Posts tagged Ottawa
Posts tagged Ottawa
Happy hour at Spin Kitchen
After having such a lovely dining experience at Spin for my birthday dinner this past January, I decided to kick back one day after work and try their happy hour fare.
Spin offers a limited happy hour menu that they call the 5 @ 5 (5 bar eats, 5 beer, 5 cocktails, 5 wines for $5 at 5 p.m.). I haven’t had a fruity martini in forever so I was immediately drawn to the mangotini (their name, not mine), and I was not disappointed! Made with vodka, mango puree and fresh squeezed lime juice, this was one satisfying drink.
I couldn’t miss out on trying some cheap eats either, so I ordered the beef short ribs, which was two huge chunks of beef smothered in a red wine sauce and served with a single onion ring for garnish. This item usually goes for $12 on the regular menu, so it is a steal of a deal! It was incredibly tender and delicious; my tongue was tingling from all the savoury flavours.
I will definitely return to Spin for their happy hour, but the key is to order wisely: comparing the items on the happy hour menu with their prices on the non-happy hour menu helps for making smart decisions!
My absolute favourite time of the year.
Dinner at Grounded Kitchen and Coffee House
I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying lunch at Grounded, but had not yet been there for dinner until one recent evening.
I met a friend for dinner and, as luck (and Mother Nature) would have it, the patio was open and we could dine al fresco! The dinner menu at Grounded is not huge but there is lots from which to choose. I settled on the soft tacos, which were under the small plates section of the menu. The tacos come with your choice of shrimp, pulled pork or vegetarian, and are served with mango chutney, house made chipotle bbq sauce, guacamole, pico de gallo and pickled jalapenos. I chose the shrimp, and they were good! Maybe not quite bursting with the exact kind of zingy flavour that I had hoped for, but everything was fresh and well put together, and the shrimp were nicely cooked.
Would I return? Absolutely. There are many other menu items that I would like to try!
I love these shots. They are so simple, but capture a moment that was a special part of our wedding day. These photos were taken by our wedding photographer, the lovely FindleyFOTO, and I happened to be watching her the moment she took these photos. I remember thinking to myself that this was such a cool shot and I couldn’t wait to see how it turned out, which it did beautifully. This is just one of hundreds of stunning photos that she took of our wedding day, and we were overjoyed with her professionalism and the results of her work.
Our Wedding Dinner
One month married! I can’t believe the husband and I were celebrating our wedding just one month ago today. It is incredibly surreal!
We were so lucky to be able to host our immediate families for dinner after our ceremony at the Courtyard Restaurant, a well-known restaurant in Ottawa famous for its fantastic food and rustic ambiance due to its location in a historic, very old building in the Byward Market. We enjoyed every moment in the private room with its gorgeous stone walls and exposed beams in the ceiling.
Even though we were a small group, we still opted for a pre-selected menu. However, the great thing was that we were able to offer our guests different selections for each course, except for the soup course. We all started off with the wild mushroom bisque with sourdough croutons and C’est Bon goat’s cheese, which was incredibly creamy, earthy and delicious!
For the appetizer course, our guests could choose from in-house made fish cakes served with celeriac remoulade with apple and grainy mustard, or the house salad with baby greens, carrots, raisins and a shallot-thyme vinaigrette. Both the husband and I chose the fish cakes, which were moist and flavourful, as was the celeriac salad.
For the main course, we wanted to give our guests a big range of choices. Our guests could choose from a rib-eye steak served with mashed potatoes, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and a caramelized onion sauce; a roasted chicken breast with red wine jus served with local root vegetables and mashed potatoes; pan-seared pork served with apple and raisin chutney, roasted fingerling potatoes and roasted local root vegetables; and pan-seared sustainable striped bass topped with a white whine veloute and served with sauteed potatoes, peas and shallots. I chose the bass, while my groom chose the rib-eye, and we were both absolutely delighted with our choices. Both of our meals were perfectly cooked and the service was incredible!
Last, but not least, for the dessert course, we were able to offer three sinfully delicious choices: a flourless chocolate cake with cherry crumble and cherry puree; maple sugar pie served with vanilla ice cream (a Canadian classic!); and sticky toffee pudding with toffee sauce and cinnamon custard. I chose the sticky toffee pudding, and I was so quick to eat it that I didn’t even get a photo to share! That is how delicious it was! The husband chose the flourless chocolate and loved it! My mom chose the maple sugar pie and adored raved about it.
Our wedding meal is definitely one we will never forget. For me in particular, it was everything my perfect meal would be, and everything I could ever dream that my wedding day meal would be!
Whenever I am craving the flavour of sweet curried coconut, I always find it best to indulge in the delightful lunch menu at Siam Bistro. The portion sizes aren’t too big, but still big enough that I can get two meals out of one lunch.
One of my favourite dishes is the kao sai, which is a soup with chicken or beef (I get beef) in light curry and coconut milk broth served with steamed egg noodles. It is such a perfect combination of sweet, savoury, spicy and rich. The beef and the noodles are extremely tender, and each bite is smooth and fulfilling.
Siam Bistro is definitely one of my favourite Thai restaurants in Ottawa - it is always high quality food, great service and lovely ambiance!
Lunch at Bistro Fifty Four
While taking a little bit of time off for the period pre- and post-wedding, the husband and I had a little bit of extra time to dine at a restaurant we had been wanting to try.
We first experienced Bistro Fifty Four at the Kanata Food and Wine Show in November 2012.(see here), and enjoyed the beef bourguignon that we tasted.
The restaurant is actually a part of a golf course, which I did not realize. It was quiet in the restaurant the day we dined (the golf course was not yet open) except for a few other patrons who were mostly retirees, likely due to the fact that it was a week day lunch, and there aren’t any office buildings or businesses nearby.
We were promptly greeted, seated and served, and the food came out pretty quickly too. I ordered the monte cristo sandwich and got the soup of the day, a chipotle roasted corn chowder, as my side. Both were delicious - the sandwich was so moist and fresh, and the soup had a great kick of spice but with lots of good roasted flavour. Both of our dishes were served with a pickle and their in-house made coleslaw, which was very different and tasty as it was made with balsamic vinegar, which gave it a wonderful caramel-type colour.
The husband went for his usual, a club sandwich, but for his side, he upgraded to poutine. But this wasn’t just any ordinary poutine - he got what the menu described as “Newfie poutine,” which was your basic poutine topped with stuffing! As a self-dubbed club sandwich connosseur, he liked both the sandwich and his side very much!
We would definitely return to Bistro Fifty Four; the food and service were great, and we’d like to try more of the menu.
A couple new items for my #snack drawer at work, purchased today at #HerbandSpice. I’m already addicted to the #almonds. Sigh.
Finally a real sign of #spring in my neighbourhood!
The perfect snack: a hazelnut biscotti from Aux Delices Bakery in #Ottawa.
The husband and I continue to love to go out for breakfast on occasion to Eggstyles. Their fresh, fast and delicious breakfasts never cease to please! Most recently, we branched out and tried the blueberry pancake combo breakfast, served with all the usual suspects (eggs, bacon, hash browns, fruit, toast). The pancakes were delicious and a nice addition to the regular breakfast.
Farm Boy’s fresh to-go counter
I am a huge fan of the Farm Boy grocery store chain here in Ottawa and Eastern Ontario; it is where the husband and I do almost all of our shopping and where you can find some of the freshest and most high quality fruits and vegetables. So you won’t be surprised to learn of my excitement when, recently, one of the locations in my neighbourhood expanded its already fantastic fresh take out food section to include gourmet pizza, calzones, soups, fresh coffee and pastries and other delicious quick lunch or dinner options. I love it when an already excellent business strives to make itself even better and offer its customers new and exciting options.
So far, I’ve only feasted on these new options with my eyes, but I hope to dine on the real thing very soon.
A leftover from the Easter weekend: a beautiful purple and blue hydrangea. It was sitting on my kitchen table soaking up some glorious sunshine.
Our wedding cupcakes from the Cupcake Lounge
After the husband proposed last December with red velvet cupcakes from the Cupcake Lounge, we knew that, whenever we decided to go ahead with our wedding, we would definitely have their cupcakes again for our wedding cake/dessert.
We decided to go with two different flavours, that way we could each choose a flavour that we love. I chose the gingerbread cupcake with cinnamon cream cheese icing because, even though it is almost spring time, I had to go with my favourite kind of flavour, which is that deep, spice cake kind of flavour. The husband chose the key lime cupcake with lime zest-infused cream cheese icing because key lime is one of his favourite dessert flavours.
We kept the decoration simple: fondant letters to represent our first names separated by a mini white chocolate pearl rolled in silver edible sugar.
The cupcakes were amazing of course! We expected nothing less from our favourite Ottawa cupcake shop!
Lunch at Melt
While enjoying Easter weekend in the Market, the husband couldn`t resist stopping to try a sandwich at Melt, a gourmet grilled cheese shop.
The shop is tiny; there are only a handful of seats on which to sit and enjoy your sandwich, but the list of sandwich options is huge! You can choose to build your own sandwich, or you can go with one of the pre-selected options. The husband settled on the Proscuitto, which comes with proscuitto, provolone cheese, and roasted red peppers. For his choice of bread, he opted for rye, and chose garlic butter in which the sandwich was to be grilled.
I did not try a bite, but the husband loved it - it was perfectly grilled, the cheese excellently melted, and the flavours all came together wonderfully. The price is steep: $6.99 plus tax for this little sandwich, but it was nice to give a new place a try.