This fifth instalment of the Guide takes us to the restaurants on the edges of the city of Ottawa, those found beyond the Greenbelt, in the communities of Stittsville, Kanata, Barrhaven and Orleans. And then we go further still, into the tastiest bits of the Ottawa Valley, to Kemptville and Carleton Place and an old pub in Carp with Korean fare. There are many I’ve missed, no doubt. You could tell me about them here [email protected]
Kanata and Stittsville
591 March Rd., 613-599-0090 www.bombay-masala.com $
Kanata dot-comers descend on the noon buffet. At dinner, the room is more peaceful and the a la carte menu holds more appeal. Tandoor dishes are a cut above.
499 Terry Fox Dr., 613-592-0225 www.fratelli.ca $$$
This was number two in the now-five strong Fratelli empire. Past strengths here have included the house Caesar dressed in robust style, the carpaccio, and the rack of lamb. Award winning wine list is extensive, as is the built-in storage system that is part practical, part art.
Perspectives at Brookstreet Hotel
525 Legget Dr., 613-271-1800 www.brookstreet.ca $$$$
Dining room of swanky Kanata hotel takes us on a culinary ride with an ambitious menu of multi faceted dishes. Lamb with lobster-stuffed brioche, scallops with chorizo, pineapple and coriander.
6081 Hazeldean Rd., 613-836-7100 www.pocopazzo.com $$
Crayola coloured and cute, in a new strip mall in Stittsville, Poco Pazzo (a little crazy) devotes most of its menu to pasta dishes. Prices are in an affordable range, which keeps the funky little place filled.
Barrhaven Vietnamese Restaurant
16-3777 Strandherd Dr., 613-825-4567 $
All the pho, mi, bun, banh hoi, xao and lau (noodle soups, vermicelli dishes, wrap and roll platters, stir fries, fondues) we’ve come to expect in a Vietnamese restaurant, but there are other distractions on the long menu too – snails with curry, lemongrass and peanut, salt and pepper beef rib, deep fried squash with honey and ice cream.
3750 Strandherd Dr., 613-843-5263 www.fiamma.ca $$$
A welcome alternative to the chain eateries of Barrhaven, Fiamma’s scores big points on atmosphere, and with its big, inventive salads, yummy bread, pizzas and wines by the glass.
La Porto a Casa
3500 Fallowfield Rd., 613-843-0825 $$
A cheery mom and pop restaurant in Barrhaven that offers sturdy, home-cooked food (pasta, pizza, veal, tiramisu) at prices that keep the place packed.
Pho Thi Fusion
4-129 Riocan Ave., 613-825-3325 $
Cuisine: Asian eclectic
A newish restaurant next to a newish megaplex, Pho Thi Fusion forays into upscale looks and prettily arranged Pan Asian offerings, with a menu of popular Vietnamese, Chinese, and Thai dishes, plus a page of sushi.
2564 St Joseph Blvd., 613-824-5049 $$
Can only vouch for the club sandwiches and their ample breakfasts, but understand they also serve weekend dinners and end of week tapas, in a suburban-country-diner looking space brightened with sunflower art.
Little Turkish Village
2095 St Joseph Blvd., Orleans, 613-824-5557 $
Long-established, busy, community minded restaurant serving generous portions of rib-sticking Turkish food — shish kebabs, seafood, lamb.
Rangoli Indian Cuisine and Sweets
2491 St. Joseph Blvd., 613-834-4549 www.rangoli.ca $
Tables are packed into this colourful space, and most of them are filled. Rangoli is busy because the food is good – homemade chutneys, wonderful breads and a long list of Indian sweets are added pleasures.
900 Watters Rd., 613-824-0406 www.worksburger.com $
The fifth (and counting?) location of The Works chain of ‘burger bistros’ open in 2008 with the same menu of poutine and onion rings, sandwiches and wacky-named burgers – 8 kinds, 66 toppings, and a dozen ‘upgrades’. Lots to read!
Out of Town
151 Bridge Street, Carleton Place, 613-253-7400 www.ballygiblins.ca $$
An odd blend of pub (deep fried pickles, nachos) and fine dining (wild salmon, heirloom tomatoes, local pork) with a side bar of sandwiches, burgers, mussels and ribs. Homemade desserts.
90 Burnstown Rd., White Lake, 613-623-3472 www.castlegarth.ca $$$
Lanterns flicker in the old windows at this heritage building, once the village post office, now a seriously good rural restaurant. Raw materials are mostly home-grown/reared or sourced locally, and they elevate the Canadian dishes that fill a one-page daily menu.
7 Mill St., Almonte, 613-256-2524 $$$ www.fitzgeraldsrestaurant.ca
Upscale dining provided by two talented young chefs in Almonte’s restored woollen mill – duck confit, scallops, cornmeal-crusted chicken, potato rosti.
Good Food Company
31 Bridge St., Carleton Place, 613-257-7284 $$
A cheery space of mismatched chairs, batik-covered tables, a takeout counter and excellent home-cooked comfort food. The short menu leans in all kinds of directions, from Thai curries to shrimp with olives, basil and feta, to lemon trifle with local berries.
1160 Beaverwood Rd., Manotick, 613-692-6100 $$$
A corner unit in the Manotick Mews, but more impressive once you’re through the front door, Paesano offers a traditional Italian menu bolstered with daily specials – roasted halibut in a nicoise sauce, linguine bistecca, admirable crème brulée.
Sam Jakes Inn
118 Main Street East, Merrickville, 613-269-3711 www.samjakesinn.com $$$
Chef Thomas Riding is a Scot trained by a Swiss and his experience includes hunting lodges in the northern Highlands, but he’s committed to a Valley-first philosophy. Autumn menu includes squash soup, house cured gravlax, local lamb, roast duck with fennel.
The Branch Restaurant
15 Clothier St. E., Kemptville, 613-258-3737
There is a casual, energetic vibe in this old room. Locals gather at the bar. Artists gather on the walls. Musicians jam. The feel may be informal, but the food is accomplished – fresh, unfussy, made-from-scratch seasonal fare by Chef Bruce Enloe.
The Swan at Carp
108 Falldown Lane, Carp, 613-839-7926 $$
While the interior remains much as it was – Presbyterian parsonage meets pub – the food does not. You can still get a steak and mushroom pie or a bucket of wings, but turn the page to miso-marinated chicken, Korean pork bulgogi, and escargots with wild mushrooms in a beurre blanc. Don’t miss dessert.