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Hot Dining: Restaurant Review: Bailey’s

After 40 years in business, Bailey’s restaurant, with its traditional, continental cuisine may not exactly have the buzz currently being cooked up by a cadre of competitive chefs in Winnipeg. However, its well-executed plates and polished service keep regulars coming back year after year to the 120-seat restaurant.

Like a classic suit, Bailey’s never goes out of style. For the past six years, the man delivering the magic has been Jesus Lomasang, a Philippines native who worked as a chef in Japan and Bahrain before arriving in Winnipeg.

Menu descriptions are brief and to the point. Refined servers, who pull out chairs for guests as a matter of course, expertly answer any menu and ingredient questions. Bailey’s food has evolved over the years and now includes a  broad selection of sandwiches, salads and pasta to suit the masses.

Meat and seafood are the stars from start to finish inside the circa 1900s building in the Exchange District. Chicken livers are a fine start. Perfectly pan fried, these plump, bite-sized poppers are tossed with pepper, oregano and a dash of red wine, and served with crisp, white onions. Scallops are also delectable bites. As billed, each morsel tops a broiled mushroom cap and is bathed in very garlicky butter. Charbroiled lamb chops are a divine, no-frills affair that won’t soon be forgotten. Four thick, juicy, perfectly pink, medium-rare slices of lamb on the bone are sparsley seasoned with salt and pepper, letting the lamb speak for itself. Slow-roasted lemon potatoes and a colourful mixture of steamed market vegetables—broccoli, bok choy, bean sprouts, red pepper and cauliflower—complete this memorable meal. Red snapper, pan-fried in a Cajun chilli-kissed batter, ably satisfies a seafood craving.

Dinners are served with a choice of a daily soup, or a crisp and colourful house salad of Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, croutons and a choice of dressings. Bailey’s delivers a VIP dining experience, just look to the pampered service and exquisite decor for evidence.

The second-floor dining room is an exercise in classic elegance. Linen-draped tables, chandeliers and hand-carved woodwork set a stately scene. Hushed conversations  are a welcome counterpoint to buzzing bistros with their bright-white noise. The main floor lounge, meanwhile, offers a more lively experience with a pool table, large-screen TVs and VLTs set against the backdrop of an English tavern.

Bailey’s is open daily from 11 am to 1 am.

Exchange District
185 Lombard Ave
Entrées $12-$26

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