Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Restaurant Reviews: Hintonburg, ByWard Market, Manotick, Nepean and Aylmer

Photo by kiwanja courtesy of Flickr (Creative Commons)
Sidedoor, 18b York Street Byward Market

Perhaps it's the anticipation of patio season, or maybe the entire city just got an urge to eat out, but whatever the reason, the Ottawa blogosphere is filled with recent restaurant reviews.  Below is a round-up of what local bloggers are saying about various eateries in town.

New Food Establishments

The City Bites blog from Ottawa Magazine covers the recent opening of Richard’s Hintonburg Kitchen, by Chef Richard Nigro, one of the founding chefs of Juniper. The new take-out/home catering shop at 1202 Wellington St. West did not disappoint.  "I walked in to see the bearded chef looking intense but at home in his white apron and black T-shirt," writes City Bites. "I sampled a few things from the opening the menu, which was as eclectic and enticing as promised — and made decision-making difficult. On display in every dish is Nigro’s passion for cooking, his love of spice and new flavour combinations."

Update (March 27): Apartment 613 published a review today of Richard's Hintonburg Kitchen.

Reviews by Sybaritica

The foodie blog Sybaritica has been mentioned a few times on this site, but primarily for its recipes, some of which I have included on Recipe Sunday posts. Strictly speaking, this is not an Ottawa-based blog, nor is the founder C. John Thompson a professional Chef or restaurant owner.  Rather, he is a lawyer who loves food and lives in Iqaluit.  So why am I including someone who lives in Nunavut in a site dedicated to Ottawa blogs?  Well, because John writes a fair bit about local restaurant's, which he visits whenever he is in town.

Here are some of his recent posts: In a generally positive review of Must wine bar at 41 William Street in the Byward Market, John gave the establishment a solid rating of 4 out of 5 stars, and said that he would definitely visit again.  His review of Play Food and Wine at 1 York Street, also in the Byward Market, was even better, as he gave the restaurant a rating of 5 out of 5.

During a repeat visit to Ken's Japanese Restaurant at 217 Rideau Street, John tried an appetizer of Grilled Sanma, which he was not able to taste during his December visit to the restaurant.  Similar to his previous trip, his most recent review gave the Japanese eatery 4 out of 5 stars.

Finally, John wrote a review of Brothers, a beer bistro at 366 Dalhousie. His conclusion: "Even though the two dishes I ordered were less than well-executed, I enjoyed excellent service, some really good beers and a pleasant atmosphere.  I would be happy to give the menu another chance sometime and I rate the overall experience at a decent 4 out of 5."

Other Reviews

Capital Dining raves about two six {ate} at 268 Preston Street in Little Italy, calling the sausages exceptional,  the atmosphere warm and service caring.  The review, however, does offer this caveat: "A juvenile dessert (deep-fried PB&J) worries me a bit.  Here’s hoping the cutesy dishes (like this one, like the chicken wings, the shrimp pogos, the chicken poutine), yummy as they are, don’t take over what is otherwise an intelligent cuisine of flavourful, thoughtful, sophisticated dishes."

The blog Where the Locals Eat, formerly known as 365 days of Ottawa Food, has only good things to say about Gezellig at 337 Richmod Road.  Tea for Two Sisters, meanwhile, publishes a positive review of the Authentic Vietnamese Pho House in Nepean at 250 Greenbank Road, unit 2A.

If you are a parent of young children and looking for an afternoon outing near the Manotick area, Kids in the Capital recently published a post about Play Time Café. According to the review: "I’m glad to have Play Time Café so close by and I hope I’ve convinced you to go check it out.  It’s bright and cheerful and clean, with a friendly staff, and focused on healthy eating and community: a winning combination.  We will definitely be back."

Finally, for people who live in Aylmer, or those who are from Ottawa and want to drive across the river, Peter Hum of the Ottawa Citizen has a review on his blog of Le Bostaurus at 61 Rue Principale, Gatineau (Aylmer sector).

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