I often spend Sunday evenings, like Sunday mornings, in church. Most Sunday evenings I can be found at St. Margaret’s Anglican Church in Wolseley for their evening service. Once in a while I take a leadership role in the service, but the majority of time it’s my opportunity to sit back, listen, learn, and reflect.
However, I’m not there every Sunday, and one of the places I like to be on those other Sunday evenings, even if it’s only once or twice a year, is at School Nights. School Nights, at its base, is a meetup opportunity for foodies. Held at Bistro 71/4 on most Sunday evenings, School nights gives participants the opportunity to rub shoulders with some of the bright young stars of the Winnipeg culinary firmament.
Adriane McElrea, Chloe Chafe and Talia Syrie are listed as the organizers of the event, and each week they bring an evening with a different theme to it. Recent themes were, pre-halloween, complete with a pumpkin carving contest. A New Orleans themed night, and the last one that I attended, a meatloaf (dish not singer) theme.
This last Sunday was one of the quieter School Nights. That probably was due to the fact that there was some sort of game going on in downtown Winnipeg. Nonetheless, the evening presented attenders with three different meatloaves to try. The first was a bison and beef mixture that had been prepared using red wine, which gave a nice tang to the meatloaf. The second was a Tourtiere Meatloaf, with a distinctive but not overwhelming mix of cloves, allspice and cinnamon. The third, which I didn’t get a photo of was a veal meat loaf. All three would be a welcome addition to any table.
Along with the samples of the food, there are a wide variety of drink options available. Sometimes they might even be part of the the focus for the evening. The other great thing about School Nights is that if you are in the mood for something a little more substantial, you can order off the Bistro 71/4 menu. I recommend the Moules Frite, in particular.
Along with all of this, School Nights provides the opportunity to meet up with some great people. As someone who is interested in what it means for us to eat together, I find events like School Nights an important part of that discovery process. The casual, friendly atmosphere gives you the chance to find out about other people, and what they like about food.
Plus there are always surprises. You might, like a certain food blogger, get the chance to put your chili up against chilis prepared by some of these talented chefs that show up at School Nights.