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Wellington Gastro Pub: The stairway to culinary heaven

By Laurent Robillard-Cardinal on July 17, 2012

As you open the door of The Wellington Gastropub you will be presented with a set of stairs. They will take you not only to the second floor dining room, but also to the height of culinary delight in Ottawa.

Open for five years now, the Gastropub at 1325 Wellington Street West continues to be among the best restaurants in Ottawa. The food, service and décor are three reasons many respect and recognize the Gastropub.

Once inside you’ll notice the beautiful natural colours which decorate the trendy dining room and bar. Recycled wooden chairs, brick walls and original candles made of old water pipes add an interesting twist to the restaurant. While at times it can be a little loud for some, the atmosphere is fun and energetic.

The server’s casual wear is perhaps a shocker at first (t-shirt and jeans), but there is nothing unprofessional about them. Courteous, professional and knowledgeable are three characteristics which come to mind after leaving the Gastropub. Bilingual is one attribute which doesn’t come to mind for the staff, nor the menu.

As for the unilingual menu, it changes rather frequently – almost daily. You can check their menu before heading out. The restaurant usually offers five different choices both for appetizers and dinner and four choices for dessert.

After analyzing the choices and nibbling on Art-Is-In bread, the appetizer arrived. The Acorn Creek Farm Beets was a delicious entry which set the bar high for the rest of the evening, perhaps too high. Pickled red beets with white beets and watermelon created an exquisitely balanced plate. The watermelon cleansed the palate while the pickled red beets offered a delicious and surprising taste of cinnamon and star anise.

For the main came a beautiful piece of Pacific sockeye salmon on a bed a pilaf quinoa with a side of asparagus. The well-cooked fish had a soft texture and a golden brown finish. As for the quinoa it was wet and uninteresting, which was the only glitch of the evening.

Ah yes, the wine and beer menu. Both offer many choices. On the blackboard are many local and appealing beers, such as Waupoos Premium Cider, Neustadt Spring’s ‘Mill Gap’ Bitter and even Dieu du Ciel’s Rosée D’Hibiscus Wheat. Another surprise was just how full it was on a Tuesday evening with patrons strolling in around 9 pm.

If you don’t order alcohol you can expect a bill of about $60 for two. For a special occasion, it’s well worth it.