Browsing: Restaurant Features

For Play Sports Bar

February3

 

What do you get a NFL crazed fan who is celebrating a monumental birthday on the same weekend as the NFC and AFC championship games?  I knew better than to schedule any birthday festivities on that Sunday in spite of the fact that we typically do mark the occasion with a Sunday supper.  There was a time when he and his brothers would assemble in Fargo ND for the weekend!  So the date is pretty much etched into my brain. 

The Skybox at 4 Play was the perfect solution.  We arrived right at 2 as kick off was occuring for the first game.  The room which has a maximum capicity of 50 is appointed with big leather couches, a private washroom, a fireplace, one ten foot  TV screen and two huge plasma TVs and best of all, our own bartender/server.  People came and went all afternoon at intervals perfectly paced so D could keep track of the plays and his guests.

In between games, the staff bought out all the fixings for the cakes that I had brought along.  A entourage of well-wishers, who weren’t all that interested in the games arrived at that time.  Some just stayed long enough for a bevvie, others ordered a bite of supper before heading out.  There was less of a crowd for the second game which was absolutely fine because there was a great deal of interest in how the Giants were playing and the ultimate outcome of the game.

Anyone who ordered food was very, very impressed (sorry I was having too much fun, to take any food shots).  Fresh cut fries accompanied most choices and the nachos were piled high with all the trimmings.  Our bartender was the perfect host.  All I had to do, was sit back and watch D enjoy his special day of sport with family and his buds.

On event days (Jets, Superbowl)  the cost of the room is $500 and on days other than event days the cost is $250. Money well spent (imho).  You can get all the booking details on their website.

4Play Sports Bar and Entertainment Zone on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “They are all but stomachs, and we all but food; They eat us hungerly, and when they are full, They belch us.”-William Shakespeare

 

 

 

 

Dinner at Mise Bistro

February2

The Friday evening was D’s birthday and even though I had plenty of other celebrations planned, we couldn’t let the night pass without a dinner out together.  We had decided upon another Corydon restaurant but were so turned off by the harried server that wanted to rush us to a table and then leave us there until more staff came in, so we kept walking and decided that Mise Bistro would be a far better choice.

 When we arrived it was still happy hour and we were delighted by the choices of glasses of wine that were on special. When it came time to order our dinner, we had a difficult time making our minds up because so many dishes caught out eye.  So, instead we decided to take advantage of a three course offering for the special price of $38.  Recipes are modified to grazing portions and were just our cuppa tea.

Our first taste was of cornmeal crusted pickerel with roasted peppers and potatoes and tomato concasse.  Strictly speaking, concasse is a French term describing a peeled and seeded tomato that has been chopped to uniform dimensions.  Perhaps because of the mini portion, the tomato was not as described but the overall impact of the flavour combinations was sublime.  Mind you, we love local pickerel so much that as long as you don’t do anything to overcook it, we are content. 

 Our second nibbles were of this grilled prawn and chicken breast on a bed of  jasmine rice, snap peas, mango chutney and raw cashews, topped with a spring of cilantro.  Mango, cilantro and cashews are all favourites of ours.

Lastly, these prawns were sauteed in brown butter and came with delicate gnocchi, broccoli, crispy pancetta, toasted almonds and shards of Parmesan.  Distinctive from the previous dishes, we were more than content.

 

It was a birthday celebration after all and so we also ordered dessert.  Consistent with the small plates that we enjoyed throughout our dinner, we chose the Dessert Trio for the conclusion of a fabulous dinner.  We each got a taste of apple and goat cheese strudel with cinnamon creme fraiche (my favourite), Grand Marnier creme brulee and a chocolate brownie with burnt almond toffee ice cream.  This and every dessert offering come in at $8.  Everything on the menu was well-priced but the dessert trio, especially so.

Michael was our waiter that evening.  He was cordial, efficient and obviously loves his work and the offerings at Mise.  We spotted this table by the window, and think that we will request it on our next visit because we will definitely be back. 

 Mise on Urbanspoon

 Kath’s quote: “The French approach to food is characteristic; they bring to their consideration of the table the same appreciation, respect, intelligence and lively interest that they have for the other arts, for painting, for literature, and for the theatre. We foreigners living in France respect and appreciate this point of view but deplore their too strict observance of a tradition which will not admit the slightest deviation in a seasoning or the suppression of a single ingredient. Restrictions aroused our American ingenuity, we found combinations and replacements which pointed in new directions and created a fresh and absorbing interest in everything pertaining to the kitchen.”-Alice B. Toklas

Black Hawks-Chicago O’Hare Airport

January31

The world is such a small place these days.  When we were on our way home from Isla Mujeres earlier this month, I bumped into Laura (who I have written about often in this space), at the Cancun airport.  We embraced and got caught up on each other’s time away as well as some of the projects that we are mutually working on back home.  Then we compared travel itineraries.  We were heading back to Winnipeg and she and her husband had the same destination but were routed through Houston.  Our connections went quite smoothly but they missed their connection, had to overnight in Houston and then rework their route.    The very next day, they too were in Chicago O’Hare airport.  Had I blogged about our meal earlier, perhaps they would have been able to use the info.  A small world, indeed.

As soon as we deplaned, we were on the lookout for somewhere we could watch the Jets game, as well as a spot that served a good selection of locally brewed beer.  Blackhawks fit the bill on both fronts.

The team behind Stanley’s Southern Food with 2 other locations in downtown Chicago, has partnered with the Chicago Blackhawks to open this airport eatery in terminal 2 at O’Hare. Decorated with Blackhawks memorabilia, the restaurant offers items based on the original six NHL cities -including a New York sandwich, Montreal sandwich and a Chicago one that’s packed with spicy Vienna all-beef polish sausage, grilled onions and mustard.

D had the Toronto burger (did they intentially make this look less impressive than the American team’s?)

The Son had the Elvis Presley Burger.  He claimed it was so good that you didn’t need any condiments.  And he should know-he’s a burger aficionado.

My burger was also named for one of the original six.  I can’t for the life of me remember which one right now.

I was underwhelmed with my choice.

Several Stanley’s staples are also on hand, including the restaurant’s mac and cheese.

 

Daughter #3 choose this impressive shaved turkey Reuben. 

 

 Turned out the Jets game wasn’t on (we had the date wrong) but the local beer and most of our food choices made up for it.

 Kath’s quote: “Throughout history, the Poles have defended Europe. They would fight, and – between battles – they would eat and drink.”-
E. de Pomiand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eating Lighter in January

January10

If you are trying to shed a couple of pounds after the indulgence of Christmas, you may want to sample one of The Keg’s lunch salads.  On this day I was at the Keg Southside location.  I often chose the Santa Fe salad but on this occasion I was coaxed into the Cobb Salad.  The selection was chock full of high protein items like chicken, hard-cooked egg and bleu cheese (and some crumbled bacon), romaine, arugula, tomato, avocado and a light dressing.  As far as salads go, this one is very hearty.

I have often been confused that Cobb salads don’t contain corn but I found out that it is named for Robert H. Cobbe who was an American Restauranteur in the 1970s.

Other dieters, reduce their calories by limiting their protein intake.  That would be a delicious choice in this portobello mushroom burger.  The meaty grilled mushroom is served upon a toasted bun and then topped with pesto aioli, roasted red peppers, provolone cheese and arugula.  You can have it served with fries if you intend to go to the gym or with a salad to further lighten up your fare.

If you have a sweet tooth, you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice dessert.  The Keg sells mini dessert portions.  We ordered this butter tart and each had a forkful-yum.

The Keg Steakhouse & Bar - Southside on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Larry: I think I am just going to get a Cobb Salad. I’d like to make a few substitutions, if that’s OK. I’ll get… no bacon. No eggs. Bleu cheese on the side.
Cliff Cobb: Are you sure you want a Cobb Salad? Do you do that every time you order that salad?
Larry: Do you have a problem with it?
Cliff Cobb: It’s my grandfather’s salad. I’m a Cobb of Cobb salad fame.”-from “Curb your Enthusiasm”

Pony Corral-Pembina Hwy.

January5

Where do 35 people go out for brunch with 1 day’s notice in Winnipeg?  When D’s family assembles for a brief weekend each Christmas, the time is short and very precious.  One of our traditions is gathering for one last meal together before heading back onto the highways for the road trips to Minneapolis and Dauphin or to the airport for the flights to Toronto and Calgary. 

This year, Christmas kind of snuck up on us and although we were pretty organized for the festivities themselves, we didn’t plan for the morning after.  Then we remembered how easily the Pony Corral had accommodated us the year before and took a chance.  Well not only did they have space for us at short notice, it was in a separate area of the 2nd floor balcony with our own fireplace, coat rack and TV screen to check the NFL scores. 

The challenge of pleasing such a diverse group of diners at a reasonable price is a huge one but the Pony Corral’s extensive menu covers off everybody’s tastes.  I choose a chicken souvlaki pita and D an omelete.

Others ordered sandwich melts and burgers.

Bigger appetites, tucked into steak and eggs.

But I was most impressed with the selection on the kid’s menu.  This foot long was well priced and just what the younger set had in mind.  The food kept them interested until we started a round of “telephone”.  The game starts when one person whispers a message into the next person’s ear and you pass it along to see how accurate the end message is delivered.  The first couple  of rounds were very accurate and then the youngest member of the family started to mix things up with his take on how the messages should go.  Hilarity ensued.

A restaurant can’t be all things to all tastes but the Pony Corral comes pretty darn close.

 Pony Corrall on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “It matters not how simple the food — a chop, steak or a plain boiled or roast joint, but let it be of good quality and properly cooked, and everyone who partakes of it will enjoy it.”-Alexis Soyer 19th century French chef

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