The Whalesbone Bank
Fish and Chips at The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
The Whalesbone Bank
Salmon at The Whalesbone Bank
Caramelized Lunenburg Scallops at The Whalesbone Bank
Oysters at The Whalesbone Bank
Foods from The Whalesbone Bank

2010 Dec 1
Now open for lunch! Stopped in the other day and had (no joke) best "mac and cheese" of my life.

2010 Oct 14
We've been to this little gem several times, so I thought it was time to write something about it. I really love it when we find a restaurant that lives up to the hype.

Whalesbone is a small restaurant with big things happening. The food, the service, the chef, and their pledge to promote and serve sustainable seafood. Lots of big things in a little package.

Our dinner was, as usual, stellar. It was a busy Friday night and the staff were like bees pollinating a garden. We were seated within minutes of our scheduled arrival (I highly recommend reservations here, unless you intend to sit at the bar).

Our first courses were Corn Chowder with bacon, East and West coast clams, corn and topped with a small fish cake. I had the Walleye Terrine which was a slice of delicious layers of walleye, wrapped in pastry and served with a delicious sauce.

Next course was the Pork Belly and Qualicum Bay Scallops served with apple sauce, split peas, kale, wild mushrooms and an apple cider glaze. The pork belly was spectacular - I should have taken a bigger bite than was offered!

I had the Marinated Hangar Steak served with chipotle dusted french fries, boudin jus, mayo and a pan roasted tomato. The steak was cut perfectly to accentuate the tenderness of this cut. The boudin jus was so meaty and delicious it made me a little dizzy, to be honest. I offered my companion a couple of bites - I just had to share the goodness.

For dessert we shared the Chocolate Caramel Torte with chocolate ganache. Nice touch of flaked salt on top. A superb end to a great evening. The dessert took a while to come out, so we got it for free, who wouldn't like that??

2010 Aug 9
Mussel and Bacon Potato Salad.
The salad is made with red spicy cream sauce. The mussel is very tasty and fresh with the bacon and pepper bits. This potato salad is the gourmet version of a potato salad.

Cod Fish Sandwich $6
You can ask them to separate it so it will not get soggy through time. The fish is again very fresh and spicy. You cannot go wrong with sauteed onions. My only complain is I wish the fish can be a bit bigger.

Oyster P-Boy $8
I LOVE this sandwich. The Oyster is so fresh and strong that I know will throw off some people. Again, the two Oyster is the right balance with the ciabatta bread. DELICIOUS!
Ciabatta Bread is the base of all their sandwiches. However not every batch is made fluffy. For example, this time I found the bread not too fresh. It is quite hard in comparison to the first time I have it.

2010 Mar 31
A photo of me and the mackerel dish, because it was just so awesome.

2010 Mar 21
We've been back to the Whalesbone recently, and, as usual, had a very enjoyable experience. The food and the atmosphere are great! We started by satisfying our oyster craving with a shared plate. My wife enjoyed her paella 'Valencia', and I really liked my mackerel. Mackerel doesn't get a lot of respect (not sexy enough for most restaurant menus, it seems), but it has much to recommend it: it's very tasty, healthy (lots of omega-3), and it comes from a sustainable fishery - something that the Whalesbone folks take very seriously.

2010 Mar 20
I just wrote about the Fraser Cafe having a great steak and I forgot about going to Whalesbone Oyster House a few years ago. I actually asked the bartender to tell the chef I wanted to speak with him. He came out, I shook his hand and said "That is the best steak I have EVER eaten!"

I'm not a fan of oysters (or seafood for that matter) so when a friend suggested Whalesbone I thought I'd be in trouble, luckily they had steak on the menu and I certainly wasn't disapointed. Now that I'm writing this, I think I have to go back as it's been over a year since I've been there.

2010 Mar 20
I went last Saturday for the first time since they've changed chefs again. I took my boyfriend for steak (even the non-fish/seafood has been great in the past) and this time was no different.

Dishes had were the red meat dish (not sure what it was called), beet salad, mackerel, and a dessert). The mackerel was probably the best I've had yet.

The service was also great. I'm still trying to get into eating oysters, and my boyfriend doesn't usually eat seafood, but I coerced him into us each trying one. Much to my dismay, he had an allergic reaction! The staff was great though, giving him an antihistamine (he was all right; thankfully it was only was one oyster and the reaction wasn't severe).

It's not cheap, but I'll be back for another special occasion for sure.

2010 Jan 30
You know that nervous feeling you get when you walk past someone famous? I get that around amazing chefs. They are eminent individuals to me and I have a great deal of respect for them. This is how I feel every time I walk past the open kitchen at the Whalesbone. The food magic that goes on back there has always been out of this world, and last night was no different.

I was with a group of friends celebrating a birthday and we had the best seat in the house, the giant table at the front. The air in this place is always so happy and having that table just makes it that much more fun. It also makes it easy to share dishes with everyone, so that's what we did.

We started off with a couple of oyster plates. So fresh and yummy. I could seriously spend the night just eating oysters.

Next we shared the Fruit de Mer Pizza – mornay sauce, allegretto, mussels, capers, onion, fennel crust and truffle and some fried smelts and chips (they actually weren't called smelts, it was another name that I can't for the life of me remember), I do remember that they were fantastic though, as was the pizza with it's perfectly crisp dough.

I ordered the Charred Line Caught Albacore Tuna as my appetizer, made with crème fraiche, avocado (which I omitted), caviar, mint, basil, cucumber, celery, lemon. Each mouthwatering slice of that soft, translucent tuna was to die for. And I swear, when I closed my eyes, it felt like summer. The flavours exuding from this dish took winter and washed it all away.

Last but certainly not least (yes, I was hungry), my main – Qualicum Beach Scallops with leeks, Cherokee potatoes, spinach and Nantua sauce. The delicate taste and creamy texture of these round morsels of deliciousness were made even more heavenly by the silky sauce that surrounded them.

I just wish that I could do it all over again.

As usual, the service was phenomenal. If you've never been to the Whalesbone, I've got one question for you – What the heck are you waiting for?

2010 Jan 9
My husband and I stopped by the Whalesbone for a nightcap of delicious Beaus on the way home from dinner at a friend's last night. We immediately grabbed a comfortable spot at the bar to watch the cooking show that unfolds at almost any given hour. I could zone out and watch oyster shucking for hours. Maybe it's the anticipation of the finished product, maybe it's just the sheer entertainment of it all. Whatever it is, I love it. And it's what brings me back every time. That and the cozy atmosphere, genuinely friendly staff (they really know how to let their patrons just sit back, relax and enjoy their evening from beginning to end), and of course the heavenly food that has yet to be beat by any restaurant in this city serving seafood.

We've been cutting back on eating out recently. The last time I was here I drooled over my friend's maple butter scallops because I had decided I was going to eat at home and join them after. Big mistake. She did give me a bit though, a torturous bite, best thing I've ever had. I wanted to knock her out and steal her plate (did I say that out loud?).

If you've ever been in this restaurant you'll notice the minute you walk in you can't help but start salivating at all the rich smells that fill the air. Which is why last night, although our tummies were full, couldn't help but order a little something to fill the mental void. That something was the Hot Smoked Newfoundland Mackerel wrapped in a thin, golden fried biscuit so light and crisp, accompanied by a smooth, liquid tartar sauce that added the perfect tang. Along with this magical creation was a warm tomato filled with bacon cubes and dill. I love any kind of smoked fish. This mackerel was to die for. I think I may have to visit their supply shop today to see if they have any to take home.

2009 Jun 26
I've lived across the street from Whalesbone for about four years now and there has not been a single time that I've gone that I haven't had an amazing time there. Seriously, great people, great music, great food...

I mean, here we are in Ottawa, miles and miles away from any coastline, and you've got a great place to get sustainable seafood any time of the year.

God, now I want some oysters.

Oh yeah: If you're reading this before July 28th, go to their website for details about the 2nd Annual Bytowne Oyster Festival... it goes from noon till the evening. I'll be there. =)

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Oysters 4


2007 Sep 15
FINALLY went and tried not only oysters for the first time, but caught Vardy on his last night in Ottawa!
I asked the server which oysters I should try being my first time and she suggested one from the east coast (PEI) and one from the west. The bigger one on the left in the pic is west and the smaller east. I tried the east first and it was smooth and the texture creamy almost. Then I tried the west and it was completely different than the PEI oyster. West was 'fishy' tasting and had a grainy texture. Both were good but I definitely preferred the east coast oyster.


2012 Jan 14
I chose the fish and chips for my lunch, as it is a kind of gold standard for any seafood restaurant. In keeping with the rustic style of this restaurant, it was served in a beaten up metal dog bowl of a plate -- a little too whacky for my taste considering the $17 price point.

I had high expectations for the fish and WOW did it deliver! Incredibly moist and succulent, with a perfect shell of crispy tangy batter. Certainly some of the best fried fish I've encountered anywhere. The only downside is that there were just three tiny fingers of it on my plate.

As for the chips, they were not my thing. Thick wedges of potato, fried to a dark brown on the outside, but tasting like oven-roasted potato on the inside. It's probably just personal preference but I didn't see this as an improvement over pub-style chips. I even left some on my plate, which is something I never do! The smear of tartar sauce was totally unnecessary for the delicious fish, but it did help moisten the potatoes. The sweet pickled onions are also a nice touch if you're into sweet pickles (I'm not).

So overall, I'd go somewhere else for my fish and chips. But if you want to see how perfectly fried fish can be simultaneously moist and crunchy, this dish is worth a shot!


2007 Sep 15
This was my main dish. "Hot filicetti sausage, organic king eryngii mushrooms, pickled ramps and warm crushed heirloom tomatoes"
This was absolutely delicious!! The sauce, heirloom tomatoes, was so perfectly flavoured I wished I had some bread at the end of it so I could soak it up! I did find the scallops to be a touch overdone but nonetheless was still very good. The little sausages added a nice texture to every bite.


2007 Sep 15
My bf ordered the Potato Crusted Red Spring Salmon which was described as "Organic young beets, pea shoots, "broken" soy-chevre-truffle sauce". The server asked how he would like it done and suggested that it should be medium rare but my bf not eating fish/seafood alot opted to have it done medium. He totally LOVED it! He couldn't stop saying how good it was and him being a lover of beets just couldn't get over how delicious it all was. I tried a bite of the salmon and yes, delciousness! The potato crust was perfect.

Steak -1



2007 Jun 22
I can't comment on their oysters, but I had their angus steak in a pepper sauce last week. It was about $35 and fantastic. Much more flavourful than the the pepper steak at Hy's, presented in a more appealing way, and at 2/3s the price.