Promenade Cafe and Wine for Dinner

January21

D’s birthday weekend was full of celebrating as a couple and as a family.  First up, was a cozy dinner at the Promenade Cafe and Wine-a place that I have been to once for lunch and D had never had the opportunity to try.  When I had originally booked, I chose a little table right against the window for a view of the Forks and the Canadian Human Rights Museum but when we arrived, Shaun the owner explained that he thought we would be more comfortable at a spot on the other side of the room.  This was because they host live music on Saturday nights and we would have been right next to the musicians setting up.  To be honest, having picked one the coldest nights of the year, I was quite content not to be reminded of the season for just a bit of time.  Inside, we could have been anywhere that people who enjoy fine food and wine would assemble.

We had come thinking that we would go with the pre-fixed dinner of chicken livers, mushroom soup, pork tenderloin and chocolate mousse but were so intrigued by other menu selections that we wanted to order different options so that we could sample from each other’s plate.   Our server was stellar and we took some time to quiz him on his places of previous employment because he was obviously very well trained and best of all, loved his profession.  He was very helpful, when we asked his suggestions for both our dining and wine choices.  We love to be guided by other people’s preferences, it opens up an entirely new range of culinary options.

So the food choices were settled and then we made a bold (for us) wine selection and ordered a  Gewürztraminer from California.  Our server complimented our choice and explained that the word meant ” spice garden”.  The sweet crispness of the chilled wine, completely took us to another place.  We recalled the summer that D  had traveled to German wine country and brought home a couple of special bottles for us to sample on the deck at the Beach House.

But to the food.  We started by sharing a pork pate that was served with micro greens, pickled onions and our particular preference with pate-gherkins.  My favourite aspect of the dish (always the carbs…) were the lacy pieces of crostini that had been thinly sliced from a small baguette and then carefully toasted over an open flame.  I have to figure out how to do this in my own kitchen-it takes “toast” to a magical level.

I was equally enthralled by D’s gnocchi as my own Boeuf Bourguignon and the opportunity to go from my plate to D’s was even better (one of the benefits of being together for thirty years).  The potato noodle that held together all the flavours, was perfect in itself-substantial and firm but at the same time tender.  So good, I could have eaten it with just a drizzle of butter and been perfectly happy.  So the tossing of pine nuts, mushrooms and spinach was like icing on a cake.  D chose shrimp to add some protein to his dinner and remarked at one point that they were the most perfectly prepared seafood that he had enjoyed in a very long time.  He brought home a little taste to enjoy again as his supper last night (in front of the big screen while he and J1 enjoyed the NFL playoffs).

When D requested the Bourguignon on my behalf, our server corrected his pronunciation from beef to boeuf, which was not condescending in any way but contributed to the authenticity of our evening.  I know that a successful bourguignon starts with a choice cut (sirloin in this case) being sauteed in an uncrowded pan so that the individual pieces do not touch but are able to breathe as they develop a light crust.  Then the slow braising in red wine begins.  I was thrilled to see authentic pearl onions in the sauce.  Both dishes came absolutely piping hot which was so appreciated on the chilly night.  My left overs are waiting for my lunch.  I will add some additional potatoes (of course) to extend the amazingly rich and satisfying sauce.

Unfortunately, we left no room for dessert but will sample the inventions of the kitchen again soon when we visit Fort Gibraltar for the Festival du Voyageur because Shaun, the owner of Promenade, also takes care of their food-service.  We are already dreaming about sugar pie….

Promenade Cafe and Wine on Urbanspoon

Kaths quote: “Boeuf a la Bourguignonne (Beef in the Burgundy style): This is the stew of stews, an apotheosis of stew, which has nothing whatsoever to do with the watery, stringy mixture served up in British institutions. It’s a rich, carefully cooked recipe which is served up on special occasions in French homes, and which appears without shame on the menus of high-class restaurants.”-Jane Grigson

Love-that is all.


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One Comment to

“Promenade Cafe and Wine for Dinner”

  1. Avatar November 19th, 2014 at 8:37 am Sydney’s at the Forks | Winnipeg food blog Says:

    […] is extensive, I find $55 a bit steep.  Our favourite Prix Fixe restaurant is across the river at The Promenade Café where the all inclusive price is $28. Read on for a remedy to offset the […]


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