Neighbourhood: St Boniface
Address: 101-300 Taché Ave
When a new restaurant opens at a popular corner that has perplexed many business starts before it, eyebrows raise. When that restaurant is opened by a team of chefs and enthusiasts who want to introduce the community to a business concept not yet trending in Peg city, tongues wag. This is the case with restaurant butcher shop Bouchée Boucher.
A bright window lined room is fashionably festooned in contemporary upholstery, shades of blond wood and a few red chairs to spice things up. Two entrances, one to the dining room, the other through the retail space, both set the scene. It is lively and loud, and the greeting is warm. Entering through the store teases what’s to come. Shelves are stocked with Manitoba brands, specialty food, and gifts and souvenirs reflecting the practice of buying local. The way to the restaurant passes in front of the temptation case – beautifully laid out cuts of meat that will arrive at tables seared, roasted and braised throughout the evening.
While at first blush diners may expect a menu dominated by meat, it is quality, not quantity, that is revered here. Many dishes are presented as small plates, encouraging sharing tastes. Larger plates are presented too, with the suggestion to share among more.
Vegetables, the food group of the moment, appear at the top of the dinner menu and coax some palate pushing. Pairings of herbs and spices eschew the expected: like maple, mint and pickled chiles (fennel); dates, orange, and sumac (fennel); and raisin puree and farro (carrots). The ubiquitous beet salad is traded for a gorgeous beet fritter dressed with whipped goat cheese, caramelized honey, and an innovative crispy quinoa crumble. Even mashed potatoes skew a bit glam, infused with ricotta, lemon honey and basil.
Of course, proteins are celebrated too. With a team of butchery specialists in the next room, the meat dishes are stellar. Braised beef is tender, satisfying and lusciously bathed in a red wine jus. Spaetzle, mushrooms, and celery root puree offer a classic flavour combination with a lighter twist. The pork loin chop is another exquisitely prepared winner. Roasted cabbage, warm apples, walnuts and calvados beautifully add texture and deliver a balanced plate with hints of sweet, salty and sour.
Lest we think all the good stuff is on dinner menus, lunch and Sunday brunch here offers a no holds barred approach too. An ever changing menu guarantees a few new delights every visit. Waffles topped with caramel sauce and cinnamon honey gelato, French toast with tomato jam, and pork belly can be wolfed down to the tunes of different local musicians – making Sunday a fun day.
Open Mon-Thu 11 am-10 pm, Fri-Sat 11 am-11 pm, Sun 10 am-2 pm.