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Dining

Winnipeg’s Best New Restaurants of 2015

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The Merchant Kitchen, photo by Ian McCausland

This year brought Winnipeg diners plenty to rave about. The Merchant Kitchen tops the list, and has been chosen as one of Canada’s Top 10 New Restaurants by WHERE editors.

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October Hot Dining

By Janice Hudson

CULINARY KINGSIMG_9887-resized
Held in cities across Canada, the Gold Medal Plates competition showcases top chefs, battling to crown gold, silver and bronze culinary teams. On October 29, eight Nova Scotian chefs will compete in Halifax, including Chef Terry Vassallo of Café Chianti, Chef Bee Choo Char of Gio, and Chef Mark Gray of The Brooklyn Warehouse. Visit www.goldmedalplates.com for tickets.

A TALE TO REMEMBERHall_Sept050017-resized
At Stories, the intimate restaurant located at The Halliburton hotel on Morris Street, Chef Scott Vail’s inspired menu changes with the seasons. His mainstays include local game, lamb, seafood, and housemade charcuterie.

GREEK RENAISSANCEIMG_0865-resized
A staple of Halifax’s West End dining scene for more than 30 years, Athens Restaurant on Quinpool Road boasts a menu of flavourful classic Greek dishes, including lamb souvlaki, moussaka and calamari. The space seats about 150 people and is a popular breakfast spot on the weekends.

BANGKOK CALLINGmango_salad-resized
Baan Thai on Blowers Street has a fresh menu and colourful furnishings from Bangkok. Choose from any number of curries, Pad Thai or a special all-you-can-eat lunch buffet on Fridays. The delicious menu offers spicy noodles, cashew chicken, shrimp cakes and spring rolls, plus much more.

EDITOR’S CHOICE

Photo: Kelly Neil

Photo: Kelly Neil

Chef Andrew Farrell of 2 Doors Down is making his mark on Nova Scotia’s dining scene, creating soulful recipes like deep-fried mac and cheese, and traditional potpie using fresh local ingredients. Find the restaurant in the heart of the downtown on Barrington Street.

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• Downtown on Prince Street, the Old Triangle Irish Alehouse is a large, three-room pub with live entertainment nightly and no cover charge. A great place to relax with friends, the Old Triangle has a classic pub menu and serves weekend brunch.
• Celebrating one year on Halifax’s brewpub scene, Gahan House is a popular destination in the picturesque Historic Properties. Choose from a range of Gahan’s own handcrafted beers on tap, including blueberry ale and Sir John A honey wheat ale.

Canmore Cafes & Restaurants to Try this Fall

By Where Staff

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Blissful Baking

Little bursts of heaven: delectable handmade fruit and chocolate pâtisseries and viennoiseries at Canmore’s Le Fournil. This authentic French bakery offers daily specialty breads and pastries; Saturday’s three flavours of pain Méditérranéen are local favourites. We also love their luscious fresh fruit tarts.

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Mingle with Locals at the Canmore Mountain Market

On Thursday, June 11, the sun was shining during the first Canmore Mountain Market of the season. Vendors from Canmore and the surrounding area came to peddle their wares, drawing crowds of locals and tourists alike.

The Raven and The Fox provided entertainment, filling the market with singer Julie Chang’s melodious voice and acoustic guitarist Sean Isaac’s accompaniment. The duo played a few of their original songs and covered bands including Guns N’ Roses and Damien Rice.

Spring brings an abundance of new seasonal fruits and vegetables, which were out in force. Fresh and colourful produce filled every corner of the market. Favourites like crunchy sweet peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes and black kale sat beside baskets of beautiful strawberries, raspberries, cherries and grapes. Interesting additions include garlic scapes and heirloom eggplants.

Red, orange, yellow and green peppers provided a rainbow of healthy snacks. Photo by Ashley Materi

Red, orange, yellow and green peppers provided a rainbow of healthy snacks. Photo by Ashley Materi

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June Hot Dining

By Janice Hudson

PATIO PERFECTION

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• Catch some rays on the rooftop patio at Your Father’s Moustache on Spring Garden Road. The fun and lively space has beer aplenty on tap, including three signature brews from the RockBottom Brewpub downstairs.
• Downtown, head to The Maxwell’s Plum on Grafton Street for a cold pint on the sunny patio. The landmark bar has the city’s largest selection of draft beer, including top selections from Maritime craft breweries like Halifax’s Garrison Brewing and Cape Breton’s Big Spruce.
• For fabulous views of Halifax harbour, check out Gahan House in the Historic Properties. This popular Prince Edward Island brewpub recently opened its first Nova Scotia location, serving its own line of handcrafted beers. Try the Beach Chair lager for a refreshing summer sip.

Editor’s Choice

Steak9246Two downtown restaurants have once again earned the prestigious CAA/AAA Four Diamond Award.
Recognized for the eighth year in a row, Onyx on Argyle Street is a sleek resto bar showcasing local ingredients in delicious globally inspired recipes. Cut Steakhouse on Lower Water Street has received the award every
year since opening in 2008. The menu boasts premium beef (dry-aged and butchered on-site) with
an artful wine list and inventive sides.

 

 

VEGGIES FIRST

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• A leader in Halifax’s emerging vegan scene, Envie touts a menu of hearty meals like vegan ribs, grilled cheese and indulgent raw desserts. Catering to dietary restrictions, the menu is 90 per cent gluten free. Find the stylish restaurant on the corner of Agricola and Charles streets in the North End.
• In the West End on Windsor Street, Wild Leek has made-from-scratch vegan comfort food. Chef Kirsten Haggart whips up recipes like mac’n cheese, seitan sandwich, and the popular coconutbacon “CBLT.” Wash it down with a fresh-squeezed juice and save room for gourmet cupcake.

 

CREATIVE CORNERSTONEGio-Tea--024---Version-2

Downtown at Gio on
Market Street, Chef Bee Choo
Char gives traditional recipes
an inventive new twist. Her
delicious version of poutine
includes fried polenta fingers
topped with duck confit, red
wine jus and blue “Cheez
Whiz.” Open for lunch and
dinner, Gio has a sommelierchosen
wine list plus creative cocktails and martinis.

 

SLICE OF SUCCESS

_MG_4104Specializing in wood-fired pizza, Morris East won bronze in the non-traditional category at the recent International Pizza Expo in Las Vegas. Its Nova Scotia-inspired winning pie featured pears poached in Blomidon Estate Baco Noir and prosciutto from Halifax’s Ratinaud Charcuterie. Visit in downtown Halifax on Morris Street and in Bedford on Larry Uteck Boulevard.

Canmore Uncorked Food & Drink Festival

By Afton Aikens

Hang up your apron because there’ll be no need for home cooking during the second annual Canmore Uncorked festival, April 7 to 19.

The inaugural festival won an Alberta tourism award and was nominated for the Canadian Tourism Awards’ event of the year. Organizers are raising the bar this year, adding new events that will showcase the quality and creativity that drives Canmore’s dining scene, paired with tried and true favourites.

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Ski Area Fun: No Skis Necessary

By Where Staff

Canadian Rockies’ ski resorts have been drawing crowds for nearly a century. If skiing or boarding isn’t for you, or if you just want to try something different, there’s still plenty of fun to be had on and off the slopes.

Photo: Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka Photography

Photo: Banff Lake Louise Tourism / Paul Zizka Photography

Tube Park Fun

The whole family can delight in speeding down the slopes on an inflatable tube. Groomed lanes ensure safe, smooth sliding. At Lake Louise Sunny Tube Park, slide for $22 (yth $20, ch $15, -5 free). Norquay’s Tube Town (night-lit Fri/Sat) has six chutes, two lifts and a play zone with a small sliding area ($35, yth/sr $25, ch $20). Nakiska Tube Park ($19, ch $15) has an additional lane this year.

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Edmonton’s Best New Restaurant 2013: RGE RD

RGE RD

RGE RD is Where Edmonton’s Best New Restaurant 2013
Photo by Pedro Escobar

You never quite know what to expect when you wander into RGE RD, the newest and most highly anticipated addition to Edmonton’s dining scene — other than highly creative and utterly delicious creations of some sort or another, that is. Chef and owner Blair Lebsack is passionate about the whole farm-to table concept or, as he puts it, “the farms we work with dictate the menu. We don’t tell them what to grow; we work with what they give us.”

Look for fresh, seasonal and local. Look for a constantly changing menu, and look for the unexpected. Oh, and yes, definitely look for steak. As for the type of steak, well…

You see, RGE RD brings in whole cows and works from there. Tenderloin might take centre stage one night, rib eye another, and flank another and… well, you get the idea. With a wood-burning oven, a grill and some cast-iron pans at his fingertips, exactly how Lebsack might cook that steak is anyone’s guess. It will be served with some sort of beef-y ragout (think beef/onion/mushroom), though, and it will be accompanied by something warm and comforting and surprising (think creamy mashed potatoes with radish greens). Oh, and according to Lebsack, it will be “the best steak in the world.” What goes with the best steak in the world? Beer [from Hog’s Head Brewery in St. Albert] , of course!

After a steak like that you might think you’re completely satisfied, but how could you not dig into something as yummy as the Chocolate S’mores? Ooey, gooey, house-made and topped off with a fabulously innovative smoked ice cream – you won’t even miss the campfire! 10643-123 St, 780-447-4577; rgerd.caJan Hostyn 

 

Calgary’s Best Eats: Where to Dine Award Winners 2013

By IAN DOIG and ADELE BRUNNHOFER

Model-Milk

Model Milk’s boudin noir with egg yolk gnocchi (Photo: Jason Dziver)

Calgary’s dining scene continues its prolonged hot streak. As bold new eateries emerge, the (generally friendly) competition has moved established restaurants to up their game. The scene’s sheer scope of choice and high level of taste is well represented in this list of Calgary’s best dining establishments.
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Winnipeg’s Top 40 Patios

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In a city affectionately known as “Winterpeg”, it’s not surprising that locals look for any available chance to soak up some sun. Hit up these 40 prime patios for a side of vitamin D with your meal.

529 Wellington sets its tables on a manicured back lawn adjacent Assiniboine River. As if smart and beautiful food weren’t enough!

Cocktails with a view of the skyline are on the menu at The Allen Restaurant‘s rooftop patio at the Metropolitan Entertainment Centre.

The Beachcomber‘s expansive bar and patio offers people watching and a million dollar view of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers.

The beautiful, shady patio complete with a fountain makes Black Rabbit a prime spot for sun and sips in Osborne Village.

Feel miles away without leaving the city at Buffalo Stone Cafe at Fort Whyte Alive urban nature reserve. Dine on simple breakfast and lunch faves while overlooking one of Manitoba’s beautiful lakes.

Open wide for gargantuan sized taqueria fare at a rare front lawn table at Corydon’s Burrito del Rio.

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Hot Dining: Say Cheesecake

Mango Coconut Cheesecake from Sweet Hereafter

Mango Coconut Cheesecake from Sweet Hereafter

For a slice of rich and delicious city-style cheesecake, stop into Sweet Hereafter on Quinpool Road. Sit back, relax and take in the funky décor. Scrumptious cheesecake flavours include apple pecan, white chocolate raspberry, ginger pear, triple chocolate. Gluten-free and vegan flavours available, too.

Hot Dining: Viva Italia

 

A delicious pasta dish from Cafe Chianti

A delicious pasta dish from Cafe Chianti

Café Chianti on Barrington Street serves up a hearty menu of Northern Italian fare with fresh seafood, lamb and duck dishes. Their extensive wine cellar includes varietals from Chile, Spain, Argentina, South Australia and, of course, Italy.

Da Maurizio on Lower Water Street, three-time winner of the CAA Four Diamond Award, is known for its impeccable service, wine list and northern Italian menu. Indulge in antipasti such as Scampi Alla Marchese or Muscoli Alla San Remo. And don’t forget the desserts like tiramisu, sorbetti, and trio di brulee.