On my first eve in Winnipeg my stomach grumbled as I zoomed through the Exchange District in search of that first feast. I had skipped lunch that afternoon to gawk at painterly portraits that hung from the walls of the Winnipeg Art Gallery and was now ready to switch up my creative inspirations for pretty plates. I passed through a stream of angelic light which splashed into the dining room of Deer + Almond as I was whisked to my table. I whispered to my waiter with a wink, “please feed me.”
Chef Mandel loves feeding folks in The Peg and is perhaps one of the city’s most famous farm to fork enthusiasts. Formerly of Fresh Cafe, Mandel has surrounded himself with a cool and experienced staff, transforming the quaint space on Princess and McDermot into one of the premium slow food restaurants in the city. Mandel is perhaps best known across Canada for his headline grabbing annual culinary series Raw Almond, a winter pop-up restaurant built at the frozen junction of the Assiniboine and Red Rivers. A magical three weeks of fun, Raw Almond features guest chefs from the best restaurants in town, as well as a few special celebrities such as Vikram Vij (Vancouver), Surreal Gourmet Bob Blumer (Toronto), Dale Mackay (Saskatoon) and Mitchell Bates from Momofuku.
While Mandel’s main stay year-round project Deer + Almond offers a perfect spot to enjoy an intimate feast, it also doubles as one of the city’s best cocktail bars. Hand crafted sippers splash on a wee bar where a few highly coveted stools await the evenings order.
1) Last Resort | tarragon infused tequila, pineapple, suze, chartreuse rinse
2) Beef “Nacho” Tartare | fresh and dried happenings, corn chips, guacamole
3) Papaya and Pork Belly | iceberg lettuce, peanuts, pineapple, cilantro, tangtang dressing
4) Nduja Chicken | quince cheese, grilled bc peaches, rainbow chard
5) Blackened Striploin | kaffir lime and coconut broth, grilled local bounty, fermented daikon with basmati and perfect egg