Owner Chris Fougere has a hand in every aspect of Fude Inspired Cuisine & Wine Bar—from personally interviewing the staff to coming up with names for each of the menu’s equally inventive dishes. A seasoned player in the restaurant industry, Chris uses every ounce of his creativity to create a truly inspired dining experience, saying, “Our goal, in no uncertain terms, is to wow our guests." The menu features culinary classics with a twist, such as free-range chicken skewers dunked into a dark-chocolate sauce or sushi-grade ahi tuna seared in locally roasted espresso. Nearly every dish highlights seasonal, Manitoba vegetables, meats, and seafood, backed by an assortment of vegan and gluten-free fare and tofu shadow puppets.
In addition to the dine-in experience, Fude offers lunch, dinner, and cocktail-party catering services ranging from appetizers only to four-course meals with wine parings. An extensive drink menu features classic and house-formulated martinis as well as Fude-exclusive house wines that are named by Chris himself.
Don't be confused by the menu. At Dhoom Restaurant & Lounge, the kitchen crafts a fusion of Indian and Canadian cuisine. This doesn't mean you'll find grilled cheese dipped in curry sauce—instead, diners can sample the best of both cuisines, beginning meals with samosas and quesadillas, or chicken wings and chicken tikka. For those with a taste for Canadian classics, the menu lists roast beef, battered haddock, and poutine, while those with a spicier palate can select a curry dish with chicken or lamb. Pizzas also offer both traditional and Indian flavors, with toppings ranging from tandoori chicken to salami. And for those who are looking to fill their eyes, pro hockey and football games are projected live onto a 120" screen.
Lobby on York barrages beef eaters with a sizable selection of steak and seafood served by an attentive staff in an upscale yet unpretentious setting. Plunge into your protein pilgrimage beak first with chicken-liver poutine, paired with pear, cambozola, and crispy onions ($12), or nosh on the popular pulled-duck quesadilla confit, bristling with brie, sesame, and minced bell peppers wrapped in a cozy flour tortilla and sliced into six sushi-like pieces ($15).
When the Godinez family opened the first La Bamba in Saskatoon in 2007, part of their impetus was the exhaustion of searching for the authentic bouquet of flavours that bursts forth in traditional Mexican dishes. "We were tired of trying restaurants that pretended to be Mexican," Juan Godinez says on La Bamba's website, "but were never [finding] the real flavours we were craving." Their solution was that first restaurant in Saskatoon, whose success has bloomed into a family of three Mexican eateries. Today, the restaurant clings to its culinary roots by serving up enchiladas, flautas, tostadas and other authentic Mexican meals. They also offer gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options for those with dietary restrictions and those who firmly believe that they're stegosauruses.
Many cafés get their gelato from powdered mixes that contain unhealthy hydrogenated oils and hard to pronounce chemicals such as carboxymethylcellulose. Mercato Gelato Café, however, gets its products from Mario’s Gelati, a company that’s been making gelato and sorbetto from scratch with fresh milk, cream, and fruit for more than 30 years. The café’s glass enclosures house 72 different flavours, including blackberry, mango, pistachio, tiramisu, and white-chocolate raspberry. Patrons also stop by for made-to-order gelato cakes, savoury desserts, and take-home gelato in 500-millilitre to 11.4-litre containers designed to share with a group of friends or one mildly hungry elephant.