Neighbourhood: St. Boniface
Address: 130 Provencher Blvd
It’s easy to see why Chef Gojko, formerly of Restaurant Dubrovnik, chose Promenade Bistro as the backdrop for his intricate menu. Looking out to one of the most spectacular landmarks in the city—the Esplanade Riel—this simple space has been transformed from its former incarnation as a fast-food diner into a fine dining restaurant offering dishes far beyond ordinary.
One night’s seared foie gras is perfectly textured with a slightly crispy exterior and an interior so succulent it instantly melts on the tongue. A mango blueberry compote adds notes of sweetness that balance the richness of the liver.
It’s clear Chef Gojko is a genius of the stockpot. The borscht and lobster bisque are both soul-satisfyingly delicious and could each be a meal on their own. The sweet borscht is a combination of beef and chicken stock that work together to enhance the natural sugars in the beets. The bisque’s creamy base is both mellow and slightly piquant and the tender nuggets of lobster meat swimming inside evoke the flavour of the ocean.
Entrées range from complex meat platters to aromatic fish courses to playful pasta dishes. The Chicken Gojko transforms poultry into something decidedly decadent. A breast is rolled around a rich filling of shrimp and wild rice and topped with a smooth beurre blanc sauce that adds a perfect layer of culinary sin.
A quartet of glossy lamb chops is cooked exactly rare as requested and is scented with rosemary and dolloped with herbaceous pesto. A combination of spicy horseradish and a golden, gooey mound of sweet eggplant jam served with the meat is a unique and creative accompaniment.
A lightly seared roll of pork tenderloin is stuffed with jewel coloured bits of chewy apricot and rests on a puddle of tart apricot sauce that pairs well with the mild flavour of the meat. Garlicky scallop potatoes are hearty and dense and complement the sweetness of the fruit.
For a punch of spice, a steaming bowl of earthy whole-wheat penne is tossed in a fiery tomato sauce and punctuated with deep burgundy discs of peppery chorizo sausage. The sauce is simple and allows the flavour of ripe tomatoes fresh off the vine to come through. The smoky sausage echoes the heat of the sauce.
Chef Gojko clearly has respect for ensuring meat is always cooked perfectly and it seems there is no exception when it comes to fish. Pickerel comes lightly seasoned with salt and pepper and is pan-fried until flaky. The flavour is pleasantly salty and naturally delicate.
Promenade Bistro is open Mon‑Fri 7 am‑8 pm; Sat 8 am‑8 pm; Sun 8 am‑3 pm.