Dinner near Fairmont Château Laurier, Ottawa, ON
and lunch at the café in the large glass-domed space in the National Gallery is also very nice. Small but tasty menu, excellent service, and a view over the river that can't be beat.
For lunch or dinner on a warm summer evening, any of the restaurants that share the patio behind Social, which is on Sussex quite close to their hotel, would be very nice. There are 4 restaurants there, it's a pretty courtyard, and one can just check the menus and make a choice of which resto to eat at.
Not too far down Elgin street (directly south of the Laurier) is "The Manx". It is pub-style restaurant that does excellent brunch and dinner, fusion style. It is a very small space and tends to be packed with a semi-trendy crowd mix of drinkers and diners. I recommend the lamb curry wrap and the specials are always great for dinner. Their brunch I'd recommend more highly, the eggs benny are great and affordable. I can't see you spending more than 40 pp including a desert. As i said, it is more trendy and casual but in my mind better than most of the "higher scale" restaurants in Ottawa.
n.b. brunch is only served on weekends, although i think they have a good lunch menu as well!
Phelana, try out Sweetgrass Aboriginal bistro 108 murray street. They're open for lunch mon-fri, open for dinner mon-sat.
The prices for lunch should be able to meet your budget, and its definately not your ordinary restaurant.
Here's the website www.sweetgrassbistro.ca