Foods from town

2013 Sep 20
Took a client to Town for lunch today and came away thoroughly impressed. Service was top notch, our server was friendly and knowledgeable.

I had the pork chop and it was fantastic. Perfectly cooked, served with a house made pine nut relish, risotto'd barley and a braised onion. My client had the chicken fritto sandwich and commented that she could have licked the plate.

Great atmosphere, good service, reasonable prices and fantastic food...I'll be back for sure.

2013 Mar 18
Visited last Friday without a reservation - stopped in at 6:20 at put our name down, they called us at 7:05. Sat down at the bar and instantly fell in love. They were playing The Cure, the wine list had lots of familiar VQA names and the vibe just felt right. Even though he was tending bar, Bill was also really helpful with food choices and talked about PEC wines with me which I loved. We ordered just the olives to start, which were so yummy and unique, then I had the stuffed chicken thighs and the Huz had the meatballs. The chicken thigh were tender, and the stuffing was savoury and not too rich. The duck pate on the plate added a little indulgence. Husband's meatballs were excellent, such a huge portion for the price, and the polenta was a nice added touch. Overall, an amazing meal, start to finish, with service to match, at a good price point for such a lovely space and vibe.

2012 Oct 1
Agreed, had the octopus recently and it was beyond reproach.

2012 Sep 30
Returned for a late supper last month with a friend and had another excellent feast, I'd say even better than the previous two times I've been (which were also really good).

A breakdown of the three appetizers and one main we ordered:

Scallop Crudo (appetizer): super fresh and light, the thin-sliced scallops melted in the mouth. It was a perfect match with the warm August temperature.

Salad (appetizer): this was a shockingly fresh salad. The greens were at their peak. The dressing, a white balanced seemed pretty standard but balanced and complemented nicely.

Octupus (appetizer): this was the star of the show. Gorgeous presentation (see picture) and a melt-in-your-mouthness that blew us away. This is one of those dishes I'll remember for a long time to come.

Crispy Rabbit Milanese (main): this was my first time trying rabbit and I thought it was excellent. Crispy on the outside; tender, rich, and juicy on the inside. As Ken V noted, it is a busy dish, but we felt not in an "overload" kinda way. The one thing I liked less was the block of bread pudding that came with it. I thought it bland and not adding much to the overall plate.

I also had a few sazeracs which I quite enjoyed.

Our server was polite and attentive and answered our questions thoroughly.

Great experience. I plan to return for the octopus again within the next few weeks!

2012 Sep 22
The crispy rabbit milanese was a very busy dish with so many tastes yummy! Rabbit was cooked in a light crispy batter and super moist inside. This was one large rabbit from the size of it's hind quarter. Very filling dish with the panzanella salad a form of bread pudding sticking to ones ribs. The lemon ricotta the perfect touch. Will be visiting this place again soon but will make reservations sooner in the week to get seats in the middle of the restaurant the window seats were a tad on the uncomfortable side.

2012 Sep 22
Wonderful dinner out last night. Started with the Pecorino potatoes with rosemary/chili oil. Delightfully salty and perfectly cooked.

2012 Aug 25
Had a lovely dinner last night at Town. I phoned for a last-minute reservation and was told they could squeeze us in at 8:30. Good thing, the place was packed, always a good sign.

My husband and I split the scallop crudo appetizer -- what a hit! On a hot summer's evening, I cannot imagine anything nicer than a cold, exquisitely balanced plate of thinly cut on the bias scallops floating atop yummy citrus sauce, dappled with peppery arugula and wafer thin circles of hot chile pepper.

Because it was a warm night, and the restaurant packed, I enjoyed my mushroom spaghetti (advertised on the chalk board as linguine, a small deviation) less than I might have on a more temperate night. Still, the mushrooms were perfect and the poached egg nestled in a cup of lonza (seemed like a thin slice of pancetta to my palate) was an added interactive element on the plate. The meatballs across the table were lovely, and if your yardstick of good Italian cooking is the tomato sauce, then Town has exceeded the mark.

Still, one could wish for more hot weather options for the large plate selections. The wines suggested by our attentive and good-hearted waiter were spot on (especially the pinot nero with the meatballs, OMG good), and the whole experience was a great way to spend a summer's night.

Also? I kinda wanted to take home that painting of the hand clutching the octopus (my husband stopped me). Full marks for decor.

2012 Jun 25
Been wanting to eat at Town after a few friends recommended it but never got around to it till last night. Stopped in with no reservations but were there early enough to fit in before someone else's 7pm spot and I am glad we did.

Our meal was mostly shared. We started off with the chickpea fries. Crunchy exterior with s soft almost creamy interior, seasoned with just the right amount of salt. It tasted good naked and with its "rooster mayo" dipping sauce.

I had a small portion of the Ricotta stuffed meatballs. The sauce was fresh and tangy, the meatballs themselves were flavourful with a nice texture. The soft Polenta beneath the sauce was a nice and surprising touch, that made me smile.

We saw a house made pasta and Bolognase dish on the menu and I was curious about how mine would stand up and if theirs would be disappointing. After debating it I went for the other dish but ended up asking our very knowledgeable and helpful waiter if it was possible to try a spoonful. He later returned with a ramekin and two small spoons for us. It wasn't the style I make but it was full and flavourful. I could tell it wasn't a quickie thrown together version and it was made with care. I'd gladly come back and pay for it another time.

My guy ordered the evening's special. It was a sous vide pork chop that was finished on the grill. (We found it just a tad over at the sides likely due to the finish but in general it was moist and flavourful.) It was served with Rosemary flavoured spaetzle, in a very light creamy sauce with lightly toasted pine nuts and raisins (marinated in something tasty that re-hydrated them). It was topped with shredded green apple, who's tang cut through the richness and helped the dish sing. It had such wonderful textures and flavours. (We have our own immersion circulator at home and I do make spaetzle. Yet, I would order this again in a heartbeat.)

Desert was a shared an Ice Cream Sunday. It was a few scoops of salted careamel ice cream, with chocolate sauce, whipped cream and topped with a salty, sweet, crunchy caramel popcorn & peanuts. Textures were great and surprisingly not overwhelmingly sweet.

Sorry no pictures. We were too busy enjoying.

2012 Mar 18
About one month ago, I ventured to town with my girlfriend as a weekend dinner date to make up for dually packed Valentine's Day schedules. (Not being drinkers, we hoped for instead pairing our meal with a skate on the nearby canal, but the weather made short work of that.) I booked by phone a week in advance, and was pleased a few days later when circumstances required that, in-person, I push the reservation back by an hour, and the staff were happy to oblige.

To wit, our dinner began with nearby Elgin St parking (free on weekends), and we emerged into a well-decorated, comfortably warm space; one with with cheery conversation and finely toned ambiance. Those several who consider it cramped seem to be over-exaggerating a fair bit: I imagine them entering hysterics should they ever have to share a park bench.

Our waiter spent the next hour and a half tending to our every need, from refilling my water glass every few minutes or so to providing great suggestions with an incandescent smile. Go on, ask him about the organic drinks for those who can't partake in the wine list, or the methodical process involved in preparing a certain dish. He's got you covered.

We started with the cheese plate: light crostinis, generous portions of cheese, and delicious accents that gave us a good sense of the consideration and care going into the portions. Rightly, we skipped sharing an appetizer and went right for the mains.

For entrées, my girlfriend had the nagano pork chop: a hunter's daughter, she enjoyed the spirited flavour and juice of the meat, as well as the complementing bacon wrapped endive. She waxed on about the smokiness and aging, and even cleaned the plate of her beans and cipollini (a rare feat, haha).

Meanwhile, I had the half chicken under a brick: a science student, I was enamored not only with the most tender cutlet I have ever experienced, but also the underpinnings of molecular gastronomy that brought an intellectual depth to (the voltage-gated ion channels of) my otherwise sated palate. The black garlic mashed was a welcome counterpart.

We opted at the end to skip dessert and g-- "BUT WAIT!" my partner cried. "I saw a sundae on the menu!" I turn toward the ever-gliding waiter, who nods his head, smirking lightly. We smirk back, and next thing I know, we have ice cream lightly dusted with salted caramel, accompanied by chocolate sauce, whipped cream, caramel popcorn... and a healthy sprinkling of peanuts. As we ate, I'd never seen a more gleeful girlfriend, so full of childhood innocence... and, clearly, nuts.

Too often these days, Ottawa is known for drab weather, litigation, monotony, and overwhelming sprawl. Interesting that at its very heart, such a place as town can exist as its antithesis: anything but drab, warmly inviting, a taste of the new and the exciting, and at a reasonable price accessible to all. I will be back, though I hope you'll beat me to it.

2012 Mar 13
I'm late posting this as my visit was a couple of months ago, but from what I gather I think the review will not be outdated yet.

Went around 8 on a Saturday night with no reservations. There was only room at the bar, but that was perfect with me as I prefer sitting at the bar anyway.

A nice, small space with good ambiance. Good bread to start, and those neat little coarse salt containers with the flip top and little spoon that seem to be gaining in popularity at trendy restos.

I started with the beet salad, which was really well done. Everything about it was fresh and flavourful, and the beets had great shape (some were formed into little round balls) and texture. I like my beet salads, and this one was one of the better ones I've had.

I then had the cod as a main. Again very flavourful and well done. My friend had their signature ricotta meatball dish and said it was surprisingly great.

I'm not a wine conoisseur but my friend is and he said their list was kinda "meh" but I happily enjoyed a couple of their cocktails, which were pretty original.

The service was just right. Polite, attentive, friendly, but not overbearing.

My only complaint would be that they didn't have any soup on offer, and me being a soup freak on a freezing cold night wasn't too thrilled at the start but I forgot about that soon enough.

Recommended and will go back. Glad to see a good restaurant on Elgin that is neither club nor pub.




2010 Oct 21
Nothing but good things from my experiences at town. Had chicken under brick for lunch a few weeks ago..Oustanding, veggies cooked perfectly, chicken nice and tender.

Dinner tonight.

Nobody mentioned the chicken liver crustini yet,(aka penut butter and jam) Chicken Liver mousse with creme fraiche cognac, and a rthubarbd bacon (compote?) oh it's heaven.

Gnudi's great as well.

The arborial rice pudding was a pleasant suprise, and the waitress was very knoweldgable with the wine and porte recomendations.