Ottawa may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking of great dining experiences but it is. The ByWard area is dotted with great dining establishment but there are also other wonderful places to enjoy a wonderful mean.
Courtyard Restaurant in ByWard has been in the hospitality business one way or another ever since it opened in 1827 in a log building but by 1837 much of the wooden structure was replaced by limestone. Today it is a fine dining establishment with an ambiance that recalls the earlier days of Ottawa. Try their Elk Sirloin with Parsnip Puree, roast Brussels Sprouts, Salt Baked Onion, Roast Carrots, Wheat Berry Compote served with Sour Cherry Sauce. For the finishing touch try Rhubarb Panna Cotta, Strawberry Shortbread, Strawberries with Chartreuse, Mint Gel, served with Strawberry and Black Pepper Sorbet. Wow!
The Fairmont Chateau Laurier is a fine dining establishment that is often referred to as “The Castle.” The Chateau Laurier opened on June of 1912. The opening was originally scheduled for April but the General Manager, Charles Hayes, was returning from Europe with some additional furnishings for the hotel on the ill-fated Titanic. His wife and daughter survived but he did not. Surprisingly, diners can find something uniquely Canadian – Poutine a favorite comfort food. Well, Poutine that the Fairmont stepped up a bit. Their Truffled Poutine is made with Fresh Cut Fries, Truffled Gravy, House-made Curds.
Le Café has an enviable location right on the Rideau Canal and is part of Canada’s National Arts Center. Needless to say each item is artfully prepared and presented. Try their Alberta Beef Filet with Hamish’s Black Truffle Potatoe Terrine with Shallot Jus, Foie Gras Butter or their Wild B.C. Salmon caught by Rick Burns and served with White and Black Barley Risotto, Le Coprin Mushroom Saute, and Chili Maple Glaze. Looking for a libation with a different flair? Try Crabbies Ginger Beer. http://nac-cna.ca/lecafe
Beaver Tails: It has been said that you haven’t really experienced Ottawa until you have had a Beaver Tail. ByWard Market, the open-air market with a variety of shops and dining establishments, also has a Beaver Tail outlet. Beaver Tails are similar to fried dough that is made incredible by adding one of their many varieties of toppings from M&Ms to crushed Oreos to sliced cinnamon apples.