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Photo: Das Lokal/Facebook.

Pushing Patio Season: Citizen and Das Lokal

By Alison Larabie Chase and Zachary Resnick on October 15, 2021

Welcome to Pushing Patio Season, a new seasonal column to help Apt613 readers find amazing patios that stay open even when it’s a little cold or rainy. We know many people aren’t ready to head back to indoor dining just yet, so once a week until the snow flies, we’ll recommend patios that are heated and/or covered, with fun ambiance and picturesque views (or at least some top-notch people-watching) and of course, serving delicious food and drinks. Got a suggestion for a patio? Hit us up at editors@apt613.ca.


Town/Citizen: Cornering Elgin Street

If you’re a fan of good eats in Ottawa, then you’re probably already acquainted with Town & Citizen, two funky little spots on the corner of Elgin and Gilmour. Owned by the legendary duo of Marc Doiron and Lori Wojcik, Town has become known for warm, modern takes on Italian cuisine and an inventive wine list, while little sister Citizen has garnered notoriety for inventive cocktails and exciting, often-Asian-influenced small plates. While Town has temporarily become a wine shop/bodega due to its narrow and cozy nature, Citizen has expanded its patio all the way around the corner to meet up with Town’s, creating a fun, cozy spot to sip some great drinks, have a delicious bite to eat and watch the human theatre of Elgin Street roll by.

The menu has become a hybrid of both Town and Citizen-style dishes. While the menu changes regularly, our appetizers of confit eggplant with cashews, soy, chili and cilantro and the Humboldt squid with smashed cucumber salad and ginger-lime vinaigrette were so clean and vividly flavourful, you should get them while you can. For mains, Town’s signature meatballs are always perfect and nigh-legendary at this point.

As the sun gets low, heaters click on to match the warmth of the service. If you’re looking for a great place to eat, drink and people watch, Town & Citizen should definitely be high on your list.

Accessibility note: Washrooms are located inside Citizen, which has a ground-level, easily accessible front door on Gilmour. 

 

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Das Lokal: Modern comfort food and a cozy outdoor space

The cozy Dalhousie Street restaurant Das Lokal focuses on modern, German-accented comfort food, and their heated patio ensures you’ll feel the warm embrace even on cooler nights. Two heaters at opposite corners of the tent keep the temperature comfortable. The back of the tent is closed off, to screen it from the resto’s parking lot, but the front is open to the street for people-watching and car-spotting. Soft but plentiful light lets you read the menu properly and see what you’re enjoying.

I’m always here for their Perth pork schnitzel, pounded thin and breaded perfectly, with fresh-pressed spaetzle and seasonal veg, but there are many other delights to be tasted, including an always-creative charcuterie board (with vegan option) and several satisfying vegetarian options including a cauliflower steak. They offer a short selection of great wines by the glass or bottle, loads of local and international beers, plus creative cocktails.

A note on the delicious house-baked Black Forest cake: It’s generous. Very generous. Consider sharing.

Accessibility note: Two single-stall washrooms are located inside Das Lokal, down a short hallway accessed at the end of the bar.