By Melissa Martin - Sunday, February 3, 2013 - 0 Comments
What cooler antidote to winter than an upscale pop-up on the frozen Assiniboine?
Last Thursday night, Winnipeg was in the grip of a vicious cold snap that faded streets into a silent filmstrip of grit teeth and shuffling, Sorel-booted feet. As the waxy winter daylight faded, the temperature plunged to -31˚C—and out in the middle of the frozen Assiniboine River, 16 people in parkas were tucking into a delicate dish of raw scallop, albacore tuna and rich foie gras. This was the first course ever served at Raw: Almond, a pop-up restaurant risen on the ice at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers. Something between a tent and a temporary shack, it squatted in the shadow of an old steel rail bridge, its whiteness reflecting the ice all around.
The dinner guests arrived huddled in pairs, among them an artist, a teacher and a medical student. Instead of chairs, they sat on tree stumps covered with a faux-fur throw. The walls of the restaurant are canvas. The floor is ice. It feels a little like a campsite, with sleek lamps in place of a fire. “We’re not rolling out the gold leaf,” jokes Joe Kalturnyk, director and co-founder of the Raw architecture gallery, who put on the event. The menu is left to glitter on its own. Continue…