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Cafe Spiga
Cafe Spiga
Cafe Spiga
Foods from Cafe Spiga

2013 Mar 30
Date of Visit: March 13, 2013

I have tried to visit Spiga on a couple of different trips to Ottawa but something has always intervened and made it impossible. Just recently, however, I managed to get there for lunch and I enjoyed the pleasant house wine and a couple of very interesting dishes…

The Food
Grilled Octopus with Portuguese Vinaigrette – Rating: 4 out of 5
Chourico Flambe – Rating: 4 out of 5

Café Spiga is well worth a visit and I really enjoyed the novel delicacies I sampled. There are a good number of other dishes available that I would like to try and I will definitely return on subsequent trips to the capital. I rate it at a decent 4 out of 5.

See full pictorial review at:

2012 May 30
I've been to cafe spiga a few times and always enjoyed my meal.
My most memorable food was grilled calamari. I couldn't believe how good the calamari tasted without the usual coating.

2012 May 29
I went to Spiga a few weeks back and had the kale and chorizo soup as well as the paella. Both were excellent and the service was great. Now I want paella...

2012 May 28
Very disappointing.

Went to Spiga last night for a friends birthday dinner.

Conclusion: Spiga is a run of the mill, cliche Italian restaurant, wherein, because of it's location and decent aesthetic appearance, it can charge high prices for very mediocre, hastily thrown together food, that takes much to long to arrive at your table. I didn't feel like there was any care or love in the food or service. I found this place similar to Mama Teresa's. Bland, boring, hall food style. Spiga is a tourist trap folks.

I started with the mussels in tomato sauce. The tomato sauce was fine, but the mussels were not fresh, period. They were so chewy they made me gag a little. I had the waiter take them back to the kitchen and remove them from my bill. uggh. I had my friend (from PEI) try them and he solidified my decision. When an Italian place cannot do mussels, that is a really bad sign. They wanted to bring me something instead, but nah, I wanted mussels. And based on that, I wasn't going to risk the calamari.

2012 May 28
For a table of 6, it took an hour and a half to get our main meals, which were mostly pasta dishes, and the odd veal Parmesan type dish. Poor service time, coupled with an impersonal server - who did his job relatively well - but wasn't friendly or anything else. He was merely satisfactory.

No fresh pepper or parmisan cheese was offered by the waiter. Half way through our meal, the waiter brought us of a bowl of sawdust parm cheese at our table. Pass!

For the main dish I had the manicotti. Yuck. mushy, bland, michelenas frozen dinner quality. Need I say any more.

Other plates at the table looked hastily thrown together, they were not presented nicely, and they carried with them $20+ price tags. Johnny Farina is much cheaper and leaps and bounds ahead of this restaurant.

2012 May 28
Pictured is a friend's sardine dish. As you can see, presentation is very weak.

Sorry about the dark pictures, forgot to turn the flash on.. but even in it's darkness, you can see the "chef" just threw stuff on a plate.

Very disappointing. Not recommended.

2011 May 29
We went here for dinner last week. I have been here a few times, I had grilled calimari here and loved it.
I love the atmosphere here, the room was full, but you didn't have to shout at the table.
2 appetizers, which were awesome.
Baked mushrooms in a wine sauce with cheese (but not too cheesey)and mushroom, escargot and polenta.
I had veal piccata, for the first time. the veal was very tender but the lemon sauce was very overpowering. not sure if this is how it is supposed to be.
I like the fact that they serve sides with your meal and you don't have to order them as extras. the potato and veggies good.
the wine list leaves a little to be desired, only a few white wines. I don't usually like to spend more than 30 /bottle, but this was 39.
Hubby had a cod dish, which he said was delicious.

2006 Dec 1
It's most likely just salt making you thirsty. MSG isn't very common in Portuguese (or Italian) cooking. The Portuguese have quite a salty taste for food and Bacalhau is salt cod. I had a bacalhau dish (na telha) at Cafe Spiga and I remember it being quite salty.

Chinese food (especially the North American style) is usually salty too, so I'm guessing that's your connection. :-)

2006 Dec 1
Went there last Tuesday with my friend for dinner. Both of us had the Special - I had Bacalhau Spiga and my friend had Chicken Principesa. We exchanged so that we can try each dish. We enjoyed the food and won't mind going there again to try other dishes.

Tuesday night was a quiet night for them. Probably only 3 tables were occupied when we were there.

I do have one concern. When I went home after the dinner, I felt very thirsty. I always feel thirsty after eating Chinese food. This leads me to think that the chef must have put some MSG to the food? Is this a common practice now?

2006 Nov 14
Hadn't been back there in years. Used to love it. What has changed? Our server was unfriendly and unattentive. We, and the next table, had to stand and wave before she would actually acknowledge us...
Started with the mista salad: nice variety of lettuces but no discernable taste of dressing or vinaigrette. My date had the ceasar which he enjoyed: garlicky dressing and lots of croutons.
I then had the veal picata which was flavoured more with lemon juice then zest; so much that it was too tart instead of delicate. My date had the chicken breast with figs: I tried it and it was very good. Perfect balance between the sweetness and the herbs. Dessert: 1 praline ice cream and 1 crème brulé (terrible: thick, lumpy custard barely "bruléd" so no candied shell). 2 table d'hôte, 1 bottle mid-priced wine, 2 espresso: $160 plus tip. Overall: disappointing