Lunch Live Fire at the Cordon Bleu – updated

At Chef Marty Mendelson’s urging (@mgm3 on twitter), I made a reservation to lunch at Ottawa’s Le Cordon Bleu campus. With its in-house Signatures restaurant being phased out and replaced by something with a more modern bistro feel, the culinary school’s chefs-to-be and hosts-to-be still needed to gather experience, serving real patrons. As such, Le Cordon Bleu arranged three-course lunches every Thursday this summer in a spare dining room on the Laurier Avenue campus, the Cointreau Dining Room. The cost: $24.95 ($32 with a wine pairing). Given how well Signatures fares in Food Network Producer... | Continue reading article


Quick Review: Canvas

My better half and I just had a spectacular dinner at Canvas to celebrate the end of summer. I swear, it seems that every time we visit this restaurant, the food keeps getting better, aspiring to match its tremendous friendly service. Mine, was a beet root soup starter with a fish of the day special: a lovely fillet of Ontario walleye, peppered, pan seared and served with a beurre blanc. It was accompanied by yellow peppers, shallots, and a halved and grilled Asian egg plant. The walleye, besides being wonderfully tender, went well with the... | Continue reading article

From the Archives: My first Moules Frites

Recently, I discovered that a friend of mine was planning the reception for his wedding and a certain French restaurant in Gatineau made it on his short list. The restaurant is called Le St-Estèphe and is located at 711 blvd. St-Joseph. Googling the restaurant, I thought it familiar, so I started fishing through foodiePrints’ image archive. Bingo! St-Estèphe’s Chef/Owner Stephane Paquet also operates a quaint little French bistro called L’Espresso, which is located down the street (549 blvd. St-Joseph). L’Espresso was where I first encountered moules frites. Moules frites is essentially moules marinières (mussels steamed... | Continue reading article

Ikea Swedish Meatballs

Apparently, there is but one Ikea in a one ore two city radius of Ottawa, so it is often packed to the gills with customers, eager for bargain home furnishings. Me, I’m not a fan of Ikea furniture, save for some of the tables. However, I am a fan of some of the inexpensive kitchen wear. I am also a fan of its little cafeteria and I am not alone. I’ve read tweets, blog entries, and even submissions to Yelp and the like about the virtues of the “complete Ikea experience”: a meandering trip on... | Continue reading article

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Brunch Club visits the Lieutenant’s Pump

A month ago, the brunch club, I belong to, hit the Lieutenant’s Pump on Elgin Street (361). We arrived at 11:00 am, but discovered the Pump a very popular place for Sunday brunchers. The lineup of eager patrons stretched out the door. Yet, everyone patiently waited for a table, refusing to head down the street to any of the other open restaurants. Our party of 8 was eventually seated an hour later in our own private alcove. Since the club meets monthly, we took the wait in stride. Many of us enjoyed the opportunity to... | Continue reading article

foodiePrint on the Wellington Oracle

Many thanks to Chris Lawson for his writeup on foodiePrints and me on the Wellington Oracle (@wellingtnoracle on Twitter). Here’s a screen capture for posterity: foodiePrint on Wellignton Oracle The Wellington Oracle is a hyperlocal news outlet for the neighborhood bounded by Island Park to the west, the O-Train tracks to the east, the Ottawa river to the north, and the Queensway to the south, otherwise known as West Wellington. Their coverage of happenings in West Wellington and the adjoining Hintonburg is very insightful and extremely timely. Moreover, it provides depth that city or national... | Continue reading article

Guest Post: Restaurants from Another Point of View

Several weeks ago, I posted a blog entry about why working in a professional kitchen, apprenticing to become a chef, may be somewhat less glamorous than what the general public perceives. However, a chef, a sous, line cooks, and dishwashers do not a restaurant make. They work in the “back of house” (BOH). There is also the “front of house” (FOH) staff, the often forgotten men and women patrons first meet when dining at a restaurant. To provide some insight from a restaurant’s public facing side, I am extremely pleased to introduce retired Chef (graduate... | Continue reading article

Hintonburg Supper Club: The Table Vegetarian Restaurant

July’s Supper Club was held at one of Ottawa’s older vegetarian restaurant staples, the Table. Even before locally renowned Chef Caroline Ishii found a permanent space for Zen Kitchen (634 Somerset Street W.), the Table (1230 Wellington St. W) and the Green Door (198 Main Street) restaurants developed quite the following for vegetarian fare. The Table remains a popular standby, almost always crowded at dinner time. Having lived in the Hintonburg/Wellington West area for five years now, it actually took Jenn and I three to find the opportunity to first eat in the restaurant that... | Continue reading article