Browsing: Restaurant Features

Dacquisto Italian Kitchen

March25

As is often the case, I knew what I was going to order for lunch at Dacquisto’s  even before my lunch date was scheduled.  The combination of a goat cheese and black olive pizza was too much to resist. 

What I wasn’t anticipating was how beautiful and cozy the restaurant would be.  The “big box” exterior  did not prepare me for the lush drapery and streaming sunlight within.  We were met immediately with the pleasant smell of woodsmoke from the oven. 

I also didn’t predict how affordable the lunch special menu would be.  One can hardly steer through a drive thru for an $8. lunch nowadays.  I opted to add a mixed Italian salad to combat the carbs and that only added another $3.   The lunch savings were reinvested into a fine bottle of Argentine Malbec which was shared three ways (lest you think we over-indulged). 

The said pizza was titled “Black & White” and was part of the Bianco section of the pizza menu. The taste of the cheese and olive blend reminded me of my favourite Black Truffle Bothwell cheese.   The crust was as delicious as I remember back in Chef Micheal’s “Pasta la Vista” days. 

My fellow diners enjoyed a large mixed Italian salad with chicken and the Gnocchi.  A special order was accommodated so that the Gorgonzola variety from the evening menu was served (at a slightly higher price).  I didn’t request a taste but I knew the extent that it was being savoured when the server asked to clear the plates and the gnocchi lover could not give up her last three morsels. 

The restaurant was filled with families, seniors and a couple of other business meeting tables.  I will definitely go back-perhaps to sample the Italian Buffet next time. 

Dacquisto on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:“A cook, when I dine, seems to me a divine being, who from the depths of his kitchen rules the human race. One considers him as a minister of heaven, because his kitchen is a temple, in which his ovens are the altar.”-Marc Antoine Désaugiers

In keeping with the B&W theme…..

Confusion Corner Bar and Grill

March16

With its central location and ample parking lot, Confusion Corner is a popular meeting place for many.  Last evening the place was hopping and it was a Tuesday night!  In the last couple of years, it is likely the place that I have been to the most and I thought that it was high time that I sing its accolades.  With the exception of once, when we completely overwhelmed our new waitress, the service was been efficient and attentive. 

Since this is an after work get-together, it’s the food that quarantees the success of the evening, and that takes top marks.  A couple of times this winter, I’ve enjoyed a “crunch” salad -garnished with a couple of kinds of nuts to provide the promised texture.  I tried to find it on their on line menu just now but was not successful.  So perhaps it is a new item and does not have a permanent place on the menu or perhaps the on line menu needs adjusting. 

Last night as I enjoyed Mama’s Meatloaf (baked ground beef with capicola ham and a blend of three cheeses on a ciabatta roll), my media friends were loving the Panko-Crusted Chicken Tenders.  They are served in a very unusual manner-upright on a skewer.  They may soon become the cities’ best as I heard that The Keg Steakhouse and Bar are removing theirs from the next menu.

But the star of their fare is the Pesto Chicken Pizza.  I dream of it sometimes and have tried to recreate it at home.  They have found a dish which combines many of my favourite tastes and I TRY to resist ordering it but cave in, more often than not.  The basil pesto, feta cheese, artichoke hearts, roasted garlic and chicken are assembled in the perfect combination of savoury and salty.  The crust is delicate and yet sturdy enough to hold the weighty toppings.

We’re really looking forward to patio weather again and CC has one of the most unique rooftop patios around with a retractable awning in case of a sudden shower.  Ah spring……

I have never taken pictures of my food at CC, so please indulge me with these randoms from my collection. 

Just one question of other patrons or staff at CC-how do you pronounce “Lumpia” Rolls and are they worth the embarrassment of unfamiliarity? 

Confusion Corner Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:  “And do as adversaries do in law, strive mightily, but eat and drink as friends.”-William Shakespeare

You got to have friends to make the day last long.

Joey’s Polo Park

February25

It may sometimes seem to my readers that I never eat at home and some weeks that is quite true.  Because I work out of my house, lunch meetings are perfect for me.  I have been in my field for a very long time and have made many personal connections with my colleagues over the years.  Often the business projects fade away, but the friendships do not.  So when one of them declares “Oh, we must do lunch!”  I get out my daytimer.

The other cool thing about my business is that I have connected with a new generation of designers and communicators.  Many of them are the same ages as my kids but that doesn’t seem to make a difference to me or to them.  In yesterday’s case, I am also friends with my colleague’s Mom so the three of us got together!

Joey’s was the perfect central location and parking is ample.  We arrived at 11:30 which was wise because by the time we left at 12:45 there was a line up to get in.  The decor is open and gets quite boisterous.  But it is a very comforting feeling that you are in a room with so much energy and that you live in a vibrant community.

To say that I get stuck in eating ruts is an understatement.  Of the half dozen times that I have dined at Joey’s, I have always ordered the very same thing!  I try to psyche myself up before I get there with thoughts of fish tacos and pot-stickers but then I cave and order the Rotisserie Chicken.  I suppose that is a testament to just how good it is.  You can taste that the chicken has never been frozen as the flesh is firm and moist .  The dry rub that goes on before and the sauce after roasting is a wonderful blend of peppery and savoury tastes.  The servers are always willing to substitute sides and I got my veggie fix with a crunchy cole slaw and a zingy ceasar salad. 

Joey's Polo Park on Urbanspoon

I got filled in on all the news from friends and filled up with delicious and nutritious fare.  Here’s some irony-we stopped at the food court for a bite before an event at the MTS Centre later that night and we ate at -Joey’s Only!  What a crazy life.

Kath’s quote: “The smell of roasting meat together with that of burning fruit wood and dried herbs, as voluptuous as incense in a church, is enough to turn anyone into a budding gastronome.”-Claudia Roden

Love you A&A.

Bernstein’s Deli

February23

Winnipeg has a number of  excellent delis that I predict could hold their own when stacked up against Montreal’s or New York City’s.  Many of the cities’ best are in River Heights where I am content to reside, with its glorious elm-lined streets, character homes and lots of quaint shops and restaurants.  Bernstein’s  Deli has been around even before I moved to the neighbourhood and that was close to 20 years ago.  I suppose this is why a friend of mine was shocked to learn that I had never had a meal at this convenient location.  I have shopped at the deli counter and especially enjoyed their homemade frozen soups over the years but had never sat down to enjoy a good old fashioned deli plate.

On this day, I had an equal hankering to try their reuben sandwich as I did to taste their freshly cut, never- frozen french fries.  Luckily for me, I didn’t have to be embarrassed by my indulgent order as my lunch mate ordered the exact same thing.

The sandwich was piled high with top quality corned beef and what we detected was home-made sauerkraut.  I typically prefer Thousand Island Dressing on my reubens which answer the call of my sweet/salty cravings.  Bernstein’s uses a special mustard which is delicious but just not preference.   As I think back, I can’t remember anything about the cheese and then it occurs to me that it was not served with cheese, which I guess means that it was a kosher reuben. Perhaps that also explains the dressing-maybe someone with more knowledge of kosher law could send me a comment.  The mound of fries were perfectly crispy on the outside and potatoey on the inside-yum!   

Bernstein's Deli on Urbanspoon

I knew the people at the booth sitting behind us and thought to myself how nice it is to live in a city large enough to have all the amenities and yet small enough to know and often connect with your neighbours.

Kath’s quote: “I am not a glutton — I am an explorer of food.”-Erma Bombeck

Bellisimo

February21

I have six strapping nephews and they all love to eat.  A couple of them are pretty adventurous.  One of them: not so much.  But he does love bacon on EVERYTHING.  A couple of years ago one of these guys mentioned that I should try Bellissimo and I have earnestly tried to make good on his recommendation ever since.  I had set a lunch date for a recent Monday and then  got carried away with some router and Internet issues and completely forgot to keep the appointment.  I found out that Bellissimo isn’t even open Monday and so we re-scheduled.

The big day came this week and I was not disappointed.  The hostess seemed to know many of the diners so they must enjoy alot of repeat business.  I was pleasantly surprized by the decor as I was expecting something less elegant.  We were sat in the lounge with the winter sun streaming in through two walls of windows.  I thought that our server was new but well-trained and very efficient. 

The hot herb buns held us over until our pastas arrived.  The lunch specials looked very tempting but we both ended up ordering off their extensive menu.  I chose the Scampi Bianco and was delighted with the lightly sauteed shrimp tossed with purple and green onions, tomato, and a creamy feta cheese. The sauce was a light tasting blend of fresh herbs and a splash of white wine.  Everything was tossed together with what we thought was a freshly made linguine.

My lunch mate choose the Pasta Giardino which I see is named for one of the owners.  She enjoyed the sauteed red peppers, red onions and marinated artichokes, tossed in a marinara sauce served over a bed of fettuccini.  The lunch portions are perfect-large enough to be more than satisfying but small enough that you don’t need an afternoon nap.

I was amazed by the $20 bill.  Two people can hardly have a fast-food lunch for that.  They have a sidewalk patio which will definitely lure me back.  Thanks for the great suggestion Aaron. 

Bellissimo Restaurant & Lounge on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:  “To give life to beauty, the painter uses a whole range of colours, musicians of sounds, the cook of tastes — and it is indeed remarkable that there are seven colours, seven musical notes and seven tastes.”-Lucien Tendret

Stock Photos from 123RF

And Bellissimo means beauty.

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