Mano a Mano

December18

I loved Civita on Corydon Street in Winnipeg, although I didn’t get a chance to dine there very often and now that it is closed, I have regrets.  In its place is another Italian Bistro Called Mano a Mano.  Interestingly, the restaurant name comes from the Spanish and Portugese phrase meanning “hand to hand” and was used originally for bullfights where two matadors alternate competing for the admiration of the audience.  I cannot guess the signficance of this in relation to the special lunch that we celebrated there.  Without looking the phrase’s original up, I assumed that the restaurant would be a hand-made tappas place.  Once I got small plates in my head, I steered the selections to that area of the menu.

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We started with Blistered Snap Peas-perfectly stir-fried with mint (a little bit too light on the chili flakes) but delectable when set aside a drizzle of plain yoghurt and a heavenly mound of fresh ricotta cheese.

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Next up was Gnocco Frito with a Fontina Fondue. Enormous pillows of dough had been fried and then sprinkled with a glistening of salt.  They were fun on their own and extra savoury when dunked into the gooey cheese fondue.

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Somewhere along the way a shrimp cocktail arrived.  I was paying less attention as the conversation flowed and our glasses were continually filled with the lovely Malbec that we had chosen.

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The birthday girl requested Beef Carpaccio and was well pleased.  I appreciated the twists of crispy capers and white anchovies, adding a heady, salty layer.  The thin slices of beef tenderloin were perfect on the thick wedges of homemade bread that tasted as if they had been toasted over an open-flame.

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Last but not least were pan seared scallops which were plentiful even if they were not quite the larger size that I prefer.  The crumbles of ham and tart apple pieces added both sweet and salty tones that I crave.

All of these selections were from their dinner menu as they do not offer a separate lunch menu.  This was explained as a result of them only being open for Thursday and Friday lunches.  Service was prompt which was not terribly surprising as were the only ones in the dining room until two business acquaintances came in to share a pizza.  It might be best to call ahead to ensure that their lunch hours do not change.

The refurbished décor is clean, stylish and warm, but then again, I loved Civita’s décor too.  Theo’s is the name of the bar/lounge area and I understand that they will have their lovely enclosed balcony open again next summer.

Mano A Mano on Urbanspoon

Kath’s quote: “Nobody really likes capers, no matter what you do with them. Some people
pretend to like capers, but the truth is that any dish that tastes good with capers in it tastes even better with capers not in it.”-
Nora Ephron

Love-that is all.

 


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2 Comments to

“Mano a Mano”

  1. Avatar December 18th, 2013 at 3:45 pm Sister #3 Says:

    I like capers! Smoked salmon without a caper is just sad.


  2. Avatar December 18th, 2013 at 4:25 pm Kathryne Says:

    I do too but it was the only quote related to the ingredients that I haven’t posted before.


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