Poached pear and walnut salad. (Photo by Amy Stetzl)
Poached pear and walnut salad. (Photo by Amy Stetzl)

Inside guests are met with modern architecture and furnishings, with upscale tables and chairs mixed with the odd wall painted into chalkboards. These pieces can easily be moved around to accommodate a party of any size, whether it be a traditional family gathering or a group of friends out for a change of pace. Despite how modern and upscale MiMi’s appears to be, it is actually suitable for any age range so it is extremely family friendly. Although the convenient location and atmosphere are reason enough to make a visit, the food really takes charge.Situated around the corner from the Queensway bus hub is the modern day take on the Italian classic. The bright mixtures of red and wood grain are an instant hostess into the welcoming atmosphere that is MiMi’s Italian Grill. Upon your first entrance there is your standard choice of inside or outside on the Bernard Avenue patio – but of course either option does not take away from the warmth

felt throughout.

Each menu is straight to the point with only one page to choose from, but it has what you expect and don’t expect from an Italian eatery. Making a decision may be hard at first, but it is only difficult because of how salivating each of the descriptions are – and not because there are pages upon pages of choices. There are only a handful of choices in each section: Salads, Soups, Appetizers, Pasta, Pizza, and other classic Italian entrées. The other nice aspect of a small menu is that you can also see all of the pricing for all of your options at first glance, so that you can decide whether you are in the mood to splurge while reading and deciding. Mimi’s also has its own offering of beverages – a number of which

are local.

This elegant restaurant offers both the best and the local for most choices of liquor, and sometimes the two options are one and the same. So that again you have a choice to either splurge or settle for something a little more reasonable. I opted for a hot tea – which of course they have a number of organically approved options: they even preheated the mug before bringing it to the table. As for the food, for this particular visit I went a tad all out.

For an appetizer we started with the Bruschetta which was absolutely what one would hope to expect from an Italian eatery: tomatoes, red peppers, goat cheese, toasted baguette, Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), and a sweet balsamic reduction. The only downside was that there were only four pieces…. So it did not last as long as I would have liked. For dinner I chose the Poached Pear and Walnut salad with house made vinaigrette and goat cheese with a cup of the tomato basil soup. The walnuts, poached pears, goat cheese, and vinaigrette mixed perfectly together; the best part is that even the larger version of the salad is less than $10! My partner in dining had the Pesto Chicken Farfalle which was equally delicious; the pesto was not overbearing and balanced out the sauce so that it was not overly rich. For dessert we decided on their current offering for the Tickled Pink Campaign, where a portion of the proceeds is donated to Breast Cancer Research as a part of the awareness month. Mimi’s pink option was a Strawberry Sorbet with Fresh Strawberries on the side, guaranteed to be gluten and lactose free. Ours also came with some Pear along the side but the real winner for this dessert was that it was the perfect way to end a meal while giving back at the same time.

There are many restaurants participating in the Tickle Pink Campaign which runs until October 16th of this year. With many different places to pick from this is one campaign that will give you an excuse to spend the extra $8 on dessert.

Participating restaurants and bakeries include:

•La Bussola l 1451 Ellis Street, Kelowna

•La Cucina Ristorante l 121-3640 Gosset Road, West Kelowna

•Organic Sunset Bistro l 4870 Chute Lake Road, Kelowna

•Ric’s Grill – Kelowna l 210 Lawrence Street, Kelowna

•Sandrine French Pastry l 102A - 1865 Dilworth Street, Kelowna

•Blind Angler l 5899 Beach Avenue, Peachland Kelowna

•Mimi’s Italian Grill l 366 Bernard Avenue Kelowna

•Bliss Bakery l 101-4200 Beach Avenue, Peachland

•Minstrel Café and Bar l 4638 Lakeshore Road, Kelowna

•The Rotten Grape l 231 Bernard Avenue, Kelowna

•The Train Station Pub l 1177 Ellis Street, Kelowna

•Old Vines Restaurant at Quail’s Gate l 3303 Boucherie Road, Kelowna

•19 Okanagan Grill + Bar l 3509 Carrington Road, Westbank

Whether you want to just jump away from the campus options, or you are sick of the takeout, Mimi’s Italian Grill is probably one of the best and most convenient options for you to choose from. It is great for any occasion, so feel free to make a reservation or just pop in with a handful of people.