Winnipeg-area restaurant offers charm and sustenance

As previous well-intended New Year’s declarations were often short-lived, this year I am creating a bucket list with taste buds in mind.

I have spent nearly 30 years working in the agriculture and food industries with farmers, ranchers, chefs, culinary educators, dietitians, recipe developers and restaurateurs.

Therefore, my bucket list consists of prairie culinary destinations I intend to experience and share with you through this column.

Each column features a restaurant that has piqued my interest enough to make me want to pack a bag, jump in my car and check it out, once we can safely. In the spirit of supporting local and Canadian, it is perfect timing and I welcome you to check for yourself.

Flower gardens can be found on the restaurant grounds. | Supplied photo

The Canadian Prairies have many talented chefs and welcoming restaurants, bistros and taverns. When the COVID-19 restrictions relax and the comfort level of mingling resumes, I plan on pointing my car east toward the destination of Pineridge Hollow.

Nestled in the south edge of Bird’s Hill Provincial Park, a short 30-minute drive from Winnipeg, this charming turn-of-the-century style carriage house has an award-winning reputation of providing guests with memorable culinary experiences. It also offers the chance to enjoy a selection of unique retail shops all in the beautiful country setting of rural Manitoba.

Pineridge Hollow was launched in 1992 by Jan Regehr. Her initial vision was to create an outdoor teahouse atmosphere where guests could enjoy meandering around the 20-plus themed gardens sprinkled throughout her property.

The frozen lemon meringue torte is a favourite. | Supplied photo

Originally working out of a small 1920s log building, which also served as a gift shop, she served guests refreshments outdoors where they could savour the scents of the garden, wildflowers, herbs and the foliage from the nearby forest.

Little did Jan know her vision would quickly gain momentum and warrant a larger space and more services. In 1995, she had a carriage-style house built enabling Pineridge Hollow to offer more food choices.

Four years later, she had the house moved to a larger six-acre parcel of land, which provided an opportunity to expand and create both in and outdoor dining experiences, along with retail shopping. Following the move came a significant addition that included a full catering kitchen, two furniture show rooms, a retail space and a spacious, inviting dining room.

Today, it welcomes visitors year-round. Pineridge Hollow is a blend of modern and farmhouse, featuring raw-looking wood floors connected by oversized windows to high ceilings, finished in barnboard. The walls are adorned with original artwork by the creative talents of local artists.

Beet chips with the chef-prepared goat cheese ranch dressing are a guest favourite. | Supplied photo

Pineridge Hollow is built on a farm-to-table philosophy using regenerative principals. In addition to a permaculture orchard with a variety of fruit from apples and elderberries to pears and plums, the Regehrs grow an array of vegetables and herbs. While they raise pasture chickens and heritage pork, they also work with local farmers who help to top off the rest of their pantry needs. Each spring, chef and farmers sit down together, comb through seed catalogues and determine what the farmers will grow. Fresh and seasonal ingredients are the stars upon which the culinary performances are developed, and the menu is created.

There are so many menu options. As a soup enthusiast, I look forward to selecting from a variety of homemade offerings. To complete my lunch, the grilled chicken, brie and pear sandwich with cranberry aioli arugula on a toasted ciabatta bun sounds delectable.

The grilled chicken, brie and pear sandwich with cranberry aioli arugula on a toasted ciabatta bun sounds delectable. | Supplied photo

Among the tantalizing dinner options, the Oak Knoll Heritage Pork tenderloin with the signature Haskap Berry BBQ Sauce or the Oak Knoll pork schnitzel with rhubarb chutney make my mouth water.

The aroma of freshly baked cinnamon buns drizzled with sweet caramel sauce is a treat I would take home, although there is a strong possibility that these tasty buns would not make it all the way back to Saskatoon.

While the menu often changes, beet chips with the chef prepared goat cheese ranch dressing and frozen lemon meringue torte are guest favourites. Naturally, I will try both to see what the fuss is about.

The restaurant offers a variety of homemade soups. | Supplied photo

Although currently filling online orders only, Pineridge Hollow looks forward to welcoming the return of guests once protocols permit. I look forward to a future where travelling to taste all that Pineridge has to offer.

The restaurant can be found at 67086 Heatherdale Road, Oakbank, Man., and can be contacted at 204-777-3881 and Pineridgehollow.ca.

Cranberry orange scones

Made fresh daily, these tasty scones are a great way to start your day.

  • 676 g flour
  • 100 g sugar
  • 230 g butter
  • 28 g baking powder
  • 6 g baking soda
  • 4 g salt
  • zest of one orange
  • 60 mL frozen or fresh cranberries
  • 500 mL buttermilk, approx.

Cube butter into small pieces and place in freezer.

Combine dry ingredients and zest into a mixing bowl.

Cut cold butter into dry mix using a pastry cutter until the mixture is a fine crumble.

Add cranberries and buttermilk.

Freshly baked cinnamon buns drizzled with sweet caramel sauce are a treat worth taking home. | Supplied photo

Stir by hand until everything is evenly distributed but still slightly crumbly.

Roll onto a surface dusted with flour and cut into triangles or scoop into a parchment lined sheet tray.

Sprinkle tops with sugar before baking.

Bake at 350 F for about 15 to 20 minutes until the centres bounce back.

Optional: Mix the juice of the zested orange with some icing sugar to make a quick scone glaze.

Adele Buettner is a farm girl (at heart), foodie, volunteer, business owner and lover of all things relating to agriculture and food. She is located in Saskatoon.

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