My recent trip to Winnipeg was to dine at the unique Raw: Almond restaurant, I knew I would be going to a few other places to eat but hadn’t realized just how delectable these places would be. On our first night there my friend Ayngelina and I were treated to a divine meal at Deseo Bistro. We went for what we thought would be a 2 hour meal and 4 hours later we realized we were literally the only ones left in the restaurant.
Instead of ordering ourselves we let Chef Scott Bagshaw decide our menu for the evening and were delighted that it came with a nice wine / drink pairing – cava, port, red and white wine. We may have been a bit tipsy as we hailed a cab that evening and we were definitely full.
We started with seared scallops with roast miso & cauliflower puree, macerated sultanas, grapefruit, caviar, and crisp capers. Being east coasters we were a bit skeptical about eating seafood so far from the ocean, however we weren’t let down. All the different tastes and textures mixed together made these scallops extremely enjoyable.
Next up was roasted brussel sprouts, marcona almonds, bacon, ginger, ponzu dressing, and feta. Not something that I probably would of ordered myself but they were really great. Not to tender and the saltiness from the feta accented it nicely. During our time in Winnipeg brussel sprouts kept making an appearance on almost every menu as was pork bellies, it must be a “thing” in the city.
These arrived on our table and we were told it was sweetbreads and while talking with the chef he mentioned that they were the most expensive batch that he had bought in a while. After he left the table and was out of earshot I looked at Ayngelina and said “This isn’t actually bread is it?“. Even though it looks a bit like bread or dough sweetbreads are actually the thymus or pancreas of a lamb, or calf or even beef or pork and other various glands. This was getting close to my threshold of things that I will actually ate, but then Ayngelina brought up the time that she made me eat lengua in Mexico and I remembered a rule I try to live by “Always try something at least once.”
I was surprised at how soft the sweetbreads were, I imagined them being chewy and an odd texture. With the sauce and egg on top it was actually quite tasty and I am pretty sure Ayngelina would of licked the plate if we weren’t out in public.
PATATAS BRAVAS!! Even though we were letting the Chef choose our menu for the night I highly suggested almost demanded that we get to try the patatas bravas. I had only had them for the first time ever in Girona, Spain the past September and had recently had them again at a great tapas restaurant in Las Vegas of all places so I was excited to try them. Made of duck fat fried fingerling potatoes, and spicy aioli these were probably the tastiest patatas bravas I’ve ever had. The kind of dish that ruins every other time you try to eat this again. None of them can ever live up to them.
Veal cheeks topped with serrano ham and fingerling potatoes. Another first for me, veal. I had avoided it up to this point, but after diving in I felt silly for never having tried it before. Hot damn this was good!
Black truffled gnocchi with crisp black quinoa, black garlic, black boar bacon. Gnocchi #WIN. Black Truffles #megawin. The crisp quinoa with the soft gnocchi and tastes of truffle was so good. At this point I was getting extremely full and had wished that I had a bit more room for them. I’m pretty sure we cleared the plate, but I still could of had more.
To finish off this 4 hour long marathon of a meal we shared a slice of chocolate flourless cake with seasalt. Just the right amount of dessert to leave with.
Do I have you drooling yet? I’m actually contemplating flying back to Winnipeg right now just so I can do this all over again.
Thanks to Chef Scott Bagshaw for a great evening and to Tourism Winnipeg and Travel to Manitoba for having me to Winnipeg. As always all opinions and views expressed are my own as are my taste buds and full stomach.