The Swan at Carp
108 Falldown Lane, Carp. 613.839.7926 or www.theswanatcarp.ca.
Of course, there is also much to do and see if you venture outside of urban Ottawa – less than thirty minutes west is the delightful village of Carp. If you’re exploring the Ottawa Valley, shopping at the Saturday morning Carp Farmers’ Market, cycling through the countryside or touring the Diefenbunker Museum, The Swan at Carp is the perfect spot to refuel.
With a well-stocked bar that includes cask-conditioned real ale and friendly, knowledgeable service, the Swan also delivers a constantly-changing menu that takes pub fare to a new high. Signature dishes include tantalizing preparations of game meats, including venison and duck, says chef and co-owner Joe Thompson, who describes his culinary philosophy as a passionate and creative adaptation of classical French cooking. “People are constantly telling us that what we serve goes miles beyond what you’d expect from pub food,” he adds.
Also a force to be reckoned with in the kitchen is Joe’s wife Shun-Na Na, who, like her husband, is a graduate of Ottawa’s Cordon Bleu culinary school. Delicious influences from her native Korea add an exotic touch to the menu in dishes like spiced barbecued pork. Shun-Na’s skill as a pastry chef is evident in the desserts for which the restaurant is famous. The scrumptious crème brûlée changes flavours with the seasons; particularly popular is the multi-layered chocolate supreme, a sinfully spectacular confection.
The Swan at Carp’s gorgeous tree-shaded deck offers a secluded view of the farm fields below and it’s almost bug-free, says Shun-Na. “Our goal was to offer a relaxing and unpretentious spot,” says Joe, “so we are really pleased when people linger to enjoy the food, drink and country atmosphere of our little pub.”