65 Holland Ave.
Lunch & Dessert for 2: $40
Like many restaurants today, Canvas has a stated commitment to providing fresh, local and organic food. This is fitting during the summer months, especially given its proximity to the Parkdale Market, yet challenging during Ottawa’s winter months.
My Croque Monsieur ($11) came with a lightly toasted croissant sandwiched around the obligatory ham and cheese. Although filling, it was timidly seasoned and too weak to woo me. My guest ordered the Cuban Steak Sandwich ($12) on ciabatta and was pleased with the seasoned beef filling, Mojo sauce, avocado, and tomato. We both felt the fries were passable, tender but lacking crispness on the outside.
For dessert, my guest ordered a green pistachio- flavoured Crème Brûlée ($6), unique in colour but traditional in its creaminess. Chocolate was on the menu, so I tried it. A tower of chocolate mousse ($6) set on a drizzle of raspberry coulis was rich, chocolatey and a sweet ending to a meal that had its best moments during dessert.
While the service was impeccable, the food at Canvas didn’t make us want to rush back for a return visit (at least during the winter months). We’ll wait until summer arrives to return.
The Whalesbone Oyster House
Three to five types of farmed East and West Coast oysters are available to choose from for seafood lovers here. All are served raw with a variety of sauces and condiments. The owners are members of the Endangered Fish Alliance and serve sustainable fish and seafood. 430 Bank St. (613) 231-8569.
East India Company Restaurant
Along with being a popular eat-in restaurant for three-and-a-half decades, it also sells its popular homemade Garam Masala. Three varieties are available: Garam Masala, Chai Spice and Tandoori Spice. $10 each, or all three for $25. 210 Somerset St. W. (613) 567-4634.