Last Minute Father’s Day Ideas That You Can Find Downtown

Father’s Day is this Sunday, June 18th and if you’re still having trouble figuring out where to take/what to buy your dad, take a look at some of these great ideas that I’m sure he’ll love!

Blacksmith Parlour

Located at 289 Garry Street, Blacksmith Parlour is the first of its kind in Canada specializing in men’s grooming needs.

Their staff offers a comfortable, relaxed atmosphere where men can receive a variety of services including hair removal and hand and foot treatments. They also use quality, industry leading products that enhance the personal hygiene and appearance of the modern man.

Enjoy a day out with your dad or purchase a gift certificate in store at their downtown location.

For more information about their services, visit blacksmithparlour.com.

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Goldeyes vs St. Paul Saints

The Goldeyes play the series finale against the St. Paul Saints at Shaw Park on Father’s Day! Bring Dad to the ballpark for an afternoon of Goldeyes baseball. The first 1,000 fans will receive a Goldeyes cap courtesy of Boston Pizza. Plus, after the game you can bring Dad on the field to play catch!

For tickets, visit goldeyes.com/tickets/.

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Dinner at Prairie 360

Prairie 360, located at 83 Garry Street, is cooking up something delicious for Father’s Day this Sunday. Celebrate with one of the best views in town!

Book a dinner reservation today!


Dad’s Special Day at the Children’s Museum

Calling all dads! The Children’s Museum is offering half-price admission for all dads on Father’s Day. Dads and their children can explore the galleries together and make memories that will last a lifetime. It’ll be a dad-tastic day!

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Happy Father’s Day!

See you downtown,

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Chocolatefest

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It’s Easter weekend, aka the weekend when we do the Traditional Overconsumption of Cadbury Mini-Eggs. And I hate to mess with tradition, but if you’re looking to indulge your sweet tooth with something a little different, I think you should know it’s still Ciao! magazine’s Chocolatefest until the end of the month! Restaurants around the city are serving up special chocolate dishes for $7 each – here’s what some of the downtown spots (especially the Forks) have on offer!

  1. Caramel Crepe at the Forks: Serving up a chocolate crepe, with Nutella, ice cream, whipped cream and chocolate syrup.
  2. Fro-Gurts at the Forks: Their Oreo Frogurt, blending delicious chocolate Oreo pieces with vanilla frozen yogurt.
  3. The Fudge Guy at the Forks: Hand-made chocolate fudge made from scratch on their premises.
  4. Human Bean Coffee & Tea at the Forks: Chocolate sin torte, a decadent cake full of ganache, mousse and icing layered with three types of chocolate.
  5. The Neon Cone at the Forks: Triple Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream
    This take home dessert is a combination of chocolate ice cream swirled with chocolate fudge and chewy chocolate
    brownie pieces.
  6. Prairie 360 is doing not 1, not 2, but 3 chocolately desserts:
  • Triple Chocolate Cheesecake – Crushed Oreos under a layer of dark chocolate ganache, topped with a milk chocolate cheesecake filling, finished with white chocolate curls.
  • Chocolate Orange Alexander CocktailGlenmorangie original, spiced chocolate syrup, cream, and chocolate bitters
    garnished with cardamom.
  • Bittersweet Harmony Cocktail – Averna, Glen Garioch and creme de cocoa garnished with
    orange peel and a cherry.

Find out more on Chocolatefest here

Here’s to trying new things – like whisky-tastings!

“Take your time with it. Don’t sip just yet – swirl, let it breathe, then take a sniff.”

That’s the first piece of advice I got when learning to taste whisky at Prairie 360.

I’m a newbie when it comes to whisky – I usually pick a glass of wine or a cocktail when I’m out with girlfriends. But the Winnipeg Whisky Festival’s second year is coming up this week, and before it starts I decided it was time to learn how to enjoy it.

And what better place than the city’s brand-new whisky lounge at Prairie 360, hosts of two of the festival events? When I confessed just what a novice I was, the team there was good enough to sit me down at the bar and teach me a few things!

I’m glad I had their expertise, because there are over 170 varieties on their menu – whisky, I discovered, has scents and flavours that are just as complex as wine. To help out, the menu is handily divided into sections like “Fruity & Spicy,” “Malty & Dry,” “Smoky & Peaty” and more.

When I described what I liked – lighter tastes, nothing too overpowering – they picked a Forty Creek Confederation Oak Reserve from right here in Canada for me.

My whisky sample - check out the glass shape!
My whisky sample – check out that glass shape!

First lesson – did I want it on the rocks (with ice) or neat? Ordering with ice is fine, but I learned you want to avoid little pieces – they melt quickly, and dilute your drink. Prairie 360 only serves with large cubes, but some people think serving it neat (no ice) is even better for flavour, so that’s what I went with. A lovely tulip-shaped glass of golden liquid arrived – and here’s their tips on how to get the most out of it:

Step one:

Swirl. This opens it up, releasing more of the bouquet and flavours. Bonus – makes you feel like a Bond villain.

Step two:

Take a whiff from a few inches away – right away I could pick up an incredible vanilla aroma on mine. 

Step three:

Sniff again, from closer this time – you’ll get a different layer of scents. Beneath the vanilla, I started to pick up a deeper, richer oak scent.

Step four:

Your first taste – take a tiny sip, so tiny you can’t even swallow it, and swirl it in your mouth. This was a revelation for me – instead of tossing it back quickly, which left me thinking the taste of scotch was burning, it got my tongue used to the drink and real flavours like the vanilla I’d smelled started to appear.

Step five:

Now you can – slowly – sip away!

After I finished tasting it, I was hooked – Prairie 360 is hosting a Festival event focusing on whisky cocktails, so I decided to give one of them a try too. I went with something old school – the Stone Fence, a drink that apparently comes from a 1862 recipe! It blends bourbon, which I learned is one of the more approachable whiskeys, with cider, sweetened ginger juice and lemon. YUM. If you’re not quite ready for straight whiskey, I highly recommend giving a cocktail a go – the ingredients pull out the unique flavours of each whisky and give some extra sweet and sour flavours to balance out the strength. It’s not all recipes from the 1800s either – the menu has new concoctions from their own bartender with local flavour names like Winnie the Pooh, Golden Boy, and Fort Garry.

The Stone Fence, complete with candied ginger on top.
The Stone Fence, complete with candied ginger on top.

TheWinnipeg Whisky Festival is February 21st at the Fairmont Winnipeg – you can buy tickets online here. There are also a great list of smaller pre-events as well – including:

I got a peek at Prairie 360!

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No, I’m not spoiling the renos with photos just yet – proof I was up there though! 🙂

I got to take a sneak peek inside yesterday, and guys, I’m really excited. It’s been about 5 years since it closed, and so my memories of the interior had gotten a little fuzzy, but you can never forget that view. (If anything, it’s gotten even better. I forgot how much has changed – when you look out now you can see the CMHR, Hydro building, construction on the hotel across from the MTS Centre, the new Children’s Museum additions – on game nights, apparently you can even see the glow of the new stadium jumbotron!)

I didn’t take too many pics inside, because, well, there’s still a lot of construction dust kicking up as they put the finishing touches on things, and I think you should see the big reveal when it’s looking its best. But there are BIG changes.

At first, going up the glass elevator took me way back to when I was a kid and went for a rare fancy dinners with family in from out of town – but once I stepped off and took a look around the room, I realized there are BIG changes, and this is a place I would totally go for dinner or drinks with a friend. It’s redecorated to be warm, bright and modern, with nothing getting in the way of you and that million-dollar view. It’s so bright at one point when the sun came out I totally wished I had sunglasses on! Some of the walls have gorgeous chunks of local limestone in them, and the prairie motif pops up in little touches like the lights, wallpaper and glass. But aside from the decor, and the fabulous looking menu (you can check it out here), there are two things I’m REALLY excited about.

1) A whisky lounge. We have nothing like this in the whole city, as far as I know – a lounge where you can sit back and relax with your choice of 150 different kinds of whisky. No, that’s not a typo. 150 choices. My first resolution for 2014 is to become a whisky connoisseur. Who’s with me?

2) A patio. I’m a HUGE fan of patios, and I’m so happy about how they’ve been popping up more and more downtown lately, and this one is going to be a showstopper. It takes rooftop patios to a whole new level (punny, I know)

I can’t wait for the rest of you to get to see it too – only a couple of weeks to go!