CULI­NARY OP­TIONS

OTTAWA À LA CARTE Don’t miss the chance to ex­plore the lo­cal din­ing scene dur­ing your next visit

Ottawa Business Journal - Meeting in the Capital - - What’s New In Ottawa In 2009? -

Si­mon and Ross Fraser, broth­ers who served in the kitchen at Do­mus Café, opened FRASER CAFÉ in the New Ed­in­burgh neigh­bour­hood in spring 2008, with just 27 seats and a com­mit­ment to lo­cal prod­ucts.

Stephen Mit­ton, known for his “pro­gres­sive Cana­dian bistro” style at So­cial Restau­rant + Lounge, pur­chased and gut­ted the lo­ca­tion of Bistro 115, where he ini­tially de­vel­oped his sig­na­ture dish of duck con­fit. The new place is called sim­ply MUR­RAY STREET. It opened June 16 with a char­cu­terie bar (be­yond their reg­u­lar menu) where you can choose from a se­lec­tion of sliced meats, ter­rines, pâtés, cheeses and other good­ies – much of which is made in-house. A great beer and wine list, ro­man­tic back pa­tio with grapevines and a knowl­edge­able staff round out the pic­ture.

Ottawa chef René Ro­driguez opened a new Basque-style restau­rant called NAVARRA on July 2 in the lo­ca­tion of the Black Cat Café on Mur­ray Street, where Ro­driguez used to be the chef (more re­cently, he worked at Luxe Bistro). Navarra is tiny but its dishes pack a punch.

Chef Derek Benitz, who opened Benitz Bistro in 2007 on Som­er­set Street down­town, opened a sec­ond restau­rant next door in Septem­ber, named B/SIDE WINE AND SMALL PLATES, with a 28-seat wine bar, pri­vate room and out­door pa­tio. www. ben­itzbistro.com

MOON­ROOM, a funky space fea­tur­ing a vinyl juke­box and great small plates, opened on Pre­ston Street on Novem­ber 9.

The hotly an­tic­i­pated ATE­LIER, by in­no­va­tive chef/owner Marc Lépine (for­merly of the Court­yard Restau­rant) opened Novem­ber 12 on Rochester Street near Lit­tle Italy, pre­sent­ing a multi-course tast­ing menu each evening us­ing only the fresh­est in­gre­di­ents pre­pared in ways you’ve never seen be­fore.

Get a sneak peek at what’s in store on the chef ’s blog on the web­site.

Other new ad­di­tions on Pre­ston Street (Lit­tle Italy) in­clude DIVINO WINE STU­DIO, sell­ing high­qual­ity wines and of­fer­ing foodand-wine pair­ing cour­ses mostly fea­tur­ing Ital­ian wines; BIG EASY’S SEAFOOD AND STEAK HOUSE serv­ing up some Cre­ole good­ness with great jazz and blues; and LAGO BAR & GRILL over­look­ing the Rideau Canal at the Dows Lake Pavil­ion.

THE BLACK CAT CAFÉ (for­merly in Navarra’s cur­rent lo­ca­tion) re­opened in a funky space on Pre­ston Street in De­cem­ber 2008. Hot chef Stephen Vardy, for­merly of Beckta, Par-fyum, and Whales­bone Oys­ter House, has re­turned to Ottawa to take the helm af­ter a one-year sab­bat­i­cal in New­found­land. The well-re­spected Beckta Din­ing and Wine will open a sec­ond lo­ca­tion called PLAY FOOD & WINE, fo­cus­ing on small plates and ca­sual din­ing, on Jan­uary 30, 2009 across the street from the U.S. Em­bassy.

Hot news! – By­Ward Mar­ket stal­wart Oregano’s has been sold! The own­ers of Em­pire Grill and Métropoli­tain Brasserie have pur­chased this his­toric prop­erty, lo­cated on a prime cor­ner lot in the Mar­ket neigh­bour­hood. De­tails are sketchy so far—the theme may be Ital­ian and it may be called THE GRAND, af­ter the Grand Trunk Rail­way. Look for some­thing spec­tac­u­lar in early to mid-2009.

The Westin Ottawa is also an­nounc­ing a new con­cept restau­rant for its newly ren­o­vated ground floor space that was for­merly filled by Hartwell’s Lounge.

The gen­eral man­ager says it will be a unique lo­ca­tion in Ottawa and will open in spring 2009. It’s part of an over­all re­newal project at the ho­tel, which has in­cluded re­plac­ing all fix­tures in all the rooms, adding meet­ing space and ren­o­vat­ing the front en­trance to the ho­tel and lobby.

Once the new restau­rant is open, the cur­rent restau­rant, Daly’s, will con­tinue to serve break­fast and lunch, but will not serve din­ner.

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