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Eaters Winnipeg: Food and festival news - Neechi Commons, spiced bison bits

Neechi Commons, spiced bison bits

By: PegCity GrubFebruary 14, 2013 // Food Tours, Winnipeg in the News

The 2013 edition of Grazing in the Field promises to be a fantastic evening of Manitoba regional cuisine. Photo by Robin Summerfield
The 2013 edition of Grazing in the Field promises to be a fantastic evening of Manitoba regional cuisine. Photo by Robin Summerfield.

Winnipeg's food scene is never dull. Between restaurant openings, food festivals and fundraisers, there is much to eat and see in town. Here is some of the latest food news in Winnipeg.

Grazing in the Field: September 7, 2013 Tickets for this year's second annual Grazing in the Field are now on sale. In September 2012, more than 100 guests were treated to an open-air feast of Manitoba regional cuisine set on a dairy farm in Woodlands, Manitoba. Guests stuffed themselves on outstanding courses that included made-in-Manitoba cheeses, smoked-at-the-table pickerel and a deconstructed Winnipeg cream cheese cake with crab apple jelly and strawberries, among many other memorable plates. Wine was paired with every course and an outdoor cocktail hour launched the magical meal. This year, guests will visit the Donohoe Family Dairy Farm in Petersfield, Manitoba for an evening of Manitoba regional cuisine by Diversity Foods executive chef Ben Kramer and his staff. Local food producers, like artisan cheese makers, will also be on hand to talk about their specialties. Tickets cost $150 per person, includes all food and alcohol, and return transportation to the farm. For more information click here.

Festival du Voyageur, February 15 to 24, 2013 This year's edition of Winnipeg's winter festival brings lots of great eats. Chefs from five city restaurants will do battle in the pea soup competition. Chez Sofie, Peasant Cookery, Resto Gare, Le Garage and Promenade Café and Wine will vie for the King 'Pois' crown. Café Postal, St. Boniface's new coffee emporium, is a new addition to the festival grounds. Baristas will serve piping hot cappuccinos and lattes to the crowds from their coffee cart. Fill up on French and Métis food favourites like tourtiere, maple sugar pie and maple taffy, made outside in fresh snow.

Open for Business

Winnipeg's food scene is as dynamic as ever. In January, Gus & Tony's at the Park and Thom Bargen, a new Wolseley coffee shop, opened for business. Thom Bargen has been an instant hit with Winnipeggers looking for a serious cup of java. Owners Thom Jon Hiebert and Graham Bargen found the 64 Sherbrook Street space while on a location-scouting bike ride last summer.

Winnipeg's first Brazilian BBQ house (called a churrascaria) finally opens this Friday, February 15 at 5 pm. Carnaval is the long-awaited addition to owner Noel Bernier's Latin-restaurant trio in the Exchange District. He is also behind Hermanos and Corrientes. Carnaval, located on Waterfront Drive at Bannatyne, features a two-level dining room, an second-floor open BBQ and a main floor kitchen with floor-to-ceiling sidewalk front windows like those seen in South American restaurants.

Neechi Commons—a market, bakery and Aboriginal specialty foods store—has finally reopened in its' new Main Street home. The store closed in 2012 in anticipation of its move to Main Street from Winnipeg's North End. The grocery store and bakery is a much-needed addition to the North Main and downtown neighbourhoods. A new restaurant, headed up by The Tallest Poppy chef/owner Talia Syrie, is slated to open by the end of February.

Don't Forget Winnipeg's version of Mardi Gras runs Friday February 15 and 16 at the Convention Centre. Party to the zydeco beats while sipping mint juleps and sampling creole favourites like crawfish and alligator fritters.

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