A Winnipeg restaurant has been named one of the Top 30 Best New Restaurants by Air Canada’s magazine.
Nola, located in St. Boniface, made the list recently released by EnRoute, the airline’s magazine. It is the only restaurant from Manitoba on the list.
“It’s just hugely in part to the team that we have,” said Mike Del Buono, owner/operator of Burnley Place Hospitality, which owns Nola.
“And then just the support that we’ve got from the entire city, like honestly, we wouldn’t be even in this conversation if we didn’t have just like the amazing support and people in Winnipeg talking us up.”
Nola opened its doors in October 2021. Chef Emily Butcher said the restaurant is a small plate concept with family-style dining.
“Lots of west coast influence, bright, bold, fun flavours,” she said. “We just wanted to create a really lively dining room, amazing cocktails, fun wines that pair with the food. Just high-energy people passing plates around, that sort of thing.”
“We inherited a space that was just very nicely set up to really just have a lively atmosphere,” Del Bueno said. “And we really wanted to just have a unique experience because it’s a space where as soon as you walk in the door, you’re part of the action.”
Air Canada decides the list based on recommendations from experts in different regions. The company then sends a food critic to different restaurants to review it anonymously.
Del Buono said they were surprised and honoured to be part of the long list.
“We were never in this for accolades or for any kind of prestige. We just had a vision that we just we really got on board with and so yeah, to me, it came as a surprise,” he said. “I mean, there’s incredible talent across the entire country and particularly in Winnipeg. So it’s just really cool to just be part of the conversation and to be representing Winnipeg.”
Added Butcher, “We’ve just been so focused on really building the team and seeing where how we’re going to improve and constantly working on the menu. The nomination and people talking about Nola, it’s sort of just the cherry on top really.
Air Canada says EnRoute magazine will narrow the top 30 list down to a top 10, which will be released Nov. 1.
The list of restaurants can be found here.
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