UPDATE: Closed - 295 York: Modern Seafood and Steakhouse
295 York's steak sandwich is a modern and marvelous update on the original. Laying on a slice of focaccia, slices of strip loin are masterfully grilled and dressed with buttery rich, sautéed mushrooms, whipped chevre, pickled onions and dotted with horseradish aioli.
UPDATE: 295 York is permanently Closed.
Chef Jesse Friesen is mature beyond his years.
Being in charge of a 280-seat downtown Winnipeg restaurant and lounge will do that to a person. Yet, 295 York's young chef handles the responsibility with unflappable ease.
The 24-year-old has been cooking for more than 10 years, but he started in the business as a dish washer at Mona Lisa's Ristorante (PCG link) at age 12. He hasn't left the kitchen since.
He went to Red River College's culinary school and worked at the Fort Garry Hotel, where he learned from one of the city's most respected chefs, head chef Joseph Wojakowski.
"I love the kitchen," Friesen says. "From a young age I saw the respect the chef got and how people looked up to them and I wanted to be a part of that."
Friesen's not only a part of it; he's running his own show.
295 York is, as billed, a modern seafood and steakhouse. Friesen and his kitchen team smoke their own meats, like the turkey and bacon in the monster-sized club sandwich.
Meanwhile, the steak sandwich, a strip loin on house-made focaccia with truffle aioli, is a juicy, brawny delight.
It's rare to find a menu featuring two classic sandwiches twisted ever so slightly to create a modernized masterpiece. 295 York has done that.
The menu boasts other sophisticated twists on standard fare.
Pulled duck confit quesadilla are mini-bites replete with shreds of sweet, luscious duck with melted brie, sesame and bell peppers.
A Greek salad also gets extra love with crispy calamari and grilled shrimp. Prices at the lunch and dinner spot are on par with other refined eateries downtown.
The dinner menu also includes prime cuts of meat like New York strip loin, filet mignon and rack of lamb.
Meanwhile, the eatery is emerging from a two-year-long construction job. A new parkade is in the final phases of completion. When complete, it will have 30 parking spots for patrons.
Thursday nights, it should be noted, is oyster night. The party starts at 5 p.m. and oysters are $1 each.
Also of note: Throughout August on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, get 25 per cent off the lunch food bill.
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