Social Serves Ottawa Food

Social Restaurant and Lounge Social Restaurant and Lounge

We in Ottawa routinely break the cardinal rule for polite conversation. Topics such as sex, religion and politics (especially politics), pop-up in almost any available forum, from the bus stop to the dining table. Lately, two subjects dominate, the weather and “in defense of our fair city.” Spring has sprung, but Mother Nature has deemed herself too inconvenienced to raise temperatures. “Ottawa is not boring!” Amateur filmmaker and Toronto-expat Amen Jafri produced, directed, and recently released a crowd-funded documentary that considers why celebrated Maclean’s columnist Allan Fotherham deemed Ottawa “The City that Fun Forgot,” “Coma... | Continue reading article

Do you Fondue? Absinthe Cafe Offers Three-Course Feast

Fondue Bourguignonne from Absinthe Cafe Fondue Bourguignonne from Absinthe Cafe

One of the mainstay characteristics of ethnic cultures is communal dining. Consider shared plates, be they for home cooked meals or elaborate multi-course wedding banquets. Ethiopian cuisine serves long-cooked flavourful dishes on platters lined with fluffy sheets of wonderfully sour injera bread. Chinese cuisine serves chicken, fish, and pork or beef dishes communally, diners furnished with small bowls of rice and chopsticks. Not a buffet, the table dynamics translate into every diner having equal access to the food served. It is a more personalized dining experience, everyone permitted to create their own. Conversely, the dynamics... | Continue reading article

300 Dumplings for the Parkdale Food Centre

Wonton Noodle Soup Wonton Noodle Soup

Consider three-hundred sandwiches. Now, consider three-hundred dumplings. Last month, I found myself on Facebook, tapping out a comment about the blog a New York City reporter put together to chronicle her making 300 sandwiches for her boyfriend. The then viral blog involves an engagement ring. Me, I was pointing out we live in a hyper-transparent world in which people broadcast the minutia of their lives. While critics lambasted Stephanie Smith and her programmer boyfriend “E” for the blog’s seemingly misogynistic premise, I wondered if she just chose the 300-sandwich-for-an-engagement-ring schtick to contextualize her exploration of... | Continue reading article

Search for Tartare: Take Your Hands Off My Meat

Beef Tartare and Salad for Brunch Beef Tartare and Salad for Brunch

In all honesty, this post was intended to be a flippant response to what turns out may be an unfounded controversy. Last Friday, a rightfully irritated Michael Blackie, Executive Chef of Next Restaurant in Stittsville (6400 Hazeldean Road), called out Jim Watson, our rather social media savvy mayor, on Twitter. Accordingly, the Ottawa Citizen contacted him to comment on Ottawa Public Health (OPH), asking local restaurants to remove tartare from their menus. The local newspaper then released a seemingly hastily written piece by a “business and technology” reporter named Vito Pilieci. An award-winning technology writer,... | Continue reading article

Toronto Takes Over Ottawa! Well, for one night at least…

Toronto Takeover Toronto Takeover

We at foodiePrints celebrate local food. We firmly believe the National Capital Region is well on its way to becoming a food destination. Needless to say we recommend local food events. The summer months tend to be rich with outdoor festivals in Ottawa and Gatineau. It may have something to do with compensating for the July and August lull when regulars go away on holiday. It may have something to do with Ottawans trying to get as much as they can out of the warm weather before the mercury starts to drop. Last week, our... | Continue reading article

El Camino – A Restaurant that is Good for Ottawa

"The Road" in Spanish "The Road" in Spanish

A longtime observer of Ottawa’s food scene, I celebrate how far things have come in such a remarkably short period of time. No longer do locals have to travel to Montreal or Toronto for a decent meal. Now, Canada’s capital, newly infatuated with street food, raw bars, and craft cocktails, aspires to be a food destination. Fearless chef entrepreneurs have established destination restaurants, some award-winning. Consider Town (smaller plates of finer Italian-inspired fare), Navarra (Latin-inspired fine fare), Wellington Gastropub (beer-inspired gastronomy and now nano-brewery), and Murray Street Kitchen (German-inspired farm-to-table fare). Diners have kept pace,... | Continue reading article

Levante Becomes Hooch, Ottawa’s Newest Bourbon Bar

Hooch Bourbon House Under Construction Hooch Bourbon House Under Construction

I dread restaurant openings, especially soft openings. There is usually palpable unease when patrons walk in. Hosts dawn a false bravado, their being first to interact with potential regulars. Tables, from deuces to four-tops, are set for the first time. The hardwood beneath the chairs is immaculate. The shiny bar is newly stocked with booze. Everything gleams. Extra staff, from bartenders to dishwashers, is on hand, bulking up the front and back of house. It’s showtime! Why? Despite the advent (and popularity) of social media, the reputation of a new restaurant is still largely a... | Continue reading article

Anatomy of a Successful Launch Party: “TAG” You’re “NEXT”

NEXT's Bites at TAG Events' Launch NEXT's Bites at TAG Events' Launch

Ever heard of Edmontonian Herbert Marshall McLuhan? The “Canadian philosopher of communication theory?” How about the CBC Heritage Minute with a mustachioed intellectual, gesturing excitedly and explaining concepts like “the medium is the message” and “global village” to the camera? Yes? No? Well, he passed away 33-years ago. Mcluhan’s prescient writings on advertising and media, however, live on. And, thanks to the Estate of Corinne & Marshall McLuhan, you can read them in 140-character portions on Twitter (@marshallmcluhan)! This past weekend, I discovered such, attending the third annual Social Capital Conference, my winning a ticket... | Continue reading article