Monday, 17 September 2012

A South American Exchange in Winnipeg

I've heard of Hermanos Restaurant and Wine Bar for about a year or so now, but I hadn't taken the opportunity to try it until recently on another daytrip to Winnipeg.  My friends and I originally agreed to give Kokeb a try for some Ehiopian cuisine, but I was caught off-guard when I saw a backhoe in the middle of a vacant lot where the building in which the restaurant was located previously stood.  Of all the places I hadn't tried yet, this was the first one that came to mind, and since my friends also hadn't tried it yet, away to Hermanos we went for dinner.
The interior of Hermanos.
It is nice to see this and other restaurants amongst other businesses making themselves home in the downtown area, especially in the Exchange District where the old office and warehouse buildings easily provide character both on the outside and the inside.  The warehouse interiors also provide flexibility for custom floor layouts as well as lofty ceilings to enhance atmosphere.  Hermanos, located in a one-time hardware manufacturer's building, certainly took advantage of these traits to create a chic interior, the dining area and the lounge separated by a central bar.
Peru Meets Lake Winnipeg: Peruvian ceviche with Manitoba pickerel, marinated in citrus with red onion and cilantro.
The three of us agreed to share two tapas dishes and a large dish for this dinner.  The first of the two tapas dishes to arrive was Peru Meets Lake Winnipeg.  A local twist is given to this ceviche dish by the use of Manitoba pickerel.  This dish was very light and mild, and it overall a favourite for us.
The Sausage and Pepper Board: Grilled sausage and bell peppers, caramelized onion, Brazilian relish (upper right), chimichurri (lower left) and corn bread.
The other tapas dish we ordered was The Sausage and Pepper Board.  One thing I enjoyed and found surprising was that the sausages actually had a mix of ground pork and pieces of pork in them, creating a unique texture for pork sausage.  I also liked having the chimichurri on the side, which was light yet delightfully flavourful of fresh herbs.
Large Paella: Shrimp, sausage, chicken, salmon and mussels with lime rice and spicy coconut broth.
The large shared main course we ordered was the Large Paella.  Though I did catch the lime in the rice, I unfortunately didn't catch as much of the coconut flavour as I hoped.  Nonetheless, it still was a delicious dish, and we had no regrets ordering this.  If your party not into sharing a meat-heavy main course (in spite of the bounty of fruits and vegetables, South American cuisine seems to have a considerable focus on meat dishes), this is the dish to go.

The three of us enjoyed our experience at Hermanos, and wouldn't mind returning to try other dishes, including The Cabrera, a ribeye steak large enough to have to share, and, if we have more people with us, even try only all the tapas dishes for dinner.

Name: Hermanos Restaurant and Wine Bar
Address: 179 Bannatyne Ave., Winnipeg, MB
Cuisine: South American, Fusion
Price Range: Tapas $5-$20; Individual main courses $20-$40
Accessible: No

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