New eateries are popping up all the time in the capital, but 2012 was particularly generous. The best new restaurants in Ottawa this year range from a Mexican-Asian fusion kitchen to a Somerset West hot spot serving buffalo pig ear sandwiches. Intrigued? You should be! Our local experts have combed the city, looking for dining experiences that will tempt and satisfy any visitor. The result is this list of the six best new restaurants in Ottawa.
BEST NEW RESTAURANT IN OTTAWA FOR JOVIALITY: Union 613
A self-proclaimed “brotherhood of cookers, eaters and drinkers,” Union 613 offers up a Canadian spin on good old-fashioned Southern hospitality. With communal seating, an extensive late-night food menu and a rotating cocktail list that’s heavily focused on bourbon, Union 613 is unlike anything else in the Somerset West region. Pop in for lunch and enjoy a buffalo pig ear sandwich, or swing by around 1 a.m. for some buttermilk-fried yard bird with hot sauce.
• Union 613, 315 Somerset St. W, 613-231-1010, union613.ca
BEST NEW RESTAURANT IN OTTAWA FOR WINE: 327 Wine Bar
Whether you’re in the mood for a snack—say, a charcuterie plate, hummus trio or fresh antipasto—or something hearty, like 28-day aged Alberta tenderloin with blue cheese melt, you’ll find a dish that piques your interest at 327 Wine Bar. But the food is not the only thing that makes this one of the best new restaurants in Ottawa—the 327 also offers a wide selection of signature cocktails, wine, beer and single malt scotch.
• 327 Wine Bar, 327 Somerset St., 613-695-9463, 327winebar.ca
BEST NEW RESTAURANT IN OTTAWA FOR PUB FARE: Hintonburg Public House
The Hintonburg Public House offers a modern spin on traditional pub fare: crispy cod with golden fries and garlic scape mayo replaces the standard beer-battered fish and chips. And you won’t find a classic bacon, egg and hash brown breakfast special here. Instead, treat your taste buds to a pulled duck hash with poached egg, green onion and chutney.
• Hintonburg Public House, 1020 Wellington St. W., 613-421-5087, hintonburgpublichouse.ca
BEST NEW RESTAURANT IN OTTAWA FOR FUSION CUISINE: Sidedoor
Executive Chef Jonathan Korecki, a Top Chef Canada finalist, is the creative mastermind behind Sidedoor Contemporary Kitchen and Bar’s unique blend of Asian- and Mexican-inspired delicacies. Choose from rare beef ramen, soba gazpacho and marinated octopus—or try one of their famous tacos, which range from Chinkiang pulled pork to chow chow chicken. You will not be disappointed.
• Sidedoor, 20 York St., 613-562-9331, sidedoorrestaurant.com
BEST NEW RESTAURANT IN OTTAWA FOR SANDWICHES: Pressed
This gourmet sandwich bar and coffee house has been winning over guests since it opened in Centretown late last year. Though known for its vast and ever-changing sandwich menu (eggplant tempura, house-made falafel and Korean barbeque are just a few delicious options), the real draw is Pressed’s gourmet waffle brunch, which they offer every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. And don’t forget to top it all off with a fresh cup of Equator coffee—the organic, fair trade blends are roasted locally in the nearby town of Almonte.
• Pressed, 750 Gladstone Ave., 613-680-9294, pressed-ottawa.com
BEST NEW RESTAURANT IN OTTAWA FOR ITALIAN FOOD: Town
According to their website, Town offers “smart upgrades on Italian classics.” And though that accurately describes their fare, the folks at this new Centretown hot spot stress that they’re about much more than just pasta. So what do they offer? A little bit of everything, really. Their dinner menu consists of inventive dishes like rabbit Milanese, wild boar Bolognese, ricotta-stuffed meatballs, grilled octopus, chilled beef salad and an elaborate cheese plate. They also have an extensive wine list entirely reflective of their roots: with the exception of a few North American options, they serve exclusively Italian wines.
• Town, 296 Elgin St., 613-695-8696, townlovesyou.ca