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Grill Forty One Restaurant is located in The Lord Elgin Hotel and is ideally located in the heart of downtown Ottawa.
Foods from Grill 41
2019 Dec 26
...and carrot cake with a light ginger hit for dessert. Five stars.
A new Christmas tradition has been found. : )
2019 Dec 26
From the Christmas Table d'Hote menu, enjoyed a really wonderful Christmas Eve dinner at
Lord Elgin Hotel
...the lights twinkly out the corner window near us.
I had a superb, smooth fennel scented beet soup with vanilla crema + excellent grilled Atlantic salmon with sautéed lemon shrimp and squash risotto with grilled brussels sprouts, parsnips and purple carrots. Top notch.
Service was excellent. We went for the 6pm seating - a nice balance of festively full tables but with a respectfully quiet vibe for conversation.
2012 Apr 15
I've been twice in the last three months and had fantastic food both times. I agree with the previous poster that the decor is confusing given the level of food (sports bar atmosphere with a menu that is a cut above) but for me both experiences have been all about the food and not so much about the venue.
The first time, my SO and I shared the Winter Bites special (2 appetizers, 2 mains, 2 desserts). We each started with the caesar salad (the best part was the crostini but I also loved the smoked pancetta and grana padano slivers, excellent home made dressing, beautiful presentation). For mains I believe I had salmon and my SO had chicken. The chicken was fantastic and the salmon had a nice sauce but was a little on the dry side. For dessert, I had the creme brulee (which was perfectly crispy on top) and my SO had the banana bread pudding which was DIVINE.
This past weekend, we went in with a groupon (1 shared app, 2 mains, 1 side). We shared the Mixed Appetizer: Duck Spring Rolls, Scallop, Shrimp and Tomato & Boccocini Salad. The Duck Spring rolls were served with a lovely homemade mango chutney and cabbage slaw that was excellent. The scallop was perfectly cooked and served over crispy lo mein noodles. The shrimp was little under cooked for me but it was served with a really nice tomato chutney. But the best part was the couscous that the shrimp was served over - it was very flavourful in a delicious sauce. And lastly, the tomato bocconcini salad was exactly as it should be (not extraordinary, but simple and fresh).
For our mains, I had the filet mignon with parsnip rosti, sautéed spinach, and bearnaise sauce. There was not a single thing on my plate which was not perfect. The steak was perfectly cooked, the sauce was thick but light in flavour. The spinach was done in a delicious sauce and the parsnip rosti could have held its own as it was divine. My SO had the rib eye and he also loved his whole plate. We split the asparagus as our side, which was also perfectly cooked and seasoned. I also really loved the malbec that our server suggested to us - I only wish I remembered it.
Overall, I have had two wonderful dining experiences there and will definitely be going back. This is perfect for a casual meal with great classic food.
2011 Aug 22
I'd been to the Lord Elgin hotel restaurant for my birthday a couple of years ago and was disappointed by the cafeteria atmosphere. When I heard that they'd done a complete rebuild under the watchful eye of a celebrity chef, Michael Smith, and were offering a Groupon, we ventured to try it again.
I have to confess that after eating at Grill 41 last night I have to wonder if the owners of the hotel really wanted a restaurant at all. Based on the menu they’re aiming for a mid- to high-end steakhouse; not quite Hy’s quality but rather an Al’s or Prime360. Based on the decor they’d be better off with a sports bar or lounge.
The dining area is open all the way through the bar, the corridor of the hotel and all the way down to the Starbucks located at the other side of the hall. The restaurant itself is complete with 3 TVs, which meant that I got to catch up on Big Brother and all the new drugs being advertised on ABC. The tables are lovely formica numbers that are probably great for the staff being sturdy and reconfigurable but should have had a tablecloth to hide their shame. A wall dividing the restaurant proper from the bar and entrance might even be able to save it, but eating on what feels like cheap furniture is inexcusable.
The servers were polite but a informal and I was worried when our waiter told us that the kitchen might slow since they were so busy considering the dining-room was only half full. Our server and the others we interacted with were universally polite and well-meaning but I’d like to see the service tightened up a little and add a bit of professionalism added to the training. Our server lectured my father in-law about the doneness of his lamb. As much as I agree with the sentiment if a guest asks you to burn the meat… do it (He ordered it medium-well). When we thought the discussion had finally ended, we ended up reliving the rare vs well done experience during our lengthy wait for desert when the waiter brought it up again. Sigh. The bread pudding dessert was a long time coming. When we mentioned it we were informed that it takes a little extra time as it’s baked to order. That would be understandable except that it was ordered with the table d'hôte meaning they’d had almost two hours’ notice. On a positive note, the woman who greeted us had a fantastic Parisian accent which alone made it worth hearing her say “Bon appetite” a number of times during the night.
That leaves the venue and staff in pretty rough shape and takes us to the food. I felt the “Michael Smith” connection was over stated since as far as I know he only consulted on the menu and won’t be back regularly to check up on things. That being said, the Smith Chowder ($14) was absolutely fantastic; probably the best chowder I’ve had without overlooking the ocean. The steaks (rib-eye, sirloin tip, and a rack of lamb – about $34 each) were beautifully cooked and the vegetables were not raw (a pet peeve of mine) and sauced well. I think the only complaint with the food was that the cheese tortellini, for our vegetarian, was underdone and looked maybe a little boring. The portions where a decent size and I was impressed with the mashed potatoes, they felt very home-style not being whipped into creamy oblivion or artificially rustic.
In light of the food exceeding, by no small margin, my expectations I don’t want to call the evening a failure but I’m certain that we didn’t get the experience I look for in a $280 meal (after-tax, pre-coupon, including two bottles of wine at $35 each) for four diners.
My advice to the hotel is to close off the view of Starbucks and focus on a more relaxed lounge experience and adjust the menu accordingly. The décor needs to be completely rethought. They have an opportunity to draw in some more locals who are looking for a better atmosphere and dining experience. Certainly, something that is more worthy of the Lord Elgin Hotel and the position it holds as a grand hotel in Ottawa’s downtown.
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