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Ottawa

Old World Italian: Allegro Ristorante

Allegro Ristorante in the heart of Little Italy

Allegro Ristorante in the heart of Little Italy serves up classic Italian fare.

Allegro Ristorante is a long-running Ottawa establishment that recently changed ownership. One thing that hasn’t changed, however, is its chef, which means you too can sample the hearty Italian food Ottawans have been enjoying for 20 years. They offer all your Italian favourites: fettuccine in pesto alfredo, linguine with shrimp, tortellini and prosciutto in a mushroom sauce, and good old spaghetti carbonara. The service is exceptional, too. —Amy Allen
•422 Preston St., 613-235-7454, allegroristorante.ca

Ottawa Weekend Calendar for Feb. 27 to March 1

Alt-country band New Country Rehab plays The Black Sheep Inn on Friday and Saturday nights.

Alt-country band New Country Rehab plays The Black Sheep Inn on Friday and Saturday nights.

Friday, Feb. 27

Every year, the Ottawa International Film Festival (OIFF) challenges local filmmakers to create a short film in 72 hours. Each team must use props, dialogue, filming locations, and music by local bands, as stipulated by the festival’s organizers. In OIFF 72’s final event on Friday night, the top ten films are screened at Lansdowne Park and the judging panel chooses a winner. The event also features live music, dancing, and drinks. Admission is $10 at the door.

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The Written Word: Akram Zaatari at the Carleton U Art Gallery

Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari explores the act of letter writing during the Lebanese Civil War.

Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari explores the act of letter writing during the Lebanese Civil War. (Photo: Akram Zaatari, Letters From Askalan (2007), C-print, courtesy of the artist and Sfeir-Semler Gallery)

Written correspondence may be a dying art in this day and age, but Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari brings it to the forefront in a new exhibition at the Carleton University Art Gallery. All Is Well explores themes of friendship, love, historical events, and political resistance in Lebanon from the early 1990s to the present, with a special focus on letters received by political detainee Nabih Awada during his time in an Israeli prison. On display until March 29.
•Carleton University Art Gallery, St. Patrick’s Building,1125 Colonel By Dr., 613-520-2120. cuag.carleton.ca
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Disney on Ice Brings Fantastic Worlds to Ottawa

Beloved characters skate to songs from four classic Disney tales.

Beloved characters skate to songs from four classic Disney tales.

FEB. 25 TO MARCH 1 This winter, four beloved tales from the Disney archives come to life on the rink with Disney on Ice: Worlds of Fantasy. Join Mickey and Minnie Mouse on a roadtrip, where they encounter characters from Cars, The Little Mermaid, Tinker Bell, and the Toy Story franchise. The show is the perfect combination of modern and classic Disney, and it’s great for the whole family.
•Canadian Tire Centre, 1000 Palladium Dr., 877-788-3267. canadiantirecentre.com

Shine a Light

Shine a Light features the best of the National Gallery of Canada's acquisitions over the past year, including this painting by Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. (Photo: Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun Red Man Watching White Man Trying to Fix Hole in the Sky, 1990 acrylic on canvas, 142.3 × 226.1 cm. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Photo © NGC)

Shine a Light features the best of the National Gallery of Canada’s acquisitions over the past year, including this painting by Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. (Photo: Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun, Red Man Watching White Man Trying to Fix Hole in the Sky, 1990 acrylic on canvas, 142.3 × 226.1 cm. National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Photo © NGC)

Canadian and Indigenous artists get their moment in the limelight in a new exhibit at the National Gallery of Canada. Shine a Light highlights best of the best of the gallery’s acquisitions over the past year, including works by artists such as David Armstrong Six, An Te Liu, Jutai Toonoo, Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun (pictured), and others. On display until March 8. —Amy Allen
•National Gallery of Canada, 380 Sussex Dr., 613-990-1985. gallery.ca
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Local Love: The Ottawa Necklace

Reminiscent of a heart, this necklace by designer Lissa Bowie is shaped like the Ottawa region.

Reminiscent of a heart, this necklace by designer Lissa Bowie is shaped like the Ottawa region.

Why not take a piece of Ottawa home for Valentine’s Day? Local jewellery designer Lissa Bowie has created a pendant in the shape of the Ottawa region, available in either tumbaga — a blend of brass and copper — or sterling silver. It also looks like a heart, which makes it a great gift for that special someone! Available at Magpie Jewellery. From $22.

•Westboro: 430 Richmond Rd., 613-686-3989
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•Rideau Centre: 50 Rideau St., 613-562-0101
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•Glebe: 799 Bank St., 613-233-2065
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A Craving for Cocoa

New in town, Purdys Chocolatier makes delicious chocolates, truffles, and other sweet treats.

New in town, Purdys makes delicious chocolates, truffles, and other sweet treats.

You can’t go wrong with chocolate. A box of bonbons makes a perfect Valentine’s Day treat, be it for yourself or someone special. And what better way to dispel those winter chills than with a cup of hot cocoa made with fresh, high quality Belgian chocolate? Here, we highlight some of the best places to satisfy your sweet tooth.

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Ottawa Weekend Calendar for Feb. 6 to 8

Ottawa rockers Amos the Transparent plays the Black Sheep Inn on Friday night.

Ottawa rockers Amos the Transparent plays the Black Sheep Inn on Saturday night.

Friday, Feb. 6

The Bright Nights: Baltic-Nordic Film Festival is a celebration of cinematic contributions by Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Iceland, Lithuania, and Norway. On Friday night, catch Latvia’s The Lesson, a film about a teacher who goes a little too far to befriend her unruly students. On Saturday, see Norway’s I Am Yours, in which a Pakistani expatriate enters a relationship with a Swedish filmmaker, and on Sunday, catch Finland’s The Good Son, a film that chronicles the unsettling and unusual relationship between a teenager and his actress mother. See website for schedule and ticket prices.

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Nordik Spa-Nature

The Scandinavian baths at Nordik Spa-Nature are the perfect way to dispel those winter blues.

The Scandinavian baths at Nordik Spa-Nature are the perfect way to dispel those winter blues.

When the winter blues get you down, there’s no better place to lift your spirits than in the hot baths at Nordik Spa-Nature. This spa, located in the picturesque Gatineau Hills, offers massages and body treatments, a range of hot and cold Scandinavian baths, and a full-service restaurant with an extensive menu. Try the spa’s new Källa pool, a subterranean space filled with saline water that mimics conditions in the Dead Sea — it’s a great way to stimulate creativity, encourage physical and emotional well being, and purify the body!
•Nordik Spa-Nature, 16, ch. Nordik, Old Chelsea, 819-827-1111, lenordik.com
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Big Sugar at Shenkman Arts Centre

Big Sugar, Canada's resident reggae rock band, brings their unplugged tour to Shenkman Arts Centre. (Photo: Michael Maxxis)

Big Sugar, Canada’s resident reggae rock band, brings their unplugged tour to Shenkman Arts Centre. (Photo: Michael Maxxis)

JAN. 30 Reggae rock group Big Sugar was popular in Canada throughout much of the ‘90s. Their sophomore album, Five Hundred Pounds, sold 10,000 copies through word of mouth alone, based on their reputation as a live band. After a six-year hiatus, they reunited and have since produced one live and two studio albums. The band performs some of their best-loved songs, plus new material from their latest album, Yardstyle, in an entirely acoustic setting. —Amy Allen
•Shenkman Arts Centre, 245 Centrum Blvd., 866-752-5231. shenkmanarts.ca

Starting From Scratch: Wilf & Ada’s

At Wilf and Ada's, delicious diner fare is made in-house from scratch.

At Wilf and Ada’s, delicious diner fare is made in-house from scratch.

After 20 years in business, the owners of Ada’s Diner, a beloved greasy spoon in Centretown, retired and sold the property to a new generation of restaurateurs. The location was reborn as Wilf & Ada’s and has been serving breakfast, brunch, and lunch ever since. Dishes are lovingly prepared from scratch wherever possible, using high quality products sourced from local suppliers. Popular choices include the hot chicken sandwich and the house-made sugar pie.
•510 Bank St., 613-231-7959. wilfandadas.com

Skating at Rideau Hall

The Rideau Canal isn't the only place for wintertime skating — try the outdoor rink at Rideau Hall! (Photo: MCPL Evan Kuelz © Office of the Secretary to the Governor General)

The Rideau Canal isn’t the only place for wintertime skating — try the outdoor rink at Rideau Hall! (Photo: MCPL Evan Kuelz © Office of the Secretary to the Governor General)

While the Rideau Canal provides the quintessential skating experience for outdoor enthusiasts, those seeking quieter ice might try their luck at the Rideau Hall skating rink. Originally opened in 1872, it’s one of the oldest rinks in the city, and was the site of many skating parties hosted by Canada’s third governor general, the Earl of Dufferin. Public skating takes place on weekends from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. —Amy Allen
•Rideau Hall, 1 Sussex Dr., 866-842-4422. gg.ca
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