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 fiancĂ© 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

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

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 PrivĂ© 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

Lunch at The Rex

Wild Boarchetta Sandwich Wild Boarchetta Sandwich

Goodbye January and hello February! The first month of the year has been a frosty one, but that’s what makes Canadian winters great. It’s also been quite some time since Don and I last dined out (having donated our January eat-out budget for the Pasta 101 fundraiser for Parkdale Food Centre), but that doesn’t mean I can’t go out for a relaxing lunch with friends. Besides, when good friends have lent you a helping hand on numerous occasions, the least you can do is take them out for a hot meal And, if you can... | 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