Fusion Grill: An epiphany in eating
Address: 550 Academy Road
Phone number: 204-489-6963
Neighbourhood: Academy Road
For a place that is definitely not Mexican, Fusion Grill has always reminded me a bit of that country.
It's great. Everybody loves it. It's easy to go to, and yet I never do. My loss.
After waiting far too long, I recently ventured to the Academy Road dining room for the first time and enjoyed a near faultless meal.
From the appetizers to the dessert, chef Lorna Murdoch's execution realizes the menu's vision.
We started with a fight over four plump scallops Rockefeller, delivered on a bed of creamy, rich bacon loaded sweet and smoky sauce. Some of the best scallops in town. Seriously.
Mixed greens tossed with John Russell honey and basil vinaigrette was a simple yet sophisticated take on a house salad. Morsels of crispy pumpkin tempura added some pizzazz.
Panko-crusted pickerel cheeks with lightly battered shoestring yam frites delivered another top hit. A healthy dredging of panko didn't overtake the delicate pickerel bites.
Next up was grilled beef strip loin with smoked Winnipeg goldeye cream sauce, frizzled leeks and demi-glace—a magnificent Manitoba-style surf and turf. (This plate was available as part of Dine About Winnipeg.)
The night's top winner was grilled pork loin with 20-year-old Crown Royal oak barrel chips, cultured wild mushrooms, port, demi, grey sea salt, smashed potatoes. The plate went back to the kitchen practically licked clean. It had one of the most flavourful sauces I have been served in this city.
The evening wrapped up with warm apple crumble a la mode with Screech-spiked caramel and cinnamon-dusted brown sugar.
At the end of our memorable meal, owner/waiter Scot McTagart referred to his restaurant as a "neighbourhood place." If that's true, it shouldn't be: Fusion Grill is worth a car trip across town.
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