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Peasant Cookery Review


Neighbourhood: Exchange
288 Bannatyne Ave
Phone: 204-989-7700
Entrees: $14-$29

The luxurious yet honest dishes at Peasant Cookery satiate palates of princes and paupers alike. Chef/part owner Tristan Foucault’s menu features ingredients that range from upscale escargots and oysters to humble potatoes and pork. Everything is made in-house, including pickled peppers, cucumbers, beans and carrots packed in jewel-toned mason jars that decorate the window ledges of this rustic chic 75-seat eatery.

Patinaed wood tables, a collection of folksy painted cocks and hens on display, and a giant sheath of golden wheat decorating a service table add country charm to this redefined WOW! Hospitality space.

On the two part menu, “Of the Moment” selections are not bound by French borders. Dishes that take inspiration from the Mediterranean flavours of Italy, Spain and Morocco are offered alongside regional favourites like poutine and perogies. The “Classics” section features traditional French food like beef bourguignon and cassoulet reinterpreted with modern influences.

Chef Tristan’s culinary prowess shines brightest on the innovative charcuterie board. A must-try for meat lovers, this generous appetizer features more than a dozen types of dry cured sausage, terrine and pâté. A nose-to-tail approach transforms rarely used body parts like pork face, tongue and ears to slices of succulent bliss. Proteins playfully vary from chewy, Spanish-style chorizo with a spice kicker to see-through slices of salty goat leg prosciutto.

House-made Italian sausage adds lively spice to Tuscan-style penne. Al dente tubes mingle with plump stewed tomatoes, fresh basil and ribbons of red onion.

Another “Of the Moment” offering, airy morsels of Parisienne-style gnocchi have a slight crust, unlike their potato-based Italian counterpart. These tiny, cheddar morsels are made of flour, egg and cheese and tossed with a bright blend of sundried tomatoes, piquillo peppers and spinach in herbaceous oil.

Diners can taste childhood nostalgia with the first homey bite of warm sour dough rye or foccacia bread. Use the crusty slices for soaking up fragrant white wine, piquillo pepper, red onion and bacon flavoured broth of classically executed mussels and French fries. A tiny ramekin full of tangy house-made mayonnaise gives each golden French fry urgent dipping purpose.

Cassoulet captures the hearty essence of quintessential French peasant food in a bowl. Brawny flavours merge as duck leg confit tops off slices of heady garlic sausage, braised pork shoulder and salty pancetta in a warm, earthy sauce laced with tender white beans.

For dessert, delight in busting through a pane of crisp caramel to reach the vanilla bean crème brûlée’s silky custard underbelly. Eat it with your eyes closed and enjoy a crescendo of sensual decadence.


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