Signs of Spring: There may still be a chill in the air and snow on the ground, but many of Winnipeg's seasonal restaurants have opened for 2013. Red Boot, Bridge Drive-In, Banana Boat, Mrs. Mike's and Sargent Sundae have all thumbed their noses at Winnipeg's lingering winter. These seasonal ice cream and drive-in burger joints are all open for business.
Bad News: Arkadash, a promising Mediterranean-influenced restaurant, closed down in early 2013. The modern downtown bistro had a promising start, opening just a year earlier. The menu featured flashes of Moroccan and Turkish cuisine and a crafty cocktail list featured creative and in-season ingredients.
Chef to Watch: Jesse Friesen at Lobby on York is a welcome addition to Winnipeg's food scene. Despite more than a year of construction next door, Lobby on York, with the 20-something chef at the helm, has weathered a challenging time. Friesen's modern interpretations of classic dishes have made Lobby on York a popular spot with downtown movers and shakers. One highlight: sliced beef tenderloin on crostini. These morsels are topped with dollops of Guiness mustard, horseradish cream and parmesan. Don't share them.
Good News: St. Norbert Farmers' Market is set to open June 1. Located just south of Winnipeg in the community of St. Norbert, this farmers' market is the go-to spot for fresh produce, locally raised meats and crafty gifts throughout the summer. Many of Winnipeg's smaller farmers' markets throughout the city follow suit shortly after. Here's a list of Winnipeg and Manitoba farmers' markets.
More good news: Chocoholic's Buffet 2013, a fundraiser for the United Way, raised more than $10,000. The first annual chocolate party featured the work of many of Winnipeg's top chocolatiers, pastry chefs, bakers and chefs. Next year's Chocoholic Buffet 2.0 will be held Saturday March 22, 2014.