Monday, September 5, 2011

Enter Cafe Dario...

How would you like to escape to the flavors of Latin America

It has never been easier- all while staying in the Winnipeg limits. 

Café Dario offers it patrons a culinary experience of Nuevo Cuisine Latino in a fine dining setting. This menu complements a key-component Winnipeg is famous for: value.

With the five-course tasting, priced at just $35, people are able to enjoy the flavors, spices and chilies of Latin America, merged with the original components of North America that we know and love.

Chef Dario’s idea behind his first restaurant, Café Dario, was to be able to provide the flavors of his youth in Colombia combined with the culinary market of North America to deliver the refined taste of fine dining at a low cost.

A signature menu item of the quaint Café is a creation that can now be seen in some other restaurants across the city. His caper chimichurria sauce is a blend of red and green peppers, onions, garlic and capers all in a vegetable oil base and can be found on a succulent cut of filet mignon.

“Competition is healthy and re-production of any culinary creation is the finest form of flattery,” says Chef Dario.

With the menu changing regularly with what is inspiring and what is available at a good price, guests can expect different items with each visit. 

“We change the menu to maintain certain parameters of cost. I work with local distributors and search for my product at the best price to be able to offer my guests the best experience,” says Chef Dario.

The Café is a former house with rooms that have taken the shape of quaint dining coves equipped with a terrace and patio. The walls are decorated with culinary accreditation, as well as a collection of masks and artifacts from his homeland of Colombia, all which add to the stature such an establishment and the ambiance of a fine dining experience.

A future aspiration of this ‘diamond in the rough’ is for guests to enter not knowing anything aside from their love of the flavors, and allow the kitchen to prepare a five-course menu according to their creativity and resources.

But for now, you are able to choose an appetizer and an entrée. For the soup, salad and dessert course however, you remain in the capable and creative hands of the kitchen, and inspiration of Nuevo Latino.

Reservations recommended.

Stuck on The Maple Tree Restaurant and Steakhouse...

When your taste buds arouse you for the flavors of Latin America, instead of booking a flight and taking time off, follow the road that leads to an exciting culinary adventure just minutes away.

25 kilometers north of Winnipeg on Highway #9, you will find a timber building, lying directly on the border of Selkirk, Manitoba that The Maple Tree Restaurant and Steakhouse calls home. 

Inside, the Victorian style chairs, clean pressed white table cloths and flatware-being meticulously set, hint to the caliber of an experience you are about to receive, all in the house of a friend.

No need to bring your suit and tie to dine in this four and a half star fine dining establishment. Guests are encouraged to dress comfortably to experience Chef Dario’s Nuevo Latino all inclusive five course menu at a modest $35.

Chef Dario’s idea behind his first restaurant, Café Dario, was to be able to provide the flavors of his youth in Colombia combined with the market of North America to deliver the refined taste of fine dining at a low cost. He has now brought this concept to the Interlake.

The idea behind fine dining, and one that this distinctive menu provides, is to stimulate the appetite of the guest before the meal is consumed. “Presentation is second to none. If you get the attention of the guest before they eat, you’re 50% there,” says Chef Dario.

Aside from flavor, value, and presentation, there is also an ecological aspect that goes into the creation of the many imaginative menu items. The focus on featuring items that include the whole animal is a detail that kitchen considers carefully when preparing. “Yes, we have filet; but filet is just one part of the animal,” says Chef Dario. 

Other items that rotate on and off the menu when availability is abundant is elk ossobucco, paupiettes of venison, wild boar feijoda and turkey Cuba libre-style, to name a few.

A signature menu item of the pastoral restaurant is the pepper crusted rack of lamb accompanied with a chocolate Kahlua espresso reduction. The dish is typically prepared medium rare.

The Maple Tree Restaurant and Steakhouse continues to deepen it roots in the up and coming progressive town of Selkirk, Manitoba. A town that has embraced the fine-dining concept that Chef Dario has trail blazed. The establishment is excited to continue to be able to offer its community an affordable culinary adventure in a rustic atmosphere.

Maple Tree Dinner Menu

On your next way through the gateway to the Interlake, stop by The Maple Tree Restaurant and Steakhouse and let your five senses be captured by the food and flavor of the Americas.

Reservations recommended.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Moonlight Sonata of Beethoven Blatz

moonlightsonata.jpgWhen I was told that we would be attending a play as a part of our  and Creative Writing classes for CreComm at Red River College, I immediately developed a list of expectations in my head.

I have enjoyed live performances at the ballet, attended skits and shows at the Fringe Festival, and have even taken in a few comedy shows over my experience in the melting pot of Winnipeg's performing art scene.

Having not ever been to a theatre play by my own accord, I was pleased to find that all of the expectations I had set were not only met, but surpassed.

The acting in this play was the caliber of which you would see on the screen. As I sat in my firm seat of the Rachel Browne Theatre, I kept saying to  myself, "Wow, I could never act that out while keeping my composure!"

The play had it all. It dealt with old school life of a Mennonite couple on the prairies, the longing one has for a baby after marriage,  and the means by which one is capable of going to in order to have that desire met.

The live musical performances on the piano complemented the play and tied in the entire character of Beethoven Blatz.

The adultery in the play was the only thing I think was presented a bit too casually. I think if the writer had incorporated more of a physical attraction between the characters that committed the adultery, it would have made for a more real-life scenario. It had all seemed a bit too 'mechanical' where as in real life I think the crime of adultery exists due to incredible passion and physical desire.

The scene in which that act takes place almost leaves one to imagine, "Did Beethoven know what just happened?" Meaning that it was so forced, it was almost a criminal act.

The talk-back at the end of the play was a bit disappointing only because we had hoped for a chance to speak with the actors themselves. Wiebe however, did share his thought behind the script but left one question for his audience to answer: What if it was Beethoven's child at the end?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Breakfast. Yes please...

Here is a recipe of an easy-to-prepare omelette that is healthy and tasty.

3 large eggs

1 cup spinach

1/3 cup mushrooms


Saute 1.5 cups mushrooms in a little extra virgin
olive oil;

Add spinach, just to warm
(1 minute or so... just until it starts wilting).

Remove from Skillet.

Crack 3 eggs, separate whites into a large bowl or
measuring cup; discard egg yolks.

Scramble eggs in cup. Add Mushrooms and Spinach, stir.

Place in skillet. Cook until bottom side is firm, flip, cook until done (Bottom side is firm); fold in half, serve.

"All good mornings should start with good breakfast's."