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Ottawa's Latest and Greatest on Restaurants

Learning to love pork at the Tacolot

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Table sign for Aaron Wong Chef`s playground

A summer love affair with pork may have been sparked at the Tacolot in Hintonburg, and this is coming from a former long-time vegetarian. Before describing this potentially budding romance, however, some quick facts are in order. Starting in early-July and running until November 4, a new guest chef will offer a special taco creation every Sunday afternoon at Tacolot on Wellington Street West. The weekly charity event is called the Chef’s Playground and is a fundraiser for the Ottawa Food bank and / or charity of the guest chef’s choice.... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Cooking, Restaurants

The Great Ottawa Beer Guide

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Photo courtesy of tcp909 on Flickr.Photo courtesy of tcp909 on Flickr.

Are you a fan of craft breweries? Microbrasseries? Brew pubs? Beer in general? Then think of this article as a scavenger hunt for the National Capital Region beer aficionado. Despite all the back-to-school sales and frosh week prep going on, there is still some summer left and hunting down a quality pint is a good way to spend it. In honour of National Capital Craft Beer Week, we’ve assembled a list of local destinations for discerning beer fanatics. This list is a pastiche of beer landmarks across the National Capital... | Continue reading article

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National Capital Craft Beer Week is an easy sell

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Photo courtesy of shawn peps on flickrPhoto courtesy of shawn peps on flickr

Ottawa embraces its beer. The growth of our local breweries and the proliferation of local beers on tap at great restaurants keeps us all drinking something fun, unusual and local. This month you’ll have a chance to celebrate this beer culture in the capital with National Capital Craft Beer week, taking place August 10 to 18. There festival features a main-stage at City Hall, where you can take in music entertainment, including two of my personal favourites – the Fiftymen and Dry river Caravan. There will be speakers on beer-related topics, including... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Cooking, Drinks, Restaurants

Creative Mornings: Julian Garner on “Unconventional Creativity”

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Photo courtesy of Julian GarnerPhoto courtesy of Julian Garner

Last month, Creative Mornings brought their blend of pre-lunch intellectualism and coffee to the Ottawa School of Art with a talk hosted by Chef Matthew Carmichael, the man behind Mello’s Pop Up Kitchen. This month, the topic of discussion has shifted from the edible to visual art, with discussion featuring Julian Garner. Long a notable figure in Ottawa’s visual art scene, Garner is one of the men behind Five Cents Tattoo, a parlour located off Parkdale that emphasizes the art in the creative act of tattooing. The venue doubles as... | Continue reading article

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The sweet sounds of Jazz and construction mix at Levante Bistro and Lounge

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All photos courtesy of Alejandro BustosAll photos courtesy of Alejandro Bustos

As construction workers rip up the north side of Rideau Street, surrounded by fencing and concrete barriers, the smooth sounds of jazz play inside Ottawa’s newest downtown restaurant. Welcome to Levante Bistro and Lounge at 180 Rideau, where the neighbour across the street is a 350L CAT excavator, but the ambience inside is filled with jazz, suave urban decor and, if I may offer a tip, a nice spicy chipotle sauce. “We had the unfortunate situation of opening up our doors two weeks before the start of the (Rideau Street)... | Continue reading article

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Filed in: Music, Restaurants

Au Café Show adds a spoonful of drama to your coffee

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Photo courtesy of Au Café ShowPhoto courtesy of Au Café Show

A new coffee shop infusing a little theatre into its lattes recently opened its doors at 161 Promenade du Portage in front of the Portage IV Complex in Hull. This humongous coffee shop, once home to Presse Café, provides a warm and enjoyable setting to unwind and enjoy theatrical shows while serving local products. “We noticed the lack of venues in the region and, since we like the atmosphere of a coffee shop, we decided to combine the two,” said co-owner Fredéric Jobin. Both owners studied theatre at the University... | Continue reading article

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Hey carnivores, this one’s for you: Trailer Pork Boys serve up slow-cooked to go

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TPB

You know it’s good when you wake up the next morning craving more. I guess you could say the Trailer Pork Boys’ pulled pork sandwich is good, then. Into its second week, Ottawa’s newest food truck is all about the pig. The menu is short, sweet, and to the porkalicious point: sandwiches (pulled pork & a “Cuban”) and ribs top the charts. This truck is happy to join two of the hottest trends going: seeing food trucks proliferating urban streets across the continent and the carnivorous response to growing vegetarian/vegan... | Continue reading article

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Chef Matt Carmichael talks Mello’s love and new projects

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Mellos

This is my first article and restaurant review for Apt613; as an avid foodie I volunteered my blogging services to editor and soon-to-be-father François over one too many glasses of wine one Friday night at HUB Ottawa. Full disclosure: it has turned into more of a story than a review and is also a bit late because the first time I went to Mello’s I completely forgot to take any pictures and had to go again the next day; if anything this speaks to how great a meal it was…... | Continue reading article

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Union Local 613, where class meets southern comfort

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Photo courtesy of kimhas7cats on flickrPhoto courtesy of kimhas7cats on flickr

There is no shortage of fine dining options in our beloved Capital City. Foodies can get their fix in virtually any neighborhood, and while we’re often accused of playing catch up to trendier Montreal or Toronto, Ottawa is (almost) always on point with keeping up with restaurants fads and new concepts. Recently, a few Southern-style joints have popped up in the downtown core, integrating down-home comfort food with modern twists. The newest addition to this trend, Union Local 613 or Union for short, takes it to new heights by not... | Continue reading article

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327 Wine Bar: Somerset’s newest classy addition

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327winebar1

The mysterious closing of Benitz Bistro down on Somerset last year brought disappointed sighs from around the city. For Tim Barton and Brad Henderson, though, that close resulted in one of their biggest opportunities to date: opening their own restaurant. But things are never as easy as they sound – from the start, this duo had a challenge ahead. When they walked into the space for the first time, it was set up just as it was when Benitz was actually open – dinner plates, cutlery, glasses all impeccably laid... | Continue reading article

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