Monday, 29 January 2018

Ward 1

Apparently this place has fallen victim to the Basil's curse and is no longer in operation (for what sounds like good reason). 

If you want to sit above the crowd
and people watch, that's a thing
you can do in the Ward 1 lounge.
New Year, new restaurant. Okay, so the new year started 30 days ago; the resolution against procrastinating didn't go so well. Anyway, I stopped in at Ward 1 which is where the Black Rabbit used to be... and some other thing before that, and Basil's a hundred years ago... that seemingly lucrative and cursed corner that can't keep it's doors open. You know, that one. Hopefully the current tenant sticks it out through the summer because although tis not the season for it, that patio is ace. The layout reminds me of something more common in Montreal and other, denser cities.

Vegetables wrapped in bacon and/
or deep fried: the way God intended
Last comparison to restaurants that no longer exist: there's some really interesting two-tier bar seating going on in the lounge that was not there before and it makes the place seem bigger and busier than it was. Which, with that and a hip, brassy soundtrack made for a cool, buzzing atmosphere that made for a great place to sit down and grab a drink, even by yourself. The menu is entirely Louisiana/Cajun inspired, which I believe is not really a thing elsewhere in Winnipeg. In any case, this made it one of the more unique places I've taken myself too, which also makes it fun. The seafood boil looked particularly interesting but is only available for 2+ diners. Sadface. I was also intrigued by the catfish options but since I get sucked in by compelling appetizer menus, and Ward 1's got one, I ordered a couple things that are delicious but probably terrible for me. Both things I ordered - bacon-wrapped jalapenos and deep-fried cauliflower (both or which are vegetables... good for me, right?) - were crispy and perfect; no soggy batter or bacon here. The portions were big enough to be shared but since that's not a thing I was doing, I took some home to not be a total glutton.

I felt too fancy for happy hour.
Champagne glasses = fancy.
I ignored the all-night happy hour in favour of reviewing the cocktail list (you're welcome). The girly and bubbly Tiffany Twisted was totally my jam combining both wine and gin and fruitiness. For those of you who do not like drinking the adult equivalent of children's juice, the ginger beer drink Wheels of Steel is less sweet than you might suppose; the grapefruit cuts the sugar and balances it out nicely.

I think the menu here makes this one another example of a restaurant that might be better for groups or a date that involves another human given the variety of dishes and the family-style options. Still a great place to hang out by yourself, but bring a bigger appetite than I have or opt for just beverages. The staff, as is often the case in my adventures, was super competent and efficient; I had three different women come to my table at different points and they somehow worked in tandem in a super hopping lounge to take my orders, being me drinks, box the food that bested me, and handle my payment. Bonus points to the girl who asked me if it was 'all together?' when I was settling up; I've been waiting since I started doing this blog to quote cute observations and comments like that.

Rating: **
Price: $$