food

Vet­eran eater­ies serve some of Ot­tawa’s best In­dian, French, and Cana­dian cui­sine

Where Ottawa - - CONTENTS - by anne des­brisay / pho­tog­ra­phy by pho­toluxs­tu­dio.com - chris­tian lalonde

Four long-stand­ing restau­rants serve up great In­dian, French, and Cana­dian cui­sine

Benny’s Bistro

That old ch­est­nut “a hid­den gem” was con­ceived for this lit­tle place. Found, if you know where to look, be­hind The French Baker on Mur­ray Street, the bistro opens early and closes mid-af­ter­noon. It’s win­dow­less and slightly scruffy-look­ing, with few up­dates over its 19 years, but Benny’s is none­the­less where long-serv­ing chef/owner and culi­nary teacher Scott Adams plates some of the most re­fined, de­li­cious, in­ter­est­ing French bistro fare in the city. Along­side

clas­sic dishes with in­trigu­ing twists, there’s al­ways a soup, a daily sand­wich, and a salad with op­tions to pair. Never over­look dessert. If you just can’t man­age it, get a box to go and fill it with lemon tarts, gâteaux opera, and mac­arons — and grab a baguette for din­ner. Ev­ery time I sit down at a Benny’s ta­ble, I find my­self re­mod­elling the weary room, paint­ing the walls with my mind-brush. And then I eat. And I wad­dle out think­ing, Now that was per­fect. Just per­fect. As is. 119 Mur­ray St., french­baker.ca/reser­va­tions

Les Fougères

Les Fougères is a truly grown-up res­tau­rant, as its near quar­ter­century of awards, lau­rels, and me­dia praise can at­test. Run for all those years by vi­sion­ary restau­ra­teurs, chefs, and cook­book au­thors Charles Part and Jen­nifer War­ren-Part, this Chelsea pil­lar en­joys the ben­e­fits of ma­tu­rity within a com­pletely re­mod­elled din­ing room. Still the screened-in porch, the same back­yard, with its ex­pan­sive kitchen gar­dens and Gatineau woods be­yond, still the bird feed­ers and gar­den swing, but now with big wrap-around win­dows through which to take it all in. The gourmet shop that sells kitchen treats and take-home food re­mains tucked onto the side, but the res­tau­rant proper now be­gins with the warmth of a pizza oven at its en­trance and swings around to re­veal a stun­ning bar, long and wind­ing. The goal of the re­model was to of­fer more op­tions for eat­ing at this ven­er­a­ble res­tau­rant: from the five-course tast­ing menu with wine pair­ings to a pizza en­joyed at the bar with a Québec mi­cro­brew. Any way you slice it, you’ll be in fine hands. What has not changed is the kitchen’s stead­fast fo­cus on in­ven­tion, beau­ti­ful plat­ing, show­cas­ing re­gional prod­ucts, and pro­vid­ing ex­cep­tional ser­vice. 783 Québec rte. 105, Chelsea, fougeres.com

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