Address: 898 Westminster Avenue
Entrees: $15 – $22
The city’s historic Wolseley is known as an artsy, educated area, full of walkers, cyclists and environmentalists with an appetite for activism. Unique character homes and holistic services are the epitome of the neighbourhood, like the bagel, coffee and chocolate shops adding to the newer more commonplace hipster joints.
The latter best describes Bonnie Day which set up shop at the corner of Westminster and Ruby, in what is arguably Winnipeg’s most interesting and neighbourly residential districts. As a nod to the owners’ Scottish ancestors, Bonnie Day, means beautiful day. Additionally, said out loud, the name sounds like the French exclamation ‘bonne-idee’, and we concur, this spot is a very ‘good idea’ added to the city’s dining scene.
The concise menu is filled with bright concepts; homestyle dishes make it accessible and comforting. The twists and interpretations Chef Pamela Kirkpatrick applies to their creation elevates them to new stature.
Even before entering, outdoor ambient lights twinkling overhead welcome guests. Dark rich wood and leafy William Morris wallpaper grace the walls of the cozy soft lit room. A few stools at the bar and chairs tucked under a front facing window counter maximize every square foot of the den-like space. These may be the most underrated seats in the house too – the latter provides a perch to watch dogwalkers and families stroll by.
Chic décor aside, this place is about classic cooking and sumptuous scratch baking. Service is without pretension blending airs of fine dining and home-like comfort.
These bar snacks deserve the raves they are getting past the surrounding streets. The kitchen puts a dynamic spin on popular favourites, like low-key cheese and crackers. At first glance, luxurious melted brie may be mistaken for a posh crème brulee. Golden puff pastry drapes over apple butter topping the gooey cheese. Multi-seed crackers add salty crunch to the sweet cheesy mixture.
Supple pesto gnocchi is a dish to behold. Hand-rolled sweet potato gnocchi are bathed in a lemon-spiked cream sauce swirled with basil pesto. The sweet and sour bites are punctuated with salty pecorino, and fried sage. You’ll want to sop up every morsel.
Chicken dinner is a front-running winner too. Vibrant arugula gremolata adds bright astringency to tender chicken thighs served on a blanket of tomato flavoured couscous and redefines a supper dish evoking comfort.
As Bonnie Day is one of the handful of local eateries with an accomplished pastry chef, dessert is a must. We’ll happily settle into winter with a warm slice of chef Pam’s indulgent chocolate bourbon pecan pie, or lemon tart piped with clouds of airy merengue. – both are sure to make it a beautiful day indeed.