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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

Sur-Lie

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

Citizen

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)

Now Open: Brazen Hall

Courtesy of Brazen Hall.

Courtesy of Brazen Hall.

Winnipeg’s craft brewing scene has exploded recently, with new breweries popping up all over the city. Brewpub Brazen Hall is the latest joy for homegrown hopheads. This well-designed Fort Garry spot styled with rustic wood, plush leather, and gleaming geometric fixtures opened to instant approval from pub lovers who now fill the space with lively chatter. A crisp blonde ale and peppery bière de garde are now on tap with more varieties brewing in the tanks on site. Superb suds are complemented by a fun menu of twists on pub favourites, like gussied-up burgers and wings, as well as filling pastas and brawny meat dishes.

  • 800 Pembina Hwy, 204‑453‑7980

Now Open: Two New Restaurants for Casual Cuisine

Photo by Mike Linton, Centric Productions

Photo by Mike Linton, Centric Productions

Popular board game cafe Across the Board outgrew its small space on Albert St and has moved into a bright location on the corner of Main St and Bannatyne Ave. The spacious new room, boasting high ceilings and picture windows, sees its game selection upped to more than 1000 offerings, and an expanded menu of snacks, appies, and entrées for hungry players to eat between turns. 211 Bannatyne Ave, 204‑691‑3422, acrosstheboardcafe.com

Tastes of the Mediterranean are the specialty at Agora Fine Foods. The spot, named after the ancient Greek market and gathering place, has plenty of reason to gather, from the shelves stocked with local and imported specialty foods to the sleek Indulge Bistro and Wine Bar that serves up Spanish, Greek, and Italian dishes in a smartly designed space. 1765 Kenaston Blvd, 204‑285‑4068, agorafinefoods.ca

Hot Dining: Now Open

Photo by Alexandra Johnson

Photo by Alexandra Johnson

The hotly anticipated Oh Doughnuts shop has opened its doors with 12-16 wild flavours that change daily. With flavours like torched lemon meringue, chai glaze, and vegan maple whiskey “bacon”, best to arrive early for a fully stocked case. 326 Broadway, 204‑615‑0802, ohdoughnuts.com

The team behind nationally recognized tapas spot Segovia has branched out into the brunch game. Breakfast and lunch locale Clementine Cafe is set to inject culinary adventure into morning routines, through items like fried chicken on toast with pimento cheese spread and bittersweet ribbons of squash (pictured). 123 Princess St, 204‑942‑9497, clementinewinnipeg.com

New downtown destination La Roca serves light, fresh Mexican fare in a sleek space. Stop by for a trio of tacos or an excellent margarita on the unique rooftop patio. 155 Smith St, 204‑615‑9605, laroca.ca

Hot Dining: Now Open

Peg Beer Co. photo by David Wakeman

Peg Beer Co. photo by David Wakeman

Peg Beer Co., the latest venture from Nicole Barry, former CEO of local Half Pints Brewing Company, has opened its doors in the Exchange District. A one-time warehouse turned skatepark is now home to this convivial brewpub, where craft beer is joined by family-style feasts. Chef Aron Epp’s menu takes inspiration from the earthy, farm staples of past generations with shareable spreads and ingredients pulled from Manitoba soil. 125 Pacific Ave, 204‑416‑2337.

Saperavi is the first Georgian restaurant to open on the prairies. The bright 2nd floor space serves Caucasus specialties like khinkali, a spiced meat filled dumpling, and shashlik, meat grilled on skewers. 709 Corydon Ave, 204‑416‑3996

10 Delicious Banff Restaurants

Photo: Courtesy of the Fairmont Banff Springs

Photo: Courtesy of the Fairmont Banff Springs

By Where Staff

New on Banff’s Dining Scene

The newest restaurant at the Fairmont Banff Springs is 1888 Chop House. The trendy chop house concept is juxtaposed with elements from the past such as railway artifacts and a name that evokes the hotel’s opening year. Before your meal, take a seat at the cocktail bar that overlooks the Castle in the Rockies’ lobby.

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