New Year Ushers Rush of New Restaurants

Winnipeg’s restaurant scene has never been busier. Savour Winnipeg has the inside scoop on ten new neighbourhood gems opening as early as this Friday, and continuing on into spring. It’s a great time to be a foodie!

Osborne Village based La Bamba Restaurant will take over the former Manhattan Bistro at 285 Portage to bring more Mexican to the downtown masses at La Bamba Cafe and Lounge in mid February.

JC’s Tacos and More has completed renovations in the old Brit Cafe building. Owners say this will be a slightly more formal version of their thriving Henderson location, and will feature the same menu, with a few, table service friendly additions. The new 2615 Portage Avenue location opens this Friday, January 20.

The Kenaston Common’s eponymous Dacquisto Restaurant, a WOW Hospitality Italian concept named for its chef, replaced the Pasta La Vista a couple of years ago. WOW has decided to hop on the Mexican bandwagon, re-branding and renovating under the moniker Los Chicos Restaurante y Cantina. Lead by chef Michael Dacquisto himself, the menu boasts the largest selection of tequilas in Winnipeg.

Broadway based Amici is bringing its Italian fine-dining to the Niakwa Golf and Country Club. They take over from Provence as the food service provider and during the Ciao Magazine Dine About Event, you’ll have a chance to check out the space and new menu.

The short lived French Way Bistro at 414 Academy will become home to a second location of InFerno’s, the uber popular St. Boniface bistro. Doors should open by mid-February. The French Way will continue to operate the cafe/bakery in the former Bread and Circuses location on Lilac.

Provence owner Shawn Brandson says they’re set to announce a new concept this spring and it looks like they’re poised to re-launch Promenade Bistro and roll it out as a tapas and wine bar. The restaurant will feature a fixed tapas menu that could include a soup, salad and 14 ounce New York strip loin steak for two, just as an example. The restaurant will also emphasize a marriage of food and wines, with each menu item including a suggested pairing. Wine Tasting 2.0 – they also plan to have monthly tasting events where guests can use wine tasting apps to rate available bottles, and even weigh in on what the house wine should be.

Bistro 7 1/4 has completed their takeover of the adjacent space and renovations are now complete. Manager Danielle Svenne says the new bistro and lounge debuts Tuesday, January 24.

It certainly seems to be the year of the bistro. After a water main break caused extensive damage, Osborne Village staple Basil’s has reopened after a four-year absence. Bistrot by Basil is a stunning space with an all new menu which you can also sample during Dine About.

A new eatery opened in the concourse of the Manitoba Hydro building. Simply dubbed Rudy’s Eat & Drink their theme is anything but simple with sophisticated yet humble dishes like Lobster and Bacon Poutine for lunch, Devilled Egg Trio with balsamic bacon and blue cheese as a prelude to dinner. Point of contention: I am annoyed at the appearance of blue fin tuna tartar in the duelling tuna dish. Blue Fin is overfished to the point of extinction, a Red List species and an Avoid on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, both indispensable resources for the sustainability conscientious diner.

And finally, following the successful social purpose enterprise model of Diversity Food Services, chef Ben Kramer and Kristen Godbout launched a new food service establishment in the recently opened Richardson College for the Environment and Science Campus. In keeping with the building’s periodic table appearance, the aptly named Elements is a funky little cafe concept that offers up sophisticated dishes at student prices. The 83 seat eatery is lead by chef Aron Epp, formerly chef de cuisine for the Diversity team, and serves up everything from breakfast to dinner with delicious emphasis on local ingredients.

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4 Responses to “New Year Ushers Rush of New Restaurants”

  1. Great article, Ben. Thanks for bringing us up to speed!

  2. Hey Doreen. Thanks for stopping by and sharing! And don’t hesitate to let me know if there’s any way I can help promote future projects. I love chocolate too!

  3. There is also a new Mexican restaurant on St.Mary’s, next to Glenlawn Collegiate. It’s the old Bobbie’s restaurant. It’s not open yet but they’ve put up a new sign. Do you have any information on that restaurant?

  4. Thanks for the tip. There’s some buzz on Twitter about it, but no details have been forthcoming. Keep us posted if you see any signs go up or telephone / website details get posted in windows.