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See also: Vetta Osteria

Café Paradiso
Café Paradiso
Dessert at Café Paradiso
Dessert at Café Paradiso
Café Paradiso
Steak at Café Paradiso
Spring Rolls at Café Paradiso
Café Paradiso
Foods from Café Paradiso

2012 Feb 19
I had the Moroccan Salmon served on a chickpea and vegetable stew and a side of chili sauce. The salmon was done just right. The veggie stew was good but not outstanding. Overall, a very satisfying meal.

I ordered a glass of Chile Sauvignon Blanc which went really well with my meal.

2012 Feb 19
Honestly, we came here because there was an hour wait at Mill Street Pub and we were not disappointed. I usually come here for lunch with colleagues and always enjoy their sandwich and soup special. The attached picture is my friend's meal: Pickerel on mash potato and vegetables. She liked it very much. Picture of my meal in next post.

2009 Dec 5
Went here for dinner tonight. Walked in to a very nice atmosphere, greeted warmly. Jazz was wonderful.

Menu looked nice. Service was prompt at first. Our waiter seemed a little lost/confused/bland, but not really a concern to me.

Antipasto appetizer was ordered. One of the reasons we ordered it was because it featured figs. Get the appie and there are no figs! Went to check the menu and ran into the manager and asked him about it. Sure enough, they probably didn't have any. We should have been notified at ordering time. Did get an apology for this, but too little too late I guess. The appie itself was "okay". Two items on the plate very very similar to items I cook so I wasn't wowed, but it was a nice little assortment. I had also asked the waiter if the cheese on the plate would be touching anything else (allergy) and he was a tad uninformed/rude and just said they put stuff on the plate, no question about allergies.

Ordered our mains and asked the waiter which wine he recommends - he suggested the first wine (most expensive), I didn't listen to him and went with another, which I really enjoyed.

I read below about the wonderful bread and I'm not sure what this is about as it was some sort of crusty bun, not even warmed up. We only got one piece each.

For our mains - I ordered the Salmon, shrimp, scallop tower with bean puree and veggies. Presentaion very nice. My friend ordered chicken which smelled wonderful. We dug in. It was good.... At first. The bean puree was very garlicky, but I'm okay with that since I love garlic! - but would someone else be? As we ate, our water quickly ran out. The waitress came to the table next to us, had to squeeze to get there, had her back to us while pouring water to the table next to us and promptly walked right by us without even looking. It was so weird, it was funny!

The meals were actually very salty (bean puree), hence the need for water. The salmon was cooked perfectly - yummy, it was really really good! The shrimp and scallop were overdone.

The portions were more than ample and I could not finish mine, which is too bad (part of the reason was due to the saltiness).

I had already made up my mind that I would not return to eat dinner, but perhaps a glass of wine with an appie and take in some jazz....

By the time the fiasco with the bill ended, any thoughts of wanting to come back were gone.

This is a huge customer service area for me. Why I should have to sit there and figure out with a calculator how much each of our totals is, is insulting. I've been to restaurants where if their computers cannot do it, they are only too pleased to write it on our bill for us.

Our waiter kept saying that he was trying to help me, but frankly, good customer service would be for HIM to figure out each of our totals at pay station rather than giving us a calculator which was as I said, insulting.

The place has great potential, but it does need to work on a few things. Unfortunately, I was not happy when I left.

2009 Apr 20
Went here with GF last Friday night. They didn't have the reservation I made the day before! Long wait before acknowledged by waiter. No one gave us the wine list so we were confused. After food was served, waiter stopped by once but we never heard from him again after that. It was pretty obvious that he slipped out with his friends from the bar for a smoke break! He later gave us the bill when "they had to close that side", but never asked if we wanted desert or more drinks... Food was quite nice (she had pork, I had pickerel entree) and the music was excellent.

2008 Dec 27
Had dinner here with a few friends on a Friday night back a couple of weeks ago. We started at 7:30 which was perfect because we were just ordering dessert when the live jazz started. Wish we could have stayed longer because the show was wonderful.
The food was good too. This was my second time here and I still have one small concern. The amount of sauce/dressing is a little too much. Makes for some splashing, but other than that, the food was good. I started with the butternut squash soup of the day. It was heavenly. I could have eaten a vat of it! I then had the pork tenderloin with the bordeaux glaze. The pork was cooked perfectly and was tender, juicy and very tasty. Again, the amount of sauce was a little too much though.
Shared the Le Chocolat for dessert with the rasberrry gelato (I believe from Picolo Grande) which was scrumptuous. The desserts are not large, which suits me fine. Just enough sweet to satisfy but not enought to make me feel sick at the end of a good meal.
We will definitely be going back to have a nice meal and check out the show at the same time. Ottawa needs more of jazz clubs. It was such a treat!

2008 Jan 3
I had lunch here again the other day and had nothing short of a positive experience. I cheaped out and ordered the striploin steak frites ($17) instead of the tenderloin ($30). The generous cut of meat was of good quality and my steak was cooked med-rare as ordered. I enjoyed the demi-glace as I'm a big fan of sauces on my steaks (bernaise, etc).

This restaurant gets quite busy and they have a fair amount of tables packed into a small space. After reading the previous review I feel perhaps they were a little overwhelmed in the kitchen - although a 40 minute difference between a couple's mains seems a little hard to believe.

I'll be back...

2008 Jan 1
I went here with my wife for our anniversary and I have to say, I can't think of an experince that could have ended more poorly.

My steak was cooked incorrectly (how the hell do you accidentally cook a steak medium well when I requested it to be rare?!?!? I don't mind if it's slightly off, but there's a HUGE difference between "red in the middle" and "brown and boot-like")

My wife ordered the fish, and it came almost 40 minutes after my steak. Despite this fact, it was so overcooked that she literally couldn't eat it.

We both love jazz, but there is absolutely nothing that could force either of us to ever come to this $#!@hole again.

My drink was incorrectly made, but still horribly expensive. The waitress actually argued with me when I mentioned that I didn't get what I ordered.

I have no idea how this horrible place manages to stay afloat, considering that the service and food were both god-awful.

2007 Nov 7
We came here for lunch on a weekday in September. Overall our experience was pleasant, although our overall impression was in line with what we experienced at the Metropolitain Brasserie -- prices a little high in general and food quality was highly variable. All that means is you just have to order the right things.

Wifey's Roast Chicken Club, pictured here, was made with Art-is-In bread (bonus points) and was generally quite tasty. She wasn't terribly happy because there was a Moroccan taste to the chicken that she didn't like and it seemed to have been reheated. But we can't fault Cafe Paradiso for that -- after all, wifey's dislike of Moroccan food is her problem and roast chicken often does taste kind of reheated. Clubs are typically made with grilled chicken because they taste nicer that way. The cost for the Club with a side of frites was very reasonable: $12. That's the same as the price of the measly spring roll appetizer!

Service was quite friendly, with two notable flaws. First, we had a hard time getting enough water and ended up leaving quite thirsty. Second, our server gave us our bill when he served dessert, saying that he had to close up the tab because he had to leave. That in itself is not a problem, but seeing him still hanging around the bar when we left 25 minutes later was a bit ripe.

2007 Nov 7
I was at Cafe Paradiso just recently and I just had to make a comment. I want to tell everyone I know what a great place this is. The food was terrific and the service was well above average. I believe my server's name was Natalie? She was quite attentive while suggesting the most perfect meal for me and my husband. We have never been there before and were not certain what to order. The beef Carpaccio (my spelling may be off) was delicious, and she also was able to suggest a very tasty whine!

Hats off to the Chef, the Service, and the atmosphere in general. I will be coming back!

2007 Nov 6
Oh no! What a disastrous lunch we had! My colleagues and I visited Cafe Paradiso for lunch on friday afternoon last week and we waited 30 minutes to be greeted and have our order taken. Two of us got the beef and pecan burgers and the fries were cold by the time they got to us. We were in kind of a hurry, so we didn't send them back. Also the waitress did not hide her stress well and was over-the-top fake nice. We then waited in a gigantic line for another 15 minutes to pay with our debit cards. Maybe it was just an incredibly busy friday, but should it take almost two hours for 3 people to eat lunch?




2007 Sep 21
They serve complementary Art-Is-In bread here for lunch and dinner.



2007 Nov 8
I'm so disappointed you didn't like these FF! Judging by your reviews, it looks like you're quite the spring roll guru as well :)

True - they were very different than what you'd get at a Chinese or Vietnamese place, but I really liked the texture and flavor of the roll itself. Anyhow I've only tried them once, but they were memorable.

2007 Nov 7
Beautifully presented, but not as gigantic as we expected for the price ($12 for the pair). I could forgive that if they tasted amazing but they didn't. To my taste, they were too sweet, too mild, and not "Asian" enough. Based on the description, I was expecting some flavour of Char Siu.

People seem to like them though, so please be warned that my opinion is not shared universally. :-)

2007 Sep 23
They have spring rolls as both a dinner and lunch appetizer here. Two rolls stuffed BBQ pork, roasted sweet potato, wild mushrooms and Daikon slaw, Szechwan saté sauce, and a side ginger sesame dip. Nice and crispy and juicy on the inside without being too oily. If they had sriracha and hoisin on the side I'd be in heaven!



2007 Nov 7
The Steak-Frites Paradiso was decent, although I asked for medium rare and it was more like medium *well* in most places. The absolutely thickest part was a good medium rare, so I didn't feel justified in complaining at the time.

Fried onions were a nice visual but didn't add much to the taste experience. In fact, combined with the frites and steak there was a bit of grease overload. But then steak frites is supposed to be a heavy meal. The Beaujolais demi-glace was good and made the steak interesting.



2007 Nov 7
After the disappointing and overpriced spring rolls, and the decent but not spectacular steak, I was thrilled to discover how great the desserts were!

First, some background. We were out for lunch because my parents were visiting and were willing to babysit. My Mom had reminded me just the day before how the sorbets in Switzerland are often served with a shot of schnapps or liqueur. So when I saw the Sherbotka on Café Paradiso's menu, I had no choice but to order it.

This was an extremely generous portion of Pure Gelato lime sherbert. Really top notch and refreshing stuff! The cookie tasted like a macaroon and melted in my mouth. The big shot glass of vodka just made it more exciting. I poured about 2/3 of it onto my sherbert and slurped the last bit straight. Fire and Ice baby!

Highly recommended.

2007 Nov 7
Wifey had the Le Chocolate dessert (quote from menu: "Espresso cream center surrounded by a sweet chocolate mousse, on a shortbread base & covered in bitter-sweet chocolate, served with marinated berries and raspberry gelato").

She absolutely loved it! I tried some and it was awesome. Fairly priced at $8.