Slim pickings for Mother’s Day brunch spots in Winnipeg

 

Hundreds of orange milk chocolates will be made for Mother's Day brunch at Winnipeg's Fort Garry Hotel (Robin Summerfield)
Hundreds of orange milk chocolates will be made for Mother’s Day brunch at Winnipeg’s Fort Garry Hotel (Robin Summerfield)

 

She gave you life and you’re trying desperately to give her a nice meal.

Good luck. Finding brunch reservations in Winnipeg for Mother’s Day this Sunday is a tall order.

Local favourites have already filled up while many others have limited space during off-peak hours.

But pick up the phone and start calling because tables can still be found in the city.

As of Thursday morning, Chaise Café and Lounge still had space available but it’s tight. Chaise has reservations for 200 confirmed but executive chef Jason Sopel expects 350 guests to come for brunch Sunday.

“It’s definitely going to be busier partly because we’ve built our reputation on brunch,” said Sopel.

Chaise is serving a $25, three-course menu featuring several salads, smoked apple wood bacon, smoked trout, scrambled eggs with mushrooms, potato croquettes, banana pancakes and cinnamon buns, among other dishes.

Sopel and his sous chef are pulling an all-nighter Saturday to make final preparations. He also vowed to keep serving brunch into the dinner hour for as long as customers want it.

Meanwhile, brunch heavyweight the Fort Garry Hotel has sold-out its 1,000 or so seats for Sunday’s main event, one of their busiest days of the year.

“We’re working harder. We’re working longer hours and everyone’s pulling together,” said Richard Warren, the hotel’s pastry chef and three-year Mother’s Day brunch veteran. His staff of nine are pumping out cakes, tarts, squares, slices, chocolates of all description.

“We’re making three or four times what we normally do,” Warren said.

Fifteen dozen cakes (in eight flavours), 20 dozen chocolates and truffles and 16 dozen lemon tarts are just a slice of what Warren’s crew will be serving. The team also makes all the bread, croissants and pastries for the hotel.

Back on the hunt for reservations, take heart: as of Thursday there were still limited seats for the taking at The Velvet Glove, Pasquale’s (dinner), Bistro 7 1/4 and Elements. But you may be eating very early in the morning or closer to dinner time.

So get cracking. Don’t forget to buy Mom a card. And next year, make reservations earlier.

Fort Garry Hotel pastry chef Richard Warren stands in the walk-in cooler amongst racks of cookies, slices, cakes and bread. (Robin Summerfield)
Fort Garry Hotel pastry chef Richard Warren stands in the walk-in cooler amongst racks of cookies, slices and cakes. (Robin Summerfield)
St. Boniface's Chaise Café will serve an estimated 500 croquettes during Mother's Day brunch. (Robin Summerfield)
St. Boniface’s Chaise Café will serve an estimated 500 croquettes during Mother’s Day brunch. (Robin Summerfield)
Fort Garry Hotel pastry chef Richard Warren pours over his to-do list. The Mother's Day brunch at the hotel attracts about 1,000 people and is one of the busiest days of the year. (Robin Summerfield)
Fort Garry Hotel pastry chef Richard Warren pours over his to-do list. The Mother’s Day brunch at the hotel attracts about 1,000 people and is one of the busiest days of the year. (Robin Summerfield)

 

This story first appeared on CBC Manitoba’s website Scene. Here’s a link to the original story.

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