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Three New & Notable Ottawa Restaurants

By Joseph Mathieu

It seems like every time you turn around a new restaurant pops up in Ottawa. We aren’t talking about franchises, but unique eateries with their own personality. The newest additions to the city’s food scene are beautiful, interesting, and far from a flash in the pan. Here is a roundup of new and notable restaurants that opened in 2017.

The Albion Rooms’ Heritage Room

33 Nicholas St., 613-760-4771, thealbionrooms.com

Open every day 11 a.m. to late

An often-overlooked gem is hidden in plain sight at the base of the Novotel on Nicholas Street. The lounge chairs and low tables visible from the hotel lobby are only the tip of the iceberg of The Albion Rooms, which includes a polished bar with standing tables, a glass-walled charcuterie station, and a dining room. The restaurant’s newest addition is hidden in the back, called the Heritage Room and themed like a British gastro-pub. Its rounded booths, cozy corners, and satellite kitchen serve up a breakfast buffet every morning, and dinners on Wednesday to Saturday. The harvest table can be the buffet display or sit a 10-person party. The restaurant’s three pillars remain craft cocktails, local beers, and a farm-to-table menu, all of which are well worth exploring.

Tried & True (and something new): Mushrooms on toast ($14) and elk tartare ($15) are nice additions by head chef Jesse Bell, but you really should try the charcuterie board (from $10)

Photo by André Rozon


110 Murray St., 613-562-7244, surlierestaurant.ca

Open 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 5 p.m to 11 p.m.

If you have an interest in locally-inspired modern French cuisine, this is the place for you. Opened last February, sommelier Neil Gowe’s Sur-Lie offers elegant fine dining without the pretension. If you want to eat like the pros, try their $80 five-course tasting menu — and don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations. The menu is seasonal, made with fresh produce and game from the ByWard Market and the surrounding region, and always aims to bring in the best quality ingredients. Each plate is a piece of art that you are welcome to remix with your fork.

Pretty much omg: Local rabbit and fowl tartine ($18) for lunch goes a long way, and dinner is a win with the squash bisque ($10) and Québec fois gras torchon ($20)

Photo by Rémi Thériault


207 Gilmour St., 613-422-6505, townlovesyou.com/citizen

Open Thursday to Monday, from 6 p.m. to late

First-timers will feel right at home in this casual wine and small plates nook. With dedicated staff, Citizen builds on the success of its big sister Town (296 Elgin St.) but is really a restaurant apart. Its wine list features bottles from around the world that pair well with menu items from all over the map — influences range from African to Spanish, and Italian to French. Something new (and meatless) by guest chef Mike Frank shows up on every Monday menu. Co-owner and chef Marc Doiron is comfortable creating new dishes for new wines, and the suggested dessert is a wonderful case in point. There are no beers on tap, but it’s hard to notice with such a generous selection of bottled beer from near and far. 

Love at first taste: Falafel and eggplant ($14) or the pork belly with mojito salad ($18), and definitely go for the concord grape tart ($12)

A Trio of Toronto’s Best Ice Cream and Gelato Shops


Toronto Best Ice Cream, Toronto Best Gelato

Toronto’s best ice cream and gelato shops feature a colourful array of flavours

There are many reasons why we all scream for ice cream, frozen yogurt and gelato. They offer cool relief on hot summer days, but it can also be a delicious stress reliever year-round. Whether it’s served in a waffle cone or cup, or on a stick, the effect is the same: pure, melt-in-your-mouth joy. Below, we’ve compiled a few of our favourite stopping spots for Toronto’s best ice cream, gelato and more.


Best Shops for Cookies in Toronto


Best Cookies Toronto

There are few more satisfying treats than a fresh-baked cookie from one of Toronto’s top bakeries (photo: Michelle Gow)

It’s a quintessential childhood memory: sitting quietly, savouring a fresh-baked cookie and a tall glass of cold milk. Perhaps you think you’ve outgrown many of the activities of your early years, but it’s hard to act entirely like an adult when a cookie craving strikes. Check out these top bakeries for some of the most inventive and flavourful cookies in Toronto.


Toronto’s Best Cupcake Shops


Toronto Best Cupcake Shops - Dlish

Dlish makes some of Toronto’s best cupcakes at two downtown locations

This city’s great cupcake boom may have run its course (as all food trends inevitably do), but while the buzz has died down, the baking continues apace. Now, wherever you find yourself, some of Toronto’s best cupcakes are never far away. Read on for our favourite spots for picking up creative versions of the classic single-serving treat.


Toronto’s Best Cake and Pie Shops


Toronto Best Cakes - Dufflet Chocolate Banana Cake

Chocolate Banana is one of the many flavours available from top Toronto cake shop Dufflet

There are few desserts that can match a good cake. Whether you’re celebrating, crying, coping or just plain craving, cake is a classic go-to treat. From weddings to weekend dinner parties and everything in between, there are so many reasons to indulge in a delicious piece of cake—or pie, if you prefer a bit more pastry with your slice of sweetness. These three businesses are among Toronto’s best cake and pie shops.


5 Fabulous Cupcake Shops in Montreal


Inniya's Cupcakes (Photo: Lauren Cracower)

Cupcakes are beyond the “trend” phase in most cities but are no less popular, having proven their staying power and become an institution on the culinary scene. Now it’s all about individual takes on the venerable sweet treat: inventive new combinations that transcend red velvet and chocolate buttercream frosting.

Here’s a mouthwatering look at our top five favourite cupcake boutiques in Montreal. (more…)

8 Decadent Montreal Desserts to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth

Gargamel cake at Fous Desserts

By Marcella DeVincenzo

Montreal’s pastry chefs have got flaky pastries, rich mousses and cream-filled confections from around the globe down to a science. Here are some of the city’s sweet favourites. (more…)

Hot Dining: Modern Doughnuts

Thick, warm, yeast doughnuts topped with housemade marshmallow or Valrhona chocolate or a maple glaze embedded with shards of crisp Valbella bacon. These are just three of the daily dozen doughnuts conjured up at Jelly Modern Doughnuts. Kicking doughnuts up to the next level, Jelly makes all their own fillings from a tart lemon to a sultry B-52 using as many local and organic ingredients as possible. 1414 – 8 St SW, 403-453-2053. –John Gilchrist


Hot Dining: Sweet Tooth

Tempting desserts at Il Mercato.

Justifiably noted for its Northern Italian house specialties like pasta and pizza, Il Mercato on Spring Garden Road and at Sunnyside Mall also serves up head-turning desserts. House specialties include Zuccotto (alternating layers of genoise, straticiatelle and chocolate mousse, covered in chocolate ganache), fresh-fruit cheesecake, fruit tarts and gelato.