Ottawa Fine Dining
As a result of kitchen reno, my husband and I have been eating out every night. Last night we went to Beckta. It remains one of the finest tables in town. We are off to Le Tartuffe tomorrow night. At this rate, my husband can take as long as he likes to finish up the kitchen! :)
We celebrated my wife's birthday last night at Perspectives. It was our first time there.
The menu is somewhat challenging, but the waiter (Kyle) was helpful and knowledgeable. Some of the stuff we didn't order included the "veal bone faux pas" - veal marrow and foie gras in a potato carved to look like a bone, and the "contradiction of two fats" - scallops in coconut milk and more foie gras.
There was a sushi section and a couple of soups, also sort-of fusion-ish.
What did we have?
The amuse was a bite of mango and onion wrapped in smoked duck; lovely, tiny, interesting contrasts - we knew this would be memorable.
The bread was excellent little rolls; served with a fine light olive oil poured over salt and a japanese spice I don't recall, plus a couple of dried preserved beans.
The wine list is extensive, good on local and international. A whole page of half-bottles was great to fine, and we had a half-bottle of Angel's Gate Cabernet 2002.
My wife had the gunpowder tea smoked salmon appetizer, followed by the venison in potato crust with edmame and some kind of green pea "foam" or "rain"; I didn't write notes. I wish I had.
I had the cryovaced watermelon salad with goat cheese, olive dust, and proscuitto. The watermelon was marinated in triple sec and the olive dust was dried black olives. The presentation was as three big chunks, one a long skinny rectangular plate. The combination was a tongue-rush from salty to sweet.
For the main, I had duck breast, medium-rare, with potato-olive hash and duck confit. Again, a combination of salty and sweet and sours.
For dessert, we shared the "fruit alignment" - ginger gelato, I think, a shotglass of pomegrante seeds in jelly and a little chocolate wafer thing with hazelnuts. I had an excellent capucino; my wife had decaf, which was a disappointment.
Kyle was very good - he provided a replacement espresso, and comped the coffees. The bill was around $176 Canadian with taxes, before tip. I tipped high, because he was so good.
This is one of the few meals where I've ever wanted to go back and have exactly the same thing again, so I could understand it better. It would have been crass to photograph and write down every detail - but I wish I had!
It was Thursday; the restaurant was fairly quiet - a few business dinners, one guy on his own, some older people. We seemed to be one of the few couples. The owner, Terry Mathews, was having an apparent business dinner; he chatted a bit with the staff, then went to a corner table. Dress varied around "business casual". The staff are in all-black, pants and turtlenecks, I think. There was adequate but not excessive staff; service got a little slow around the coffee point, as it often does. We were in and out in just over two hours.
Verdict - memorable as expected, value for money, educational.
Would definitely second Par-fyum, however, I would also recommend Le Cordon Bleu Signatures on Laurier. You'll most likely need to set reservations but will definitely be a memorable experience. Many of the diplomats from the various embassies in Sandy Hill frequently dine here.
You have lots of choices. Perspectives Restauant in the Brookstreet Hotel in the far west-end of Ottawa (Kanata) 613-271-1800 www.brookstreet.ca
Juniper Kitchen & Wine Bar 613-728-0220 www.juniperdining.ca
Par-fyum 70 prom.du Portage Hull 819-770-1908 www.par-fyum.com If you liked Beckta than try this place. The chef from Beckta has relocated there.
The Urban Pear in the Glebe. 613-569-9305 www.theurbanpear.com
Hope this is helpful.