Promenade Café & Wine: Traditional French with a Twist
Promenade Café and Wine
130C Provencher Boulevard
Neighbourhood: St. Boniface
As soon as Shawn Brandson walks through the door, he’s greeted with smiles, those special ‘hey, how are you’ nods, or quick waves from tables around the room.
As owner of Promenade Café and Wine, Brandson is a familiar feature in the St. Boniface eatery.
He's a familiar face in Winnipeg restaurant circles as well.
At the age of 14, Brandson took a job washing dishes in a Winnipeg restaurant. And even when he was deep in dirty plates and encrusted cutlery, Brandson knew the restaurant life was for him.
Fast forward nearly 30 years, past his stints working alongside the city's top chefs and past the times he was head chef in Winnipeg's best restaurants, today,Promenade Café is his passion. Located at the threshold to St. Boniface just over the Esplanade Riel and a stone's throw from The Forks, downtown, and the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Promenade has the best of all worlds.
It's a neighbourhood restaurant with a roster of regulars and it's an eatery perfect for downtown denizens and business types who need a break from the buzz of the city.
But really, when it comes down to it, consistently fantastic French food, reasonable prices and a commitment to local ingredients bring the crowds for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
“We want to be traditional to the French heritage of the area," Brandson says. "Traditional, but with a bit of a twist put on it.”
That said, guests will find Coq au Vin, boeuf bourguignon, poutine, bison burgers, tourtière and mussels and fries on the dinner menu.
Grilled steak, lamb shanks, pork medallions and duck confit are also on board. Check out the dinner menu here.
Lunch brings quiche of the day, borscht, salads and grilled sandwiches, among other favourites. The warm pear, brie and prosciutto on a croissant make a great impression. Click here for the lunch menu.
The French Onion soup, my personal winter kryptonite, is also really good here. The broth is a savoury triumph. It means business. No wimpy notes or limp handshake here. Caramelized onions cut the savoury with a touch of sweet, and a thick-cut slice of gruyere melted and perfectly browned tops this culinary masterstroke. (I'm on a French Onion soup kick these days.)
Brandson is serious about the food at Promenade. During our tête-à-tête, the father-of-two explained his commitment to local ingredients and supporting local producers. With the exception of just a couple of menu items, everything is sourced locally. Everything is also house-made.
This food philosophy isn't certainly anything new, but at some restaurants, if the skill and finesse isn't in the kitchen, it doesn't matter what ingredients are in the walk-in fridges.
At Promenade, the philosophy, the skill, and a sense of pride from Brandson—and clearly his staff, too—all come together at the table.
Peg City Grub is your ultimate source for everything foodie in Winnipeg. From the hottest chefs to the best new restaurants to the most delicious events, we’ve got you covered. Follow us on Twitter @pegcitygrub and visit www.tourismwinnipeg.com for more on the city’s fabulous dining options.
Peg City Grub is a Tourism Winnipeg culinary initiative.