Elvis lives at the Newport Restaurant
If Elvis Presley were still alive today, he’d be 77. In the minds of some, the King of Rock and Roll never died. If you too have had trouble accepting that this legend passed away over three decades ago, you’ll feel right at home at the Newport Restaurant. This Ottawa institution is the home of the Elvis Sighting Society and is appropriately decorated with wall-to-wall Elvis memorabilia. Even if conspiracy theories aren’t your thing, you’ve got to try their pizza and Lebanese food.
The menu at the Newport is one part Italian pizzeria, one part classic diner and one part Lebanese restaurant. In most cases, I wouldn’t recommend such an unusual combination, but somehow it works here.
The pizza at the Newport is well liked. If it reminds you of the pies at the Colonnade, there’s a very good reason for that. Before the Newport was opened in the 80s, the owner, Moe Atallah, worked at the Colonnade. It looks like he might have picked up a few of their trade secrets while he was there – the thick and fluffy crust, the hearty toppings and most importantly the blanket of cheese so thick it makes a meal out of just one slice. So it’s not surprising that the small Newport Deluxe I’d ordered delivered on flavour. It was topped with a substantial portion of sliced bacon, salty green olives, mushrooms, green peppers, pepperoni and loads of mozzarella cheese.
While you can also get loads of diner classics here, including the King’s favourite peanut butter and banana sandwich, you may want to opt for the less obvious choice. The Lebanese food at the Newport is pretty darned tasty too. On my last visit I sampled the hummus, the tabbouleh and the kofta burger. The hummus had a silken smooth texture that I haven’t experienced anywhere else. It came with plenty of pita bread and it was garnished with cucumber, black olives, a pool of olive oil and a cherry tomato. The tabbouleh was also excellent, its bright and fresh flavour was perked up by plenty of fresh lemon juice. The kofta burger, on the other hand, was a better idea in theory. It arrived at the table too charred for my date’s liking.
Another must at the Newport is the rice pudding. It’s a comforting combination of creamy rice pudding, plumped up raisins, cinnamon and whipped cream. Trust me, this simple dessert is fit for a King.
334 Richmond Rd.
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