As we continue our countdown to Let’s Do Lunch Downtown, I’m pleased to announce the winners of the last two gift cards.
Hy’s Steakhouse: Lyle
Lobby on York: Julie
Okay, as usual, don’t worry if you didn’t win this round, I’ve got more to give away. Today I’ve got $50 each to The Lounge at the Fairmont Hotel and the Palm Lounge at the Fort Garry Hotel.
To enter, leave a comment below saying which one you’d like to try and a way a to contact you. (You can leave your email in the contact form–it will be kept hidden.)
You have until Friday at 9am to enter.
Lounge at The Fairmont
2 Lombard Place, 957-1350
I love to go for a nibble in hotel lounges–it kind of feels like you’re on a holiday, but you don’t have to go anywhere! A couple of weeks ago, I met a friend for after dinner drinks at the Fairmont Hotel. Since it’s connected to the underground walkway, it’s so easy to get there and you can stay toasty warm while doing it.
The Lounge at the Fairmont is exactly what one would expect, sumptuous and cozy with comfortable little booths perfect for a heart-to-heart or serious business meeting.
My friend and I decided to share a few appetizers and were delighted with each of our choices. The menu focuses on creative plates and favours the use of fresh Manitoba ingredients like Stonewood Elk and Manitoba turkey.
Our favourite was the incredibly tender lamb chops that were drizzled with a little bit of John Russell (also locally produced) honey. They provided that satisfying combination of earthy and sweet that I love, and they were literally falling off the bone.
We also sampled the pickerel fritters. They were crispy little balls of fried goodness and flakes of fish all served in a pool of spiced tomatoey aioli that was perfect for dipping. I kind of liked how they were all stuck with toothpicks to eat them with rather than using your boring old fork. I’m always a sucker for a cool gimmick.
And finally, we shared the smoked salmon “naan”-za. A cute take on a pizza, this one used traditional Indian flatbread as the base and was spread with dill cream cheese. It then came topped with ruby red slices of smoked salmon, slices of red onion and lots of capers (I love capers). The combination was light and fresh and satisfying.
Some other menu items I will have to try next time I go are the BBQ pork sliders, beer battered Lake Winnipeg Pickerel and, of course, the handmade perogies stuffed with Winkler sausage, caramelized onions and cheddar cheese. I’m drooling just thinking about it.
The Palm Room
The Fort Garry Hotel, 942-8251
One of my absolute favourite places in the city to visit is the Palm Room in the Fort Garry Hotel. I love everything about it.
I love the soaring ceiling decorated with gold and green and red. I love the huge chandeliers. I love the piano player in the corner. I love the dark wood tables and the big comfy chairs. I love the waiters in their smart grey jackets and mostly, I love the sense that you’ve stepped into a whole other era when men wore top hats and women fainted a lot.
It’s the kind of place where you can ask for pretty much anything and the kitchen will make it for you–although they do have a good menu too. I love their antipasto platter. There is just something so civilized about a plate of sliced meats and cheeses paired with olives and amazing marinated eggplant. A basket of soft fluffy bed is the perfect complement.
The menu is full of classic comfort foods perfect for travellers looking for a piece of home. Shepherd’s pie, roast turkey, mac and cheese and other soul satisfying dishes are all expertly prepared and delivered with a flourish.
They also offer nightly entertainment featuring light jazz that keeps the room buzzing. I was there on a Saturday night recently, and I swear it was the most happening place in the city.
Of course there is also a lengthy wine list and the staff are always happy to offer up suggestions. If you’re in the mood for something else, there is nothing these bartenders can’t make.