I am so confident in Mise’s enlightened but non-showy approach that I asked them to feed my wedding guests. Their consistency and creativity win the prize, in my opinion.
The hungry fiance (now husband) and I have been eating with Terry and Sue through our whole relationship – our second date was at their cloister hidden under Confusion Corner, from which all I remember is that the Wild Rice Latke fries were sexy and that I probably wasn’t in my itchy turtleneck sweater. (I know, I know, turtleneck sweater on the second date, it’s amazing he actually married me. He must love me for noble reasons.)
A year passed along, and we celebrated our first anniversary back in that basement, with a celebratory personalized sign posted for us in the candlelit entrance. The Wild Rice Latke fries made a repeat appearance, accompanying unctuous pork ribs in a ‘which-is-better’ sort of way. The sesame tempura prawns were almost sweet. A bottle of wine was consumed and I don’t remember much else.
Three more years passed, with holidays and birthdays punctuated by Mise’s exclamatory dinners. We followed them to their new location, where one summer night on the patio we marveled at the dragonflies and I gobbled up the Arctic Char with Dilled Potato Salad and Golden Caviar – I would kill for that dish and then request it as my last meal on death row. That or the ribs.
They have a knack for tempura at Mise – so while you might not think of pairing pickerel and mango together in a tempura dish, the duo proves that someone in the kitchen has a godly culinary intuition. The duck confit seems to be both tender and lean – not a small feat for a fatty meat preserved in more fat – and the quasi-Asian preparation with soy spinach and shitakes is otherwordly. Underlying everything is consistency in quality – even some of my other favorite city kitchens dole out the occasional poocher meal, but I had no doubts in choosing Mise as my wedding caterer. And they cooked local before it was cool to cook local, which illustrates that they have their eye on the food and not the fame.
Fast forward to the wedding day, when I was quite frankly too stressed out about my hairdo to even think about food. But judging from the pictures and the raves of my guests, Mise did not disappoint. There were massive chunks of cheese, sweet little lemon tarts with raspberry nipples, and some rockin’ chicken satays impaled on funky wooden globes. I heard repeatedly that the shrimp canapes were a major hit, and there were multiple variations on phyllo pastries spurting warm and gooey stuffings. The Winndian relatives said they like the samosas. If that’s not a litmus test, I’m not sure what is.
Check out their relaxing new lounge, one of the only places in Winnipeg where you can drink like an adult and successfully whisper at the same time.