When you venture out to eat you have high hopes for your meal. The service needs to be flawless, the atmosphere comfortable, and the food divine. You have a set of restaurants that you frequent because you know you’ll have a good experience there. Yet, what about branching out a bit and trying some new restaurants? The food scene in Ottawa is flourishing right now thanks to restaurateurs like Steve Beckta of “Beckta’s”, “Play Food and Wine” and “Gezellig.” Plus Chef John Taylor at Domus Cafe also brought new food trends to Ottawa by using organic and locally sourced produce as much as possible. So with these great men inspiring the food scene, others have also come to the table with great new restaurant offerings. Here are some of the best new restaurants in Ottawa to try for your next meal out.
Black Cat Bistro (428 Preston Street.) This modern french bistro is open for dinner only Tuesday through Saturday from 5:30-10:00 pm. During the week they also feature a special appetizer and main course for only $25. Treat yourself to a starter of Foie Gras Torchon ($14) with brown butter, hazelnuts, red currant jelly and vanilla salt. Or how about the Baked Oysters ($14) with leaks, horseradish cream, mushrooms and parmesan. For your main course you can’t go wrong with Steak Frites ($37), Quebec Duck Breast ($32) or Steelhead Trout Almondine ($27). Sides can include the indulgent Duck Fat Potatoes or a healthier choice of Roasted Kale. Finish things off with a traditional cheese platter or selection of french macaroons. Overall your experience at this Bistro is cozy and glamorous, but also maintains a comfy neighborhood feel to the atmosphere.
Town (296 Elgin Street.) Town is defined as having modern italian food as its offering. They do have lunch hours from 11:00-2:00 pm Wednesday through Friday. Dinner hours are from 5:00-10:00 pm weeknights or 11:00 pm on Friday and Saturday. The ingredients they use are fresh and inventive, whether you are trying one of their small plates or their large plates. Temp yourself to begin with Oven Roasted Bone Marrow ($12) with rainbow carrots, mint, chilli, bread crumbs and capers. Warm marinated Olives ($6) are another quick nosh to warm up your appetite. For you main course the Tagliatelle and Duck Ragu ($16) is lush ribbons of their house made pasta with succulent duck. Finish up with the Buttermilk Panna Cotta ($9) their take on this traditional italian dessert is sweet way to end your meal.
Sidedoor (18b York Street.) This inventive new restaurant serves thai-influenced tacos. Upscale taco restaurants have really hit the restaurant scene hard, and you can try some of the best at Sidedoor which is open all week long for lunch and dinner. The menu is divided into two piece taco dishes, dim sum, veggies, meats, seafoods, and mains. So it’s not just tacos. Ancho Pulled Pork tacos ($9) are a standout on the taco side. For a main course you can’t go wrong with Roasted Arctic Char ($27) or Butter Poached Lobster ($29) with green curry and seasonal vegetables. Don’t leave without trying their Dark Chocolate Donuts ($7) or traditional Coconut Rice Pudding ($5).
All of these restaurants mentioned take reservations, but also welcome walk-in clientele as well.