2017-Restaurant-Reviews

2017 Restaurant Reviews

The VG Restaurant

For those who explored Winnipeg’s dining scene before the era of cheffy fast casual and tapas style menus, The Velvet Glove holds cherished memories of lofty dining and recollections of flaming crepes Suzettes served tableside.

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InFerno’s on Academy

When InFerno’s Bistro on Des Meurons opened in 2003, Winnipeg was introduced to the delights of French bistro cooking. The elegance of French cuisine in the comforting style and price point of a cozy bistro was such a winning formula that it eventually spawned a second location.

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Monticchio

For those without Italian grandmothers to nourish souls and stomachs, there’s Monticchio Ristorante Italiano. For more than 30 years, this south Osborne mainstay has been serving up Nonna-approved dishes worthy of old-country kitchens.

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Rudy’s Eat & Drink

It’s in with the old and in with the new at Rudy’s Eat & Drink. Equal parts classic steakhouse décor—leather club chairs and wood paneling—and sleek tech touches blend to welcome patrons stepping in from the Manitoba Hydro building.

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The Nook Diner

Fashion moves in cycles, and it’s not only vintage dresses and antique typewriters that are back. In the food world, the classic diner has experienced a renaissance as gourmands turn back to no-fuss food and the simple pleasures of a so-called greasy spoon. At The Nook Diner, where straightforward cooking has been practiced since 1986, this is hardly a revelation.

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Clay Oven

Like the wood fired pizza oven or the Brazilian churrascaria, the tandoor is a tool singular to its cuisine. At Clay Oven, char-touched, blistered flatbreads and smoky curries show that traditional Indian cooking methods inspire more than the name.

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Asian Hot Pot

Hot pot is a traditional dish believed to have originated Mongolia, and popularized in China,Thailand, Japan. The basic premise is simple: a boiling pot of stock to which a variety of ingredients can be added, crafting and instant and every changing soup. Like fondue or Korean barbeque, this cook at the table treat brings the action out of the kitchen and allows diners to customize their own dinners.

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Bison Berry Restaurant

Breaking bread is the easiest way to create a community—there’s nothing like coming together over a warm, steaming bowl of food. At Bison Berry Restaurant in Neechi Commons, this community ethos becomes the basis for a filling, comforting menu of North End classics.

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Blufish

For more than a decade, Blüfish has been an oasis of relaxed, sophisticated cool in the Exchange District. High quality ingredients make this a spot for sushi purists looking for traditional delights, but the other side of the menu offers playful specialties, with unexpected ingredients and creative flavour pairings.

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Khao House

So called “comfort food” has taken over the food world in recent years. Yet the conception of what constitutes a crave-able dish has begun to change; veggies can be just as indulgent as carbs and gooey melted cheese. Kicky spice and funky fermentation have been invited to the party.

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Peg Beer Co

The flood of new craft breweries putting our city awash in local suds has made this the year of beer in Winnipeg. While interest in local beer has been steadily growing for years, one of the first restaurants to capitalize on the brewpub concept in Winnipeg was Peg Beer Co.

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Across the Board

In the current age of smartphones and instant entertainment, cafes remain bastions of face to face fun. At the newly expanded Across the Board Cafe, analog entertainment isn’t going anywhere.

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Falafel Place

In the yearly surge of trend forecasts that hit at the end of 2016, it was clear that the food world had spoken—Middle Eastern flavours are hot right now. While chefs are busy incorporating za’atar and zhoug into their dishes, flavours from the Middle East are easy to find in the humble, bustling atmosphere of Falafel Place, where owner Ami Hassan has served heaping plates of flavourful falafel, meaty pitas, and spicy baba ghanoush for decades.

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Park Cafe

Set inside the beautiful Qualico Family Centre, with its wall of windows giving a lush view of Assiniboine Park, dining at the Park Cafe is as close to a picnic as one can get while still eating indoors.

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Pineridge Hollow

To pull off truly impeccable regional cuisine, two elements must be at play—a commitment to and understanding of the land and the creativity to transform every ingredient into a culinary masterpiece. At Pineridge Hollow, where ingredients can come not only from within the province but from the garden mere steps away (eat your heart out, 100 mile diet), the merging of these two passions is evident.

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La Roca

Two tables over, a server ceremoniously slides two brimming shotglasses across the table’s surface and begins describing the flavour profile of an aged tequila. Nearby, a circle of jerseyed Jets fans crowds closer to their table to “ooh” and “ah” over the racks of tacos jostling for space.

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Cafe Carlo

Avid eaters are always on the look out for the ever-elusive perfect neighbourhood restaurant, the kind of place with stellar food, an intimate, comfortable setting, and service that easily leads to customers developing a “usual”. This trifecta is difficult to achieve, but when a restaurant gets it right, it is a recipe for success.

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The Dancing Noodle

Ever since chefs like David Chang and Danny Bowien burst into the global culinary scene in an explosion of spicy, tangy, oily, funky flavour, Asian tastes have become the go-to for chefs looking for flavour inspiration. Techniques, built over decades or even centuries, are now the stars of kitchens all over the world.

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Hermanos

Hermanos Restaurant and Wine Bar opened to rave reviews in 2009, earning a top spot on Ciao!’s list of best new restaurants. Years later, this sultry enclave in the Exchange District has continued to maintain its status as a destination restaurant.

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Shannon’s

The term “public house” has a certain romantic ring, conjuring up images of quaint towns across the pond, pints of Guinness, jovial laughter. For the quintessential pub experience, airfare is not required—the simple way is to visit Shannon’s Irish Pub.

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Ichiban

The first teppanyaki dining restaurant in North America opened in New York in 1964, and in short order the entertainment/dining crossover had spread across the continent.

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Bailey’s

Among the delights of living in Winnipeg, the sheer amount of history at our fingertips is high on the list. Relics of the past hide around each corner of this city, presiding over daily commutes and downtown wanderings. On the edge of the Exchange District, an entire neighbourhood that has been declared a National Historic Site, Bailey’s is a gem that represents such history.

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Fusion Grill

Fusion Grill has been cutting the path for the Manitoba Regional Cuisine movement since opening in 1996. Alongside Ciao! and a host of other passionate restaurants and chefs, owner Scott McTaggert and his team made it their mission to work with local suppliers and get diners excited about eating food grown right here in our own province.

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The Original Pancake House

While Winnipeg’s status as a food city spurs self-appointed gourmands to a predilection for the trend of the moment, certain places and dishes have complete staying power, beyond trend factor. Perhaps it is nostalgia, tradition, or just the right combination of butter, sugar, flour and cinnamon—in any case, The Original Pancake House won’t be giving up its place in Winnipeg’s heart any time soon.

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Pasquale’s

Italian food, the kind served at the cozy nooks affectionately termed “red sauce joints”, has always had connotations of warmth, of a welcoming lack of pretention that treats regulars as VIPs. This appeal is on full display at Pasquale’s, where casualness meets craving-curing cooking.

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