Neapolitan style wood oven pizza.

Grand Pizzeria and Bar
Pizza at Grand Pizzeria and Bar
Pizza at Grand Pizzeria and Bar
Pasta at Grand Pizzeria and Bar
Grand Pizzeria and Bar
Grand Pizzeria and Bar
Grand Pizzeria and Bar
Grand Pizzeria and Bar
Grand Pizzeria and Bar
Grand Pizzeria and Bar
Grand Pizzeria and Bar
Pizza at Grand Pizzeria and Bar
Pasta at Grand Pizzeria and Bar
Calamari at Grand Pizzeria and Bar
Grand Pizzeria and Bar
Foods from Grand Pizzeria and Bar
Comments

2009 Jul 14
We were here on Friday night around 8pm. The patio was very busy, but we still managed to get a table on the side of teh gate. there was a magic show happening just a few feet away; it was loud and people were leaning on the gate and one person actually tried to take my fiancÚs menu from his hands to see it. lol Anyway, we decided to move indoors. Very nice place, a lot less busy inside. We ordered the grilled calamari and I have to agree with previous reviews, it was delicious! We would come back just for this dish. My fiancÚ had the The Grand Pizza $18. (Tomato sauce, mozzarella, scamorza, fresh basil and prosciutto di parma). I found it very tasty, however expensive for what it was.. Also, 1 basil leaf in the middle, that was it.

I had the Sicilia $17. (Tomato sauce, mozzarella, Sicilian anchovy, capers, and olives) Sadly I did not enjoy it. It was a little on the overcooked side and was EXTEREMELY salty and dry, I did not detect any of the tomato sauce.. We both enjoyed 2 glasses of the Beaulieu Cab Sau.

Here is where I think they need to improve:
-It took over 1hr after eating our calamari to receive our pizza's.
-Our server was very nice, smiled a lot but was running around a lot while I saw many employees, "playing around" and also 4 or 5 of them sat down at a table nearby to dry dishes and spoons that were sitting in a jug of water..
-We were never offered bread. If you will make me wait this long for my meal, please give me bread.

On a positive note, I think theyhave the best pizza crust in the area, crispy, thin and just enough seasonings.

2009 Jul 13
We came for the second time to Grand on Friady evening, around 7 pm. My parents were in town for my cousin's wedding, and we decided this would be a nice mid-range restaurant, which it remains.

They were super busy all night, but they seemed to be able to keep up with the orders. This meant we had two baskets of fresh rolls, which we didn't have to ask for (but were delighted to take) and that the pizza was super fresh.

My father and I split the calamari to start (by split I mean I had two of his), and it was solid with a good, spicy Italian seasoning and grilled to perfection.

Andrew ordered the salumi di franka, without olives. Except it came with olives (allergic) and before they could even bring it out t him, they had another one in the oven and told us it would be a few minutes (it was less than 10 before his new pizza arrived).

The rest of us thoroughly enjoyed our meals, and I found the waiter to be knowledgable with both the wine and food and very engaging. Perhaps we just got lucky?

The service in both our experiences has been really quite good, and the pizza is some of the best of its style I've had in the country.

2009 Jul 13
I have been here four times since it has opened and feel the need to comment on the service, which is horrible.

When sitting inside, I've had to wait for someone to greet and sit me. This has always taken quite awhile. Once, the hostess told me there's no room on the patio when there were at least two empty tables visible. When I asked about the tables, she told me I could sit there. ???? Weird. I advise the hostesses to actually take a brief look around before turning guests away!

The servers I have had are completely incompetent and not knowledgeable at all about the menu. All four times I have been there, I have had to ask for bread - this always happens after the food is already brought to the table. I have only been offered cheese once; the other three times I have had to ask for it. Twice (or half the time!), I have heard really inappropriate conversations amongst the staff, either talking about how sexy the girls are at a table (and other stuff I won't repeat), or complaining about their other coworkers (in great detail). I overhear these conversations while seated at my table!!

Furthermore, I was charged a dollar extra than the listed price for minestrone soup ($7 verses $6)! It seems it's more expensive in their computer system. I've ordered it twice and had to inform the server both times about the oversight. Keep an eye out for this!

The only thing bringing me back is their excellent Pappardelle alla Simi. Yum!

2009 Jul 13
As promised, I returned to the restaurant with an open mind. This time, Saturday evening. Fortunately we timed it just perfectly as the rain had cleared the patio, but stopped in time for our arrival allowing us to circumvent the 45 minute wait for a table inside.

Put off by the pizza experience, I went for the caprese salad and grilled squid appetizers. The salad was very good, the oil and balsamic were well balanced and the buffala mozzarella was actually real buffala mozzarela. The tomatoes were not fantastic, with a pink hue commonly associated with long truck rides from California. As tomatoes are 50% of the caprese, the dish only gets a solid B.

However, the frilled squid was fantastic. The preparation was superb, the squid fresh, and the heat from the chili flakes was just as I had hoped.

The service was a little "slow" again, this time, not in terms of speed. We were never offered bread, nor were we checked on to order more drinks until after the bill was presented. But, it wasn't bad enough to offset a pretty decent evening.

One thing irked me though, but requires follow-up before I can get my shorts in a knot. An adjacent table ordered pasta and was offered cheese. The cheese was clearly in a retail package / grater. It surprised me.. but not being able to see the brand I have no idea of the quality of the parmesan. Even still, seemed a little "Boston Pizza" to me.

2009 Jul 3
Finally visited here for dinner. We got their early to beat the rush. We we ordered our pizzas. I got the Calvini. The menu seems to have changed a bit. My pizza had mozzarella tomato sauce and sausage. Their menu states salami. My wife had the Margherita,Tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil. We got there at 5:10pm and ordered righ away and didn't get our pizza until 6:15pm. Not sure what the problem was but a lone male ordered after us and was finished before we got our pizza. Beside the slow cook, the sauce was fresh and tasty.Pizza is only 10 inch size a tad small for me. The pizza reminded me a bit of Lombardies in New York minus the coal fired oven. I'm not a big fan of thin crust pizza but I would go back to try their pastas and a bit of my wife's pizza. She is a big fan of thin crust pizza.I found it a bit odd that they don't want substitutions on their pizzas. Their selection of Domestic bottled beer needs a bit of work as well. I didn't see any red lagers. A nice Red Leaf Lager would be a nice addition.

2009 Jun 22
It's a shame to grate buffalo mozz... That's like getting 3 year old parmigiano reggiano pre-grated... =(

2009 Jun 22
I was in the market with my family on Sunday and finally had the chance to go to the Grand. I REALLY wanted to love this place, as I often dread having to eat in the market. I was moderately disappointed. Perhaps I had built this place up to much in my head.

Setting the stage... we sat on the patio, it was 1pm. There were maybe 10 tables seated at any given time.

We ordered two pizzas (Salumi Di Franka and the Margherita). The pizzas took 55 minutes to come to the table. When asked, the waitress could not explain the wait, nor could she confirm if this was normal. It was a very strange conversation, it was like talking to an alien... you had to be there. We weren't being singled out or anything, everyone on the patio was stuck waiting. Maybe they were having kitchen trouble.

They placated the masses by constantly bringing basket of rolls (1 was enough, thank you!). They were fresh, but tasteless. Each table had a bottle of oil with rosemary, garlic, onion, and a hot pepper. The oil was not well "scented" as I imagine the bottles are filled frequently. The whole roll experience would have been improved considerably with a little cracked pepper and coarse salt, or maybe some shaved pecorino.

The Salumi was good, but not amazing, my wife was satisfied, but she likes Delissio, so her opinion doesn't count :). The Margherita was also good, but There was only ONE basil leave (granted it was large, but come on). I also expected the buffala mozzarella to be in large puddles, not shredded and melted over the entire surface. The pizza was also oddly greasy and orange coloured. Not something I would have expected on this particular pie.

Credit is due on the sauce, which was flavourful, as expected. The appetizers that were delivered to other tables also looked very good, but how can you screw up charcuterie or olives.

Another minor issue is the fact that they charge for refills on soft drinks. My wife was not in the mood for wine yesterday and opted for diet Pepsi. At $2.50 they are "reasonably priced", but the serving is VERY small with lots of ice. Baking in the sun for 55 minutes waiting for pizza, you get thirsty. You can't get out of this place without spending $30 a head, the least they can do is spot you 5 cents worth of syrup. In the end we spent $7.50 on soft drinks... not such a bargain after all.

I'll probably be back, as choices for mid-day meals in the market are few, but won't be going out of my way to return.


2009 Jun 21
We decided to visit here on our way to a show at Ottawa Little Theater on Saturday night. It was a lovely day in the Byward Market, and I love the vibe here this time of year. The patio at Grand Pizzeria was only about 2/3 full, so we were sat promptly. Ice water came almost immediately - always an appreciated gesture. I had a Bellini and it was quite refreshing and not too sweet.
Mr rdmsgirl and I don't have huge appetites, so we split a Grand pizza - tomato sauce, mozz, scamorza, fresh basil, and prosciutto.

The pizza came quite fast (we told our server we were a little short on time, and she didn't disappoint - we were in and out in less than an hour - plenty of time to walk over to the Theater)

The crust was easily the best part - thin and crispy with a hint of smokiness. (Is it a wood-burning oven they use?)
The sauce tasted fresh and they were light-handed with it. (The way I like it) Our server must have notified the kitchen that we were on a time constraint, as the pizza came cut into four pieces for sharing - kudos to the staff :)

My only major complaint - if you advertise a pizza comes with basil, I expect more than literally 2 leaves of it. (I wish I had my camera so I could have documented those two lonely leaves, it looked quite comical) Perhaps next time, I'll ask for extra?

Otherwise, it was a good experience - definitely worlds better than the restaurant that originally graced that spot. I look forward to going back.


2009 Jun 19
Had a funghi pizza (white sauce) with grilled calamari and a pitcher of Mill St Wit with my dining companion... everything was good! Calamari wasn't grilled to oblivion, it was super tender, had a nice chili oil sauce/marinade thing going on, served over some arugula. The pizza was perfectly cooked, had a couple of varieties of shrooms on it, nothing outlandish, but it was really delicious. The creamy sauce seemed to be mixed with a mushroom duxelle or something... made for a really good meaty, earthy flavour. The service was alright, a bit slow up front, but I saw my server turning a table of 8 and once they shuffled off things moved along nicely. My server was very pleasant and professional, offering advice and comments on the menu when prompted. I checked out the inside of the restaurant on my way to the loo, it's huge in there! Lots of seating and very clean, including the bathrooms.

Oh yeah, we ate on the patio - was a beautiful night to people watch and take our time. Made for a good night out in the market! I will definitely be back!

2009 Jun 7
I bought spaghetti with basil (I forgot the name) and substituted the italian sausage for meatballs. I asked for a side of garlic bread - the waitress said they don't have garlic bread so she offered to put some rolls in for me for free.

Service was quick but not outstanding - they could have been a little less snobbish, if you know what I mean. They don't accept debit but there is an atm machine on site - oh I love that $1.25 fee! Whatever, hopefully they will get a machine sometime soon - they are still fairly new.

The sauce was not as zesty as I would have liked. I am probably no italian food connoisseur, but I do like a little flavor in my food. I added some salt, a lot of pepper and some cayenne pepper. The meatballs were great and so were the ciabatta rolls.

It satisfied my spaghetti craving but it didn't really impress me. With that in consideration, they should probably lower the price of that meal, $15 is too much.


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2018 Mar 18
The Carbonara Pizza ($18), with parmesan cream sauce, pancetta, spinach, mozzarella, and sunny-side up egg was a tasty and quite decadent pie. I found it nifty that they cut it in a tic-tac-toe octothorpe # shape to avoid puncturing the central yolk!

2017 Nov 4
At $16, the Margherita Pizza is pretty steep compared to other similar restaurants in town. However, it's also a little larger than the ones in the $12-$14 price range.

This is a nicely made pie, perfectly cooked and with a nice pink-sweet tomato sauce. Salt levels are appropriate, although the crust doesn't have the elusive and addictive flavour I've enjoyed most recently at Il Vicolo.

To deal with any perceived blandness, they offer that ubiquitous cardboard-powder parmesan cheese and a rather delightfully spicy house-made hot sauce. I found myself dipping the crust into a little puddle of that hot sauce on my plate to keep things interesting.

2009 Jun 2
So today was my birthday and we were out about in the market and decided to stop in at the Grand to try it out.

It was about 2pm and there was barely anyone there. Maybe about five other tables. We were seated immediately and our water glasses were filled promptly.

After much though, the four of us split two pizzas.

We went for the Quattro Fromagio otherwise known as Four Cheese and another that I cannot remember the name.

We ordered two bellini's and two Mill St. pints - no complaints.

The pizza came promptly after bread but was uncut! So we had to ask for it to be sliced since we were sharing.

We had fresh pepper and parmesan shredded onto the pizzas. The first bite was delicious, a thin crust pizza but not too crispy. It was not blackened at all like FF's was. (Sorry guys - I didn't take a picture!)

The flavour of the pizza was near perfect - it was definitely one of the best thin crust pizzas I have ever had. I loved it all and I would definitely go back again.

They give out black licorice candies with the bill so watch out if you don't enjoy them :) I've had a bad sambuca experience in the past and try to avoid them - but sometimes you just dont know until you have already popped the candy in your mouth!

2009 May 31
I approached the Grand Pizzeria's pizza with very high expectations. It is very, very good, and in my experience the best pizza in Ottawa as of 2009. But... I believe the pizza I enjoyed at Pomodoro's in Montreal was superior by a small margin (thicker chunks of buffalo mozzarella, more basil, and a crust that was less soggy in the center). I will have to try Pomodoro's again to be certain.

That said, the Margherita pizza was awesome indeed. A delicate thin crust, nicely blackened on the edges, the faint taste of woodsmoke, a tasty tomato sauce, and a smattering of basil leaves. Mine was a little more blackened than those I saw at other tables. With many of the restaurant's seats occupied there was a 45 minute wait time for pizze and I assume that means they were cramming as many pies into the oven as possible. This could explain the uneven cooking results. Anyway, I like to think that if my pizza happened to be the one snuggled up to the burning logs then perhaps I also benefited by having a more pronounced woodsmoke flavour.

Highly recommended! Having tried the classic, I now look forward to trying some of their more interesting toppings.


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2009 May 17
As an addendum, the one thing that I found a tad frustrating when we went is that they have the wine listed on the menu, but no cocktail or beer menu. Hopefully this is something that's in development.

Also, Sweets, I'm rather excited about trying the Peroni. I'd heard about it, but didn't think to ask because there was no menu.

2009 May 17
In addition to the beer's on-tap they also carry Peroni in the bottle. It is a high-end very light, refreshing, almost champagne like beer from Italy. Can't wait to have one with my pizza when I go!

2009 May 16
Beers on tap were pretty solid: Grolsch (Holland), Stella (Belgium), another import (possibly Heineken?) and four beers from Mill Street in Toronto. One of these was organic, and another a wheat beer. Their strength seems to be in a good wine list and offering cocktail options, but for those of us who like beer with our Italian food (Hi!), the selection is indeed quite good.


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2015 Mar 28
My first time having strozzapetti and I am glad it was this dish at The Grand. It came with a sausage in tomato sauce. The pasta was al dente which seems to be hard to find around town. The sausage was broken down nicely and came in good quantities. The sauce was on the sweet side while retaining some acidicity. Definitely a good and different option on a pasta menu. Other items looked good too. I will return to try them.

2009 May 31
The Linguini di mare was nicely done. We were quite thrilled to find a seafood pasta dish that didn't come with that ubiquitous border of mussels! This one has shrimp, scallops, and squid. The shrimp are large and succulent. The squid and scallops are tender, but the scallops are the little bay scallops (granted, large sea scallops would jack up the price of this dish beyond the restaurant's artificial $20 limit).

The pasta itself is fresh and cooked to a perfect toothy texture. The main taste of this dish comes from the fairly salty oil-based sauce, which seemed to contain white wine, garlic, green onions, and parmesan cheese. Nicely done, but only if you like bold flavours!





2009 May 30
The rolls are fresh and good. I find Italian bread to be a little too airy for my taste, but that's my own problem, and they're doing everything correctly here. There is rosemary and chili infused olive oil available at each table and that does a great job of waking up the bread.



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2011 Apr 23
Just a note: they do not have Calamari alla griglia on the menu anymore (when I went in april of 2011). They only have Calamari fritti which is fried squid. It was pretty good, but pretty much just your average deep fried shrimp with batter and that red sauce.

Fresh Foodie's calamari looks really excellent, but its not the same anymore.

2009 May 30
The Calamari alla griglia (grilled squid) were excellent! Tender, succulent, nicely seasoned, spicy with chili flakes, and infused with that wonderful grilled taste. A true breath of fresh air after our previous experience with grilled calamari on Preston Street.