Hello Winnipeg, we are Mr. and Mrs. Restaurant. We’re passionate about food, but not about cooking. After growing tired of everyday chain restaurants, we began our search for the best hidden eateries the city has to offer. Ever wonder if that trendy new place is worth the money; or if that greasy burger joint lives up to all the hype? Just ask Mr. and Mrs. Restaurant!
Santa Ana Pizzeria & Bistro
[flickr style=”border:none; padding:4px; border:1px solid #BDBDBD; float:right; margin-left:5px;”]photo:7732947024[/flickr]Santa Ana Pizzeria & Bistro is tucked away in a St. Vital strip mall and it almost looks to be a take-out restaurant when you first walk in. One wall is lined with specialty grocery items, like dressings, crackers, cookies and canned goods for purchase. When you continue on to the main seating area, the mood completely changes. Large canvas pictures of wine glasses line the dark and dramatic-coloured walls and it provides for a cozy place to enjoy a meal.
The menu begins with a lengthy list of wines and we were pleasantly surprised to see that an 8 oz glass of house wine is only $5.00. They also offer bottles starting at $15.00, which is a nice treat when you consider the wine prices at most other restaurants! Santa Ana has a pretty small menu, but we still felt like we had enough options.
[flickr style=”border:none; padding:4px; border:1px solid #BDBDBD; float:right; margin-left:5px;”]photo:7732950452[/flickr]There are many unique varieties of pizzas, which can be either wood-fired or stone-grilled (only for larger sizes). We later found out that the stone-grilled pizzas have a thicker crust than the wood-fired, something to consider if you’re not a fan of thin crust. Interesting pizza toppings make for endless combinations and we had trouble deciding which of the compelling choices to go with. The shorter list of pasta options includes wood-fired Tortellini, Ravioli, Manicotti and Lasagna. You can also pair Penne, Linguine or Gnocchi with one of their home-made sauces, and the addition of chicken or pulled pork is available for an extra $4. Wood-fired salmon or chicken breast dishes are available if you’re not looking for a pizza or pasta.
Needless to say, we began our meal with a glass of wine and a Bocconcini Salad. This well-balanced dish consisted of bocconcini cheese wrapped in strips of prosciutto, roma tomatoes and fresh basil, all drizzled with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing. The flavours were outstanding and while the tomatoes were a bit hard, we were left feeling optimistic about the rest of our meal!
[flickr style=”border:none; padding:4px; border:1px solid #BDBDBD; float:right; margin-left:5px;”]photo:7732948702[/flickr]Next up was a Caesar salad and a Santa Ana salad which consisted of mixed greens, asparagus, dried berries and oil based dressing. A single-sized salad is easily enough for two people. These familiar salads served their purpose and we were soon ready for our entrees; wood-fired Manicotti and the Santa Ana Special pizza. The Manicotti was flavourful, fresh and again, large enough to share. The pizza was topped with havarti cheese, prosciutto, cauliflower and asparagus. It made for a complex combination of tastes that worked so well together. The pizza’s crust was thin, but not thin enough to be crispy and flaky; a happy middle between thick and thin crusts!
How does Santa Ana measure up? Well, they cook great food, provide a comfortable atmosphere and our server had a genuinely friendly attitude. Their prices are very reasonable; our bill came to only $55.00! It’s no wonder this place has become a neighborhood favorite! Reservations are recommended, especially on weekends.
Santa Ana Pizzeria & Bistro
1631 Saint Mary’s Road