The Blue Marble

December24

When you are a sole proprietor with no employees, the Christmas season can be a little bit lonely.  I have two friends who are in the same situation and so the three of us get together for dinner each year and invite our spouses.  We’ve been to some of the city’s best restaurants including Sydney’s, and Deseo Bistro.  This year the Blue Marble was suggested and since sharing little plates is our favourite way to dine, D and I were delighted.  Every morsel that we sampled was “out of the world” so I would suggest that the Blue Marble is appropriately named.

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When we arrived, we caught sight of the beautifully custom-built wine cellar. It features over 150 varieties and we decided that for our next party, we’ll set up a table in there.

We had some taxi issues getting out to the Hotel at the Winnipeg International Airport where the restaurant is located, so that when half of us arrived, the first three were already indulging in some gorgeous martinis.  D followed suit but I perused the wine list for a fine merlot.

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We decided that a couple of Antipasto Platters would get us into the swing of things. We speared the assorted meats, cheese, marinated vegetables and olives and placed them upon lightly grilled baquettes.

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One couple decide that we should indulge in some veggies and ordered the Roasted Beets with shaved fennel, peppery arugula, sparkling orange segments and creamy goat cheese. They also selected the unappetizing sounding Stewed Chicken which was a lovely surprise as the chicken was slow cooked with apricots, prunes, raisins, hazelnuts, pine nuts, walnuts, almonds and cinnamon and then nestled upon a bed of basmati rice.

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The Berkshire pork tenderloin had been marinated in ginger and was served with pancetta creamed corn, braised leeks, edamame beans and chantrelle mushrooms.  I detected a birch smokiness to the delectable pork.

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Seared pork belly was the crown upon the Cavena Risotto where hull-less oats substituted for traditional rice, stirred up with porcini mushrooms and blueberries, then topped with shaved parmesan and pea shoots.

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When I read that black truffle olive oil and bacon dust adorned the Oxtail Ravioli I just had to order it.  The morel mushrooms and shaved parmesan were the icing on the proverbial cake.

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The last time D and I ate beef tartar we were dining at Le Frog in Nice, France.  The Blue Marble’s version was a deserving equal, likely because it was made by mincing Canadian Prime Beef with northern pike caviar, avocado, horseradish puree and smoked black pepper.  With the accompaniment of truffle potato chips, I will never dream of beef tartar on the French Rivera again.

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Absolutely satiated, D and I passed up desert but the Chocolate Crème Brule served with macaroons and berries certainly looked appetizing.

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The delectable menu is designed around sustainable, locally produced items including the fresh herbs growing right in the dining room under the watchful eye of Chef Anthony. The chef’s resume includes experience at the now-defunct Le Beaujolais, Pine Ridge Hollow and the iconic Dubrovnik Restaurant. He also worked at Gluttons Bistro, the St. Charles Country Club and The Manitoba Club.

The next morning I received this email: “So that was a pretty fantastic evening… delightful laughs, near tears, introspective sharing, light gossip, good food, great friends – when can we all get together again? No reason why the ‘six pack’ can’t make it a twice yearly event.”

Kath’s quote: “Truffles are only really good after Christmas…..So let us allow ignorant fops, beardless gourmands, and inexperienced palates the perry triumph of eating the first truffles.”-Grimod de La Reynière

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Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.


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