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Eat, drink, be merry and stay a while

Valentine’s Day menu inspired by recent trip Down Under

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With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, one local couple wants to share its passion for food with the community — and they don’t expect you to leave in a hurry.


Faiz de Beer (manager) and Louise Briskie-de Beer (chef) — owners and operators of Cafe Savour, located at 956 St. Mary’s Rd. — have recently returned from a seven-week adventure in Australia and New Zealand.


Despite contending with wildfires, extreme heat and torrential rain, the couple managed to visit numerous restaurants and sample gastronomic delights from around the world, which have inspired a new Valentine’s Day 2013 menu.


The set five-course meal — which also caters to vegetarians — includes a soup made with lamb and rice; a salad featuring a rice wrap filled with romaine lettuce, red pepper, asparagus, green onion and served with a peanut sauce; an appetizer boasting layers of peppers with mozzarella cheese, on a bed of spinach, wrapped with masa and whole wheat puff pastry; an entrée of stuffed treats on a bed of brown basmati rice and an assortment of dainties with a Van Der Hum Chocolate Surprise for dessert.


The restaurant is open from Thursday to Saturday from 5 p.m. and the last reservations are taken at 8 p.m.


"The theme is every good restaurant you’ve ever been to. We want people to be comfortable," said Louise, noting the couple grows herbs and vegetables behind the St. Vital-based restaurant. "Everything is unique. Each table is differently painted by hand and its original photography on the walls."


The long list of homemade items also includes crackers, breads, cakes, pastries and tortilla shells, Louise said.


And in a case of practising what they preach, Faiz and Louise — who have been married for 35 years — spend every Sunday enjoying a champagne brunch by themselves at the restaurant.


"We don’t want to rush people, because we want them to come and relax. We offer five and three course meals so people can eat at their own pace and get to know each other," Faiz said. "We want them to feel like they’ve had a night out and been somewhere different without having travelled on a plane for four hours."


Louise said the restaurant’s clientele is mixed and includes weekly regulars, monthly visitors, guests that visit annually on their anniversary and one-off diners.


"Our guests are a bit more discerning than most and some come along to try certain things. For example, if they’re going to Mexico, they might come along to see what Mexican dishes we have," she said.


Looking ahead to Valentine’s Day, Faiz recounted an experience when he served a young couple on a date.


"I was pouring wine into their glasses and the young man noticed I was pouring more into her glass than his. When he questioned me, I looked at him and said: ‘Hey, I’m doing this for you,’" Faiz laughed.


For more information, visit www.cafesavour.com or call 204-254-4681.

simon.fuller@canstarnews.com

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