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Promenade Brasserie review


Neighbourhood:  St Boniface
Address:  130 Provencher Blvd
Phone:  204-237-6414
Entrees:  $14 – $48

Discerning diners know the city’s gem of a dining room tucked at the corner of Tache and Provencher delivers a magnificent view of Winnipeg’s skyline. The newly veiled Promenade Brasserie adds nourishment for the soul with meaningful food connecting our province’s bounty and its past. 

Rooted in the region’s Métis culture, diners are rewarded with an outstanding choice of dishes revealing recipes and ingredients intrinsic to generations. While the menu’s French onion soup nods to its St. Boniface location, neighbourhood staples such as  tourtiere are not in step with  owner, Jay Lekopoy’s  mission to celebrate his ancestral meals. Instead you’ll find delicate pemmican tartare; a mound of raw chopped beef tenderloin accented with kicky mustard seeds and sweet saskatoon berries, finished with dots of aioli, parmesan shavings  accompanied by house made potato chips. Bursts of the juicy prairie berry are a pleasing substitute for briny capers. 

Indigenous Manitoba ingredients play an integral role throughout the entire menu.  Divine ‘Le Fromage’ features cubes of feta resting on a swoosh of spiced apple sauce, pickled pear slices and a puddle of herb dressing. These same pear wedges paired with orange segments brighten a colourful beet salad sitting atop creamy ricotta. Rhubarb’s supporting role infusing the vinaigrette pops the dish.

The holy trinity of garden ingredients, corn, squash and beans, referred to as ‘three sisters’ – symbolizing their symbiotic growing relationship and role in sustaining well being  – are infused throughout the menu. Together they appear in a nutrient rich bowl with wild rice, pickled beets and pumpkin seeds. Red pepper aioli rounds out the fulsome bites. 

Squash fortifies ricotta gnocchi dressed in luxurious sage cream, elevating a rich comforting dish. Crispy shallots, blanched peas and apple accents add freshness to the pillowy soft dumplings. Trout, charred and perfectly tender, is perched on a corn, citrus herb salad sitting on pea purée, a playful nod to French Canadian pea soup. 

Every flavour packed dish pairs comforts with precise plating. Colourful vegetables presented in delightful ways, like puréed carrots piped around fall-off-the-bone bison short ribs add vibrancy to plates while enriching them. 

You can’t go wrong finishing with a sweet bite of tradition. Decadent tart au sucre, is silky and satisfying. 

The evolution of Manitoba regional cuisine reflects imaginative chefs merging personal and nostalgic recipes with locally available ingredients. Promenade Brasserie’s richly symbolic, river facing location, overlooking the Forks, provides a thoughtful backdrop for evolved cooking that is imaginative and nostalgic. In our books, this is a stage set for extraordinary dining. Cap the night with a scenic river walk with your sweetheart, and its pure magic.