The Rib Room
Address: 330 York Ave
The return of the Winnipeg Jets has sparked a downtown dining revival. Not only are we seeing new local upstarts and national chains, but also institutions that may have faded into the background of the dining scene now find themselves players in a new game. One such place is the Rib Room at the Best Western Charterhouse.
A mere two blocks from the Bell MTS Place, the Rib Room is steadfast in every aspect of the experience. The 100-seat room received a make-over seven years ago, but the space so meticulously maintained and modern that it still feels fresh.
The handsome earth tones of chocolate brown leather and gold and taupe accents create a comforting atmosphere. Particularly in the evenings, when the pendant light above each table is turned low, The Rib Room exudes a confidence similar to a tony steakhouse.
Eschew the pre-game nachos and wings diet, and tuck into a horseshoe shaped banquette and drool over the contemporary list of appetizers. The sesame chicken rolls are supersized spring roll-like pillars filled with steamy diced meat. Flavour is amplified by a cool yellow curry dipping sauce speckled with black sesame seeds. The chilled prime rib asparagus roll is an ideal companion; crispy steamed green stalks poke out of a prime rib blanket. Add a drizzle of a mild horseradish dressing and top with a pile of tempura, julienned vegetables, and this appetizer becomes a legitimate alternative to a starter salad.
Entrees are more reserved, which is expected from a classic dining room 40 plus years in business. The ole reliable steak sandwich on the lunch menu is a perfectly done and notably tender strip topped with half a dozen golden rings, proving the consistency of the kitchen. With the Thai ginger lake trout, a salt and pepper crust breaks open to reveal poached pink flesh. It’s served atop a curly mound of lo mein noodles drenched in a sweet ginger sauce.
For dinner, the eponymous rack of ribs proves unflappable over the years. The meat falls off as soon as it meets your teeth, slathered in the kitchen’s punchy tomato-based barbeque sauce.