town 14



See also: citizen

Foods from town

2010 Oct 8
The rave reviews I've been reading established pretty high expectations - not all of which were met on my first visit last night.

The food was very good - the tuna crudo and the gnudi in particular - although I found the meatballs to be a bit blah. Just a matter of preference perhaps, as others have clearly enjoyed them. The scallops were sold out, but we were offered a seared tuna substitute, and it was absolutely fabulous.

I was disappointed by the wine list - really not much to offer, and none of it particularly interesting. We opted for the feature wine of the evening only because we had never had it, and it was okay. Still, when I go to places that offer small plates, it's often a lingering evening sipping wine, and I like to have some better options than were available.

I would also suggest that they would do well to remove one or two tables - we were really crowded. My neighbour at the table to my right was left handed, and we actually bumped elbows more than once as we dined. Another consequence to the crammed space is that everyone has to bellow in order to be heard over their neighbour's conversation, so the overall noise level is very high. The servers, although very diligent and pleasant, were just plain overwhelmed.

I'd go back, because as I said, the food really was good. However, it would be far better suited to a noisy "girls night out" than a couple trying to have a quiet dinner. I think others have figured that out, as there was only one other couple in the place - all other tables were either a couple of women or larger groups.

2010 Oct 2
Went to lunch with my husband this week. We got there at noon and were the first to be seated. The service was excellent. Very friend;y and helpful but not overbearing, even as the place got busier.

I had a sandwich with fresh Ontario cheese, tomatoes sand basil with a side of salad (which I did not eat because it was just arugula and pregnant me can't stomach it) and pecorino potatoes.

It was VERY filling and VERY yum.

My husband had the Lamb Ragu served with paperdelle. He said it was excellent but the small serving was a little too little for him.

I loved how our coffee comes in a personal french press with a mini-decanter of cream on the side.

2010 Oct 2
Yes. The menu is very small...4 mains plus usually a fifth, vegetarian choice, is on the chalkboard. A couple of apps, olives, ricotta gnudi are veg.

2010 Oct 2
These photos look great! Can anyone tell me if Town has vegetarian mains on their menu? They don't have one posted on their website.

2010 Oct 2
Just posted a review on Town. We've been there three times and truly like the vibe, the people and the food.

New Posting: Happy Mouth visits Town, one our new Ottawa favourites!

2010 Sep 19
When I saw this new restaurant on Elgin Street, I was honestly not expecting much. In fact I had already made up my mind that I probably wouldn't even give it a try. Then my husband told me about a few people we knew who had gone and absolutely loved it. So I changed my mind and decided to check it out. Score one for me on that decision!

We had the table right in the front with a great view of passers-by from one angle, and the hustle-bustle of the jam-packed restaurant on the other. This place has not stopped hopping since the day it opened it's doors. And for very good reason. The outstanding service, mouthwatering food and unique music collection are equally amazing. The playlist is actually put together by music aficionado Steven Flood, owner of The Black Tomato.

The menu has a selection of small plates that can also be served as an app to one of the 3 main courses up for grabs. Simple dishes but made with so much care, leaving you in awe.

After my glass of Prosecco, our food began to arrive. A delicious bottle of Primitivo kept us hydrated through each course – Criteria, Schola Sarmenti, Puglia, Italy, 2007.

First a selection of olives decorated with crisp slivers of pickled fennel and scattered segments of orange.

Then one of my favourite – tuna crudo, velvety smooth and topped with rich truffle oil and lemon. Delicate strips of shaved coppa were draped neatly over each slice, and a sprinkling of mint and chives crowned the top.

Our golden crumbed cod fritters bathed in a seductively smokey pork ragu, while the tops were doused in a tangy lemon mayo.

Our server said the meatballs were a must and he was right. Every perfectly round ball stuffed generously with ricotta and sitting neatly on a soft polenta disc and then smothered in fresh san marzano sauce and sprinkled with parm.

The lamb ragu was the perfect comfort food for a cool fall evening. Large pappardelle noodles interleaved with meaty lamb, corn, yellow foot chantrelle and grated pecorino romano.

We relish in my friend's ricotta gnudi, soft as pillows and better than anything any of us had had in the past. I swear he was having minor heart palpitations after his first bite.

We had some wine left in our glasses so a chocolate dessert was a must. Blissfully silky chocolate budino with whipped cream and granola made with dried cranberries, chocolate covered espresso beans and walnuts.

This is the kind of place you want to make a regular. And the prices make it easy to do so – small plates range from $5 to $15 and mains $20 to $25.

2010 Sep 18
Mmmmm... ricotta gnudi... nomnomnom.

I was impressed by this place again tonight - great service, nice specials and excellent people watching :-)

2010 Aug 31
Went to Town the past Friday. Me and my bf arrived at 9pm or so without reservation and the place was full. We were ask to return in 15 mins or so and we did. We were sitted immediately upon our return and ordered pretty much within 10 mins. (It was late and we were starving!) We ordered the salad, 1/2 order of the lamb ragu, and the dirty lasagna bolognese.

I love the salad and the lamb ragu. As for the dirty lasagna, the portion was generous, I loved the cheese smothered toast and the poached egg. However the Swiss Chard was quite a turn off for me. I just can't seemed to find the veggie complimentary to the pasta...

As for beverage, I was a little disappointed by their selection of red wine. There was only one non Italian wine. It would be nice to see them to expand the list or incorporate wines from different region for better selection.

Regardless, I did enjoyed my meal there a lot and will definitely go back.

2010 Aug 27
Yesterday we decided to go to Town for lunch. Town is located at 296 Elgin Street, near Gilmour.

For our starter we decided to share the cod fritters on a bed of smoked pork ragu with lemon mayo for $11. We both enjoyed the solid preparation. Being big taste people, we had expected something more forward on the palette and guessed the best place to put that punch would be in the ragu.

For my lunch I chose the pappardelle pasta with lamb ragu, oyster mushrooms, arugula and pecorino romano for $16. The portion size was handsome. I liked the subtle heat that finished each taste. Considering the pappardelle was a dry pasta, I was pleased with it and felt it was cooked perfectly. Did I mention the lamb? So much lamb!

My lunch partner had the sandwich with meat balls, fontina and grilled red onions for $13. The meatballs were very tender and when we asked, we were told that they were a blend of beef and pork.The sandwich was super messy and hard to eat delicately. My lunch partner said the sandwich tasted great! Full flavoured. It was accompanied by a salad and some of their signature pecorino potatoes. Big thumbs up on those potatoes!

My lunch partner had a Kichesippi beer for $6. And my can of hard-to-find, sparkling San Pellegrino Aranciata Rosso (blood orange) was $3.50.

The service was very attentive and knowledgeable.

The place has a buzz to it. The tables are very, very close together.

Lunch was $56 taxes in, without tip.

I was expecting more choices. At least a salad or two. Even soup. If you are not into sandwiches, then you may not have much of a lunch interest in Town.

Although they do have a website, they have more content on their Facebook page ie. their menu.

Tues to Fri: 11:30 am - 2 pm

Tues to Sun: 5 pm - Close

If you want to read more or see the pictures, you are welcome to check out my blog write-up.

2010 Aug 20
I went for dinner Wednesday night. It was the best restaurant meal I've had in Ottawa that I can remember.

We split a few small plates to start. The pecorino potatoes were good but a little plain. Corn in a bag with a tomato butter was delicious and simple. (Dipping the potatoes in the tomato butter was a good idea). The cod fritters (according to a friend at the table) were perfect and pretty filling. I think there were 5 on the plate, and they were definitely not light. The ricotta gnudi with hand-chopped pesto was unreal. So good. For such a cheesy dish I could have eaten it all night.

My large plate was the crispy trout. It was 3 thin pieces of trout, nicely crisped and nicely seasoned. It was sitting on top of grilled king mushrooms (nicely scored), agrodolce (shallots and white wine, reduced), soffrito, and what I think was some grilled yellow zucchini? Not sure about that. It was a yellow vegetable that wasn’t a pepper. Each element was great on its own but when I could manage to get them all on the same fork, it was amazing. The portion was large but not too large. Another large dish at the table was the small plate Lamb Ragu with papardelle (large enough for a main for sure). Tasted great. Had a chocolate pudding for dessert. It was OK, for chocolate pudding.

Our server (Phil) was great; friendly, funny and definitely knowledgeable - I asked him what agrodolce was and he knew, didn’t have to go ask the kitchen to ask. He explained the lamb ragu and how it’s prepared without stumbling. Obviously very comfortable talking about food and ingredients, styles etc.

Not sure why people are calling it a gastropub - “Gastro” sure, but I consider a pub to be full of beers. There are 6 beers at Town, 3 on tap and 3 in bottles / cans. Beau’s, Kichesippi, St. Ambroise on tap, Peroni, Creemore and something else in bottles / cans. Wine list was small but well-rounded and there’s a daily cocktail.

Prices were decent - $5 - $13 for small plates, $20 - $25 for large plates. Atmosphere was great, not too loud, not too crowded, chairs were comfortable. Nice to see that the menu reviewed in the Citizen is different than the menu I chose from the other night. I hope this suggests frequent changes and new choices each time someone visits.

Two things they could work on - There were very few vegetarian options on the menu, and none of the large plates were veggie. I imagine the kitchen would create something amazing if you asked, but when there’s no choice up front it’s kind of alienating. I’d also lengthen the beer list. Or, do BYOB / BYOW with a minimal corking fee. More places need to do this in Ottawa.

I will definitely be back as often as my wallet allows.

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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.