Neighbourhood: St. Vital
Address: 513 St. Mary’s Rd
(Editor’s Note – This business is no longer open.)
Simon’s Cuisine is a cozy little diner with black and white checkered floors. There are just a dozen seats and warm orange walls sprinkled with exotic photographs. The intimate atmosphere paired with warm hospitality that includes an offering of food—a trio of dips with a basket of corn chips and crusty bread—signals diners that they have stumbled upon the holy grail, a homey meal spiced with love. The kind of genuine fare and care that nourishes the belly and soul.
Like Manitoba’s regional cuisine, Argentina’s national fare draws from the livestock and agriculture of its land, and the cultural influence of it’s people. At Simon’s Cuisine you can taste the Argentinean influence on the menu with tender cannelloni and decadent dulce de leche crêpes. Mediterranean flavours also accompany the many beef dishes reflective of the country’s rich ranching economy.
The trio of dips with corn chips and toasted bread presented upon arrival indicates distinct flavours to follow; taking taste buds on a rollercoaster ride of verdant chimichurri, fervid cayenne pepper hot and scintillating salsa criolla made of tomato, oregano, red bell pepper, garlic and vinegar.
Be sure to order the sfijas, open-faced golden brown pastry parcels filled with beef that’s spiced exquisitely with mint and balanced by an aggressive punch of lemon. Eggs are put to use in extraordinary fashion, in hard boiled form they provide supple fillings for pascualina (quiche with spinach, onion and Parmesan cheese) and mixed with ricotta cheese and oregano in one of many choice empanada offerings.
Simon’s offers many types of baked empanadas and you won’t be able to taste them all at once. We recommend taking a dozen home to replace the pizza pops. One must-try variation is spicy beef as each warm bite is intermittently punctuated by sweet raisins and briny green olives.
Eggs appear again, baked and sandwiched in the milanesa especial along with pounded and breaded beef (similar to schnitzel and cutlets), juicy ham and melted Mozzarella cheese. The tomato slices in this two-hander are a blessing, bringing some acidic relief to the sandwich’s cumulated richness. We like to add zing with a dose of housemade hot sauce.
In a search for the most unabashedly cheesy cylinders of pasta, you might overlook this tiny joint, but the spinach and ricotta cannelloni is a tender dream cloaked in melted Mozzarella. Mozza also bonds humita, a classic corn comfort food with grated kernels baked into a homey, cheesy pudding.
Torta mil hojas thrills with crispy layers of wafer-like pastry ensconced in divine dulce de leche caramel and enveloped with whipped cream.
Simon’s Cuisine is open Mon & Tue 11:30 am -7 pm, Wed-Sat 11:30 am-9 pm.