Posts Tagged ‘Elgin’

Izakaya, Elgin

I was super excited to see that Ottawa finally has an Izakaya!

According to wikipedia, an Izakaya is a type of Japanese drinking establishment which also serves food to accompany the drinks. They are casual places for after-work drinking.

And they definetly do have an ample drink list. Lots of cocktails, and a full page dedicated to Sake.

If you look around at the wait staff you will think you’re at a classier version of Moxy’s. Their servers are beautiful people, so I was pretty suspect that we would be getting terrible service √† la Moxy’s (I’ve heard that Moxy’s actually hires their servers from a modeling agency – seriously!?)

Anyways we were pleasantly surprised. Our server was AMAZING. I tried to get her name off the receipt but it just said “BAR PM” or something. We did sit on the bar side so I guess she was the bartender but there seemed to be a lot of people in and around the bar.

We were just there for snacks and appetizers but we tried a few of their raw plates and the pickles and a few of the cocktails and nothing disappointed.

The Caesar has fresh cilantro in it and it really make it taste fresh. I normally like my caesars to have a lot of horseradish but this one was perfect. Our server was super good about making our drinks to order (ie spicy caesars, mild caesars, non-spicy spicy mango margarintas etc)

The house pickles are really fresh and crunchy and all around good. All the raw plates were sampled were excellent as well. The food tastes fresh and is beautifully plated.

The only thing that dissappointed was that they didn’t have any other asian spirits besides sake. I was hoping for some Umeshu (plum wine) or Shochu (a spirit made from barley, sweet potatoes, rice, buckwheat or brown sugar, etc). Also there is no sushi on the menu but I assume that was on purpose. they do have mains and sharing plates, and a simple fresh menu.

They have kept the space more or less the same layout as Big Daddy’s used to be, so there is lots of space at and around the bar. We were there on Saturday night and although it go busy I don’t think it filled while we were there (from 6-830pm).

Izakaya on Urbanspoon

339 elgin st

Standard, Elgin Street

The Standard fits quite nicely into the type of establishment that one finds on Elgin Street (see my post about the manx) and for that reason I never go there late from thursday-sat. But they do have good specials during the week (5$ mohitos in a rainbow of flavours on one day) and if you like that sort of thing, they have various DJ’s most nights.

But the only reason I go to the standard, is the breakfast. The eggs are fresh, the mimosa’s run freely, and quarts of beer are advertised on the brunch menu. They only do brunch on weekends and you never have a hard time getting a table. The kitchen isn’t the fastest but who’s complaining with a lychee mimosa in front of them? Not Me.

Most breakfast plates come with salad (mixed greens) and there is a nice mix of dishes. The servers never look too excited to be slinging eggs and I don’t blame them because I’m sure the money pales in comparison to the drunk patrons of the nights, but the advantage for them is that they can actually walk between tables without rubbing by drunk sweaty types.

I have to admit the salad was a bit pathetic this week (mostly romaine) but I’ve never had that problem in the past and hopefully it was just an off day. Forgot my keys & sunglasses but when I went back they had them at the bar waiting for me.

Standard Tavern on Urbanspoon

The Manx

I’m biased. I love the manx. It’s small, it’s hidden, it’s in the heart of Elgin, surrounded with clubs filled with skantily-dress girls and tanned men with white shoes and slick glossy hair. Then you take a few steps downstairs, and VOILA! calm, relaxed, cozy pub with great food and good tunes.

I’ve also heard a time or 2 that the manx has terrible service. They seem to do the free for all rather than sections. There is no pretentiousness, they ask you if you want a drink, and you tell them what you want. The menu is on card stock, and they serve a reduced late-night menu until, well late.

Usually when I’m at the Manx it is packed. You sit on a table and your table is actually touching that of your neighbour. When I say cozy I mean cozy. ¬†Last night was different, it was monday and there were actualy *gasp* multiple tables available. I got a drink right away, my food came promptly. the naan pizza was simple, soft & delicious.

The service isn’t uber friendly but not cold either. the music was great. the beers came quickly. I have nothing to complain about, and I still love this place. I don’t love the hour wait to get a table at brunch, but I am willing to wait it, because it’s worth it.

I don’t know why it’s rated Ottawa’s number 1 best fine dining (on urban spoon), because it certainly isn’t what I would call fine dining, but the food is good, the bread is fresh, and the newly-renovated bathrooms sure do it for me.

370 Elgin St
Ottawa, ON K2P

The Manx on Urbanspoon