Local Shop Unveils New Le Creuset Steel and Supports Parkdale Food Centre (@KitchenaliaOtt)

Kitchenalia in Westboro Kitchenalia in Westboro

Every neighbourhood needs a kitchen store. The heavily gentrified Westboro, with its yoga pant-wearing, titanium stroller-pushing, latest-smartphone-wielding, and Starbuck’s coffee-guzzling residents, has Kitchenalia (274 Richmond Road). Don’t get me wrong, we visit Westboro regularly. Jenn and I see it as Kitchissippi’s answer to Centretown’s Glebe, only without the history. Jenn trains with the running club at Ottawa’s only MEC (355 Richmond Road). I frequent the newly renovated and re-opened “better-than-ever” The Piggy Market (400 Winston Avenue), an artisan butcher and delicatessen. Jenn and I adore and volunteer at Westfest, Westboro’s free and inclusive street festival... | Continue reading article

Return to Hooch Bourbon House: Great Eats from Gumbo to Greasy Bastard

Hooch Bourbon House Hooch Bourbon House

This June will mark a year since Chef Danny Mongeon worked 72-hours straight with local contractors and Heidi Helm of Urbanomic Interiors to complete renovations and open Hooch Bourbon House (180 Rideau Street). Mongeon and his then fiancé Shannon Hargadon pitched in to re-finish furniture, distressing tables and chairs. They painted. They put up dry wall. They worked on wall and ceiling accents, including the unique light fixtures. They scrambled to assemble knickknacks to fill shelves, adding character. Hooch is Ottawa’s second bourbon bar to open and the city’s third significant whiskey purveyor since Petit... | Continue reading article

Relatively Wordless Friday: Reminder to Drop by Gezellig Tomorrow for “swab-a-thon”

Grilled Hanger Steak with Mushroom, Frites, and Aioli from Play - $16 Grilled Hanger Steak with Mushroom, Frites, and Aioli from Play - $16

A number of irritable people say some rather unfortunate things about food bloggers who participate in the “meatless” Monday, “wine” Wednesday, and “throwback” Thursday weekly “recurrence” exercises. “Gimmicky nonsense,” I’ve heard these posts described. They contribute to entropy in the World Wide Web, “base quality content.” These same people are least charitable of “wordless” Wednesday posts that lack “context” or “description.” “If you haven’t the time to string words together, why bother?” they say. Me, I am guilty of “relatively” wordless Wednesday posts since there is oftentimes too many incongruous smaller bits content to share.... | Continue reading article

Open a Jar of Sunshine: Jalepeno Crab Apple Jelly and Chutney

High Blush Crab Apples High Blush Crab Apples

Want it your way? Everyday? No, I’m not about to espouse the virtues of large chain fast food burgers, especially in a city with a handful of decent options, both long standing fixtures (e.g. Chez Lucien on Murray Street) and up-and-coming indie operations (e.g. Burgers and Fries Forever on Bank (392)). In fact, I won’t be addressing burgers at all. Let us consider the weather. Of late, there seems to be neither rhyme nor reason for the continued chill. Though, meteorologists probably have a completely plausible explanation: the polar vortex is real; global warming has... | Continue reading article


Casual Fridays at the National Arts Centre: Giveaway #2 #NACOFridays

Rosemary and Monforte Cheese Polenta with Shaved Smoked Lamb Sirloin Rosemary and Monforte Cheese Polenta with Shaved Smoked Lamb Sirloin

My Ottawa includes music. I’m rather taken with food and drink these days, but there was a time when I studied piano like many impressionable youths. I remember the technique: scales and arpeggios; chords; ear training; and exercises for improving “independence of fingering.” There was sight-reading. There was theory. There were lessons, concerts, exams, and competitions. While I developed some proficiency, I hated every second of it. But, I developed a healthy respect for those who choose music as their vocation. It is somewhat ironic I would marry someone who teaches piano. Both my wife... | Continue reading article


Bunch of Stuff: Ottawa Start’s “Essential,” Navarra in Eat On/Eat Out, and Cardamom and Cloves Opens

Navarra Restaurant Navarra Restaurant

Ottawa Start’s “Essential” Earlier this month, we discovered the source for community-oriented news and events in Ottawa released its annual round-up of “essential blogs.” And, we were on it. 9. foodiePrints There are so many great food blogs in Ottawa. I really like Don, Jenn and Claire’s blog because they are so excited about finding great food in Ottawa, at restaurants, grocery stores, markets, food trucks, or wherever else they happen to be. For years, founder Glen Gower’s had a “b-list,” second-string blogs that made great resources, but were only borderline “essential.” For years,... | Continue reading article

Noodles Noodles Rah Rah Rah: A Little Noodling and a Noodlefest

Bowl of Noodles Anyone? Bowl of Noodles Anyone?

Last November, founder Roy Abourgeili approached us to promote and attend Privé Food Thought‘s inaugural event, “Ottawa’s Underground Chef’s Market.” Suffice it to say, I was dubious. Originally, Abourgeili’s descriptions and the associated marketing brought back memories of “Taboo Eats” and its ill-fated “My Neighbourhood Bites” series of “amateur”-cooking competitions. Taboo Eats met its abrupt end at the beginning of 2013. That is, despite a handful of events being held during the fall of 2012. We participated in one of the Taboo Eats events, a pair of home cooks wanting to showcase one of our... | Continue reading article


Food, Wine and Generosity: Red and White for Harmony House, Pasta 101 for Parkdale Food Centre, and Giveaway

Donations to Parkdale Food Centre Donations to Parkdale Food Centre

Were I to write a book about the Ottawa food scene, I would dedicate a chapter to how the restaurants, caterers, and local producers embrace and support the community, oftentimes with astounding generosity. Last Wednesday, I sat at my workstation shocked at what resulted from a morning Twitter exchange with the chef/owner of Absinthe Cafe (1208 Wellington Street W.). But, more on Patrick Garland and the pasta class he will be holding this Sunday (January 19, 2014) later. The Red and White for Harmony House Women’s Shelter Firstly, there are approximately 30 tickets remaining for... | Continue reading article