Posts Tagged ‘hintonburg’

My Best of Ottawa

I’ve been reflecting a lot recently on being grateful, and on what a great city Ottawa is.

So, with that in mind, I’d like to do a best of list, which is HIGHLY opinionated, because it’s not a “user-rated” list it’s MINE, and it’s random.

Best Pizza – Back Lane Cafe. Must be those crazy expensive ovens they put in but this pizza is the best pizza I have had. Authentic Italian-style pizza like I have only ever had in Rome. This pizza is so good that you don’t even need any toppings. I always get the marg but I would eat the crust plane it’s that good
Back Lane Cafe on Urbanspoon

Best late-night drinks – Hintonburg Public House. Despite the fact that the service is terrible, it’s a fun place to go with a great scene, and the cheese curds can’t be beat
The Hintonburg Public House on Urbanspoon

Best Beer – Kichessippi Beer Co They are only a couple years old but have several great beers and do free brewery tours on Saturdays. Stop by the brewery for a growler, it’s located in Ottawa proper near Carling and Churchill. Follow them on Twitter @kichesippibeer

Best newly opened: Brother’s Beer Bistro. Although I don’t frequent the market as much these days, this place is worth the trek. They have a beer-inspired menu with all beers organized by type. It’s a great place to take someone who doesn’t know much about beer because their knowledgeable staff and the menu itself provide a great learning environment.
Brother's Beer Bistro on Urbanspoon

Best fine-dining: The wellington Gastropub The great thing about this place is consistency. Consistently good service, great food and atmosphere.
Wellington GastroPub on Urbanspoon

Best hopeful: Union is said to open in mid July on Somerset W. I haven’t heard anything about it anywhere on the web but I’m excited because rumor has it they’ll be open late night with a full menu.

Best Bike shop: Kunstadt sports (Glebe). I send my friends here because of their affordable line of house-brand bikes. Even the bigger shops don’t do this, and Kunstadt has a bike of every type, from Road to cruiser and everything in between. These are entry-level bikes but they are great for the price and an excellent way to introduce people to cycling. When they want to upgrade, Kunstadt also has really great higher-quality bikes. The mechanics in the Glebe are also a huge plus because they have 2 senior mechanics working in the same shop. I’ve never had any issues with the quality of work at this shop. If you’re a road cyclist, join them on Mondays at 6 for a group ride, all levels welcome


Suzy Q, Hintonburg

Doughnuts for breakfast, tacos for lunch, and hintonburger with a pint at the elmdale. Hintonburger has it all.

I can’t remember the last time I had a doughnut, but it was fluffy and full of air. I’m pretty sure it was from Tom Ho’s and there’s a reason it’s been so long since I’ve gone back.

Suzy Q is another kind of doughnut. It’s actually probably a real kind of doughnut, and we can thank Tim’s that we no longer recognize what a doughnut should be. These doughnuts have flavour, interesting types(bacon anyone?) and actually have some substance.

I can’t wait to go back and try a few more. The people there are great, and if you go early it’s not too busy and they’re all warm and delicious.

A plus on the service, friendly and customer-oriented. You can tell they are excited to be operating.

SuzyQ on Urbanspoon

Taco Lot, Hintonburg

Part of the hintonburg hipster trifecta along with Hintonburger and Suzy Q, the Taco lot just opened. it’s sitting on an old car lot (or perhaps a current car lot, there are still some cars for sale.

It’s a bit cold this weekend to sit in the outdoor seating, but the taco lot was still hopping today and yesterday.

The menu is simple. Today it was “Vegetarian, Salmon. ready at noon” When it was my turn to order I added “beef” to that list by request of the cashier, a sweet hippie girl.

The Taco Lot is the current talk of ottawa’s Foodie World, and they are doing well as a result. The wait is a bit long when you’re by yourself and it’s cold out but I’m sure they’ll catch up to the demand in a week or two once they’ve settled in their routine.

The corn & pineapple salsa is awesome and all the ingredients just taste fresh. It reminds me of my days in highschool working at a taco stand after bar hour.

Welcome to Hintonburg!
995 Wellington West

Taco Lot on Urbanspoon

Hintonburg Public House

Super excited to try out HPH last night, on their second night opening.

I love the decor, the aged wood is beautiful and they picked amazing photos to match it. I don’t think the photos are a permanent display but they’re wicked and really fit in well with the place.

There didn’t seem to be any music, and as somoene else noted the acoustics are not great. This is not a great place to bring mom & pops.

They have a massive bar area, with all mismatched chairs and stools (we were sitting along the wall on what must have been an old church pew. I can’t say enough good things about the space, it’s really well put together, I love it – come decorate my house!

The menu is short, but seems to have it’s bases covered. I’m going to bring in a vegan friend for more of a challenge next time. Everything we had was great, and although I sub’d my fries for salad, I was really impressed with the salad that came. It was full of fresh herbs and a really well balanced vinaigrette, and they used Boston Lettuce – who does that? It was a really nice change for a salad.

The steak was well-cooked, although I should have done my research because maybe the shoulder isn’t the best piece of meat to get rare. We also had the galette, soup, duck confit, and both desserts, and everything was really really good.

I think they should put some sort of draft stopper around the door, maybe a heavy curtained entrance like they used to have at Infusion Bistro in the Glebe or like at the black tomato. It would really help a lot with the drafts because there’s only one door, and while it was nice and toasty for the most part, as soon as the door opens it gets COLD. Hopefully that is “coming soon”

Friendly service and a great selection of mostly Ontario wines and lots of craft beers.

Welcome to the Burg!

The Hintonburg Public House on Urbanspoon

My favorites in Hintonburg

As you well know, the burg is blowing up, and I’m super excited to say you can now really get whatever you need right in the hood.

Here are some of my fav’s

Pint: Elmdale (I’d grab a kichesippi) (1084 Wellington) – Great music, friendly staff

Elmdale House Tavern on Urbanspoon

Pizza: Back Lane Cafe (thought I would say Tennessee’s didn’t you) (1087 Wellington)

Back Lane Cafe on Urbanspoon

Coffee: Le Michel-Ange Café (35 Laurel) – They roast their own beans, pick some up!

Le Michel-Ange, Café-Warehouse-Roasting on Urbanspoon

Cupcake: Isobel’s (1018 Wellinton) – We visit weekly for a sweet treat, but make sure you don’t always go on the same day, they have new flavours on Thurs – Sundays)

Isobel & Co. on Urbanspoon

Take out: Hintonburger (soon moving next to Elmdale)

Hintonburger on Urbanspoon

Hangout: Rosemount Library (18 Rosemount)

and what I’m looking forward to:

Hintonburg Public House – Opening Tomorrow! (1020 Wellington) (interesting that they have an 80% like it and they haven’t even opened yet haha)

The Hintonburg Public House on Urbanspoon

10Fourteen (1014 Wellington) Opening “in November” according to the sign – when do restaurants ever open on time? Never.

Hintonburger – at KFC!

Absinthe Cafe Resto bar

I like the food at Absinthe. I like that they stay open late on weekends so you can get a drink not at a pub. I don’t think they advertise that, but there it is. They stay open pretty damn late as long as there are people there (bar service only).

All their servers are bilingual, which is awesome. The server we had last week was super friendly.

We all had the table d’hote. the first course was excellent. The first courses were all really interesting with multiple elements on each plate, and with different applications. Their dehydrated vegetables are really well done, very very thinly sliced which is key I think to make sure they’re crunchy and not too chewy. Dehydrated eggplant? Sounds terrible, but it’s awesome.

For the mid, I had the salad and the others had the soup, which was excellent. The salad was a bit too acidic and kind of boring. the lime flavor was really good but I think something with a bit of sweetness and color would have balanced it off well. The arugula was excellent, spicy but not bitter.

All the mains were also really great. When I remember going last I thought the plates were a tad small but this time we were stuffed so either I was super hungry last time or something has changed. Either way we didn’t finish our mains.

the lamb ragout was AMAZING. really really tasty, and the peas made the dish. the sauce was really rich but it was really well balanced with the pasta which was on the basic side (not in a bad way, they complemented each out perfectly). the lamb was cooked to perfection.

As is my usual complaint, the places lacks on the veggie side. Story of my life.

My one other complaint was that my beer was served a good CM below the pour line, with way too much head, and then the server took it away before I was done. I hate wasting good Kichesippi.

On the plus side they have Kichesippi 1855 on tap, which is a nice change from most places that if they only have one, it’s the pale.

Absinthe Cafe Resto Bar on Urbanspoon

Cupcakes are the new chocolate bars

Isobel’s is in the hood!

Stopped by Isobel’s on Sunday to get me some chocolate. Cupcakes are awesome and Isobel’s did not disappoint. Great service, excellent cupcakes.

Isobel’s experienced great success is New Edinburgh, and recently opened their expanded location on Wellington West.

Isobel & Co. on Urbanspoon

Next up: Hintonburg Public House

Former owner of The Urban Pear Summer JL Baird & Kris Kshonze former sous chef at The Whalesbone Oyster House. Check out their reno pictures, I have a light fixture similar to that at my place, (I used an old wine case)

And they are currently hiring FOH staff and looking for a dishwasher


The Hintonburg Public House on Urbanspoon

The Burg is Blowing up!

The ‘burg is blowing up!!

After last months opening of Alphasoul cafe, and the long-awaited/dreaded/etc opening of Bridgehead, this week two new restos opened on Wellington in the hood.

Back Lane Cafe (beside GT – see review below)
and Burnt Butter (Beside KFC) (review coming soon)

Other big moves:

York Street Entertainment is apparently opening a restaurant where Cozy’s was. A bar? A wanna-be high-end restaurant? Not sure the burg is ready but I’m obviously biased.

Ben Baird (of the Urban Pear)’s wife is apparently also opening something in the hood. Not sure what the story is here (collaboration? Retaliation?) but I’m excited (for the food)

Also of note: KFC is no longer. the neighborhood chains are closing and the franchise seems to be sticking to mall locations. This would be an amazing spot for a licensed patio (I’m imagining Ronnie’s Local in Kensington) but I think it would be a hard sell for winter since there’s no seating space. My ideal would be if the Hintonburger moved in, in further collaboration with the Elmdale – Amazing?! YES, like the Grilled-Cheese – Ronnie’s collaboration:

Back Lane Cafe, Hintonburg

The ‘burg is blowing up!!

After last months opening of Alphasoul cafe, and the long-awaited/dreaded/etc opening of Bridgehead, this week two new restos opened on Wellington in the hood.

There were no grand opening signs on either (as far as I know), and as Somerset is closed at Preston I hadn’t been by that part of Wellington for a few days, so I apologize if they actually opened last week. I know Back Lane was open a few days ago and so we decided to make a reservation. At the time they had a sign on the door saying they nod not yet gotten a liquor licence and could only accept cash, so we were ready, cash in hand, for a prohibition style supper. However, they had gotten in the license the night before and had spend the day shopping at the LCBO. Our reso was early so we actually got to christen the wine list with complementary glasses of bubbly – sweet!!

Other liquor licence highlights – they were the first to get Granville island pale ale in, and it looks like they’re all set to have a serious amount of draft (I think I counted ten taps, although currently only three have been filled. Looks like they are waiting on delivery from Kichesippi & Beau’s as well, so that should be imminent.

The wine list seems to be faily general-list centric, but we had a stellar bottle of New Zealand Sauv Blanc, which we actually ordered right off the Excel spreadsheet as the owner was literally just putting together the list when we walked in.

We noted that they are doing wood-fired pizzas, and although we didn’t get a chance to try one, some chef-friends were in at the same time and they said they enjoyed the pizza they had. Not sure how that will go with Tennessee Willems across the street, but I’m happy to support anything that doesn’t involve an orange box.

To Start: Lentil Soup & Paté. The soup was phenomenal. They had obviously just touched it up with extra greens before serving, which was a nice touch because the greens were still nice and bright amid the more neutral colors that lentils tend to give everything. Not sure if the base of this soup was vegetarian or not, I forgot to ask. We also had some bread with chili oil and vinegar.

The pate was HUGE for a starter. I think this dish could be served as a starter to share or could be made into a bit of a smaller disk. The pate was actually mushrooom based, so it wasn’t as heavy as a meat paté but it was very flavourful and servied with a well-arranged and colourful array of condiments, and there seemed to be exactly the right amount of everything, which is nice in dishes that are ‘build your own’

For mains I went with the Grilled Veg Quinoi salad with Califlower Gratin on the side (the mains were mostly mean-centric, but they did have a good selection of starters). Again the Quinoa salad was a great size, and really attractively arranged, and I probably didn’t need the cauliflower side dish. The grilled veggies were really well done and not at all greasy.

roasted veggie salad\" title=
roasted veggie salad\”

My BF took the lamb with the bulgar side, which was suggested by the server as the one that the shef intended to go with the dish. I wasn’t as excited about that dish just because it was a bit too ‘meat and potatoes’ for me (no veg!) But the BF loved it (he’s the lamb guy) and the side was really really good. The Lamb looked like it had been perfectly cooked to request (M-R).

We ended up not finishing our bottle of wine, so the server was nice enough to dig up a cork and find a bag for us to put it in. We were also surprised with one of their house chocolate bars, which is a perfect little dessert if you are ‘too full’ for dessert. They had another almond dessert which I think I will have to go back for.

One other note: I also really enjoyed how the server brought us our plates and said ‘I’ll let you try that and then I’ll come back with freshly ground pepper’ instead of just offering it before you’ve tried anything. I am the type that generally just peppers soup before even trying it and I’m really glad that I didn’t because the soup was perfectly seasoned and actually nothing I had needed pepper or salt. I think the BF may have added some pepper to one of his dishes, but generally seasoning was spot on.

Welcome to the Burg Back Lane!

Follow them on Twitter @BackLaneCafe

The bathrooms are awesome. I like the lack of stall that is becoming more and more common – awesome! (As long as it isn’t encouraging any of the debauchery that has been happening at Churchill’s over in Westboro – did you notice that the SINK was broken? Rumors abound…)

Back Lane Cafe on Urbanspoon

Haven’t been there yet? You can check out the interior over at Karen McRae’s blog:

Petit Bills Bistro, Wellington West

Well, this post has been in “draft” mode for about 6 months or longer.

PB’s is a “Newfie Bistro with a French accent” (or is it French bistro with a Newfie accent?). That line is a bit kitchy isn’t it? But it works. The Christmas displays are OVER the top, I mean, the whole she-bam, with Santa climbing up a ladder decorating the tree and a train that whizzes around it. When you go in there, you know, IT IS CHRISTMAS!

I love this place. It’s cozy and inviting. The owners, brothers Terry and Randy are ALWAYS there at the bar (one or the other, rarely both) and they know their seafood.

The menu is heavy on the seafood, but it is good. The chowder and the lobster poutine seem to be their “signature” dishes, and both are excellent. The wine list is heavily-VQA oriented, which I love, and they also have my favorite local K-beer on tap.

As always, I recommend sitting at the bar or in the lounge area. You get a more “real” restaurant experience, with the action at the bar and the kitchen within sight

If you haven’t been, check this place out

Petit Bill's Bistro on Urbanspoon

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