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 Jul 12
They've done a good job with the small plates and, while we liked some things more than we liked others, on the whole the quality was really good. My fave dish of the night—the pig cheeks with polenta, mushroom ragout, and swiss chard—sadly did not get photographed.

We ended up spending as much on our trip as we do at most other restaurants at that "tier" (Wellington Gastropub, Allium, Murray Street, etc.), but that got us ten different dishes between four people and about three drinks per person.

And you're right! Our server did refer to it as "sea asparagus". No idea where they're getting it from, though.

2009 Jul 12
The food looks spectacular, Momomoto! The sea vegetable on the pickerel plate looks like Samphire (Samphire). I'm still trying to find it in Ottawa. I wonder if they're mail ordering it for this dish?

2009 Jul 12
And a delightful cheese plate to round things out. From left to right:

- Cape Vessey, goat's milk from Prince Edward County

- Le Cendrillon, ashed goat's milk from St. Raymond, Québec

- Petit Rubis, washed-rind cow's milk from Warwick, Québec

- Thunder Oak five-year-old Gouda, from Thunder Bay

- Ciel de Charlevoix, blue cow's milk from Baie-Saint-Paul, Québec

They were all great. I give my nod to Le Cendrillon (although I've had it zillions of times already), because it's just so darn smooth and buttery; and to the Ciel de Charlevoix, because it's a very smooth, not-overly-spicy blue. Great with the port we ordered.

2009 Jul 12
Wild pickerel, with zucchini, orange, and pinenut pesto.

(All three of those accompaniments are separate from each other, BTW.)

This was a great hit. The pickerel had the crispy skin that I so crave, and the orange really brightened everything up. Actually, the orange *made* the dish for me. Without it things would have been a bit flat.

They also had some fun sea vegetable in the dish, too, which was fun.

2009 Jul 12
Digby scallops with cauliflower purée, chorizo, and garlic scapes.

The scallops were cooked to perfection. Sweet and buttery. Good textural contrast with the scapes and the chorizo. I wouldn't have minded a bit more spiciness from the chorizo, but I think that's because I'm used to nuclear-fired, home-made stuff ;)

2009 Jul 12
Like my grandmother always used to say, "Pics or it didn't happen."

Went to Play last night, only this time we brought the camera. Didn't photograph everything we got, though, because we tore into some things as soon as we got them. Whoops!

This is a mixed charcuterie plate. from left to right:

- Hunter sausage with spicy roasted olives (seen in the bowl in the background)

- Berkshire chobai (dried, mildly-spicy sausage) with charred orange relish

- BC smoked buffalo with strawberry-rhubarb chutney

- Pork rillette with apple mostarda

Of all the four, I think I give my nod to the smoked buffalo (does that make it bresaola?) and the pork rillette. They were all good, but the accompaniments for these two were spot-on. The rillette was a bit coarser a texture this time than it was last time we were here. I'm not sure if it was intentional.

2009 Jul 4
After many Playless nights, we finally made it out for dinner. Not only that, but we got to bring friends of ours and their most adorable toddler.

Good portion sizes, and I like being able to tailor the offerings to ones appetite. The food was solid, although I did think that the chicken confit and spaetzle were a bit salty.

Nice selection of wines, too.

I do have to agree with BigMouth: I found the side plates to be a bit too ridgy for my liking. Aesthetically, they're lovely; functionally, I felt like a lot of sauce got lost in the ridges. Something I'll have to get used to, I think.

2009 Jun 30

I am the Ottawa distributor for Bon Courage. The folks at Play are usually quite forthcoming with my contact info if you ask them or if you would prefer, you can contact me here at Ottawa Foodies by sending me a message.


Zymurgy Sommelier

2009 Jun 18
About a week ago my parents took my to Play for a convocation dinner. Many thanks to all of you who made your suggestions, this was possibly one of the best meals I have ever had.

First of all, I have to give the staff at Play props for being so accomodating. I talked a bit about it in the forum earlier, but in short there was a miscommunication, and in the end Play was very flexible in overbooking for us (it was Beckta's error, long story). Additionally, I couldn't have been more pleased with how helpful they were with my mother's walker.

Now, on to the show!

We ordered 8 dishes total, plus 2 desserts. Our list became so long that my father did this embarassing thing where he took out a pen and paper and started writing things out. It made sense though.

round one
beef tartare: really solid, little bits of beef rather than the completely ground stuff i'm used to. had an amazingly garlicky sauce with it, very tasty. will order again
scallops: quite good with edamame, scallions and bacon. the bacon was a bit too finely chopped and lost, but very tasty
buffalo prawns: the idea was that it was a fancy buffalo wings style dish, but it fell flat for me; the prawns were breaded but not crunchy and the buffalo sauce wasn't flavourful enough. the carrot and celeraic salad with blue cheese was a cute idea though.

round two
grilled caesar: i will have to try this when we get a grill. the romaine heart is grilled, bringing out this awesome sweetness in the lettuce. the dressing (anchovy bacon) was quite good.
hangar steak and frites: we ordered two of these. portions being about 3 oz of steak and a good side of frites. the frites were good, not spectacular...not hot enough for my liking (then again i was probably going after the steak). the steak was melt in your mouth good!

round three
cheese platter, 3: ordered petit rubis, sainte honore and a bluebry. everyone sort of gravitated to one (me = saint honore fan!) so i didn't get to try them all. but the saint honore was very yummy.

round four
rhubarb cobbler: from what i heard was very good, the anise definately adds.
honey pot de creme: holy sh*t. very differently from any creme brulee/creme caramel i've ever had (and i've tried many). i was skeptical, but the taste and the texture was incredible. it reminded me of a baklava served with ice cream and earl grey tea. only all mixed together. heaven in a ramekin. really.

i didn't find the side plates to be much of a problem at all, once you figure out to rest the cutlery across the whole plate.

i promise to post pictures to the forum/flickr/facebook, but sadly my camera battery died so i used my parents' instead.

2009 Jun 10
Had my first dining experience at Play last night. I will definitely be going back to indulge in some of the mouth-watering plates I sampled last night … and to try some more (if my tummy allows me).

Overall - great food, reasonable prices for what you get, great service, nice décor and layout. Now to the important stuff …

My friend and I ordered:
- grilled flatbread with dipping sauces (I was not fond of this plate - bread not what I expected, it was hard and too oily, sauces were nice though -- a trio: olive tapenade, a red pepper mayo type and another more liquidy red pepper type -- sorry don't remember what they were)

- nicoise salad with seared tuna (tuna was lovely, seared just slightly around the edges -- sat atop haricot vert and baby potatoes)

- chicken confit (one de-boned chicken thigh) with spaetzle (type of small German dumpling -- 'twisties') (dish was nice, spaetzle very yummy, overall quite oily though)

- scallops atop the most delicious smoked bacon (!!!) and veggies (the dish was very good)

- the pièce de résistance (lip-smacking) was the grilled hangar steak with fries and aioli sauce (the steak was cooked to perfection, lovely flavour and melt-in-your mouth delicious, the fries and sauce were okay but I would have liked to see something more rustic done with them)

For dessert, we shared the honey pot de crème (crème brûlée) with earl grey sorbet. This was possibly one of the THE MOST DIVINE palate-pleasing experiences I have had in my lifetime. Truly! And this is coming from someone who is not typically a fan of crème brûlées. The sorbet was light and sweet and unbelievably tasty and refreshing. I could have consumed a pint of just the sorbet. Couple that with the pot de crème and it is a pure masterpiece!

I am anxious to return to have the steak and dessert again … soon I hope! Naturally I will want to try other dishes but those two were off the charts delicious!

The price of the meal was extremely reasonable … with the fives plates, and dessert, and one glass of wine and one coffee, our total (for two people) was $100 combined (including tax and a generous tip).

I left Play over-the-brim full.

I only have two 'criticisms': the side plates we ate off of were annoying (they are ribbed and raised along the corners so our cutlery kept sliding off them and the sauces would stay in the ribbed grooves), and as we seated upstairs close to the open kitchen, my clothes definitely smelled of the cooking after we left. Since we really weren't seated that close to the cooking area, I guess the ventilation isn't as good as some other restaurants.

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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.

Wine 3



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 ;)