Ottawa Magazine - - BYWARD MARKET -

Mys­tique? Mys­tery? Al­lure? What­ever it is, there’s some­thing about slip­ping down an al­ley and lit­er­ally go­ing through a side door.

It’s this sense of ad­ven­ture that Sidedoor has been cap­i­tal­iz­ing on since it opened in 2011. Renowned for its glob­ally in­spired small-plates menu, Sidedoor was one of Ot­tawa’s first up­scale Asian-fu­sion restau­rants. Ex­ec­u­tive chef Ben Lan­dre­ville con­tin­ues this fo­cus with ta­cos in­spired by flavours from Korea and Thai­land. Mains, too, are in­fused with Asian touches, with the ap­pear­ance of a miso sake glaze on cod, grilled chicken dressed in a spicy Thai sauce, and a strip loin en­livened with chili lime and served with rice in­stead of the usual po­tato.

Nuts, es­pe­cially cashews, are a fre­quent gar­nish, but they are also the key to Sidedoor’s leg­endary green pa­paya salad, which has din­ers lust­fully min­ing their plate for ev­ery drop of the minty, salty, fruity vinai­grette.

In Sidedoor’s hunger for in­ter­na­tional flavours, Lan­dre­ville doesn’t es­chew North Amer­i­can sta­ples ei­ther: rus­set po­tato fries — a work of crispy and hearty per­fec­tion — and mini hand­made dough­nuts make an ap­pear­ance.

Sidedoor is the restau­rant where you look at the menu and you want to eat all the food — and since they are mostly small plates, you can get your wish. Whether sit­ting on the pa­tio in their cob­ble­stone court­yard in warm weather, un­der the glass atrium with views of Ot­tawa’s his­toric build­ings, or at a ta­ble with a view of the kitchen, Sidedoor is a lively place to dine on ad­ven­tur­ous, well-ex­e­cuted food.

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