Restaurant Reviews The Palm Lounge

The Palm Lounge

Neighbourhood: Downtown
222 Broadway Ave
Phone: 204-942-8251
Entrees: $18-$31

Most major cities have a grande dame luxury hotel – architectural and historical landmarks that stood as a symbol of elegance and refined entertaining. The jewel of these public spaces was the hotel’s dining room where white-gloved waiters served beef on the bone from silver-domed trolleys, and sparkling couples dined on Oysters Rockefeller and French champagne. As times and tastes changed, some dowager restaurants are unable or unwilling to renovate. Not so with this city’s Fort Garry Hotel. Its Palm Lounge has undergone the chef’s knife, ensuring this century-old establishment remains a vibrant dining destination.

The hotel has maintained the beautiful bones of its 100-seat, oval-shaped dining room and lounge, and still serves weary travellers and locals alike bevvies, appies, meals and late night snacks. A wall of windows lets in sunshine or the fading glow of an autumn afternoon. In the evening, the room glitters with light from an antique chandelier suspended from the ceiling’s centre dome. Tables are flanked by tufted leather club chairs, as classic as the ebony grand piano played every evening by one of Winnipeg’s jazz stars.

It’s chef de cuisine Stephan Marchan, though, who has updated the culinary experience by elevating flavours of homestyle comfort food.

Sunday dinners and meatloaf Mondays can be relived with menu choices like flash roasted half chicken or veal meatloaf. Poultry, along with aromatic stuffing, fingerling potatoes, and steamed rapini, is served atop a generous lake of gravy while tomato sauce cloaks the moist meatloaf. New York style pizzas with offbeat pairings like portobello mushrooms, goat cheese and alfredo, or grilled chicken and vegetables, basil, and olive oil, reveal this kitchen’s diversity. Salads are bright and satisfying. A mesclun mix studded with grilled vegetables and wild salmon is dressed in sharp shallot vinaigrette.

Shareables, like Italian style antipasto and chicken liver brûlée make a new statement on two classics. House-brined vegetables and speck (a cured meat of northern Italy with hints of laurel, juniper and pepper) give this snack zing. The chicken liver pâté infused with port, bandy and madeira adds depth to a creamy mouthfeel punctuated by its crackly caramelized crust.

The dessert menu is small but hits the right sweet notes with perennial favourite tangy lemon meringue tart and newer age gooey hazelnut tart with milk chocolate whipped cream and coffee crème anglaise.

The Palm Lounge is open Monday through Thursday from 11:00 am-midnight, Friday and Saturday from 11 am-1 am, and Sunday from 3 pm-midnight.