Ciao! Dec/Jan 2021 Dec/Jan 2021 - Page 50

milk steaming at a state-of-the-art electric espresso machine .
Front window seats offer a direct view of the iconic CMHR and interior touches like the line of green plants on the top shelf are spare and precise . A quick glance around the room hints it is a place for coffee obsessives ; shelves of coffee beans , pots , coffee making toys and mugs are displayed for sale . Bags and shirts bear the eatery ’ s branding and champion the business lunch . The well-crafted menu of contemporary coffees successfully whets the appetite for the thoughtful food that follows .
The concise line up of options for breakfast , lunch and salads shows rare restraint and proves to be a key ingredient in delivering exceptional food . The menu , a love letter to timeless classics , presents refreshing takes on comfort food .
Jalapeno cornbread acts as the base for garlic confit mushrooms topped with arugula and poached eggs . This modern eggs benny is covered with a vibrant hollandaise and generously garnished with fresh dill sprigs .
A chai-flavoured sweet waffle is covered with espresso-infused whipped cream and stacked with strawberries , candied dates and brûléed banana . The dish is sprinkled with a few mint sprigs and pumpkin seeds , enhancing the contrasting textures .
Framed receipts from the former luncheonette reveal Reuben sandwiches have been a long time go-to , and the rendition today starts with house-made corned beef layered with apple sauerkraut and grainy mustard on marble rye . The signature “ burger ” sandwiches an herb laced falafel patty , cashew cheese , red pepper hummus , arugula and garlic aioli in focaccia .
Fruit , mixed greens , tomatoes and ciao ! reviews
contrasting vegetables characterize four distinct salads . Arugula ( this is no place for iceberg lettuce ) is the choice green for a mix of beets , pickled oranges and fennel , accented with house-made dilly ricotta and croutons .
This is not the dinette of our parents ’ generation . Yet it is delighting people of all ages with its delicious , fresh ingredients and casual cool flair . For those who are not downtown on the daily , trust us when we say this wee spot warrants a visit .
Modern Electric Lunch is open daily 9 am - 4 pm .
TABULA RASA
Neighbourhood ...... S . Osborne Address .......... 725 Osborne St Web ... tabularasaosborne . com Small plates ................ $ 6- $ 22
Winnipeg ’ s avid restaurant fans know that the welcoming dining nook at 725 Osborne St has changed hands several times over the last few years . Yet — appropriately for a name meaning ‘ clean slate ’— Tabula Rasa bares no hint of its former tenants . Upon entering , exposed brick walls , colourful patterned wallpaper and pictures of matadors prepare palates for the Mediterranean tastes coming out of the kitchen . But it ’ s the air plants peeking out of crevices and hand-crafted plush mushrooms in vases at the front door that reveal a signature quirky humour and attention to detail : this is the latest venture of chef Michael Schafer and his Sous Sol team .
Armed with a seasoned group of hospitality pros , including chef Kurt Kolbe from Sous Sol , Schafer opened with little ado about the panny . An easy going , polished warm welcome seems a far cry from the staffing scramble felt in the restaurant industry today . The engaging service remains attentive and poised throughout a barrage of menu questions .
The menu flexes attention to every small detail too . Chef Kurt ’ s honed talent for well edited dishes is now applied to his new portfolio of Spanish inspirations , with preparations and accompaniments selected to draw out new surprising flavours .
Pickerel cheek escabeche , a medley of sweet little cheeks bathing in a stewy mix of fine chopped onion , tomato , capers and olives , playfully contrasts the natural sweetness of fish with briny piperade . Slices of yellow fin tuna are fanned over ajo blanco , sharing the plate with chickpeas , potato crisps , beets and pickled grapes . Both dishes nod to Spain while drawing from Manitoba ’ s ingredients .
Richly flavoured sauces , always a sign of know-how in the kitchen , anchor much of the menu . Wild boar and beef albondigas ( Spanish meatballs ) sit on a perfectly balanced tomato sauce , under a shower of pistachios and shaved manchego . A red pepper romesco offers the smoky , slow burn of ancho chile heat to its platemate , a single perfectly charred octopus tentacle sprinkled with chorizo .
Veggie-centric dishes offer diners the chance to explore new flavours and textures . Sunchoke stars in a trio that highlights it three ways . Za ’ atar flavours the roasted chokes , set on a bed of mashed root and topped with pickled slices tickled with saffron .
It ’ s easy to fill up on the steady stream of nibbles coming out of the kitchen , but dessert is worth loosening the belt for . Lemon coffee cake is amped up with a dollop of luxurious dulce de leche and hazelnut ice cream .
Tabula Rasa is open Tue to Sat 5 pm - 11 pm .
48 ciao ! / dec / jan / two thousand twenty-one