Xpress’ Guide to Patios
Best patio for carnivores: It’s no secret that Murray Street (110 Murray St.) does fantastic things with all manner of meat, from head to tail. With menu items ranging from whole smoked pig’s head to pulled pork, and delectable house-made charcuterie, Murray Street makes pigging out a good thing. The restaurant’s classy patio is an ideal spot to try well-executed dishes that do justice to the hard-working farmers this eatery so proudly supports.
Best patio for herbivores: Zen Kitchen (634 Somerset St. West) is easily the best place to get fine dining vegetarian food in Ottawa. Though the menu is friendly to both vegans and the gluten intolerant, all kinds of foodies will appreciate chef Caroline Ishii’s masterful preparation of local and organic produce. Do try the tapas plates on their summer patio. The hand-cut potato chips, pickles and salad rolls with peanut sauce are just right for sharing.
Nicest rooftop patios: Stella (81 Clarence St.) has a stunning rooftop patio with an upscale feel. The menu here is heavy on the Italian comfort food, with options like Caesar salad, chicken parm and spaghetti bolognese. Next door you’ll find Mambo Nuevo Latino (77 Clarence St.), which also boasts a popular rooftop patio. Best bets here include the empanadas and refreshing minty mojitos.
Sweetest patio deals: Check out the happy hour menu at Kinki’s patio (41 York St.) from 3 o’clock till 6 every weeknight for killer $6 martinis, double orders of sushi and delectable appetizer trios for just $11. Be sure and try the edamame with lime, sea salt, sesame seeds and chili oil – it’s finger licking good. The cold seafood platters at the Métropolitain Brasserie (700 Sussex Dr.) will have you eating like a king on one of Ottawa’s prettiest patios. Better yet, cater to your champagne tastes with Malpeque oysters, jumbo shrimp or chilled lobster during “Hill Hour” and get it for a substantial discount.
Patios for people watching: The Grand Pizzeria and Bar (74 George St.) offers fantastic people-watching from their ideally situated Byward Market patio. You’ll find the Italian fare easy to like, but it’s the thin crust pizzas that will bring you back for more. The patio at Steak (87 Clarence St.) also boasts a great view of the action in the Market. The steaks here are done right and served with fantastic sides, like their creamy macaroni and cheese, Parmesan frites, wasabi mashed potatoes and lemon asparagus. Enjoy a filet au naturel or topped with gorgonzola cheese and wrapped in bacon.
Most romantic patio: Il Piccolino (449 Preston St.) has a charming patio that gets lush with grape vines during the summer. Tucked back from the street, this patio creates an intimate setting for a low-key romantic dinner. The food here is inventive and flavourful, with stand-out dishes like curry cream pasta with shrimp. Take advantage of the seasonally inspired specials, which show off summer’s fresh produce with flair.
TagsArt-is-in Bank Street beer bistro breakfast brunch burger Byward Market Caesar salad Centretown cheap eats chocolate cake cocktails coffee creme brulee curry dessert fine dining Glebe gluten-free ice cream Little Italy lunch Ottawa oysters pasta patio pho pizza Preston restaurant review salad sandwich small plates Somerset soup spring rolls sushi tapas tempura Thai vegan vegetarian Vietnamese Whalesbone