Big Easy’s Seafood & Steak House
228 Preston St.
Dinner for two with drinks: $80
At Big Easy’s, you’ll get New Orleans’ style seafood and steak, but don’t hold them to the promise of a bayou buzz.
With their seven-foot oyster bar tempting us, we started with a tasting of six oysters ($9). The favourite condiment among the several selections was the sweet raspberry, onion and balsamic compote. Also good was Big Easy’s Crab Cake ($14) using blue crab with a simple tomato sauce for sliding bites through before tasting. The Southern Louisiana Shrimp and Crab Gumbo ($8) was traditionally laden with okra and had the distinctive taste of sassafrass from the filé powder.
Blackening fish is common in Louisiana cuisine, and though black in parts, the Blackened Salmon Pontchartrain ($28) was more browned than blackened.
The lemon butter sauce with its chunks of shrimp, crawfish and blue crab was tasty and generous. My 12 oz. Ribeye ($30) was perfectly cooked, but the cut was extra fatty, not just well-marbled. With great expectations of a heavenly Béarnaise sauce promised by the wait staff, I was disappointed by the light-on-tarragon butter served instead.
The homemade Vanilla Crème Brûlée ($7) came with a dark, crunchy layer of crackle that was perfectly bitter with the sweet and creamy crème.
If you’re looking for an alternative to the popular Lone Star Texas Grill or Big Daddy’s Crab Shack, then move your anchor. This one will satisfy but not buzz.
Sushi At Wasabi Japanese Restaurant and Sushi Bar, you’ll find authentic Japanese dishes including signature rolls and sushi that can be served in a Sushi Boat for two. It’s tempura and bento boxes are highly recommended. 41 Clarence St. (613) 241-3636
Fresh Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of Carmen’s Veranda in the heart of Old Ottawa South. Fresh ingredients are used daily from local producers, and the colourful and artistic decor is equally as unique as the rotating menu.
Sample wine with an introduction to tasting by Wayne Walker including a gourmet lunch this Saturday at TRIO Restaurant — Novotel Ottawa from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. $129 per person. www.eventbrite.com/event/512437715/rss