Browsing: Restaurant Features

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

aweheart

Love never fails.

 

 

Peaks Restaurant

January27

A business associate asked to meet me her for lunch so that she could get some traveling tips about Isla Mujeres. The opportunity was a perfect excuse to think about warm temperatures in the middle of winter. We decided to meet in the vicinity of her office at Peaks Restaurant at 106 Scurfield Blvd. in Whyte Ridge.

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I suppose it was because we were both contemplating fitting into our bathing suits, that we ordered salads. She ordered the Greek Salad and me the Strawberry Spinach Salad. Each of us added a grilled and sliced chicken breast. Large pieces of garlic toast were perched on the rims of our salad plates. They had been saturated in butter (a good thing) and were crispy as well as delicious.

I admired my friend’s salad from across the table not knowing her quite well enough to request a taste. I noticed that her Greek salad included plenty of crumbled feta and kalamata olives. Uncharacteristic of a traditional recipe, the salad also included home-made croutons. As she asked the questions and I did all the talking, it took me longer than her to consume my huge lunch.

The delectable slices of strawberries, toasted almonds, shredded mozzarella and red onions were a summery taste as we chatted about golf carts, seafood restaurants and the best beach spots. The restaurant’s own poppy seed vinaigrette provided both acidity and sweetness and made the varied ingredients sparkle like the sea.

When a call was placed to the owner of the restaurant to check on the spelling of the unusual family name (Skrbic), he hinted that they originate from Eastern Europe so I was not surprised by the generous portions having travelled to the area in the past.

Peaks Restaurant & Catering (as stated on their website), external sign reads: Peaks & Ridges

Peaks Restaurant & Catering Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “The West wasn’t won on salad.”-North Dakota Beef Council

watermelonheart

Love, that is all.

Mel & Alda’s a.k.a. Breakfast at Fredy’s – Isla Mujeres

January26

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When Mel & Alda’s was situated in the Colonias we had the pleasure of visiting Fredy, Anna and their daughter Jennie. Boy, oh boy, can this family cook!

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The gang ordered the sopas (a thick crunchy corn tortilla) topped with a seasoned chicken and pulled pork. Everyone agreed that they were sensational!

I asked for Fredy’s recommendation and tasted a bean, pork & queso quesadilla. It was delicious but did not make for a stellar photo.

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Fredy sat down at the next table to have a visit with Anna and eat his own breakfast.

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Perhaps he say us ooggling his plate, so he ordered a second one for us to share. These were fried tortilla strips, a light tomato sauce, topped with two fried eggs, cremo, and a great avocado sauce. They too were fantastic!

We intend to visit Fredy’s for breakfast when we are on the island in the near future. I cannot stop thinking about those eggs!

Kath’s quote: “An egg is always an adventure; the next one may be different.”-Oscar Wilde

twigheart

Love, that is all.

Fredy’s Isla Mujeres

January25

No trip to Isla Mujeres would be complete without a visit to Fredy’s. Read here about past visits: long ago, 2011,  2013, 2014, 

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We have been friends with Fredy for so long that Sister #3’s photo of them together once adorned his restaurant wall (prior to the most recent renovations that is). One year we even ate Christmas dinner at Fredy’s!

We don’t even look at the menu any more. Almost everyone knows what they will order.

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Baked Chicken Fajitas for Sister-in-law #3.

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Mexican Platter for Sister #3.

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Double-boned pork chops for the rest of us (4 of us on this evening). My husband D had not been to Fredy’s as often as the rest of us and was absolutely blown away by his pork chop. He went on and on about the cut, the preparation, the grilling, the tenderness and the taste.

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D has owned his own restaurant and was a broiler chef for years and years and he knows his stuff. He could not say enough about Fredy’s skill in the kitchen.

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When we first sat down, Fredy brought out his chips with guacamole and pico de gallo. I rarely order cocktails at dinner but Fredy’s pina cooladas are stellar!

You owe it to yourself to check Fredy’s. His food and clever/dry wit will have you coming back for more.

Kath’s quote: “I have three sets of humor. One I keep in a bag of salt, because it’s the dry one.
” ― Jarod Kintz

day5-4

Love, that is all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

925 Bistro & Lounge

January22

The north east corner of the city was where I grew up. The majority of my large family still calls East & North Kildonan “ home”. I have always felt sheepish that I reside in a south/central neighbourhood where I can walk to many of Winnipeg’s best restaurants and they have been somewhat restaurant “deprived”. The game-changer is 925 Bistro & Lounge.  My husband said this: “I’m sure that every neighbourhood would love to have a place like 925-basic and comfortable with fare that has been elevated by a talented chef.”

Stephanie is the manager of the Bistro which is owned by her family of Kelmar Bakery and Kelmar Meats right next door at Headmaster Row and Lagamodiere. We had the pleasure of meeting her on our first visit and she personally took care of us most recently.

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We need her assistance to decide what to order. She started us with a shared order of Mussels which had been steamed in dill and white wine. Little spoons were delivered in advance so that we could scoop the seafood out of the shell and ladle the broth from the bowl at the same time. I have eaten mussels in Paris, New York and Montreal and I have never been offered this simple but ingenious touch. Grilled toast accompanied the dish for us to lap up the juices at the very bottom of the bowl.

My husband was tempted by the smoked ribs but decided upon the special that evening- a bison burger topped with foie gras (duck liver). The subtle buttery tastes of the foie gras were a little bit overpowered by the caramelized onion and fig marmalade, but the latter was so delicious that the special burger was a hit! The skinny hand-cut fries sealed the deal. Foie gras served in a strip-mall restaurant? That is what my husband meant by “elevated” fare.

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My Slavic heritage pointed me to the Veal Schnitzel. Although the meat had not been thinned and tenderized to the delicate escalope that I am accustomed to, it held its own alongside the lemon caper sauce that adorned it. The buttered linguine and fresh seasonal vegetables ensured that the overall dish was a perfect choice for a cooler fall evening.

We arrived early that Monday night and as a result, we were sat at a quiet booth. On another visit I was there later in the evening and the place was hopping with a large group of excited diners. Be cautious about your arrival time if you are interested in intimate conversation. Stephanie tells me that they are strategizing to solve their ambient noise issue.

925 Bistro & Lounge Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “My idea of heaven is eating pates de foie gras to the sound of trumpets.”-Sydney Smith

breadheart

Love, that is all.

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