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Anniversary dinner in Ottawa - help!

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DH and I are going to be in Ottawa at the end of September, which coincides with our third anniversary. We'd like to treat ourselves to a night out - it'll be our first nice night out without our 10-month old.

It's been a while since I lived in Ottawa and when I did, it was on a student budget. So, I'm looking for some dinner suggestions. We want it to be a nice night out, but can't really afford to break the bank.

Criteria:
- $100-$150 for dinner for two (closer to $100 would be better...)
- Byward Market area or Elgin would be nice as we may meet up with friends later for a drink
- nothing particularly ethnic (i.e. no Asian, Indian)
- neither of us eat seafood
- something with a bit of a 'scene' would be fine with us, but the food's gotta be good
- decent wine selection, especially by the glass

Some places I've found online...Restaurant 18, Social, Empire Grill, Foundation, Luxe Bistro...any of them worth a visit?

I know Beckta is supposed to be fantastic, but it may fall just above what we ideally want to spend.

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  1. There is also Benitz Bistro on Somerset - very good. If you check out Ottawafoodies.com you should be able to search on any of the above restaurants and choose from there. Have a great time in Ottawa and a wonderful dinner.

    1. Sweetgrass and Domus in the Market. Black Cat Cafe used to be in the Market and are moving to Preston St - don't know if it has happened yet. Wellington Gastropub in Westboro would be great but it's a little out of your preferred area. Beckta is the best but would likely be above your range.

      Enjoy!

      1. You might want to try Murray Street Restaurant http://www.murraystreet.ca/ I went there for lunch with friends and the food was quite good, and it's mid-range in price.

        What's nice too is that you can have a choice of a 3 oz or 5 oz pour of wine. Whatever your choice I hope you have a wonderful anniversary

        1. if you are looking for location, Moji on Clarence (cute place, good service) is an option. Murray Street (charcuterie) and Navarra (new incarnation of Black Cat) just opened but I have heard very good things despite their "newness". If you want great food + great wine list, you have to go to Wellington Gastropub. Tiny detour from the market is TOTALLY worth it. Last time I went, it was for lunch. I had the double smoked bacon risotto with leeks and corn, and a crisp, grassy sauvignon blanc. DELICIOUS. And yes, I drink at lunch.

          1. We recently were in Ottawa visiting friends who live in the Market area. They took us to the Murray Street Restaurant and we had an awesome dinner. Mostly local sourced ingredients. Very nice patio. We loved it!