Food Musings

A Winnipeg blog about the joy of preparing food for loved ones and the shared joy that travel & dining brings to life.

“Winter Bites’ in Kenora by guest bloggers J1 and J2


Kenora has a special place in my heart. Since the year I was born, Lake of the Woods has been our family’s mandatory vacation destination with the use of a generous friend’s cabin 20 minutes from the heart of Kenora. I have to admit the only culinary experience that I have ever enjoyed in town is ‘Ye Old Chip Truck’. Those perfectly cooked fries drenched in malt vinegar and salt were always a highlight of the summer.

Last week we were honored to take part in Kenora’s culinary event – ‘Winter Bites’. Nine local restaurants participated offering lunch and/or dinner menu items for a set price of $10 (lunch) or $25 (dinner) for the month of February.

Our first stop was Nourish Cafe, Shop and Yoga Studio. The atmosphere was quaint and the food – fresh. We chose the cranberry pecan chicken salad sandwich on dark russian rye bread. It reminded us of summer treat that we could eat down by the beach and the flavors complimented each other perfectly. The yoga studio upstairs seemed to be well used as we witnessed patrons entering and exiting their classes while we enjoyed our meal in the sunshine.



Nourish on Urbanspoon

Our second morning in town we decided to have our breakfast at our hotel – Lakeside Inn & Conference Centre. Our stay at the Inn was an absolute pleasure. The staff was friendly and helpful, but the lake view from our room was spectacular, especially during sunset. We both ordered the breakfast sandwich as we knew we had a lot of eating left to do in the day and didn’t want to stuff ourselves prematurely. The use of a biscuit instead of a bun or english muffin took the sandwich a cut above the rest. It was simple and delicious – the perfect choice.



Waterside Restaurant - Best Western on Urbanspoon

Next up was Uptown Restaurant. This place is an old favorite that has recently reopened. These were probably the most picturesque meals we enjoyed on our trip, but the flavors did not disappoint either. The perogies were creamy and perfectly balanced with a crunchy bacon garnish. The pancake platter was topped with scratch-made strawberry sauce, bananas, chocolate chips, whip cream and maple syrup. It was a guilty pleasure in which we were happy to indulge. A must-stop for breakfast in Kenora.



Kath’s quote: “Grandpa used to like gravy on everything, including his pancakes. If love could be eaten, I’ll bet he’d prefer it with gravy on top. And I’d have to agree. Love would taste better with gravy.” ― Jarod Kintz


Live simply, laugh often, love deeply.

Winter Bites


I was recently invited to visit Kenora and attend their Winter Bites (an understatement this year) Event. All throughout the month of February, with the exception of Valentine’s Day, 10 local restaurants will be offering up three course menus for the fixed price of $25.  This will give locals and out-of-towners alike, an opportunity to sample the best of what the city’s culinary scene has to offer.  Unfortunately, “winter bites” to such an extent that we have already planned on being somewhere far warmer this February, but I still perused the menus, deciding where I would dine, if I had the chance to go.  Many of the items looked terrific, but my eye was caught by these offerings:

Stuffed Walleye – an 8oz portion of Walleye wrapped around a wild rice and cream cheese and walnut filling, baked to perfection and topped with a lemon blueberry butter.


Kenora Etoufee – Chorizo sausage and walleye in a Creole style sauce on top of a Shoal Lake wild rice pilaf.

I am crazy about this local fish and love the imaginative spins that the local chef’s would put on it.  I always assumed that the fish was called pickerel in Canada and wall-eye in the US but I am obviously incorrect.  Unless of course, Kenora is so infiltrated by American tourists that they have decided to adapt the US moniker for the fish.

Many Winnipeggers make Kenora and the Lake of the Woods area their summer and weekend homes and I am sure that many head to their “camps” to enjoy cross-country skiing, snow-boarding and skidooing.  This tourism event creates another excuse to head east and you don’t have to pack up as many cottage supplies if you are dining out at least one evening.

In the mean time though, if you are content to stay put in the city, Winnipeg of course has its own culinary event.  Laurie Hughes who is the co-founder and publisher of Ciao Magazine has co-ordinated and promoted Dine About for as long as I can remember, but each year finds a longer and more unusual list of restaurants to participate, with such clever offerings.

We intend to go to Café Dario as we have not had an excuse to dine there in a couple of years.  For $28. their menu includes:

Rum soaked prawns and scallops with guava, chayote, chilangua  and squash salpicon baked with puff pastry
Green Mango Carpaccio with smoked arctic char in annato aioli and plantain chips
Crispy Panamanian style sweet potato carimanola dumpling filled with a mix of boiled egg, olives, onion, garlic and lemon
House made tamales with pulled turkey and corn, garnished with mole poblano with cocoa and almonds
Escargots el diablo topped with cheese.

Lamb ossobucco with three cereal risotto and sun dried gooseberries
Tea pot of seafood delicacies with manioc, plantains, Creole potatoes on trout and saffron consommé
10 oz Long horn free range New York striploin with a caper chimichurri sauce
Matambre style wild boar cutlet filled with olives, spinach and egg with wild mushrooms and chorizo reduction.
Grilled chicken breast topped with hearts of palm, basil, hogao sauce and three cheeses

Churros with hot cocoa and cinnamon

D and I will order different appetizers and mains and then share all the food from the each other’s plates.  This  is how we love to dine the best, ensuring that we savour the widest variety of little tastes possible.

Here is a complete list of the participating restaurants:

$28 Menus: The Beachcomber, Bombolini, Café Dario, Corrientes Argentine Pizzeria, The Loft, The Melting Pot, Nicolino’s, Resto Gare, Rudy’s Eat and Drink, Tapastry and Sensi Wine Lounge.

$36 Menus: 296 York, Amici, Bailey’s, Bellisimo, Café Carlo, Carnavale, fusion grill, Hermanoes Restaurant & Wine Bar, Mise, Peasant Cookery, Prairie 360,  Resto Gare, Sensi Wine Bar, Steve’s Bistro, Sydney’s at the Forks and last but certainly not least Terrace in the Park.

Offerings are already on line at Ciao, (if you can keep your mouth from watering all over your computer).  Oh so many restaurants and only three meals in a day…

Kath’s quote: “Dine, v: to eat a good dinner in good company, and eat it slow. In dining, as distinguished from mere feeding, the palate and stomach never ask the hand, ‘What are you giving us?'”-Ambrose Bierce

grape vine heart.jpg

Love-that is all.

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