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Octopus and pig cheeks, oh my

Navarra, an unusually small restaurant with an open kitchen, is distinctive in Ottawa.

Navarra Restaurant
93 Murray St.
www.navarrarestaurant.com
613-241-5500

Rating: ****
Dinner & drinks for 2: $100

Navarra, an unusually small restaurant with an open kitchen, is distinctive in Ottawa. Serving up Spanish-influenced food from a small menu makes it a good place to visit for a special occasion.

To start, we ordered the Confit of Octopus Memories of Galicia ($18). Having only tasted octopus once before, my partner was a little apprehensive. But in the hands of the chefs at this restaurant, he shouldn’t have been. Tangled amongst spicy chorizo, mushrooms, and sitting atop silky parsnip purée, the octopus was treated well and exceeded all our expectations.

For the main, I ordered house-made Ricotta Gnocchi ($26) that was hand-rolled and doused with savoury Puttanesca tomato, toasted pine nuts for crunch, shaved parmesan, dried olives and chilies making a sharply-flavoured but balanced mouthful.

To spice things up and try something unique, my partner ordered the pig cheeks ($29). It was very rich. Imagine flavourful cubes of tender fat with thin ribbons of pork running through it. If you have the curiosity for this food, it is worth every bite!

To finish, we indulged in the Vanilla Bean Crème Brûlée ($9) with passion fruit seed crunch. The crunch from the passion fruit was the perfect counterpoint to the creamy vanilla custard.

Navarra is a restaurant you will want to treat yourself to for an impeccable food adventure.

Dining out

D’Arcy McGee’s
Enjoy two-pint Fridays between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Its steak sandwich is tasty and its sweet potato fries are worth a visit. 360 Moodie Dr. 613-596-4226.

Bombay Bollywood
Dine in or take out authentic Indian cuisine. Enjoy pakoras, samosas, tandoori and even spaghetti! 438 Preston St., 613-321-3544

 
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