Monday, 18 September 2017

Teo's/Mano a Mano

Drinking my cool drink in a cool
mason jar on a cool patio on a hot
Since the weather quickly went frigid this weekend, I felt I should quickly pump out a couple of my dates that feature a patio in some way before they're completely irrelevant. I've noticed, actually, that quite a few places I've visited in town only really have their patio going for them; I suppose we're willing to suffer mediocre dining if it means we can spend some time outside during our gloriously short patio-season.  

Teo's fits that bill pretty well. Or is it Mano a Mano? I'm still a little confused as to why this bar/restaurant has two names. It seems that the kitchen itself has a specific name? I don't understand; it baffles me and I spent way to much time thinking about this as I sat on their sidewalk patio (with loads of solo seating). Actually, I wish more places in town had patios like this; I've seen a lot more in more pedestrian friendly parts of other cities like Montreal.

Pictured: Summer in a glass AKA
Gadda da Vida
Fortunately for me, Teo's (AKA Mano a Mano) stays open late if there's business to be had; it can be bloody hard to find a place open past nine on a Monday (because Winnipeg is a swinging, party town) and sometimes my date nights to myself start late. Although be aware that once the street lights snap on, it can kind of kill the ambiance. I found that this is another one of those establishments that is really more of a solo drink place than a solo meal place; there's some creative cocktails but the food is pretty ordinary. The sauce and pasta are nothing special and a lot of the fried things I ordered were rather bland. I was a huge fan though of the cauliflower in the Fritto Misto, if the whole dish was like that, we might be ok. The seafood, however, was fairly tasteless and the zucchini could have been 76% crispier. NB: The appetizers here are massive. you will likely only need one. I wanted to sample a couple of things for a more varied review and ended up taking a ton of it home. I wanted to give the antipasto a try, but it wasn't on the late night menu (remember, 9:30 on a Monday is 'late night' in Winnipeg).
Checking out Teo' bar; not to be
confused with the Mano a Mano

There's a chalkboard along the sidewalk that stated there were both food and drink specials available although I never did hear what either of them were and water wasn't provided even though it was crazy hot out at the time. It would have been nice to have had some, but no one else on the patio seemed to have a water glass either, so perhaps pure alcohol is the custom on this one. The server's suggestion for said alcohol, Gadda da Vida, was pretty much summer in a glass and helped cut the heat almost as well as H2O might have. The cocktails here generally did it for me; 2 oz, girly, but not crazy sweet. I get the feeling that this patio might be a better pre/post meal/outing kind of place to hang, especially after having the starchy, tasteless Arancinis which, to their credit were at least satisfyingly hot and crunchy.

I feel if you're not too adventurous palate-wise, this might be the kind of place for you. I found the food boring although it was rather inoffensive and the drinks were just fine. Since Winnipeg nights are going to be cooler and kick in sooner each and every day, you may want to hold off on this one for next summer so that you can enjoy the patio later on a weeknight, if that's your kind of self-date.

Price: $$$
Rating: *

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