Browsing: Restaurant Features

A Stroll to Saucers

November2

There are very few times that we celebrate Halloween without snow and if the ground is bare it is typically a grey and chilly time.  Yesterday though it was still warm enough to get us out the door for an after work stroll.  The trees are bare but the grass is still green and lots of neighbours out enjoying the time as well. 

D has wanted me to try the many varieties of loose tea that are not being served at Saucers and so we ended up stopping in.  We choose a Rooibos called “The Academy Road” and a white tea which was a delicious blend of lemon and basil.    They are served from these neat little individual pots so that you can watch the steeping process take place and then have the tea effortlessly stream down into the pot (a far cry from most restaurant tea pots where I almost always splash, drip or spill).

I sampled the Chicken Thai Salad and loved the combination of noodles and crispy greens.  Two things made it exceptional-the whole peanut topping and what we were guessing was a homemade peanut dressing.

D enjoys their homemade soups and was delighted as usual with his potato and bacon choice.  He also ordered the Bruschetta which was topped with grilled vegetables, provolone cheese and a drizzle of balsamic.  Perfect ingredients to celebrate the local harvest.

We noticed a couple of families having a quick dinner together and a larger group of girls celebrating a birthday.  River Heights is very fortunate to have a number of restaurants within walking distance and Saucers epitomizes what a neighbourhood cafe is all about. 

Saucers on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:  “The morning cup of coffee has an exhilaration about it which the cheering influence of the afternoon or evening cup of tea cannot be expected to reproduce.” -Oliver Wendell Holmes

Let love be multiplied.

and the Winner is…..

November1

I was treated to a lovely and unexpected lunch last Thursday at the Garry St. Keg and together with my recent tastings of their chicken fingers at the McGillivray Keg for a light supper before the theatre, I’m prepared to declare the Keg the city’s best chicken fingers (imho).

I will be honest and say that I never did get to my son’s suggestion of the cafe at U of M to taste theirs.  But I did put them up against Confusion Corner (which I would give a honourable mention to), Lisis’s on Main St., Barney Gargles in Selkirk and Mitzi’s downtown and hearing no other nominations, the case is closed. 

My personal criteria is the combination of a crunchy coating and tender white meat inside.  They cannot be too heavily ladened and the coating has to have a taste of its own.  In addition, the dipping sauce is an important and the ability for the morsel to grab and hold onto the sauce is also to be considered.  Since the Keg’s chicken finger is kind of “lumpy” it provides lots of additional surface for sauce adherence.  Their honey dill combined with the seasoning of the coating satisfies my personal favourite taste combination of sweet and salty. 

So with this I conclude my two summer quests, this one and the Grand Beach area’s best French Fry-  the winner being the French creperie at Albert Beach.  Bring on winter….. 

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

Let love be multiplied.

The Food Studio

October29

If you are looking for a unique Christmas party location this year or a place to host a corporate event, The Food Studio on Roblin Blvd is the perfect solution.  Upon arrival, you feel as if you are being invited into the main floor of someones home.  You are greeted with a glass of wine or specialty cocktail and there were three appetizers already set out for tastes.  I understand that the preparation of the guacamole, tempera asparagus and mushroom bruscetta were demonstrated by the Chef for the early birds.

That is what is unique about this culinary experience-you are encouraged to participate in a number of aspects of food preparations for the evening…..caramelizing the apple slices for the soup garnish or cutting the cucumber strips on a mandolin for the salad.  Or you can sit back and watch all the kitchen flurry occur around you and pick up a few tips on the way…how to make a disposable piping bag, the secrets to cooking a stuffed roast,  taking the mystery out of crème brulée and seeing where to cut a cucumber strip to make a cup on the plate for the roasted vegetable salad.   I always gravitate to the kitchen at a dinner party anyway and this is exactly what it feels like.

At one point, we were encouraged to find our designated seat in their dining/sun room and dinner was served.  A creamy soup of squash (and we thought -potato) garnished with the carmelized apple and a squiggle of cream.

Next came the roasted vegetable salad and then the roast pork loin with a cranberry bread stuffing and simply steamed local vegetables.  The crème brulées arrived with chocolate biscotti.  The perfect ending to a perfect evening celebrating new friends and the bounties of the harvest.

Chef Peter Ecker made it all look so easy but fun at the same time.  I recognized his badges that I am guessing would mean he is on the Manitoban and Canadian Culinary team.  We were in very good hands.

Kath’s quote:  “Anybody can make you enjoy the first bite of a dish, but only a real chef can make you enjoy the last.”-Francois Minot

Let love be multiplied.

Two Times Square NYC

October26

We had some challenges funding the place as I mistakenly thought that the name of the restaurant was also the address.  I am obviously not a New Yorker.  I marvel at how they navigate their own city especially the subway.  Stations will be marked by certain street addresses and they are no where near those streets! But I digress….  Our “Almost Six in the City” split up for Sunday matinees-three seeing “Wicked” and two for “Billy Elliot“.  It was when we reassembled to have some supper before a night tour of Manhattan that we got a little mixed up.  What a happy event as there was a street market happening right in Time Square and the shopping was marvellous.

I am rambling a titch about the events surrounding the day because when we found the restaurant on the second floor of the Renaissance Hotel the food itself was underwhelming.  I was almost content with my Baked Ziti with sausage and eggplant but those that ordered the Hazelnut Pesto Fettucine were disappointed with its complete lack of flavour.

No matter, we ordered some high faluting drinks and the view of the Square was a million dollar one.  We prairie gals know how to do New York city!
Two Times Square on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:  “Manhattan is a narrow island off the coast of New Jersey devoted to the pursuit of lunch.”– Raymond Sokolov

Let love be multiplied.

Lisi’s

October22

My West Kildonan sojourn continued with a stop at Lisi”s (Ranch House Restaurant-1761 Main St.) -a place we had driven by so many times and never had a reason to try.  On this day I stopped in for take out and to be honest, I was glad that I was not dining in.  I can manage spartan or outdated decor.  In fact, some of my favourite out of the way places would be in the running for “Restaurant Make-Over”.  But on this day when the sunshine was glorious outside I was not impressed by their lack of natural light and wood panelled walls.  Some might think it “cozy”-just not my cuppa tea.

What did I care anyway as long as the take out was good right?  Well…..the chicken fingers that we were willing to sample for the sake of comparison did not pass the test.  They were a pre-fab version that you find anywhere. We were putting all our hopes for Lisi’s on the pizza…and it came through!  The meat lovers had literally stacks of meat-as if you had just bitten into a deli sandwich.  The crust was obviously hand mixed and tossed as it had the right combination of crustiness and yeastiness.

Would I try Lisi’s again?  Since I live across town, likely not.  But if I was in the neighbourhood, I would definitely have it n my list by the phone for Friday night’s pizza and a movie.

Lisi's Ranch House Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote:  “There’s a pizza place near where I live that sells only slices. In the back, you can see a guy tossing a triangle in the air.”-Steve Wright

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