Restaurant Reviews June-July 2018 Peasant Cookery

Peasant Cookery

Neighbourhood: Exchange
Address: 283 Bannatyne Ave
Phone: 204-989-7700
Entrées: $18-$36

A classically educated chef and a rustically rebranded restaurant are the essential ingredients at Peasant Cookery, which melds high-class French fare with rural influences. Chef Tristan Foucault’s throw-nothing-away practices transform typically overlooked ingredients into culinary chef-d’oeuvres.

Originally opened as a high-class French restaurant, the current space has transformed from prestigious to pastoral. While mason jar-lined windowsills have replaced white tablecloths, French standard menu items have stood the test of time.

Chicken livers swim in a red wine sauce. Each bite is earthy and rich, complemented by sweet and tart notes of sun-dried tomato. Tourtière represents rustic comfort food, reminiscent of a Thanksgiving feast. Clove and nutmeg pair well with the savoury spiced meat, creating festive flavours. The flaky exterior adds contrasting crunch to this soft and dense dish.

International flavours don’t take a back seat with global ingredients putting twists on tradition, like coconut curry in butternut squash soup. The silky broth is elevated by mixing in crunchy bites of house made puffed wheat, sesame and pumpkin seed granola.

Norwegian cod delicately sits atop a bed of cooked greens. Firm yet tender, the fillet effortlessly falls apart with the swish of a fork. Saving a piece of the fresh focaccia bread that comes pre first course is a test of willpower, but, if accomplished, makes the ultimate dipping utensil for the moat of broth that surrounds the perfectly-plated dish. Sift through the liquid gold to find pieces of smoked pancetta, adding a stroke of savour and crunch.

Traditional French meals rely on simple combinations that enhance the natural flavours of each ingredient. This technique is at play in the half chicken entrée, a dish that spotlights poultry in all its versatility. A bone-in chicken breast is glazed in maple, accompanied by a lofty leek bread pudding. Buried beneath the breast is a chicken leg confit hash, soaking up the cranberry vinegar zest. Every mouthful is absolute bliss.

With a prime location in Old Market Square and French fare beyond compare, it’s no surprise that the windows into this eatery constantly reveal a lively view of happy gourmands.

Peasant Cookery is open Mon-Fri 11 am-10 pm, Sat 4 pm-12 am, Closed Sun.

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