Restaurants

Relatively Wordless Wed…I mean Thursday: Atelier Home Delivery

Atelier Takeout Atelier Takeout

Honestly, I thought I had seen it all last week. Jenn and I sat down at the bar of our favourite diner, Mellos in the ByWard Market (290 Dalhousie Street). We ate a rather late dinner, chatting with the amiable kitchen and laughing about many things food. At the end of a surprisingly thin service for a Friday evening, Mellos’ dishwasher asked for a plate of poutine and ate it with sliced white bread. He made poutine sandwiches. Chef Mike Franks, who takes over the 70′s era diner at 2 pm, shook his head, but... | Continue reading article

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Titans Fall: ZenKitchen and Domus Close

Kyle Mortimer-Proulx's Brigade from Zen Kitchen Kyle Mortimer-Proulx's Brigade from Zen Kitchen

Traditional media takes sides. It largely has to to ensure brevity-is-wit pieces are published according to the aggressive timelines required by modern journalism. You gotta be first to break the story. You gotta get that quote. You gotta polarize your audience to ensure viewers tune in; customers buy issues; and readers click links. There are good guys. There are bad guys. Issues are black and white with few shades of gray. The words chosen tend to be inflammatory. Increasingly, content consumers are grazing, getting their news from a multiplicity of sources. Loyalty to one newspaper... | Continue reading article

Return to El Camino: Something’s Up…

El Camino El Camino

If you’ve heard me describe popular El Camino (380 Elgin Street) as Ottawa’s “answer” to Toronto’s Grand Electric, you may be wondering, “What on earth is that food nut mumbling about now?” Odds are I am tweeting with someone, visiting from the Big Smoke who asked for recommendations for where to eat. Odds are that someone is familiar with Toronto’s food scene. Odds are that someone also asked for unpretentious dining and value-oriented plates. Contemporary takes on classic Mexican street tacos usually fit the bill. Tacos, soft or hard shelled, are already universal crowd pleasers.... | Continue reading article

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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

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

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Noodle Noodles Rah Rah Rah: Noodlefest Aftermath

Barbecued Duck Ramen by Jonny Korecki Barbecued Duck Ramen by Jonny Korecki

What can I say about a noodlefest I bought tickets to attend ($10/person), but ended up working at as a volunteer hand for one of its vendors, Tarek Hassan of Gongfu Bao? Well, the venue’s kitchen at the Ottawa Convention Centre is enormous. A paragon of cleanliness, the gleam from well-cared-for stainless steal surfaces blinded me. The centre’s executive chef, Geoffrey Morden, was also very patient, working with Sip ‘N Slurp’s vendors to prep, heat, and assemble dishes for event-goers. His fryolater station was particularly popular. It saw hundreds of spring rolls and churros. Pots... | Continue reading article

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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 OttawaStart.com had a “b-list,” second-string blogs that made great resources, but were only borderline “essential.” For years,... | Continue reading article