Sunday, December 24, 2006

ottawa: eating our nations capital

I started my holiday vacation with a few days in Ottawa. It was my first time in Ottawa and I had a great time visiting the parliament buildings, the National gallery, friends and of course eating my way around the city! I would like to thank Emily and a lovely woman I met named Lisa, who made a fantastic list of places for me to frequent. Here is a list of my favourite places.

The Scone Witch

This small café makes some of the best scones I have ever tasted. There scones include: cranberry-orange, current-ginger, vanilla cream, lemon poppy seed and during December gingerbread. The scones are served with an array of condiments, some include: devon cream, lemon curd and strawberry rhubarb jam. The scones here have a wonderful crumb, they are light, moist and buttery. The Scone Witch also does sandwiches, which are held together by savoury square scones. The two sconewitches we tried included smoked salmon with a lovely mushroom soup and a pesto, goat cheese, tomato and olive with a nice side of greens. Wash down all the wonderful baked goods here with a coffee or a house blend of their tea. They have a small selection of food, but they do it well. If I had to pick one place in Ottawa to eat again, it would be The Scone Witch!

The Scone Witch
388 Albert Street
613 232 2173

3 Tarts

If you are looking for cakes or cookies in Ottawa, the place to go would be 3 Tarts. 3 Tarts was recommended to me by a couple of lovely women in Ottawa who work in the industry. Although not what I would describe as a fancy bakery by its décor, 3 Tarts does make a good selection of cakes and tarts. The only sad thing is that they don’t seem to sell them by the slice. Since I wasn’t in the mood to buy a whole cake or tart, I decided to try an assortment of some of their cookies, which were all quite delightful. The best of the lot however was a wonderful Hungarian shortbread cookie, which was eaten quickly and is absent in the photo. So if you are ever in the neighbourhood, I suggest you try it. The Hungarian shortbread consisted of a firm layer of shortbread, rhubarb in the middle and a crumbly shortbread topping… mmm!

3 Tarts
1320 Wellington Street
613 729 9832

Le Boulanger Francais / The French Baker

Hailed as the bakery with the best croissants in the city. They may be the best in the Ottawa, but as a fussy croissant eater myself. I can’t say they are the best croissants I have ever eaten. The croissants here are good and buttery, but I found that they were a bit too bread-like for me. They didn’t seem to have the layers, textures and complexity that I look for in a croissant. Nevertheless, The French Baker is a wonderful bakery filled with quality breads, cakes and an assortment of goodies. Attached to the bakery is Benny’s Bistro, which is a lovely restaurant. I had breakfast there, which was a simple but very satisfying meal. I have heard that their lunches and dinner are also wonderful.

Le Boulanger Francais / The French Baker
119 rue Murray Street
613 789 7941

La Brioche

I don’t know much Middle Eastern baking and pastries, but I do know that I am always open to trying things. I did a lot of sampling at this store. I probably bought three times the amount of pastries as shown in the photograph. If you ever are in this neighbourhood, I would suggest at least going into this simple and modest bakery. The shop is filled with huge heaping piles of sweets, which is quite impressive. My favourite of all the bite sized morsels that I ate was the cashew baklava which was fantastic, I could have eaten a dozen of these yummy pastries.

La Brioche
866 Bank Street
613 565 0002

Thyme & Again

With a lovely storefront, Thyme & Again is one of Ottawa most well known catering companies and a favorite lunch spot. For lunch Thyme & Again has a lovely selection of sandwiches, salads and soups. The shop offers a good range of breads, pastries and baked goods. Thyme & Again also carries the bread of pastry chef Kevin Mathieson who runs Art-is-in Breads. Above is a photo of Mathieson’s twelve grain fennel bread, which was delicious. Art-is-in Bread is definitely raising the standard of bread making in the city and it can be found at local outlets and some of Ottawa’s fine dining establishments.

Thyme & Again
1255 Wellington Street West
613 722 0093

The Wild Oat

Wild Oats Bakery and Restaurant is a wonderful place to get a selection of vegan and vegetarian dishes and wheat-free desserts. With a simple, healthy and tasty menu the Wild Oat is one of those laidback vegetarian hangouts. The desserts here are again simple and tasty, I have been told that the brownies and carrot cake are good. I tried a raw fruit tart, which consisted of raspberry, blackberry, cranberry, mango, carob and an oat crust - it didn’t taste half bad. The bread here looks and tastes great.

The Wild Oat
817 Bank Street
613 232 6232

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1 comment:

lory said...

joli ton blog!!j'ai vue tes rondelles sablée au chocolat sur le blog :, et suis tombée amoureuse, serait-il possible avoir la recette?(les carrées aussi sont sublimes).
Merci et
bonne année!!