Peasant Cookery for Old World Cuisine in Winnipeg’s Exchange District

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When I was heading to Winnipeg and told my hosts that I was a serious foodie and wanted to review some of the local restaurants, they were excited. Who knew that Winnipeg had so many good choices for food?

“What is your style?” they asked. “Orgasmic food,” I wanted to say, but my conservative New England roots quickly found more appropriate words to say. While I wanted to try a wide range of restaurants while I was there, I thought back to last summer in Montreal when I ate like a queen for days and days and didn’t want to leave because the food was so good. (Bocata’s old world French style cuisine in old Montreal, Buvette Chez Simone, Pied de Cochon, and Europea were my favorites.

Then of course, there’s my top 15 restaurant picks for Montreal. Okay, don’t get me started on Old World style cuisine; let’s just say I’m in love with it.

Is there something Old World’ish?” I found myself asking, wanting to repeat every aspect of Montreal from last summer knowing that it was entirely a different city smack in the middle of Canada over the American midwest, and who was I kidding?  

So, they sent me to Peasant Cookery on the corner of Bannatyne and King in Winnipeg’s historical Exchange District, which quickly became my favorite part of the city.

It is part of WOW Hospitality group, which has a number of other restaurants, including Terrace Fifty Five, 529 Wellington, a high-end steak house, Muddy Water’s Ribs & Wings, Finn’s Pub and others.

It didn’t exactly ‘look’ Old World when I first walked in though it most definitely had pieces of it woven into the decor and overall design. But the menu?

I bow down to chef  Tristan Foucault (right) who looked after me and even gave me a wooden pig board to go home with knowing how excited I was by the fact that they served their Charcuterie on one.

You see, I grew up in a small town in upstate New York and we spent out summers on an Adirondack Mountain lake my grandfather owned, a time of my life that includes my favorite life memories.

In our ‘camp’ kitchen, there was a wooden pig cutting board, double the size of the small one Tristan gave me, but the memory of this pig, the meaning behind the pig (my grandmother and I used it to make many a’ dishes over the years), and the quirkiness of the pig, has always been a strong stamp in my memory bank.

And so now, I have a small wooden pig that served my charcuterie sampler that I’ll cherish and think of the scrumptious meal I had at Peasant Cookery. The staff was incredibly friendly as well. Service A+.

What did they dish up for me? Let’s start with the Charcuterie, which the Peasant Cookery is known for.

  • Page de Campagne: pork, chicken, liver, brandy and green peppercorn.
  • Corned Pig Tongue
  • Hunter Sausage: fennel, black pepper and garlic
  • Cured Pork Shoulder with cayenne and paprika
  • Pepperoni: beef, fennel and cayenne
  • Berkshire Garlic Sausage: Berkshire pork, garlic, white pepper

It was as if they didn’t stop feeding me…wanting to try a few different things, it felt like I was being given full portions rather than sampler sized plates. I waddled out of the restaurant after my long list of fabulous dishes.

The beet Salad was served with a goat cheese mousse, arugula, toasted seeds (wild rice, pumpkin, sesame), all covered with a caramelized honey vinaigrette.

I also tried the Peasant Burger, which was a combination of short rib, brisket and chuck on a brioche bun.

I’d also recommend the aged cheddar Gnocchi, which is served with sun dried tomatos, piquillo peppers, spinach, red onion and herb oil.

We give Peasant Cookery a major two thumbs up. I had a hard time leaving the restaurant (which also had wifi btw). General manager Richard Hanna (below) also deserves a call out for his attention to detail and suburb service and generosity.

Tourism Winnipeg hosted my lunch at Peasant Cookery but all of my opinions expressed here are my own.

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