City Bites In­sider

Ottawa Magazine - - WIN­TER 2018 - BY SARAH BROWN


Notable restau­rant and food hap­pen­ings

Too Beau­coup It’s too much! Two am­bi­tious chefs have trans­formed the for­mer Kaashi Food Cen­tre at the cor­ner of Som­er­set and Booth into Too

Beau­coup (802 Som­er­set St. W.). Slated to open in early No­vem­ber, it’s cool and ca­sual, a 30-seat spot that will al­low sea­soned chefs (and life­long friends) Emma Camp­bell (whose most re­cent gig was chef de cui­sine at Sup­ply and De­mand) and Caro­line Mur­phy (whose re­sumé in­cludes stints at top spots Edgar and Town) to de­sign their own restau­rant from the ground up. The duo took over the Chi­na­town spot this past sum­mer, gut­ting the in­te­rior, ex­pos­ing hid­den brick­work, and de­sign­ing a space Mur­phy de­scribes as “sim­ple and clean.” The look matches their menu, which high­lights ca­sual fine din­ing. “We’re go­ing to take all that we’ve learned so far in cook­ing and make the dishes that we want to make,” says Mur­phy. Too Beau­coup has a cof­fee-shop vibe in the morn­ings with pas­tries and Lit­tle Vic­to­ries cof­fee, mor­ph­ing into a lunchtime soup-and­sand­wich shop, then an in­ti­mate spot for af­ter-work snacks and drinks and, fi­nally, ca­sual fine din­ing in the evenings. Sweet Talk Disen­chanted by high rents and crime, Hein­rich

Stubbe shut down his shop this past sum­mer af­ter close to three decades on Dal­housie Street. Now the Ger­man choco­latier is back with a new store in Hin­ton­burg (1224 Welling­ton St. W.). The move has al­lowed Stubbe to de­sign Stubbe

Cho­co­lates from the ground up. Now ev­ery­thing is on one level — choco­late mak­ers in the kitchen at the back of the store, sep­a­rate coun­ters filled with truf­fles, spe­cialty cho­co­lates, and cakes. “I was sad to re­al­ize how many peo­ple I dis­ap­pointed when I de­cided to move,” says Stubbe. “But I’m also ex­cited to greet my old and new clien­tele here.” The store’s close af­fil­i­a­tion with Le Cor­don Bowled over Sen Kitchen, an off­shoot of Sen Asian Cui­sine, will be in good com­pany at the new Queen St. Fare, a food hall open­ing this fall in the Sun Life Fi­nan­cial Cen­tre

Bleu Ot­tawa Culi­nary Arts In­sti­tute

con­tin­ues, with stu­dents work­ing at the shop and learn­ing tech­niques from a mas­ter.

Carp Cool

Lo­cals know it al­ready, but out­siders are in­creas­ingly rec­og­niz­ing Carp as a food (and drink) hub, road-trip­ping to the Carp Farm­ers’ Mar­ket on Sat­ur­day morn­ings and stay­ing for lunchtime fare at Alice’s Vil­lage Cafe or some home­made ice cream at Carp Cus­tom Cream­ery. Now you can quaff a lo­cal craft beer too. Ridge Rock Brew­ing

Co. (421 Don­ald B. Munro Dr.) has opened at Carp’s main in­ter­sec­tion. Housed in an 1860s her­itage build­ing, the town’s new­est food-and-drink des­ti­na­tion should quickly make a name for it­self with its qual­ity beers — brew­mas­ter Jamie Maxwell worked at the much-lauded Har­poon Brew­ery in Ver­mont be­fore mov­ing back to Canada to open Cal­abo­gie Brew­ing Com­pany a few years back. Many of th­ese food-and-drink peo­ple will be at this year’s Carp Farm­ers’ Christ­mas

Mar­ket, which takes place Nov. 30 and Dec. 1. Keep an eye out for Tasha’s Ta­ble and Bisou Dates &

Cho­co­lates for deca­dent sweet treats. Caf­feine Fix Great cof­fee, great cause. Ot­tawa-based Birch

Bark Cof­fee Com­pany is the brain­child of Ojibwe en­tre­pre­neur Mark Mar­so­lais-Nah­we­gah­bow, who is us­ing cof­fee to bring fresh wa­ter to First Na­tions, Inuit, and Métis com­mu­ni­ties. The idea is sim­ple — for ev­ery 40 bags of cof­fee the com­pany sells, Birch Bark will pur­chase and in­stall a home wa­ter pu­ri­fier in an Indige­nous com­mu­nity fac­ing a boil-wa­ter ad­vi­sory. Launched ear­lier this year, the com­pany has al­ready been pro­filed by its sales plat­form, Shopify, as well as by me­dia in Ot­tawa and Toronto. With busi­ness in­ter­est ex­plod­ing, Mar­so­lais-Nah­we­gah­bow says he is look­ing into roast­ing on a much larger scale. The most pop­u­lar of Birch Bark’s five of­fer­ings is Sum­mer Sol­stice, with beans from the Coate­pec re­gion of Mex­ico. Lo­cal re­tail­ers in­clude Herb & Spice, Mas­sine’s Your In­de­pen­dent Gro­cer, and Seed to Sausage.


• Ex­cit­ing news from chef Joe Thot­tun­gal of Co­conut La­goon, who is launch­ing a down­town restau­rant at L’Es­planade Lau­rier. The 65-seat Thali (136 O’Con­nor), which is set to open in mid-No­vem­ber, will have an ever-chang­ing menu of chef-in­spired thalis fea­tur­ing sea­sonal and lo­cal pro­duce paired with craft beers and Cana­dian wines.

It’s all brunch, all the time in the Glebe, where two new restau­rants with a de­cid­edly break­fasty vibe have opened. El­don’s (in the old Bur­rito Shack lo­ca­tion at 775 Bank) is serv­ing up brunch for lunch Tues­day to Sun­day, while In­dul­gence, just down the street at 589 Bank (in the for­mer Makita space), caters to sweet lovers with brunches and desserts as main­stays. Noth­ing will ever take the place of the beloved

Mel­los Restau­rant, but we’ve got to move on some­time and we’ve been hear­ing good things about Bánh Mì Girl, which opened in the ven­er­a­ble Dal­housie Street spot late last sum­mer. Bánh mì and bao are the draws.

• Tough to keep track of the culi­nary twists and turns of chef Rene Ro­driguez. He cooked Mex­i­can at Navarra, Ital­ian at Orto Trat­to­ria and, at press time, had an­nounced plans to cook mod­ern French cui­sine at new digs on El­gin later this year. • It’s hol­i­day snack sea­son, and the guys be­hind

Beer Snacks In­ter­na­tional are de­but­ing their first peanut­less op­tion. Channa high­lights the crunchy chick­pea and will have an aro­matic spice pro­file that prom­ises to be salty, spicy, and savoury. Can’t wait.

• Sat­is­fy­ing the food­ies on your gift list is easy. Just pop by their favourite spots and pick up snacks or swag — ev­ery­one seems to be do­ing totes and Ts th­ese days. Hop­ing to see a Bread By Us cin­na­mon snail T-shirt in our stock­ing.

• The Ur­ban Ele­ment reprises its pop­u­lar “Deca­dent Hol­i­day Bak­ing” class with mul­ti­ple dates in No­vem­ber and De­cem­ber. Spumoni bars, cran­berry swirl short­bread, and mo­lasses spice lemon cook­ies are just three of the seven cook­ies on the menu. Sign up early. This one’s al­ways a sell­out.

• Big news for Big Daddy’s fans. The crab shack and oys­ter bar has been res­ur­rected on Cooper at the Cartier Place Suite Ho­tel.

• Sad news this sum­mer when chef Har­riet Clu­nie of Beech­wood Gas­tropub and chef Rich Wil­son of The Pomeroy House both an­nounced the clo­sure of their restau­rants. At press time, Wil­son had al­ready an­nounced a new gig at gezel­lig.

Hall Mon­i­tor Ot­tawa hits big-city sta­tus with the de­but of its first food hall. Lo­cated in the Sun Life Fi­nan­cial Cen­tre (170 Queen St.), Queen St. Fare is a combo food, drink, and live-mu­sic venue. On the menu? The big ideas of many high-pro­file chefs and food scen­esters. Key play­ers in­cludeMer­ca­dito, which will be sell­ing Mex­i­can street food un­der the guid­ance of Rene Ro­driguez and in part­ner­ship with Bur­rito Bor­ra­cho; SenKitchen (from the own­ers of Sen Asian Cui­sine at Lans­downe), which will have high-end dishes from across Asia; Q Bar, a part­ner­ship be­tween Jill Da­ge­nais (for­merly of The Moon­room) and the Bar Robo team, which will fo­cus on wines, craft beers, and cock­tails; and Capi­tol BurgerCounter, which will of­fer hand-formed burg­ers, made from fresh lo­cal beef, and hand-cut fries. Green Rebel (sal­ads), Bar Robo (cof­fee, pas­tries, and sand­wiches), and Fi­azza (pizza) will also op­er­ate spots. With the launch planned for the week of Dec. 10, the 8,500-square-foot hall has a 390-per­son in­door ca­pac­ity and will have a 30-seat pa­tio in the sum­mer.

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