If anything symbolizes the Manor Casual Bistro‘s reinvented self, it’s the pommes frites.
French fries, you ask? But executive chef Alex Sneazwell’s herbed frites are so perfectly cooked, it wouldn’t be a sin to order two of these giant plates. Sneazwell elevates them with ricotta cheese and cured meat. Braised ox tail, savoury fries, creamy ricotta – absolutely addictive. My lunch companion,
who said he wasn’t a fan of modified poutines, ended up dragging his bread through the leftover gravy, making sure not to waste a delicious drop.
The dish is a highlight on the new menu, introduced in the first week of October. The old Manor Caf – the white house just south of 102nd Avenue, with the inviting patio – has been a staple of High Street dining for years. But the renamed and reinvented Manor Casual Bistro is clearly moving forward with modern offerings and theme nights, designed to bring in younger crowds. So, although the house was built in 1929, the dcor is sleek and the menu is modern.
The lunch menu features some truly hearty, filling fare for winter comfort. The homemade focaccia bread is cut into wedges, offering Sneazwell a canvas for some very interesting sandwich choices, including a lamb and cheese that’s enhanced by the surprisingly sweet tomato jam. It’s so rich, it’s
a feat to finish it all. And the chicken sandwich features large hunks of brie with a very up-front pear compote that’s bold and sweet.
Of course, the sandwiches come with a choice of salad, soup … or the fries. With a garlic aioli, well, they’re quite decadent. (10109 125 St., 780-482-7577, themanorbistro.com)