I recently went to Ottawa for the weekend, and was quite excited because I had been impressed with their food scene in the past. I had eaten at the very excellent molecular restaurant L’Atelier and had brunch at Benny’s Bistro. So, when I knew I was heading back, I once again checked out the local food blogs to find a place to eat using the great site OttawaFoodies.
What I ended up choosing for my evening meal was Juniper Kitchen and Wine Bar. It seemed reasonably priced, and had a good, though short, menu.
We started off with some drinks. My boyfriend had their Beau’s All Natural Lug-Tread lagered ale on tap and I had a their cocktail of the day, a mix of lemon and champagne, delicious and refreshing!
At this time, they also served us some bread. It was a nice mix of different sides of bread, things were looking good for the rest of the meal, we were off to a nice start.
Next was a salmon amuse bouche, served with a dollop of crème fraîche. Light and fresh, and better because it was unexpected.
One house specialty is the beef tartare, which they change up with different elements. This time, there was some maple flavoured bacon, corn, jalapeno peppers and lime chips. My boyfriend and I shared this entrée, which was delicious. I wasn’t sure about the combination when it was described to me, but on my plate, it was wonderful. The corn and the bacon made for interesting changes in textures in the tartare. And, the meatiness of the dish was well balanced with the crunchy, sweet corn and the spicy lime chips, wonderful!
Next, a “trou normand”. Again, unexpected and therefore that much more appreciated. It was a fennel and sambuca granité, a great combination. Fennel has a very sharp taste which combined well with the licorice taste of the sambuca. A great pause in our delicious meal.
As a main, I had the course of the day, which is constantly changing. Lobster with mixed greens, braised fennel (amazing!), beets, crunchy chips and hot sauce. An unexpected mix of tastes and textures, which somehow went together. Another hit!
My boyfriend had the black angus beef served with some creamy cucumber salad, crunchy chips, raspberries, spinach and gratin dauphinois. The steak was cooked perfectly and my boyfriend couldn’t stop raving about the creamy cucumber sandwich.
For dessert, I had the strawberry and rhubarb tart served with vanilla ice cream. The crust was buttery and flaky and the mix of strawberries and rhubarb was a nice mix of sweet and sour.
245 Richmond Road, Ottawa, Ontario
Enjoy, bon apétit!