I have been saying for years that South Winnipeg needed a fine dining restaurant. The opening of Harth Mozza Wine Bar in St. Vital in 2017 finally made my wish come true and has everyone talking. I was told repeatedly how difficult it is to get into the restaurant. So to celebrate my parents’ birthdays, I made a dinner reservation a month in advance.
To my surprise, the restaurant is located in a strip mall at 1-980 St. Anne’s Road, approximately 1.5 km from the perimeter. The decor is trendy and stylish. The tables are well spaced. The booths on the right as we entered are usually booked for groups of 5 or 6 person parties. The four of us were seated in a sheltered area underneath a big arch on the left. It was perfect.
The restaurant was packed and lively on this Saturday evening.
Our friendly waiter recognized my mom from her frequent visits to Bellissimo Restaurant and Lounge as well as Inferno’s on Academy before it was closed. We were off to a good start. 🙂
Since it’s a birthday celebration, we ordered a bottle of Prosecco to start. This is the only choice of Prosecco on the menu. I seldom drink alcohol but I had a glass of this fruity and aromatic sparkling wine that’s very pleasing to my taste buds.
For appetizers, we ordered Cozze & Vongole, Pettine Crudo, Barbabietola and Carne Cruda.
The Cozze & Vongola (mussels, clams, calabrian Chili, fennel, aioli) was equally beautiful as it tasted.
I don’t know what they put in the sauce but I could lick the plate. We also ordered Lievito (old church bakery sourdough, cultured butter) and Focaccia (olive oil, balsamic). I let every inch of the bread soak in the sauce then savoured it in my mouth. I was in my happy place.
Just as stunning was the Pettine Crudo (scallop, citrus, caviar). The scallops were served in between caviar and slices of orange. The flavour was complex – the sweetness of the scallops and the saltiness of the caviar combined with the citrus from the orange. It was intoxicating.
I was so busy tasting the seafood that I forgot to try the Carne Cruda (beef tartare, bagna cauda, bottarga). My dad said it was delicious.
Then came the Barbabietola (beetroot, stracciatella, pistachio, sour cherry). I don’t like beets and cheese. Although I loved the presentation, I wasn’t planning on trying it initially. However, after taking a bite, I couldn’t stop eating it. 😀 In fact, I cleared the plate. All the ingredients combined gave this dish the perfect balance, texture and depth. It’s absolutely brilliant.
For mains, two of us ordered Pollo (1/2 chicken, salsa verde, radish, grilled lemon) and two of us ordered Bistecca (tenderloin, gremolata, rapini, taleggio cream). I was surprised that the restaurant doesn’t offer gluten free pastas and pizzas. My mom who is gluten intolerant didn’t have a lot of options. However, that has never deterred her in the past and will not in the future.
Our waiter recommended Tightrope Pinot Gris to pair with the entrees. To avoid having the Asian glow, I only took a sip. The ripe fruit flavours left a very fresh and light taste on my palate. A marvellous choice!
My medium rare tenderloin was cooked to perfection. I love the sensation of beef melting in my mouth. The sauce was rich but not overpowering. Another exquisite dish.
After having many dry and bland chicken breasts in restaurants, I had been on an anti-chicken breast crusade. But when my mom cut through her chicken, the juice poured right out. I took a bite. Not only was the chicken moist and tender, it was flavourful. I was immediately impressed.
We ordered a couple of side dishes to go with the mains – Cavoletti Di Bruxelles (brussel sprouts, aioli) and Melazana (eggplant, hot honey, capers).
I’m not a fan of eggplant. My mom chose it. The aroma smelled so amazing that I couldn’t resist trying it. Wow!!!! The sauce was spectacular. It had a delightful kick.
We would have been content with the dishes above. But oh no, we had to try the desserts!! 🙂 And I am pleased we did.
I had never had semolina cake and only had a small bite. It was very moist and creamy.
My mom who has a sophisticated palate and is a wonderful chef in her own right said this is the best Panna Cotta she’s ever had.
I normally don’t order chocolate desserts because I find them to be too sweet. That said, the perfect balance between the texture of the chocolate torte and the gelato provides a hint of sweetness which was a wonderful finish to the main course.
Reservations can be made on Yelp but not on OpenTable. For more information, please visit Harth’s website: https://www.harthwpg.com/