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

2009 Mar 20
I had lunch at Play last weekend, and it was a great experience. As some have already commented, it can get expensive if you are looking to eat a lot of food, but if you keep that in mind and watch what you order, it should be fine.

My husband and I ordered 4 dishes between the two of us, and were satisfied.

Their cheese selection is great, and I highly recommend the cheese platter. Our waiter was very knowleadgable and helped us pick cheeses that suited our tastes.

We also had an amazing bread pudding with dulce de leche, and I recommend that as well.

I didn't care so much for their onion soup as it was on the sweet side. I was hoping for a French onion soup taste, but that is more personal preference.

2009 Mar 16
I was here two weeks ago for lunch, and had a very nice time. Alas, I have to admit that I will likely not return for lunch, as I will explain. I have to start by saying that the food was most excellent, and I enjoyed every single dish. The server was friendly, knowledgeable, professional, and I think she even laughed at my jokes, so that is a definite A+. We were seated, by choice at the window ledge on the first floor on a bright sunny afternoon (btw, a suggestion for Mr. Beckta, would be to add a nice matching wooden tabletop to this seating area, that overhangs the windowledge, so it is easer to sit and eat.) Tom and I were there to catch up, and try out Mr. Beckta's latest venture. I have to admit, the fault is all mine, but we did not read the prices on the menu, we just ordered what we wanted...
2 Onion Soup
3-Cheese Plate (1 plate, w/ 3 cheeses)
Duck Confit
Digby Scallops
+ two other savoury dishes (ordered by Tom, so I don't remember)
4 Beau's Bogwater (2 each)
The bill, including tax came out to close to $120, and I had one of those candy store moments. Those candy stores where everything is sold by the kilogram, and you just load up your bag. Inevitably, you get to the cash, and the candy you have chosen costs WAY MORE than you thought it would. I can sympathize with others who have reviewed this place, and were not 'full' when they left. I cannot say I was hungry when I left, but I was definitely not full. I think I've nailed down where my expectations were not met... and it is not the precisely the fault of the establishment. I expect lunch menus to be more inexpensive than dinner menus and so ultimately, I do not feel my $60 was well spent. If I had spent the same amount having dinner, and had added dessert perhaps for another $10, I would not have had that same candy store feeling. Unfortunately, if I removed an item from lunch, to save money, I definitely would have been hungry when I left... a dilemma which will likely prevent me from going back for lunch. Sorry Mr. Beckta, your food was delicious, the ambience was great (yes, I loved the look of the place), and the service very good, but I cannot afford you for lunch. If I were to be so bold as to offer a suggestion, it would be this. Provide a way, a mechanism through which it is possible to spend $20 for lunch (before booze), and leave full. Still tease us with all those delicious little plates, tempting us to spend more, but fill us with some substance too...

2009 Mar 14
I shared a lunch today at play. I was in re market and feeling slighlyy hungry but didn't want to eat shwarma, I remembered someone telling me a few days ago that play had really incredible value. Boy were they right. I am familiar with Beckta having eaten there a half dozen times. I was execting the same tight presnetation just very small portions ( something that our waitress was quick to point out. ) I decided on the chorizo with rice and roasted red pepper. My friend had the poutine with aged cheddar , pork ragout and demi. I ordered a side of fries anticipating maybe 3 small pieces of chorizo. To our amazement the food was on the table in 4 minutes flat. I was pleasantly surprised with my dish , simply a large portion of rice pilaf a half of a roasted red pepper and a huge chorizo susage to top it all off. The poutine as well was starkly presented. If was pure honest food at it's best. No chefs in the back fussing over garnishes and hopng the tower of food they have constructed will make it to the table. Oh yeah everything was fantastic. As well the server seemed very genuine and confidant about everything she was serving. Rightfully so. For dessert we had bruleed bananna with fig gellato, brownie and pineapple -rum compote. A perfect finish. All together with tip was $36 ( and the tip was$ 8). I'm not sure if the portion sizes have been increased because of some complaints addressed earlier but I can say I left feeling nourished not full and bloated as I do when I leave other restaurants. I think play strikes a very fine balance and I plan on lunching there as much as possible.

Good work all around !

2009 Mar 8
I've been to Play twice, and speaking solely about the food, most of it was a dissapointment.
^^Disclaimer: I'm not trying to be an overly tough critic/what have you, but seriously, nothing really stood out.

The steak frites was the only thing I could have again. The sauce for the fries was good, but there could have been a splash of garlic/blue cheese butter/to spice up the plate.
^the sauce was thick and right for fries, but nogo for the steak. Also, a little more meat, a little less mushrooms.
^^I'll post a full detailed report later. Have to consult with my guests of each occasion.

The good:
Hostess and server were very friendly.
Mixed drinks were very good
Good wine pairings [I liked the Homberto (sp?) pinot that was matched to the tartare]
Hostess gave me a quiet booth as per my request for "out of the way" when I was making reservations
The potato chips that come with the beef tartare!
These are excellent - this should be a side with two dips.

The bad:
Very loud when the place was full - have thoughts on how to address this. This isn't a huge negative for me, as it lends to a boisterous, fun atmosphere, like in a real brasserie, but for a lot of people I can see how this is a negative
All dishes were completely off the mark - undercooked this, too runny creme brulee, french oinion soup in a giant, shallow bowl, etc.
Sometimes too much going on on a plate, sometimes with no value ex: scallops
Server dumped a whole glass serving on a guest of mine with out A) Asking her to taste it and B) seeing how much she wanted (a half-glass in this case). Also, friendly servers are good, but overly casuall where talking with the hands makes my guest think she may have an eye poked out can be toned down just a little bit .

Thoughts: Decor - upstairs is bland - maybe affix black, die-cut vinly decals to the walls (blue/black) - easy and fun? Anything really since it's blue walls/white ceilings.

In any case, the idea for the cuisine is right for the location. Would like to see better executed food, with more focus. Also, maybe more creative desserts. Possibly back, but not too soon as there are so many places to go, and want to hear that kinks have been ironed out.

Note: The first time I went it was $130 before gratuities, and we only consumed 2 drinks each i.e. mostly food so had a serious go at the menu and did share and compare everything.
Overall, I checked out the "new place everyone was talking about". But the cost was not worth it.

And yes, I went twice. Felt very underhwelmed, and no, can't excuse the "newness" for all that we saw wrong. An odd speedbump, sure, but not if the speedbumps add up to be on par with a motocross track.

2009 Mar 7
A couple girlfriends and I finally got a chance to "Play" last night at Steve Beckta's new restaurant. After having oogled at their website and online menu, we finally decided that even if it turned out to be incredibly expensive, we could afford to go at least once; so we made reservations to go right after work.

Although the decor was not as welcoming as I would have expected when I first stepped inside, the others loved it and thought it was rather chic. Decor aside, the service was incredible; our waiter was friendly, funny, knowledgable and very patient with all the questions that we bombarded her with. At the end of the night, we even saw Mr. Beckta himself showing some guests to their seats. (We would have loved for him to stop by our table so we could tell him how thoroughly we had enjoyed the food but unfortunately that didn't happen...)

Now, if I had to recommended anything from the menu, it would be the duck confit; it was superb and incredibly filling. The curry shrimp were also a delight. I also have to say that although the portions seemed small when they arrived at the table, we were all happily satiated after 2 plates, a dessert and a couple glasses of wine. Not to mention, when we finally asked for the bill approx. 3 hours later, we were all pleasantly surprised at how affordable everything came out to be!

There's no doubt that we'll be returning to Play again and recommending it to other food lovers!

2009 Mar 4
My wife and I went to Play a couple of weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, although a few dozen more gnudi would have been nice :)

Although each plate seems expensive for what you get, I remarked at the end that the overall bill, with 3 glasses of wine (great to have the taster size to be able to pair with different courses and plates) was very reasonable. We left well-fed and impressed and no poorer for the experience then when we go to any other restaurant of similar quality. The quantity was deceiving.

As for the decor and the noise, we were upstairs and, although noisy, it was not deafening. The decor was stark but not offensive.

I work in the Market and look forward to returning for lunch!

2009 Mar 3
I agree FreshFoodie! I've never been, but now I kind of want to go!

2009 Mar 2
Thanks, stevebeckta, for your friendly and professional response! Nothing would make me happier than to see every negative comment on this site receive a reply even half as reasonable and constructive as yours. Your level of dedication is quite frankly awesome. :)

2009 Mar 2
Hi Everyone:

Thanks for all of your comments and feedback. I'm thrilled that most of you enjoyed your experience with us at Play in our first few weeks. I should also say how much my staff and I really love Ottawa Foodies. It's a really great community. I'm sorry that a few of you found Play too noisy for your liking. If you would prefer a quieter area, please mention it the next time you are making a reservation and we would be happy to accommodate your requests as much as possible. I'm also sorry, Poutine, that you had some issues with the your experience and I would love to be able to address them with you. I appreciate all of your comments and your obvious love of your Beckta experiences as well. Feel free to email or call me personally. I would love to try to turn your experience around on another visit. You can reach me at or 613-667-9207. Again, thank you all for your comments and I hope we get to see you at Play and Beckta in the future.

And thanks also, Captain Caper, for pointing out that someone didn't enjoy their experience. Much appreciated!

2009 Mar 2
hey CC how do we know you didn't make that account? :P

anyhow this could get interesting...brb, popping popcorn

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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.

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Dessert 1



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 ;)