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Dandelion Deli

Neighbourhood: Confusion Corner
230 Osborne Street
Phone: (204) 453-5755
Entrees: $10-$16

(Editor’s Note – This business is no longer open.)

While the name and decor of Organza Market’s in-house restaurant has changed, the dedication to fresh, organic and local ingredients and from-scratch cooking is still at the heart of Dandelion Deli’s food philosophy.

After renovations this year, the casual dining room, formerly known as the Dandelion Eatery, is now located beside the deli counter. A wall was knocked out to open up the space of this 32-seat room. Now, diners order at the counter and then attentive staff deliver dishes to the wooden tables and brightly coloured chairs. With 18 years of experience, Chef Timothy Taylor heads up the kitchen, having previously worked at Rembrandt’s Bistro and Elkhorn Ranch, among others.

Manitoba’s regional specialties and cultural diversity are the mainstay of the menu. Casual fare like wraps, burgers and salads are found alongside more upscale entrées, like the stand-out wild northern pike sourced from Lake Winnipeg. The succulent pan-roasted fish is smothered in classic chasseur sauce chock full of shallots. Accompanying zucchini, onions and peppers taste like they were picked from the garden and immediately roasted. A small mountain of quinoa pilaf adds chewy texture.

Portobello, button, enoki and crimini mushrooms in the mushroom sauté smack the buds as if freshly foraged from Manitoba’s dense forests. A reduction of lavender vinegar and sweet John Russell Manitoba honey calm the starter’s intense earthy taste: a tinge of garlic and chilli flakes crank up the heat. Organic greens add a pretty shot of colour.

Rather than using greens in every salad, Chef Tim cooks up “naked oats” as the base in Cavena Nuda salad. The crunch of toasted pine nuts, roasted peppers and onions are a satisfying contrast against the yiedling oats. A squeeze of lemon wedge makes a light, refreshing dressing on this chilled, hearty salad.

Looking south, Dandelion offers a healthy quesadilla. Each ingredient is thoughtfully layered inside a whole wheat tortilla. Pulled pork, an unexpected filling, is tender and light on seasoning. A smattering of melted jack cheese, brown rice and sour cream round out the flavour fiesta. Creamy, house-made guacamole and garden-fresh salsa fresca caps the Mexican meal.

Japanese cuisine also gets a nod at Dandelion with ginger-spiked miso mussels. Plump PEI mussels and thick pieces of garlic foccacia are made for dipping with abandon in the feisty broth.

You can’t go wrong with any of the three pastas on the menu. The rich meatiness of certified organic beef in spinach linguine is a highlight. The green, made-in-Manitoba Nature’s Pasta noodles are thick yet yielding and laced with a simple, crushed tomato sauce. Each piece of juicy, braised beef melts on the tongue.

Take away house-made cinnamon buns and desserts squares are available at the counter for on-the-go sugar fixes. It’s worth eating in for one of Dandelion Deli’s new desserts, most notably the lemon curd tart. Served like a slice of pie, silky lemon filling sits atop a pine nut crust drizzled in tart strawberry coulis.

Dandelion Deli is open Mon-Fri 9 am-8:30 pm, Sat 9 am-7:30 pm, Sun 10 am-5:30 pm.

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