Around Ottawa: Recommendations
Lots of stuff on this board for what is current inside Ottawa, however I am interested if there is anything just outside of Ottawa that might be worth checking out, say within 20-30 kms. Out of the way country inns in the Gatineaus for example.
We are in Ottawa during the long weekend with a vehicle and are interested in exploring...Not looking to spend a fortune. Say $100 with wine before tax and tip. Prix Fixe gets special attention but not strictly necessary.
I don't know if it's still open, but if it is, check out Belair sur la rivière, in Wakefield. It's in a simple cottage, but the food was great last time I went (approx 2 years ago).
If you want a bit of a drive, there's a restaurant in Papineauville (QC) called "La Table De Pierre Delahaye" that was excellent the one time I've been there. I assume it's still there, you might want find a phone number and call to make sure before you make the drive. It's not inexpensive, so lunch, if it's open then, might be a better bet to meet your budget.
Papineauville is on the way towards Montebello on Route 148 (north side of Ottawa River).
Sunday Brunch at the Chateau Montebello is another option. It's been years since I've been there but it used to be good; no recent experience.
On the Ontario side of the river, I'd heard good things about the Hungry Planet in Perth (http://www.thehungryplanet.com/) though I've never been there yet (it's on my list!).
Merrickville is an interesting place to visit. There's lots of restaurants there, although I don't have a specific recommendation.
Closer to town there's L'Oree du Bois, Les Fougeres and the Wakefield Mill.
I think they had trouble with their septic or something. The whole thing is all dug up -- they're starting to do some landscaping but I don't think it will be done for a few months, even if then. Make sure you call ahead to find out the status. A part of its charm was the gardens, imho.
One of my favourite restaurants, Fitzgerald's, is located in Almonte (30 min west of Kanata). It is fine dining in a casual atmosphere. You feel comfortable wearing jeans or being dressed up. It is located in an old mill so it has thick stone walls, wood floors and high ceilings. It is an open concept room with an open kitchen and shares the same space as an antique store, gallery and import company. You can wander around between courses. The portions are perfect. We always have a starter, main and dessert and never feel stuffed (neither are we hungry). The kitchen uses many local ingredients. The taste is to die for but so is the presentation. My husband and I always order from the specials board because they always have something interesting that we feel we can't pass up. The staff are always friendly and usually extremely professional. Dinner for two (three courses) with wine is usually about $120-$140 (we don't order expensive wine though). Don't pass up dessert. We have tried almost everything on the menu and everything has been wonderful. My favourites are the profiteroles and the lemon pie (made with fresh lemon juice on a shortbread crust!). OK, now I'm craving another visit.
If you take a trip to Perth the Hungry Plantet is very good but I believe that they are only open for lunch. Most times you will have to wait about 10 min. before you can get a seat. It is small and very popular. Try their Chai Latte (chai tea with steamed milk and honey). For dinner in Perth we enjoy the Goodwood Oven for gourmet pizza or Maximillian's for German food.(Fiddlehead's in Code's Mill is supposed to be good also- I have yet to try it).
Mariposa Duck Farm http://www.mariposa-duck.on.ca (yes, the same one who's products you can find locally all over.
)For Sunday lunch only and you really do need to call for a reservation. Table d'hôte: 30 $/person + taxes
or à la carte. Choice between three entrées (always Foie Gras on the menu), three main courses (always duck or goose on the menu),
two desserts or a cheese plate. Home-baked bread, tea and coffee included.
They just got a new chef and I am not sure what he's like but I haven't been dissapointed going there yet. Tell Suzanne (who is usually the one who takes your order) that Jody the short red-head send you.
Oh, also on of their eariler chefs (Bruce T. Wood, who I think is now at Urban Element) is doing 2 cooking workshops coming up: http://www.mariposa-duck.on.ca/cookin...
Registration fee for each is: $ 50 per person and it includes:
cookies, coffee and juice to start the day, cooking demonstration and written recipes, delicious lunch served with a glass of wine and taxes.