Cocktail Culture: the Palm Lounge
The Palm Lounge at Fort Garry Hotel
Address: 222 Broadway, main floor
Phone number: 204-942-8251
It's named the Palm Lounge but locals call it the Palm Room. Whatever its name, the Palm Lounge is Winnipeg's most elegant cocktail lounge.
Located inside the Fort Garry Hotel, a magnificent 101-year-old railway hotel, the Palm Lounge exudes an upper class air but without any pretentiousness. The domed ceiling rises high above the tables. Luscious drapery, stacked windows framed by columns and accents of gold rope relief on the walls recalls a reading room at an English castle.
If you aren't going to New York City anytime soon, the Fort Garry Hotel and its Palm Room are Winnipeg's version of that city's The Plaza hotel.
As a hotel lounge, the Palm is always populated with visitors. But the room is a favourite with Winnipeggers too. The cocktail menu won't win any awards for mixology innovations. Instead, you'll find Tom Collins, Bloody Marys, Rob Roys and the rest of their friends on the simple menu of classic drinks. Margaritas and martinis are also served. Locally made Fort Garry Ale is also on tap along with six other ales.
Check out the lounge menu here. Scroll down for the cocktail list.
Service is professional but not overly familiar which is welcome and a refreshing change from overeager servers elsewhere.
The room is the showstopper here. Deep club chairs invite guests to stay a while and then a while longer. A grand piano at the back of the room marks the stage where live jazz is play most weekends.
You don't have to be dressed in your finest to fit in at the Palm. Short of tank tops, short shorts, muscle shirts and shredded jeans, you will fit in. But you may be surrounded by wedding guests in their finest or conference goers aiming to impress. The Fort Garry is a popular venue for weddings throughout the year.
Guests can order dinner or appetizers from a newly updated (spring 2014) menu of upscale modern dishes.Check out the menu here. A small selection of pizzas and home-away-from-home dinners (including pot roast roast chicken) covers all the bases. A separate lounge menu is also available. On our visit, we sampled ribbons of grilled zucchini with crostini. With a little bit cracked salt and pepper this simple plate impressed.
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