If you have been reading my tweets, you know that there has been a momentous shift in my foundation: I have fallen in love.
Recently called “best breakfast I have ever had” by CBC Ottawa’s restaurant critic, Chez Edgar has carved out a safe and secure place in my heart. However, I met a new love yesterday and I must confess that I am floating on happiness. On Saturday, I met Chez Odile, a new restaurant opened by Marysol Foucault, owner of Chez Edgar, in Gatineau.
The attention to detail and whimsy of my first love, Chez Edgar, has been carried over to Edgar’s little sister: Chez Odile. From the sweet “let us seat you” sign swinging in the white-washed birdcage, to the antique shoe molds on the wall, from the lily-of-the-valley in the doll-sized washroom to the time-sheet menus, Chez Odile displays her feminine charm: seducing you with light, airy kisses and a wink so small you might miss it.
The Beau and I dropped by Chez Odile on her opening day. Although it had not been advertised, the restaurant was busy but not packed when we arrived at about 12:30 for brunch. We ran into friends and chatted up strangers; that’s the kind of place that Marysol creates.
It’s hard not to gush when you see what has been created at Chez Odile; I felt foolishly like the proud parent. Having seen the restaurant a short month ago, I know the amount of blood, sweat and, I am sure, more than a few tears, that has gone into the transformation. What was a run-down, cramped, uninspiring vegetarian restaurant at the corner of Montclair and Berri has become light, airy and inviting. Walking in reminded me of crisp white linens drying on a clothes-line. With a sunny patio on the side and a cute little flower bed out front, I think that Chez Odile will become a local favourite for those on that side of the river and well worth the short drive for those on this side (Bonus for me? It’s a block from my office!)
The food was, as it always has been at Chez Edgar, beautiful to look at and wonderful to eat. I ordered a poached egg breakfast with grilled fiddleheads. I love fiddleheads, but had never thought of them as breakfast food. (The Beau kept stealing them). And my eggs were served with salted herbs from the Lower St-Lawrence with sliced wild garlic. The simplicity of the ingredients married together in unique ways; the pops of colour, green fiddleheads, yellow egg yolks; the attention to detail on the plate; these are elements of Chez Odile and her brother’s charm. This is not a restaurant review; this is a love letter.
Chez Odile has just opened and I am sure the foodiePrints team will be back with more formal reviews, but, for today, know that this new spot is one that you would love. Although it does not yet serve dinner, a liquor licence has been applied for and I am looking forward to enjoying an after-work drink with a wonderful meal on Chez Odile’s patio.
Marysol: you built me a restaurant! You shouldn’t have.
47 rue Montclair (Montclair & Berri)
Hours: Wednesday to Sunday lunch/brunch (with dinner to come)