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Ottawa restaurant recommendations

ceylont Mar 29, 2010 09:29 AM

Hi All
I'm looking for mid range to high end restaurant recommendations for lunch and dinner in Ottawa. The weather suppose to be nice this weekend so any places with nice patio would be great. We'll be staying at Raddison downtown but will have a car so ok to drive to places for real good food.

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    foodismyhobby RE: ceylont Mar 29, 2010 10:02 AM

    i posted the following in '08 on this board (try searching ottawa and there's some good info). i have been to beckta and benny's recently and they are still excellent. i can't say enough good things about beckta.

    here's the old post:

    my mum and i spent a weekend in ottawa in june to attend a japanese cooking course at the cordon bleu (which was only ok, i prefer calphalon here.) we LOVED our experience at beckta. the service was excellent and the food was delicious. we did the tasting menu and i would definitely reco it. we also had dinner at domus based on reco's from this board and the chef winning various awards. it was very nice, but beckta was a hard act to follow. we had brunch at benny's bistro and it was really, really good. http://www.bennysbistro.ca/ (i had the Triple cream brie stuffed french toast with a roasted rhubarb, strawberry & vanilla bean compote $14...my mom had the Savoury marscapone and chèvre cheesecake with organic baby greens,
    scallions, toasted almonds, strawberry and white balsamic vinaigrette $13
    )foodismyhobby Jul 30, 2008 09:41AM

    1. 2
      2denise RE: ceylont Mar 29, 2010 03:19 PM

      Murray Street Bistro in the Byward Market has a charming outdoor patio. They serve wonderful charcuterie platters that you can customize with pates, terrines and a range of cheeses. A regular menu is available as well. Next door, Sweetgrass Bistro offers a delicious variant on local cuisine unlike almost anywhere I've eaten. When the temp drops, you could try Stephen Beckta's other place called Play, also in the Market, that features small plates and a good range of wines by the glass. Wellington Gastropub is definitely worth traveling a bit west of downtown (10 min drive), plus there are several foodie stores nearby (Nicastro's, Ottawa Bagel Shop).

      108 Murray St, Ottawa, ON K1N5M6, CA

      226 Nepean St, Ottawa, ON K2P0B8, CA

      Ottawa Bagelshop
      1321 Wellington St, Ottawa, ON K1Y, CA

      Murray Street
      110 Murray St, Ottawa, ON K1N5M6, CA

      Byward Cafe
      55 Byward Market Sq, Ottawa, ON K1N9C3, CA

      1 Reply
      1. re: 2denise
        vorpal RE: 2denise Mar 30, 2010 01:56 AM

        Sweetgrass, IMO, is definitely the place to go: the best food I've had the pleasure of eating in Ottawa. Additionally, the service is professional, friendly, and informative. You really can't go wrong with it. I've convinced all my friends to go and their only regret is not having tried this place sooner.

        Wellington Gastropub is also phenomenal. I recently went to Allium, which was very good and surprisingly reasonably priced given the high quality of the food.

        A great resource for Ottawa restaurants is Ottawa Foodies over at http://www.ottawafoodies.com; they have loads of reviews, recommendations, and restaurant information.

        108 Murray St, Ottawa, ON K1N5M6, CA

      2. d
        Deborah RE: ceylont Mar 29, 2010 06:19 PM

        Please don't limit yourself to Ottawa. Within a 5 to 10 min. drive you could go to a great little bistro in Hull/Gatineau. Bistro St Jacques. This bistro serves wonderful (locally sourced) food with beautiful presentation and impeccable service. Best of all, the food and wine are very reasonably priced. They have a large patio...weather permitting!

        1. t
          TestKitchenChef RE: ceylont Mar 29, 2010 06:32 PM

          Would love to recommend Stella. Upscale Italian - fabulous food, service and ambiance. Right on the edge of the market so you can ditch your car. If you decide, enjoy and let me know. Test Kitchen Chef!

          4 Replies
          1. re: TestKitchenChef
            ceylont RE: TestKitchenChef Mar 30, 2010 12:19 PM

            Thanks guys. So far Cordon Bleu and Murray Street is on the cards. I'm looking for a brunch place by the canal for Sunday. Any suggestions please?


            Murray Street
            110 Murray St, Ottawa, ON K1N5M6, CA

            1. re: ceylont
              piccola RE: ceylont Mar 30, 2010 05:01 PM

              There isn't much right on the canal - just Canal Ritz and the Royal Oak, neither of which I'd recommend. But if you're fine with a short walk, go somewhere on Elgin. The Glebe, while equally close to the canal, doesn't have much in terms of a full-service brunch.

              Canal Ritz
              375 Queen Elizabeth Driveway, Ottawa, ON K1S5M5, CA

              Elgin Cafe
              100 Elgin St, Ottawa, ON K1P5K8, CA

              1. re: piccola
                Blueicus RE: piccola Mar 30, 2010 08:47 PM

                There is Le Cafe at the NAC, I can't testify as to the quality of their brunch, however. Personally I recommend Navarra over Murray Street... I just haven't been overly impressed with the times I've been there.

                Murray Street
                110 Murray St, Ottawa, ON K1N5M6, CA

                93 Murray St, Ottawa, ON K1N5M5, CA

              2. re: ceylont
                Deborah RE: ceylont Mar 31, 2010 12:30 PM

                ceylont: Cordon Bleu great choice!

            2. shelleypascual RE: ceylont Mar 30, 2010 02:55 PM

              I haven't been, but EnRoute Magazine deems Murray Street and Atelier as two of the ten best new restaurants in Canada for 2009.


              Murray Street
              110 Murray St, Ottawa, ON K1N5M6, CA

              1. Splendid Wine Snob RE: ceylont Mar 30, 2010 06:35 PM

                I am a huge fan of the Wellington Gastropub. I've never read a bad review here, the food is delicious, and its got a very relaxed vibe.

                The food at Play was disappointing. However, its got the best damn wine list I have seen in Ontario for a very long time. Totally, unequivocally, a wine lover's kind of list. The markups are extremely reasonable. If I lived in Ottawa, it would be hard not to stop in everyday for a couple of glasses.

                Murray Street was good for lunch. Great duck sandwich. Fish and chips were ok too. Fish was cooked perfectly, although the batter was a little heavy for my liking. Reasonable price-surprising that it wasn't more busy when I went-it should be!

                La Bottega in the market also has a small restaurant/take away counter in the back where you can get some great paninis or other old school Italian treats like veal parm. Cooked by lovely Italian ladies.

                Finally made my way out to Chez Lucien and had a burger and some beer. What a wonderful space! Loved it. They won't take a colour on the burger, but it wasn't horribly dry or overcooked either-a solid medium, and damn tasty too.

                Whalesbone has great fresh oysters, but I thought the food was pretty poor. Too many things going on in the plates-especially the ceviche, which had dill, black olives, and vanilla bean-ick. The lobster salad had way too much pickled juices at the bottom of the dish to be appealing. Stick to the oysters.

                Didn't get a chance to make it to Sweetgrass, Domus or Atelier yet. Next time. Sweetgrass is highest on my priority list.


                108 Murray St, Ottawa, ON K1N5M6, CA

                85 Murray St, Ottawa, ON K1N5M5, CA

                430 Bank St, Ottawa, ON K2P1Y8, CA

                Murray Street
                110 Murray St, Ottawa, ON K1N5M6, CA

                Chez Lucien
                137 Murray St, Ottawa, ON K1N5M7, CA

                1 Reply
                1. re: Splendid Wine Snob
                  JDeQ RE: Splendid Wine Snob Mar 31, 2010 07:58 PM

                  We've had a number of brilliant meals at Eighteen in the Byward amrket.

                  Byward Cafe
                  55 Byward Market Sq, Ottawa, ON K1N9C3, CA

                2. c
                  chowyp RE: ceylont Apr 6, 2010 07:57 PM

                  Had a great meal at Murray St Restaurant, would highly recommend and certainly go back again. The charcuterie was excellent and the server had great recommendations. Dessert was also excellent, a fancy play on smores that was absolutely lovely.

                  Also would toss out another idea: the mushroom pizza at The Grand. I don't think the Grand would normally be worth recommending, but the mushroom pizza is really unique. They use a mushroom puree for a sauce and drizzle with truffle oil. I always go back just for the pizza.

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