It turned out to be a pleasant blessing in disguise. The bartender, Will, was an engaging fellow bouncing between chatting it up with me, other bar customers and his fellow staff, serving us bar diners our food, and preparing drinks for diners throughout the restaurant. It was thanks to Will that I discovered the true story to Deseo's resurgence. Deseo originally started in the Exchange District and was preparing to open a second location where I was dining. However, a burst water pipe caused sufficient damage to the Exchange District location that the owners decided to simply relocate to Riverview and continue operating just one location.
Not only was the place packed, it appeared to be a strong conversation-conducive setting. The whole bistro was alive with laughter and loud chatter, and even rubbing elbows with fellow diners at the bar made conversations with them pleasantly unavoidable. When I admitted to the bartender that I wasn't sure yet what to order, the couple to my left made a couple of suggestions, and judging by the passionate tone of especially the woman's voice as she mentioned some dishes, they definitely felt those were worth trying. As we talked a bit about food in general and about this restaurant, they even shared one of their small plates with me. So much for "small plate", there were definitely more than enough olives to share for 4 people, let alone just that couple. Baked in the oven and laced with orange and herbs, I was thankful the couple let me sample that, as they definitely whetted my appetite.
|Brussels Sprouts - Pan-seared, with pancetta, garlic, lemon, and ancho chili.|
|Pork Belly - Nagano pork belly, crispy chicken skin, serrano-wrapped prawn mousse, romesco sauce, parsnip purée and sherry syrup.|
|A close-up view of Pork Belly, with a better view of the pork belly itself, and the crispy chicken skin standing on the romesco sauce.|
|Flourless Chocolate Chili Cake, with volcanic black sea salt and olive oil.|
I was impressed by my experience at Deseo; the food and the atmosphere definitely put a big smile on my face as I walked from the bistro to my car parked a block away. This is definitely a place worth revisiting in the future to expand my experience there. During a recent planning conference, I did learn of a few Winnipeggers keen on trying this place; I may have to call them up the next time I'm in town.
Name: Deseo Bistro
Address: 696 Osborne St., Winnipeg, MB
Price Range: $20-$75