Rolling up to this St. Boniface café, it felt as though I was getting dropped off at an old friend’s place, as Chaise Café, framed by family homes at 271 Provencher Boulevard, looks more like a cozy house than a restaurant. A crisp curved awning and a substantial garden patio (that would be great for summer dining) serve as subtle identifiers for the restaurant amongst its neighbourhood surroundings.
The sensation of being at a “home away from home” continued as we entered through the café’s window-paned front door and were greeted by a chalkboard wall and smiley service. I almost had to stop myself from taking my shoes off, I felt so at home.
Opting for the dining room over the couch lined lounge, we looked over Chaise’s menu. They provide you with two options for ordering, either by item off an a la carte menu or from a prix fixe menu. For parties of two or more, diners can pay one price up front and enjoy the chef’s selection of various salads, pastas, pizzas and entrees. The lunch, brunch and appetizer menus are set at $20 each (lunch is available before 5pm, and brunch on Saturday and Sunday mornings) allowing diners to enjoy various options, including a cheese board, risotto balls, spinach dip with house made chips and breakfast pizza just to name a few.
My date and I decided to take the plunge into the prix fixe entrée menu ($35/person) and had not even an inkling of what kind of a decision we had just made for our stomachs.
We powered through a five course meal starting strong with our salads which included a variety of flavours, such as grilled caesar, a large beet with dill chevre dressing, and a pear gorgonzola creation. Then, two plentiful dishes of pasta were delivered to us, one spaghetti al limone (a somewhat forgettable bacon/onion/tomato ensemble) and a delicious seafood linguine. Right as we were feeling full and satisfied, our medium sized “Fire Roasted Pineapple” pizza arrived to spice things up in all the right ways but left us feeling stuffed as it was poorly placed in the course order right after the pasta.
On the verge of a food-induced coma, we marvelled at the entrée course of AAA hanger steak and bacon wrapped pork tenderloin paired with glazed carrots. Thankfully, we were able to pack up what we couldn’t finish, or begin to eat. The dessert course was a lemon cake and chocolate mousse that paired nicely as a final note of the meal.
This place exudes nothing but comfort. Chaise café aims to keep people content and definitely full. If you’re okay with sitting at a table with great food and company for three and a half hours and unafraid to undo the top button of your pants in public, then this place is for you.
Published in Volume 68, Number 26 of The Uniter (May 7, 2014)