A new discovery, just down the street
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 25/05/2022 (257 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The sun shines brightly as I write this, and the last of the snow has finally melted in our north-facing yard. Spring had a late arrival, but aren’t we all glad it’s finally here?
It was my partner Derek’s birthday last month and in keeping with our commitment to exploring different restaurants in our neighbourhood we experienced, at long last, Nola. Located at the southeast corner of Tache and Marion, and just a short walk from our home, Nola did not disappoint. For a special occasion it had to be good and it was that and much more.
The ambience is modern and elegant without being intimidating, the space: warm and open. In the early ’80s I lived in one of the upstairs apartments above what was then a Chinese restaurant, I think. I loved living there, as it always felt like being in the heart of St. Boniface. The building has been beautifully renovated since, at least a few times, I’m sure. Forty years ago I appreciated the proximity to the many nearby conveniences and I still do. Now it has the added charm and designation of being a treasured historic building.
The service was excellent and the food, well, this is where we tasted some of the best and newest flavour combinations. Dishes at Nola are meant to be shared. However, with one meat eater and one vegan in this couple, we couldn’t share everything, but we did make some amazing discoveries. Derek devoured the butcher’s steak plate with fermented black bean and honey marinade, fried Brussels sprouts and grilled asparagus. The amazing revelation there is that he normally hates Brussels sprouts. As the vegan in the family, I thoroughly enjoyed the roasted cauliflower steak and lentils that came with sautéed kale and tamarind gravy. We shared the Brussels sprout winter salad, which surprised even the server after we’d told her that Derek would never consume anything Brussels sprout-related. But this time he did, and he enjoyed it immensely. The salad was a work of art, with layers of roasted yams, grilled onion, radicchio, squash puree, pickled cranberry, sunflower seeds and maple balsamic vinaigrette. As someone who creates and consumes large amounts of all kinds of salad, this was like no other salad I’d ever had and it truly was divinely delicious.
There was dessert involved for Derek. It was his birthday after all, and Nola offers a lovely selection of sweet and decadent treats.
There’s no place like home, and taking the time to discover what’s near and around our neighbourhoods is a great way to support local businesses, build connections and develop a stronger bond with one’s community. The plan is to return to Nola for my birthday in September. Can’t wait.
St. Boniface community correspondent
Janine LeGal is a community correspondent for St. Boniface who also writes the These Old Houses column for our Community Homes section.