Jane’s Not So Plain Dining

September 17, 2014
Share this:
  •  
  • 5
  •  
  •  
  •  

Elegant dining room of Janes Restaurant with marble pillars and floor
A fine dining experience at Red River College culinary school restaurant in Winnipeg, Manitoba

(Updated September 2019)

There is nothing “Plain Jane” about Jane’s Restaurant in Winnipeg, Manitoba. From its elegant setting in what was once an early-twentieth-century banking hall to the artfully presented plates to each flavourful bite to the attentiveness of your servers, Jane’s is a first-class experience.

Jane’s Restaurant is a fine dining experience designed to provide hands-on training for Red River College Hospitality and Culinary Arts students. It is located in what is believed to be the country’s oldest surviving steel-framed and reinforced concrete “skyscraper”. The 10-storey building was constructed in 1903 to 1904 for Union Bank. The Royal Bank took over Union Bank in 1925 and operated a branch at this location until 1992. After standing empty for many years, the building is now renovated and re-purposed as the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute (PGFI) of Red River College.

In 2008, PGFI was formed with donations from Paterson Global Foods and the Paterson Foundation. Red River College’s Hospitality Services and Culinary Arts programs moved from the Notre Dame campus to the new, downtown PGFI facility, which includes fully modernized classrooms and a student residence. The fine dining restaurant is named in honour of lead donor Andrew Paterson’s mother, Jane.

Seared rainbow trout and northern pike cake with horseradish aioli and fresh dill set atop a pea puree, ringed with a crispy potato chip and decorated with carrot paint
My delicious starter: Seared rainbow trout and northern pike cake with horseradish aioli and fresh dill set atop a pea puree, ringed with a crispy potato chip and decorated with carrot paint

When my husband and I arrived at the restaurant, a hostess led us to a table as we marveled at the beauty of the room. Marble Ionic columns, large arched windows, coffered ceilings in a room that must be three stories high. We had two attentive and friendly servers take care of us for the evening.

Coffered and gilded ceiling of Jane's Restaurant
Ceiling

The staff at Jane’s Restaurant are second-year students, working under the guidance and direction of a hospitality instructor and a cooking instructor. During their term at the restaurant, they rotate through the various positions within the restaurant. Even the culinary students get out of the kitchen and their comfort zone to do stints as servers. One of the instructors told us it gives them a different perspective and helps them appreciate the concerns of servers.

Chefs in restaurant kitchen behind half-wall dividing them from dining area
Culinary students working in the kitchen, divided from the dining area by a half wall

In order to give the student a full perspective on the dining experience, they are also given chances to experience the restaurant as diners. One of our servers said she had done so the prior evening.

Bison and Sundried Blueberry Stuffed Quail with Grilled Wild Rice Game Sausage, Chateau Potatoes and Cumberland Sauce
My main course: Bison and Sundried Blueberry Stuffed Quail with Grilled Wild Rice Game Sausage, Chateau Potatoes and Cumberland Sauce.
Server preparing flambe dessert at restaurant

We watched one of our servers prepare Bananas Foster for the table beside us. It was her first flambé and she was nervous. With the guidance and encouragement of her instructor, her first attempt was a success. She had an opportunity to repeat the success when my husband ordered Bananas Foster for dessert. Unfortunately, I wasn’t quick enough with my camera to capture the flame.

Bananas Foster
Bananas Foster

I learned a few things about flambé. Although I doubt I will ever try it myself, I will share what I learned for those of you who might.

  • The cart is positioned two arms length away from the customers and the server keeps the pan one arm length away from himself or herself during the flambé portion of the dish creation
  • After the preparatory steps are completed and it is time for flambé, the pan is removed from the heat and tilted slightly. A small amount of rum is poured into the tilted end.
  • The tilted end of the pan is set back on the heat. The alcohol is concentrated in the end of the pan touching the heat and a flame shoots up. The pan is then set flat on the burner and the flame quickly burns out.
Dessert Trio of Birch Syrup Juniper Crème Brûlée, Chocolate Pâté, and Wild Rice Cinnamon Ice Cream
My choice for dessert: a Dessert Trio of
Birch Syrup Juniper Crème Brûlée, Chocolate Pâté, and Wild Rice Cinnamon Ice Cream

Jane’s Restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Friday during the school terms. Reservations are required. Check the website for availability. Menus vary over time and are posted on the website.

(Note that the Culinary Arts Program runs another restaurant on the site. Culinary Exchange, a public food court cafeteria-style restaurant, serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner items Monday through Friday. Reservations are note required.)

Jane’s Restaurant provides an interesting, elegant, and delicious dining experience.

Never miss a story. Sign up for Destinations Detours and Dreams free monthly e-newsletter and receive behind-the-scenes information and sneak peaks ahead.

PIN IT

A fine dining experience at Red River College culinary school restaurant in Winnipeg, Manitoba. #Winnipeg #Manitoba #Canada #restaurant #culinaryschool

Share this:
  •  
  • 5
  •  
  •  
  •  
  • Reply
    Anita Oliver
    September 17, 2014 at 9:40 am

    Janes Restaurant sounds like an elegant but fun place to dine as well as cheer for the students’ success. And Sundried Blueberry Stuffed Quail sounds totally awesome!

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      September 17, 2014 at 5:43 pm

      It was fun. And the quail was delicious.

  • Reply
    Lisa Chavis
    September 17, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    OMG, that dessert trio looks amazing!! What a treat to be served by students, too. This definitely sounds like something we’d love!

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      September 17, 2014 at 5:44 pm

      The whole experience makes for a fun evening. My personal favourite on the trio of desserts was the wild rice cinnamon ice cream.

  • Reply
    Anonymous
    September 17, 2014 at 2:50 pm

    I’ve been to Jane’s. It was a wonderful dining experience.

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      September 17, 2014 at 5:48 pm

      Glad to hear ours was an isolated incident. We’ll be back.

  • Reply
    Betsy Wuebker
    September 17, 2014 at 5:58 pm

    I wondered at your first photo if this was a former bank reincarnated. What a lovely, elegant setting. I would’ve chosen the dessert trio, too. The chocolate pate looks amazing! How fun to be able to soak up the instructor’s knowledge while the student was learning, too.

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      September 18, 2014 at 7:27 am

      It is an elegant setting. There was an opulence to the banks built in Winnipeg in the early 1900s.

  • Reply
    Doreen Pendgracs
    September 18, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Hi Donna: Yes, we’ve been to Jane’s and I would definitely like to return soon. It’s fun watching the students try and do their roles, and I was quite impressed with the culinary experience. I had the trout and it was excellent. I’m looking forward to the chocolate dinner on Saturday evening at McNally Robinson. See you then!

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      September 20, 2014 at 7:07 am

      I’m looking forward to Saturday’s dinner.

  • Reply
    Michelle
    September 19, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Everything about Jane’s restaurant is as elegant as I have personally ever seen! I love the dining area and the food is just exquisite.

    • Reply
      Donna Janke
      September 20, 2014 at 7:07 am

      Elegant is definitely a good word for the restaurant.

  • Reply
    A Cook Not Mad (Nat)
    September 21, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    What a beautiful space, culinary schools are a great way to eat good food at a fraction of the cost.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.