Neighbourhood: St. Boniface
Address: 312 Des Meurons St
Enter Inferno’s Bistro through a hedge-cut archway leading to a florally festooned patio nestled between two buildings. The lively setting vibrates, inside and outside, with the energy of diners showing staunch support for a beloved eatery emerging from COVID times.
Discerning diners from all parts are drawn to the restaurant’s relaxed yet smart atmosphere and imaginative menu. Chef Sean McGillvray helms the kitchen, while chef-owner Fern Kirouac oversees all matters here and across the street at his sweetheart ice creamery, Dug and Betty’s.
The sleek, art-filled dining room is spread over two floors, and a predominantly jazz playlist keeps the vibe cool on the nights local musicians aren’t providing a serenade.
A long list of daily specials, in keeping with bistro style, have long been de rigueur at Inferno’s. Experienced staff wax poetic with descriptions, shamelessly tempting with every dish.
Diners in step with tapas culture are rewarded with an outstanding choice of shareables from which an entire meal could be drawn. These range from French classics like prawns au pernod and escargots to globally inspired potstickers filled with duck confit.
The menu is a gravy lover’s dream, sauces adorning entrees left and right. Moules et frites, swimming in lusciousness, is a timeless signature of the bistro that shouldn’t be missed. Cream and Roquefort coat soft mussels in a classic rich French style, while another bowl steeped with chile peppers, ginger and lemongrass coconut broth infuses Thai-inspired flavour.
There are plenty of bistro-style big plates too. You can be sure of any recipe featuring braised lamb shank here. Jarret d’Agneau, sauced in a maple balsamic reduction, makes a Canadian statement. Saumon Champagne testifies to chef Sean’s creative talent, pairing tangy sorrel leaves with seared salmon and champagne cream.
The dessert case is a sweet dream, displaying rows of tortes, pies, cheesecakes and slices. Opt for the crème brûlée du jour, and you are sure to get a surprising and delightful flavour, perfectly infused into the custardy dessert.