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New Year’s Eve in Ottawa, 2014

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Photo by ludovick on Flickr.Photo by ludovick on Flickr.

It’s not too early to start thinking about your plans for New Year’s Eve, is it? Luckily, you have a number of fantastic parties to choose from around our great city. Wherever you end up December 31st, remember to stay safe and have fun! If you’re looking for an extravagant night, the Mad Hatter’s NYE Party is the perfect opportunity to don your most outrageous, fabulous attire for an Alice in Wonderland-themed event. You could also choose to combat the cold at the Canadian War Museum’s festive Havana Nights, a... | Continue reading article

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3 tea houses to warm your soul this winter

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Photo from the Cha Yi website.Photo from the Cha Yi website.

Next to water, it’s the drink that is most consumed from coaster to coaster, all around the world – tea. Black, green, white, yellow, oolong, pu-erh and herbal varieties offer a slew of health benefits and a welcomed change to the regular double-double coffee run. As the winter months quickly begin to steep into our bones, cozy up with an old friend or a good book over a pot of loose leaf at some of the city’s warmest tea houses. 1. World of Tea Specialty: Rare and aged terroir artisan... | Continue reading article

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Foodie Friday: Ottawa’s newest microbrewery goes gaga over craft . . . cocktails?

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Photo from the Lowertown Brewery Facebook page. All other photos by Tobi Cohen.Photo from the Lowertown Brewery Facebook page. All other photos by Tobi Cohen.

So Ottawa’s newest brewpub fancies itself a cocktail connoisseur eh? Well, let me be the judge of that. I was invited to the Lowertown Brewery in the Byward Market last week, not to sample its southern barbecue or craft brews, though I did try both. I was there to try something a little less obvious – its handcrafted cocktails which, on weekends, are supposedly served up with flair. On a Wednesday night, the mixology show consisted of a short-lived burst of flame while heating up an orange peel with a... | Continue reading article

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LOCAL Public Eatery set to be next neighbourhood favourite

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Photo provided by LOCAL Public Eatery.Photo provided by LOCAL Public Eatery.

Walking into LOCAL Public Eatery is a different experience than at other Ottawa restaurants. The difference is barely recognizable, but it’s there. The cool, modern décor is reminiscent of eateries in Toronto or Montreal while the warm, inviting staff make you feel at home. My eyes were drawn to colorful vintage fluorescent lights and the open kitchen at the back. A cozy and casual vibe was palpable and I immediately felt at ease despite the bustling crowd and hurry of servers around me. Upon arrival, the hostess let me know... | Continue reading article

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Foodie Friday: Ottawa, have you tried the arepas yet?

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Arepas. Photo courtesy of Gooney's Sandwich Works.Arepas. Photo courtesy of Gooney's Sandwich Works.

Arepa, a kind of corn bread made from pre-cooked corn flour, is my favourite food. Of course, I’m biased because it’s a staple in my native Colombia. It also features prominently in the cuisine in Venezuela, where the Granati family, who run Gooney’s Sandwich Works out of an office tower on Laurier, have roots. Gooney’s is the only place in town that serves anything like them. Crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, the versatile arepa (pronounced “ah-ray-pah”) can be eaten at every meal. Prepared flat and coated... | Continue reading article

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Intersections Vernissage today at the Atomic Rooster!

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All photos by Brant Thompson.All photos by Brant Thompson.

Today marks the vernissage of Intersections, a photography show featuring Brant Thompson, at the Atomic Rooster. A showcase of the best of hundreds of shots and his first photography show, I had the opportunity to sit down and chat with Brant this past weekend about what inspires him as a photographer and what led him to this point. Brant became interested in photography in his late teens and early twenties. He took the photography program at Algonquin College and, for a while, was really into it. Over the years life... | Continue reading article

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Foodie Friday: Super service and modern feel make Giovanni’s an Italian eatery worth visiting

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Photo from Giovanni's Ristorante Facebook page.Photo from Giovanni's Ristorante Facebook page.

“Service, service, service,” is what sets Giovanni’s Ristorante apart, says general manager and tonight’s Maitre D’, Fabio Vitagliano. It’s a motto that would explain the Italian eatery’s longevity on Preston Street – it’s been here for more than 30 years – but it’s only part of the fine dining experience. And make no mistake, dinner at Giovanni’s is an experience. With the exception of pizza, I’m not one to dine out on Italian often. I find many Italian restaurants, especially those in Little Italy, either kitschy or old fashioned. Frankly,... | Continue reading article

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Bourbon Week on now until the 27th

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Photo from The Black Tomato's Twitter page.Photo from The Black Tomato's Twitter page.

Bourbon. The name immediately evokes images of Tom Waits, smokey bars and amber liquor. The smell is sharp like scotch, but has an underlying sweetness to it that warms you from the inside as you sip it. It’s that good, and more. Which is why Ottawa now has a whole week of it. Bourbon Week is on now until November 27th with local bars and haunts participating in the week long celebration of all things Bourbon. The city’s best Bourbon houses are taking part during the seven days, including Hooch,... | Continue reading article

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Foodie Friday: Quitters by Kathleen Edwards

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All photos by Katie Shapiro.All photos by Katie Shapiro.

Katie is a lover of all things local and likes to play with her food. You can find her blogging about her explorations near and far at Kate’s Plate. Though I was initially saddened to hear that one of my favourite Ottawa-based musicians would be taking a break from the music scene, I perked up once I learned of Kathleen Edwards’ plans to open a coffee shop in Stittsville.  As a west-end suburban dweller, I was eagerly anticipating this new addition to our coffee shop selection and it didn’t disappoint.... | Continue reading article

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Weekend Roundup: What to do in Ottawa + Les suggestions @Basement819

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Photo by Juan Monroy from Flickr.Photo by Juan Monroy from Flickr.

Winter is here (yuck) and so is the weekend (yay)! For those of you who have not begun your winter hibernation just yet, there is plenty to do out-and-about in Ottawa. Keep warm this weekend with a glass of bourbon, at the first ever Ottawa Bourbon Week, which kicks off this Friday night at Two Six {Ate}. Beginning this weekend, and continuing on through next week, you can enjoy some delicious drinks paired with inventive eats at some of the best venues in the city – all in honour of... | Continue reading article

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