The Whalesbone Oyster House is a must visit for all connoisseurs of seafood. The place has a welcoming ambiance and is always bustling with patrons, locals and travelers alike. Aromas of delicious fish fill the dining room and these are enough to tantalize your tastebuds. One cannot leave out their oysters before beginning the seafood binge. Later try their Scallop Ceviche or the trout which comes infused with honey and cumin. The staff on site is very friendly, and the service is swift thus leaving no room for complaints.
Located in an erstwhile bank building, Gezellig is an elegant restaurant which offers high quality Canadian food and a range of fine wines. Although the menu concentrates on Canadian dishes, it takes its influences from culinary traditions from the world over. Complementing these flavors perfectly, the wines are carefully chosen from and globally sourced. With neutral tones, mood lighting and tasteful decor, the restaurant is both classy and inviting. Following the meaning of its own name which is a Dutch word for a cozy atmosphere, the restaurant is a perfect place for a family meal.
Beckta restaurant is one of Ottawa's most prized fine dining experiences. It serves contemporary cuisine using many local and regional ingredients and with an accent of Japanese cuisine. The menu is imaginative but in no way intimidating; from their delightfully tender Ontario AAA Striploin to their Squid Bagna Càuda, the meals are lovingly prepared and presented. Beckta is also renowned for its carefully selected wine list and attentive, knowledgeable staff. Reservations are essential.
Located in an 18th-century heritage building, the restaurant with its unique mosaic waterfall behind the bar and couches, leather sofas and muted lights offers a relaxed dining ambiance. The menu spans meat and seafood delicacies cooked creatively complementing the Spectator award winning wine list. Combine any of these with one of the fifty wines or their signature flights that perfectly complement your meal. If that's not all, have a foot-tapping time with live DJs playing funky beats.
If food is art then Atelier can be described as the custodian of that metaphor. The restaurant has an intimate ambiance with dim lights that create just the right atmosphere for a special occasion. Every dish served here is created after thorough research of ingredients. Also, vibrant colors and explosive flavors are common right from the appetizers to the three dessert courses, leaving no room for disappointment. The team behind the scene takes utmost effort in presentation of each dish. Here, food lasts for moments on your palate but stays in your memory forever.
Another gem from celebrity restaurateur Stephen Beckta, Play is a decidedly different dining concept adding to the rich culinary diversity of Ottawa. The restaurant was established in 2009, and quickly became one of the hottest dining destinations in the city. The menu at Play offers a constantly evolving selection of small plates, crafted using locally-grown, seasonally available ingredients. With the aim of letting diners sample multiple preparations, the menu offers delights like marinated fig, octopus and boar sausage. The selection at the wine bar is one of the city's best, spanning the top wine regions of the world. There's a fine array of cheeses as well as charcuterie for company. Restaurant interiors are tastefully done, with mellow tones, and minimalist décor choices. There's a separate space for private events as well.
Located directly beside the Canal Rideau in the National Arts Center, this popular restaurant offers incredible views. The food is excellent and showcases the culinary expertise of Executive Chef Michael Blackie. The menu is a nice mix of appetizers and mains; it features classic delicacies like the Alberta beef tenderloin, Forest BC mushroom velouté, Arctic Char, and NAC charcuterie plate. Save some space for the dessert and indulge in the quintessential Crème brûlée or the Warm Ottawa Valley apple pie. Le Café is ideal for business luncheons and group dinners.
The Metropolitan Brasserie is one of the better known restaurants in central Ottawa. You will find wonderful dishes of steak, smoked chicken and poutine on the menu, all of which are worth a try. They easily accommodate large groups, although the service does get a little slow.
Calling Westin Ottawa its home is a posh steakhouse and seafood restaurant called the The Shore Club. Ideally located in Downtown, this sophisticated eatery is perfect for business as well as casual rendezvous. Renowned for its contemporary decor, impeccable service and unparalleled dining fare, this restaurant has a lot to offer. There is an elegant menu featuring fresh seafood dishes and superior quality steaks along with a dynamic cocktail bar. An ideal venue for celebrations, as it boasts of semi-private and well-appointed dining rooms, The Shore Club offers an exclusive and intimate experience.
Private rooms are available in this massive stone restaurant, but in warmer weather most patrons prefer dining in the cobblestone courtyard. The creative outdoor tables have stencils of city scenes. Appetizers range from garlic bread with cheese to the Seafood Selection Plate. Main courses include the Grilled Grain-Fed Breast of Chicken with a Peach and Ginger Chutney and the house specialty Rack of Lamb with Dijon Mustard. The desserts, all simply divine, are also reasonably priced. The Maple Sugar Pie, a real taste of French Canada, is a steal.