A week in Ottawa
Boston Hound will be in Ottawa for about four days on business. Can anyone recommend a few places I shouldn't miss? I love Japanese, authentic Chinese, seafood and Italian. I'm looking for places that as a local you would take visitors to.
I'm not a local, but I've visited Ottawa several times, and I've brought first-time visitors to the places I'm recommending.
For Canadian fresh market cuisine: Domus.
For shawarma (the best in Ontario- maybe in Canada): Shawarma Palace.
Unique to Ottawa: the Scone Witch (if you like scones).
Another place that's unique to Ottawa, but I haven't had an opportunity to try (yet): Sweetgrass Bistro http://www.sweetgrassbistro.ca/
Seafood in Ottawa might be disappointing to a Boston Hound, since Ottawa is located so far from the ocean. That being said, I've enjoyed fish at Domus.
There are some great tips & comments from Ottawa Hounds in the earlier thread that you started ;-) http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/687772
Given that you're from Boston, I'd skip trying to find decent seafood in Ottawa. Whalebone Oyster house is a notable choice if you really want fish/seafood.
I haven't heard raves about any of the Japanese restaurants in Ottawa but Kiko just opened and I have heard several favorable reviews.
Most people enjoy their meals at
Sweetgrass, as mentioned above, gets good reviews.
I have been to Ottawa twice in the past month or so and that experience combined with past visits leads me to agree with many of the above recommendations especially:
The whalesbone - very small to so have a reso, owner Josh (?) is a good fellow;
Murray Street for cheese and charcuterie
Wellington Gastro Pub - outstanding - good hospitality, casual atmosphere but excellent food - definitely have Paul's (?) ...bad with names...tartare if it is on the menu and say hello to Shane;
Domus - good food.
I would also recommend:
Play - small plates and vino from the owner and chef at Beckta;
The Grand - basic Italian and thin crust pizza in a comfortable setting;
Navarra - close to Murray Street, Sweetgrass
I would give Whalesbone a miss. I've been there and the food is just average and not worth the 35$ a plate; other friends agree. They do have a good selection of oysters though. The restaurant itself is too small and crowded, too pretentious and has an undeserved reputation. You just can't get good seafood in Ottawa.