‘Ottawa’ Ottawa Restaurants: The Next Hotspots
Ottawa is primed to see a rush of new restaurants open this spring and beyond.
Owners and chefs dish on what to expect at seven of the eagerly anticipated establishments.
Address: 62 Sparks St.
Opening date: Mid-June 2016
Chefs/owners: Matthew Carmichael and Jordan Holley, who cook at Carmichael’s Elgin Street restaurants El Camino and Datsun.
Decor/vibe: Vintage, art deco decor with a room-length brass bar and high ceilings. “We really left the space true to itself and refurbished it and added to it,” Holley says.
Type of cuisine: Classic dishes with modern twists, tweaked ingredients and techniques.
Price range: appetizers from $10 to $18, mains from $27 to $35.
Sample dishes: Fresh pasta, house-made charcuterie.
Address: 692 Somerset St. W.
Opening date: May 2
Chef: Michael Frank, formerly of Mellos restaurant.
Decor/vibe: “Bar Robo is a subversion of the notion that Ottawa is a boring, predictable, pre-programmed, robotic city,” says Frank. “Bar Robo is open, inclusive, fun and quirky.”
Type of cuisine: Fresh, unique café fare, elevated concession food.
Price range: $5 to $10
Sample dishes: Locally roasted coffee, mushroom Reuben sandwich, duck nachos.
Address: 1087 Wellington St. W.
Opening date: Late spring 2016
Chef/owner: Jon Svazas of Fauna in Centretown.
Decor/vibe: A mix of modern and mid-century with a large central bar, lots of brass fixtures, a brass column and one wall covered in burnt cedar.
Type of cuisine: Spanish/Mediterranean wood-fire cooking.
Price range: bar snacks, tapas and small plates $4 to $18, family-style large sharing plates $40 to $75.
Sample dishes: Iberian ham, chorizo-stuffed squid, fire-roasted chicken, rib-eye, whole fish.
Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market Hotel
Address: 325 Dalhousie St.
Opening date: Summer 2016
Chef: Stephen La Salle, formerly of the Albion Rooms in the Novotel Ottawa.
Decor/vibe: “The street level restaurant reflects a sense of place that will showcase Canadian design, materials and motif. The rooftop lounge is a sophisticated space that will feature signature serves, unparalleled vistas and an outdoor cabana-style patio,” La Salle says. The names of the restaurant and bar are not being announced yet, he says.
Type of cuisine: “New Canadian with a sense of place.”
Price range: $10 to $40
Sample dishes: Stone hearth oven-baked pastries and breads, prix-fixe lunch menus, whole roasted chicken and family-style sharing options. Canadian seafood, locally sourced produce and well-raised meats.
Ola Cocina (West)
Address: 1079 Wellington St. W.
Opening date: Mid-May
Owners: Donna Chevrier, owner of Ola Cocina in Vanier, and veteran restaurateur Ion Aimers.
Decor/vibe: “Casual, colourful and festive. Hola!” the owners say.
Type of cuisine: Authentic, fresh Mexican
Price range: $4 to $16
Sample dishes: Tacos (15 types), queso fundido, plato campesino, churros ice cream sandwich, flan cajeta de queso.
Address: Inside Atelier at 540 Rochester St.
Opening date: “Probably some time in 2016,” its owner says.
Chef/owner: Marc Lepine of Atelier.
Decor/vibe: “Shiny, secluded, palatial. … It will be very different, and a lot of fun,” Lepine says.
Type of cuisine: “Anti-bistro,” says Lepine.
Price range: $150
Sample dishes: Sorbet skull in an aloe ice house-black volcanic salt glass, forest survival box.
Address: 224 Beechwood Ave.
Opening date: August 2016
Chef/owner: Warren Sutherland, formerly of Smoque Shack, Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro.
Decor/vibe: Three distinct areas: the café, bar and main dining room. The café will be reminiscent of a sidewalk café, the bar will bring a pub atmosphere while the dining room will take patrons into a casual bistro. The restaurant features wood, metal and stone, and a combination of soft and cool colours. Look for custom-built butcher-block tabletops, copper accents, the unique use of stone and an open kitchen.
Type of cuisine: Contemporary North American, yet rooted in tradition, with Caribbean, European and Asian influences.
Price range: $5 to $22
Sample dishes: Jamaican curry chicken roti “tacos” with cabbage and dhal puri, beef tartare with bone marrow and kettle chips, charbroiled strip loin with green beans, pea pod mayo, Sutherland steak sauce, King mushrooms with quinoa furikake, cucumber and seaweed.