Play Food and Wine
Play Food and Wine
Play Food and Wine
Play Food and Wine
Play Food and Wine
Play Food and Wine
Dessert at Play Food and Wine
Dessert at Play Food and Wine
Play Food and Wine
Play Food and Wine
Play Food and Wine
Play Food and Wine
Play Food and Wine
Play Food and Wine
Play Food and Wine
Foods from Play Food and Wine

2017 Jan 4
Play is an favourite of mine. Went for lunch a couple times in the fall/winter of 2016. Both times, I very much enjoyed the lunch special (any two plates for $22). The hanger steak is delicious. So was the trout. They also know their wine (well, they are a wine bar...). You can't go wrong with the lunch here. Dinner is cozy.

2015 Feb 3
So, on Saturday the 26th (I know, long time since), it was my 2 year anniversary of end of cancer, so I decided to have a celebratory dinner with my parents at Play. We arrived, and they had our table ready, and sent a complimentary bottle of Proseco to the table for us, which I felt was a very nice gesture.

The food, of course, was without compare. I had and very very much enjoyed the grilled hanger steak. Cooked perfectly, nice and juicy, the accompany also was nice, being perfectly made mushrooms and tasty fries.

For desert we had the cheese plate, and that was also really really nice.

The service was spot on. Fast, friendly, and helpful.

I recommend Play again, and am very very glad to see that it's maintained the level of quality since last time I went a year and some ago.

2013 Aug 26
We went for a light dinner at the bar on Saturday night. Started with the charcuterie plate which was all delicious (and paired very well with what must be the last of the Heller High Water). Unfortunately they had just run out of prosciutto, but the alternative genoa salami was tasty. We also got an order of the buttery truffled popcorn.

Went for just two items - pickerel cheeks and scallops - both very well done. Scallop still slightly translucent in the centre and seared golden on the outside. Only miss was that I ordered a pairing wine for the pickerel and the overworked bar tender forgot, but he was extremely apologetic and comped me the glass of wine. No problem. It happens.

I really like Play for a casual dinner like this.

2013 Aug 14
Was very happy to find Play open on Sunday afternoon ~ we went for a late (2:15pm) lunch. A great meal and experience.

Him: Grilled shrimp escabeche/spicy hummus/red leaf/cava + Grilled hangar steak/mushroom/frites/aioli
Me: Chorizo/roasted capsicum relish + Ancient grains/almond butter/Louis D'Or/crispy smoked tofu (great textures and flavours here - really loved this dish)
We added: Moroccan radish slaw
Dessert: Fudge brownie/berries/Florentine cookie + (holy flip delicious) Fig strudel/red wine reduction/pear sorbet

A superb lunch and 2 plates for $20! Our plates were cleaned. The three staff out front were friendly, knowledgeable and right on.
My companion, a Michelin-starred chef, was visiting from the UK and heading to the airport a few hours later. A really nice, relaxed atmosphere and another reason for him to visit Ottawa again.

2013 Jul 22
Dear Mac1960: First let me thank you for dining at Play so much recently. I'm really happy you have had some great experiences but I'm mortified that you were left with a bad taste in your mouth from your server questioning a gratuity on your last visit. I promise that this is not our normal hospitality and I apologize for any offense taken. My sincere hope is that it was a misunderstanding, but in any event, I will look into it with our team to ensure that this mistake never happens again. I really hope we can win back your trust in us and I would love to make this up to you on another occasion. I can always be reached at and hope to hear from you soon.

With many thanks,


2013 Jul 17
After 3 visits to Play I am sad to say that I am not too impressed. I really wanted to love this place. Went for the first time about a year ago. We were a group of 5 people and the evening started out okay but as our meal progressed the service got slower and slower. One member of our party waited about 30 minutes for one of his plates. When my dessert came I had to ask 3 times for a coffee to go with it. I thought it was probably just an off night. Went about 6 months ago with a group of 7 people and everyone enjoyed it - food was good as was the service. So, last night I went again with three other people. The food was good - I had the boar sausage (really glad that the menu didn't claim that it was wild boar!) and the service was friendly and laid back. At the end of the meal, the waiter brought over the debit/credit machine. My friend handed over credit card, punched in her info, handed machine back to waiter. Waiter looks at machine and says "there's no tip". My friend is surprised - she tells the waiter she thought she had punched in a tip amount. Waiter then says it is fine, no problem, don't worry about it. At same time, my friend indicates that she will just leave cash for a tip (which she did). The rest of us pay and we leave. We were surprised that the waiter would point out that there was no tip. Not sure if it just popped out of his mouth without his thinking first how it would sound. I should add that I used to work in the service industry and I have the utmost respect and appreciation for people who do this work. When I go out to spend money in a restaurant I know before I even get to the restaurant that I will be paying for the service (i.e. my tip starts at 20% - it goes up from there). The people I hang out with have the same attitude. We are polite and friendly when we go out. Anyway, we left Play with a bit of a bad taste in our mouths and it wasn't from the food.

2013 Jun 24
Dear Peachy:

Thank you very much for dining at Play recently with your friends. I'm so sorry that the portions were not as large as you have experienced in the past. I will certainly bring it up with the chef today and make sure that the sizes are always generous for what you pay for. In the meantime, I would love to make it up to you on another visit. My email address is and I hope we can have you back again before too long. Please apologize to your friends for me as well. Hopefully we can have you all back as a group again.



2013 Jun 23
I dined at play last night with six other friends for a friends bachelorette. The service was absolutely wonderful, the wines were delicious and of good value (such an amazing wine list - my favourite in the city), but we unfortunately found the food to be lacking. Now everything was delicious, we had orders of the hanger steak, asparagus and gnocchi among other things, but the portions were incredibly tiny. The asparagus came with arugula, Pecorino and guanciale, and for $12 we got 4 stalks of asparagus. The hanger steak had 5 tiny pieces, barely big enough to cut in half. I could go on because every dish was like that. And now I know i was there with a bigger group, but I've been there many times with between 6-8 friends and we have always been able to have decent tastes of each dish, not so this time. At the end, faced with the choice of ordering more dishes or calling it a night, we decided to pay our bills and go, and moved on to some pizza to absorb the delicious wine.

2013 Jun 15
talking about Nat’s Bread Company , I had dinner at Gezellig tonight and their bread was very nice. We really liked the dip for the bread.
It was some kind of dip...sorry I cannnot remember what it was... not butter or oil. it was really nice.

If I am correct, you can buy breads at Thyme and Again.

2013 Jun 13
Hey guys: Thanks so much for all of the great raves about Play and about Nat's bread. She does bake for all three of our restaurant, but due to increased demand, we had had to move her from Gezellig to Beckta where we have more room in the basement for her flour and larger fridges for her proofing sourdough. I will make sure to share your compliments with Nat and hope to see you all soon at one of our spots.

All the best,








2009 Nov 26
Play's sommelier, Grayson, is the nicest guy. He always goes the extra mile to make us feel welcome, and is extremely adept at providing excellent wine suggestions. He's also quite the comedian, which makes the experience that much more enjoyable.



2014 May 9
I had the mini baked alaska a few weeks back, which apparently was on the menu quite some time ago. Glad they brought it back. It was the best dessert I've had at a restaurant in recent memory. Chocolate base with After 8 gelato and covered in a soft and sticky peppermint meringue.

2011 Oct 18
Their creme brulee is basically their signature dish, though it changes with the seasons. The first two times that I went to Play, it was an earl grey creme brulee, and I scraped the ramekin down each time. I've since tried the lavender one...another one...and a cinnamon creme brulee with poached pears. Each was magnificent.

2011 Oct 15
I had the lavender crème brûlée here a few months ago, and honestly... I still dream about it. I'm not even a huge crème brûlée fan, nor even a lover of lavender, but it was FANTASTIC! The flavours were perfectly paired, the dessert itself was creamy and light. GET IT!!!

2009 Jul 13
My friend's pavlova. I tried some and thought it was excellent!

2009 Jul 13
The cookies I ordered for dessert. They were good, but I prefer crispy-chewy cookies. These were very shortbread-y. As Fresh Foodie always says "my problem, not theirs" :)

From left to right - lemon poppyseed, chocolate chunk, lemon sugar.

I'm a big chocoholic as well so wouldn't have complained if there were more chocolate chunks in the chocolate chunk one ;)