Ottawa Magazine - - WELLINGTON WEST -

Fine din­ing made ca­sual or ca­sual made fine-din­ing? Ei­ther way you look at it, the Welling­ton Gas­tropub has been — and con­tin­ues to be — a pi­o­neer in Ot­tawa’s gas­tropub scene, pair­ing an im­pres­sive beer list with re­fined cui­sine. (It was also a pi­o­neer in the craft-beer in­dus­try — it’s the ini­tial home of Stock Pot Ales, a fine stove­top nanobrew­ery that grew into Stal­wart Brew­ing.) For over a decade, chef Chris Deraiche has in­no­vated around a chang­ing menu, al­ways with a sea­sonal fo­cus. Ex­pect lo­cal meat and pro­duce to get star treat­ment, whether it’s in a dish like beef tartare, a sum­mery risotto, or a juicy rib­eye.

For ex­am­ple, a roasted duck breast was as suc­cu­lent as could be, neatly sliced atop creamy po­lenta with juli­enned napa cab­bage and sweet roasted ap­ple in a pud­dle of veal jus. A veg­e­tar­ian main, a broc­coli-and-ched­dar risotto topped with toasted bread crumbs, leeks, and fresh pea shoots, was pure com­fort food.

Co-owner Shane Wal­dron runs a smooth and af­fa­ble front of house. The team also hap­pen to be mu­sic afi­ciona­dos, so you can count on a good sound­track dur­ing your visit.

Don’t miss ice cream put forth by pas­try chef Adri­ana Babineau. (Didn’t save room for dessert? Or­der a pint to go.)

Hav­ing helped to evolve the aver­age pub-goer’s palate, The Wellie has earned a spe­cial place in the ’hood — and in the city.

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