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dine

Top 5 Ember & Eats

Enhance the elements of a true winter dining experiencing in one, or all, of the top five restaurants with dramatic, fireside appeal.
    Tuck into French bistro fare at Resto Gare by the elegant, double-sided fireplace. Savour the rich red wine broth of the Soupe a L’Oignon Classique smothered in a nutty, buttery Gruyère cheese; or the hearty Cassoulet de Canard. 630 Des Meurons St, 204‑237‑7072
    Blaze Bistro is replete with invitingly warm autumnal colours and Tyndall-stone fireplace, lulling visitors into comfort dining. Meld fine dining finesse with a traditional and impeccable beef bourguignon. 350 St. Mary’s Ave, 204-944-7259 
    Revel in post winter recreation at The Forks with two hot options for fireside dining. An afternoon Under the Canopy ice rink gets finished with the grill at Muddy Waters Eatery. Once greeted by the floor-to-the-ceiling slate fireplace with double copper stacks (pictured); dig into a platter of the authentic, hickory-smoked St. Louis Style Ribs soaked in a bold, bourbon BBQ sauce. 15 Forks Market Rd, 204‑947‑6653
    The winter welcome at The Forks continues westward with The Beachcomber.  A central free-standing circular hearth emanates warmth throughout the dining room – a perfect backdrop to enjoy a generous pan of Kettle Paella with salmon in a whiskey and maple brine. 1 Forks Market Rd, 204‑948‑0020
    A young, hip crowd gathers at Confusion Corner Bar & Grill restaurant for shareable apps by a roaring wood fire. Try a Fiesta Pizza garnished with tortilla strips and lime crema. 500 Corydon Ave, 204-284-6666

Top 5 ways to dine in nature

Get a dose of the wild or a picturesque view of outdoor scenery at these spots that blend sit down dining with outdoor fun.

Courtesy of Tundra Grill

Courtesy of Tundra Grill

The patio at Prairie’s Edge overlooks a serene pond surrounded by the greenery of Kildonan Park. Start the evening with crispy fried beet fritters before taking in a show at outdoor theatre Rainbow Stage. 2015 Main St, 204‑284‑7275

Hearty breakfast and lunch options make Buffalo Stone Cafe inside FortWhyte Alive nature preserve a go-to pick for a sweet nature setting inside city limits. The signature bison burger and a breeze off the shimmering lake are a perfect pair. 1961 McCreary Rd, 204‑989‑8355

Tundra Grill (pictured), inside the Assiniboine Park Zoo’s Journey to Churchill exhibit, boasts a 9 by 150 foot wall of windows looking out onto a polar bear habitat. Snack on kid-friendly foods like hamburgers and pizza while observing the animals roam and play. 2595 Roblin Blvd, 204‑927‑8060, Map 2: D-2

The elegant country cottage setting at Pineridge Hollow is the perfect backdrop to scratch-made fare that highlights prairie products. After sampling wild mushroom-stuffed perogies, wander the on-site garden and hand feed the goats outside. 67086 Heatherdale Rd 25E, Oakbank, MB

A century old country estate is the setting for fine dining at The Gates on Roblin. Seats in the Atrium deliver breathtaking views with your tender duck confit. Take a stroll around the grounds and visit horses grazing in the paddock. 6945 Roblin Blvd, 204‑224‑2837

One Day, Three Meals: Charlottetown, PEI

© Tourism PEI

By Cynthia Dennis

Breakfast

Casa Mia Café, 131 Queen Street [map]

If you’re not quite feeling the greasy diner, but you’re not exactly on the yogurt-and-granola train, Casa Mia Café in downtown Charlottetown is where you’ll find hearty, healthy flavours in dishes like potato pancakes with ham, cheddar and green onion or the full country breakfast with local sausage and house-recipe potato hash. Owned and operated by a husband-and-wife team, Casa Mia is one of the only joints in town serving a proper latte or cappuccino to accompany your traditional breakfast with an upscale twist. Big tables and Wi-Fi are added perks. Spread out, relax and, for the love of Pete, order a side of potatoes made with caramelized onions.

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