldn’t decide what to order from the huge menu. She suggested the daily special and I was all set.

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I am guessing that the Mediterranean shrimp wrap was so named because of the unusual inclusion of artichokes and a bruschetta mix of tomatoes. The shrimp had likely been poached and were large and tasty enough to hold their own with the other intense flavours. When all wrapped together in a fresh flour tortilla the result was very satisfying, and might I add -filling. I had to package up half of the sandwich and take it home with me.

Perhaps I couldn’t finish the portion because of Jonsey’s addictive hand-cut shoe string French fries. The special came with a choice of fries, salad or soup. I couldn’t resist those fries, telling myself that I would just sample them and push the rest aside. So much for good intentions.

I am typically leery of a restaurant with such an extensive menu and the obvious goal of being all things to all people. For example on Jonsey’s menu you can find Butter Chicken, four kinds of poutine, Firecracker Shrimp Tacos, six burgers, Thai Lettuce Wraps, Pickerel, Chicken Parmigiana, six steaks and the menu indicates that they are famous for their ribs. Are they an East Indian, Thai, Mexican or an Italian restaurant? Are they a steak and seafood house or the place for ribs? Based on the packed restaurant and the delectable wrap that I sampled they are pulling it off, and more so.

The restaurant is easy to spot, just across the street from the Sobey’s in Bird’s Hill. There was plenty of parking in the adjacent lot.

Jonesy's Restaurant and Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “These things are just plain annoying. After all the trouble you go to, you get about as much actual “food” out of eating an artichoke as you would from licking 30 or 40 postage stamps. Have the shrimp cocktail instead.”-Miss Piggy

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Love never fails

 

Dinner with a New Friend

May12

I recently enjoyed dining with the Canstar reader and contest winner Michele Costen and her guest at The Keg Steakhouse + Bar original location on Garry St.

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As soon as we could stop talking about our favourite Winnipeg restaurants, Michele selected an appetizer of Baked Garlic Shrimp where shrimp had been baked in Café de Paris butter and topped with cheese. The butter is the same one used for Keg Escargot for persons who are interested in the decadent taste but are squeamish about tasting snails. Michele and her guest were determined to try something that might have typically been outside of their comfort zones. Michele apparently loved the piping hot and crunchy shrimp enhanced by the savoury flavours of the herbed butter.

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Her guest enjoyed the Shrimp Bisque that was on special that evening. She had recently supped on the seafood soup in San Francisco and was eager to compare. Bisque is a smooth, creamy, highly seasoned soup of French origin, classically based on a strained broth of crustaceans. It can be made from lobster, crab, shrimp or crayfish. It is thought the name is derived from cooking the crustaceans twice like a biscuit for the shrimp are first sautéed lightly in their shells, then simmered in wine and aromatic ingredients, before being strained, followed by the addition of cream. In authentic bisque, the shells are ground to a fine paste and added to thicken the soup. Julia Child has been said to have remarked, “Do not wash anything off until the soup is done because you will be using the same utensils repeatedly and you don’t want any marvelous tidbits of flavor losing them down the drain”.

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Our fabulous waiter suggested that I might like to try a Blackened Steak where the steak was first coated with select herbs and spices and then finished with a dollop of herb butter.

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For her entrée Michele’s guest chose the Bleu Cheese Filet which came wrapped in applewood smoked bacon, smothered in a bleu cheese crust, then finished with roasted garlic cloves.

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Michele said that she was going to “go for it” and was happy to indulge in a Surf + Turf-a tender mini filet medallion and a petite Atlantic lobster tail.

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Crème brûlée (literally: burnt cream) was selected by Michele’s guest.

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Michele considered and then concluded that the famous Keg Billy Miner pie would be her choice. When dinner was over our conversations continued and could of extended long into the evening.

The Keg Steakhouse + Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “We don’t make friends by accident, they were meant to cross our paths for a reason.” -Unknown

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Love never fails.

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