Fusion Grill, River Heights, Winnipeg

December16

Fusion Grill is not exactly in my own backyard but pretty close-a block and a half walk away.  The cafe’s close proximity actually makes me guilty about not dining there more often as owner Scot McTaggart is an old friend of ours from a time when we all worked together at a popular restaurant.

Scot’s culinary philosophy has always been a passion for “local”, years before the trend was in vogue.  Scot once shared with me that his wish has always been a simple one: “to sell carrots from my own backyard.” He recalled raiding a garden for carrots and scraping off the dirt with his hands.  He remembered the sweetness and the crunch and added “even the dirt tasted good.”

Gutsy Scot was the first of Winnipeg’s restaurateurs to deliver Manitoba regional cuisine like bison, pickerel cheeks, Arctic Char, Northern Pike caviar, grass-fed beef and Bothwell cheese.  The all-Canadian wine list was also a bold move when he first opened, but feels vindicated now with the focus on both food and wine from closer to home.  He believes that Canadian wines are the perfect pairing to Chef Lorna Murdoch’s cuisine.

Like many cities, Winnipeg is disproportionately lacking in female chefs. Chef Lorna is one of our shining stars. When you meet her in real life you might be surprised by her diminutive stature. She is petite, but her imaginative food combinations and taste profiles are not. They are enormous!

We started our evening with white truffle perogies, loving both in equal portions. The duck sausage was a savoury layer; the walnut cream sauce hit this starter out of the park! Also sampled were the Caesar salad and the soup of tomorrow-both terrific.

The guys decided upon the elk tenderloin that was available that evening. My husband shared the myriad of roasted local vegetables with me. Chicken stuffed with mushrooms and mascarpone cheese was perfect on its own, sensational with squash gnocchi.

fusion

I often choose vegetable-centric entrees, not because I do not enjoy meat but because I am a veggie nut. I could have enjoyed the handmade tagliatelle noodles (a cousin to fettuccine) with a simple bit of garlic and a good olive oil. I was in heaven when the pasta was intertwined with ribbons of artichoke, pickled squash and wilted greens. Wow, just wow!

Fusion Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kath’s quote: “Classical cooking and molecular gastronomy should remain separate. You can mix two styles and get fusion; any more, and you just get confusion.”-Alain Ducasse

woodenhearts

Love, that is all.


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