Belmont Snack Bar
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Bar/restaurant with extensive drink menu, snacks and small plates.
Foods from Belmont Snack Bar
Fried Chicken Skins
2019 Jun 8
Just giving this place a bump. My wife and I dropped in for supper on Friday night. While we had to work our way around her strict gluten restriction, what we did try was spectacular. The Belmont had not made it on my radar previously but we will definitely be back. All the food was top notch, and the cocktails were very tasty. When I'm paying $13 for a cocktail, I have high expectations, these didn't disappoint. Sorry no pics.
2016 Apr 23
Octopus and beef cheek surf n' turf. Wow, this was outstanding! The octopus was cooked and seasoned perfectly and paired brilliantly with the beef cheek. Everything on the plate was delicious!
2016 Apr 23
Pork Rillettes with pickled onions. Delicious.
2016 Apr 3
Sticky rice and Beef Tartare...great twist on the Tartare.
2016 Apr 3
Duck Sui Mai was also very good.
2016 Apr 3
Agree with Stew that they have many asian dishes here but very well done. Highlight was the duck tataki. Amazing.
2016 Mar 18
The Belmont seems to leaning towards Asian flavours these days and at least half the current menu is devoted to dim sum. On Thursdays all dim sum items are $8, and while I was there for the Bolshevik Bastard, we did try two items that were daily specials. Pictured are the pork and shrimp dumplings and not pictured is the egg fried rice. Both were delicious but the egg fried rice was exceptional! Surely one of the top fried rices I've had in Ottawa or anywhere.
2015 Apr 30
I visited Belmont on Wednesday night. Ottawa's most skilled and least pretentious bartender, Jeff Taylor, is currently in charge of cocktails here. You can catch him at the bar on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
The house cocktails change frequently and are written on the restaurant chalkboard. A concoction of mezcal and cold-brewed coffee was perfectly balanced and will certainly make the cut for the next iteration of the menu. Alcohol portions are not skimpy like so many other places, meaning your ~$12 for a premium cocktail is well spent.
The atmosphere is simultaneously airy and cozy, and the service is friendly and attentive. On this mid-week evening, patrons were mostly a smattering of friendly neighbourhood locals.
A small but broad menu offers lip-smacking snacks and small meals. Chef Michael Portigal (previously with Whalesbone) was raised in Thailand and the resulting East Asian angle to many dishes is most welcome.
I enjoyed the
- delightfully tender barely-seared rib-eye steak cut into thin and savoury slices, adorned with a small kimchi egg. The crisped rice was a little on the too-crunchy end of that spectrum, but it added a welcome contrast to the chewy-soft slabs of sumptuous steak.
Deep Fried Chicken Wings
were epic. Details under that food item...
2014 Dec 14
The food - snack sized plates from 5-7$ and larger dishes from 7$ - 13$ (market price for oysters[Didn't try them]).
The room is warm and casual, even on the cold Old Ottawa south stretch of Bank Street. Kitchen is semi-open.
The dishes - the sweet potato potstickers. The buckwheat flour dough matches the caramelized sweetness of the sweet potato interior- what makes it is the malt vinegar (the fried sage is a nice touch) - but it gives it a hoppy-earthiness that makes it more than just candy-sweet. I think this is likely to be that dish everyone has to have one order of when they stop by.
The best dishes were the rabbit pozole, where pearl onions, little mounds of cheese, and fall-apart tender rabbit sing together with the addition of fresh jalapeno. I could have eaten bowls and bowls. The composition of the ingredients, and the delicious gaminess of the rabbit, against the broth just made it all come together.
The standout was the "Blackstrap" Mackerel. So well thought out, and perfectly put together, I forgot to ask what the blackstrap meant in the dish. The fish, perfectly cooked - a little char outside and soft inside, like a perfect Izakaya grill (but a little softer). But what makes everything is the balance of the killer johhnycakes - sweet and rich with flavor - and the tart salsa verde, against the natural umami of the Mackerel, topped with the 'espresso' mayo. I couldn't hope to think of a better dish. This one really showed both the execution and conception of a dish can make unexpected perfection.
We also liked the Roasted Cauliflower, and the Poached Bok Choy - the sake butter on the latter had us lapping at the plate, and the fried nuts and shallots were delicious - the Cauliflower was excellently prepared (good char, perfect creamy sauce) and I would order it again. My one strike against it would be that its simplicity made it less exceptional - with only two major components, even if it ate well.
I liked, but my companion didn't - the braised Octopus- I liked the soft Izakaya-style batter on the "blooming onion", and the match of a kind of yoghurt based sauce with fresh basil recalled the greatness of a summer yoghurt pesto. The octopus wasn't bad, it wasn't tough, but not meltingly soft. Admittedly, there was a great deal of onion, but it came together for me (even if its not for everyone).
The things we also liked - the Bibb and Togarashi salad - nice conception, the nori, sesami, ginger and orange all worked together. I felt the grilled shishito peppers didn't move the dish in any specific way, but still a good salad. Maybe a bitterness would have balanced it out. Similarly, we liked the Lamb tartare, golden raisins were a nice touch, with lentil top. The tartare on its own had good flavour, but didn't seem to rise to excellence somehow.
Finally - the perfect bar food- the deep fried chicken skins are actually a tasty deconstruction of a chicken wing and crudite plate - perfect slicing of carrot and celery ribbons, crispness of the skin, and a sauce reminiscent of wing dip but better. Instant classic.
The drinks: Selected wine list with glass and bottle prices [didn't try any]. Mixed cocktails are thoughtful - the 'sunnyside ceasar' has piri piri and Doritos as topping - liked the use of calvados and the eclecticism of the choices. The final results are tasty, but not quite up to the best bars in town (Union 613, Hooch, etc). However, the bar has potential.
Thats how everything at the Belmont feels - not every dish is perfection, but it all has thought and execution. The kind of food you can only feel will get better and better.
Not the same as full restos like the Town/Play/Murray street, but the service is good, atmosphere is fun, and the conception of the dishes works with the best aspects of small plates.
Fried Chicken Skins
2015 Apr 30
Of course I had to try the
Deep-fried Chicken Skins
, which were unabashedly salty and greasy, as they should be. These crunchy and evilly addictive skins are seasoned with Maggi, drizzled with house aioli, and garnished with generous ribbons of barely-wilted celery and heirloom carrots. At $7, this is a bargain of a bar snack, made possible by a combination of low-cost ingredients and fair business practice. I was drinking cocktails but this snack makes me want to return for beer. So good.
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