Mano a Mano & Teo's: New kids on the block
Mano a Mano/ Teo's
Address: 691 Corydon Avenue
Phone Number: 204-414-6305
Neighbourhood: Corydon/ Little Italy
In the up and down world of the restaurant business, Winnipeg's Sam Colosimo must be doing something right, something very right.
The local restaurateur helms, what is best called, a restaurant empire. Colosimo opened Brooklynn's Bistro and BOA lounge several years ago in the East Exchange District. Both properties quickly became go-to spots for the city's up and coming young professionals.
And now, in the space of just three months in summer 2013, Colosimo suddenly went from restauranteur to a king of cuisine. He opened Union Sound Hall, a licensed, live music venue on Market Street, just around the corner from Brooklynn's and BOA. About the same time, Colosimo and a bunch of investors including man about town and radio DJ Ace Burpee, opened Market Burger on Corydon.
A few weeks later came Mano a Mano and Teo's, an adjacent lounge. The new restaurant and lounge took over the former homes of Maple Tree and Red Cactus. The latter of which had been in business for decades and had once been a very popular spot for 20 and 30-somethings.
Fun fact: Colosimo named his first enterprise after his daughter Brooklynn. His new lounge on Corydon is named after his young son Teo.
The new businesses are parked in one of Corydon Avenue's busiest stretches. The avenue comes alive in the summer as street-facing patios open for business. (Bar Italia, one of the streets biggest and liveliest patios often opens at the first hint of Spring. You'll see patrons in parkas.)
Mano a Mano and Teo's are poised to also become hot spots on the strip. A quick lunch on the patio at Teo's offered some prime people watching. The two businesses share the same Italian menu and kitchen. The lunch menu is short and to the point. There are just 15 options including salads, pizzas from the wood-fired oven, pastas and two Italian sandwiches.
For a taste of Italy, order the Mano a Mano pizza, a melange of raw and roasted tomatoes with bocconcini and proscuito on tomato sauce. Baking in the wood-fired oven achieved that ideal combination of lightly scorched yet chewy.
A grilled caesar salad with pork belly also achieved scorched perfection. If you've never had a grilled salad, you must. A quick dance on the grill adds another dimension to run-of-the-mill romaine.
While we didn't have dessert, the créme brulée and tiramisu are now calling. A future dessert run is in the works.