Address: 375 Graham Ave
Phone: (204) 421-9094
Winnipeg’s downtown is in the midst of a revitalization movement — and Chef Michael Schafer of Rudy’s Eat & Drink is one of its frontrunners. His opulent 227-seat chophouse offers downtown denizens elegant escapism.
The team behind the renowned Sydney’s at The Forks has a mastery of polished perfection, which it has brought to Rudy’s detailed dining room. A stunning modern interior is juxtaposed with a hip, retro Mad Men vibe (we half expect to bump into Don Draper slipping out of one of the luxe, marble-plated private powder rooms). Wood panels bring warmth to walls, with ochre leather captain style and banquette seating and a cascade of suspended filament bulbs amping up the masculine vibe. A bank of iPads mounted on the bar, flatscreens in the lounge flickering with sports highlights and a massive high definition video wall place Rudy’s firmly in 2012.
Modern decor aside, this place is about classic cooking at its core. Sumptuous scratch baking and stellar house corned beef round out steakhouse staples Caesar salad, French onion soup and tuna tartar. Fresh cut steaks are executed to order. The filet mignon gets juicy wrapped in house-made bacon and sits pretty atop a golden crisp skin-on potato croquette made all the better by dribbles of garlic butter melting off the meat.
The max cheese is a burger to behold. The bun is replaced by two garlic-buttered grilled cheese and pickle sandwiches, inside the juicy patty is loaded with strips of bacon, fried eggs and caramelized onions. This six-inch-high bad boy is ruggedly secured with a bone handled steak knife critical to dignified consumption.
Supple ricotta gnocchi continues the decadent theme. Bathed in rich, silky crème fraîche punctuated with chewy bits of bacon and fried onion, it’s a great comfort dish to share.
A smoked boneless pork chop is crusted with apple and bacon crumble and served with a resplendent sweet bourbon sauce. Trust us, you will want to sop up with every bite.
For a fun finish, share s’mores. Fresh marshmallows and graham crackers provide sweet and messy play when dipped into a warm pot of boozy chocolate. Comforting nostalgia indeed.
Rudy’s Eat & Drink is open Mon-Fri 11 am-close; Sat 4 pm-close.)