Fresco Bistro
Fresco Bistro
Fresco Bistro
Lamb at Fresco Bistro
Antipasto at Fresco Bistro
Pasta Di Mare at Fresco Bistro
Foods from Fresco Bistro

2016 May 10
We were down on Elgin and noticed that these guys had started opening for lunch. Having never had a bad meal here we stopped in. I had the breakfast sandwich with house made sausage. It was really good. Great eating breakfast at lunch. My partner had a soup and salad which were deemed excellent and ordered the side of potato fries. I am not sure how to describe them but they looked like deep fried shreds of baked potato. They were really good as well.

2014 Aug 10
Had dinner here Friday and mediocrity prevailed once again. Tried their chorizo pizza with blue cheese and roasted red peppers. The blue cheese didn't work for me drowning out the rest of the flavors. The crust made with imported Italian flower was underwhelming and that is being polite. The price charged for thier pizzas is out of line for pizza pricing in Ottawa. My wife had the trout special with citrus risotto and pineapple salsa. Under seasoned watery trout with an overpowering citrus flavor to the risotto .At 27$ this dish should have been prepared with more care. Advertised beers were out of stock but I did get a chance to try a sip of Big Rig IPA. Let's say I stuck with water instead.

2013 Dec 22
Date of Visit: December 2, 2013

Fresco has a presence on the internet but I had not come across their web-page before and I discovered the place while scouting out the neighborhood close to my hotel on my recent trip to Ottawa. I happened to have a bit of a yen for Italian food on that particular day and their menu looked rather interesting…

The Food
Complimentary Bread with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar... Rating: 5 out of 5
Beef Carpaccio ... Rating: 4 out of 5
Linguine Carbonara ... Rating 5 out of 5.

At Fresco, they clearly pay attention to service, style and presentation and do so without sacrificing anything when it comes to the quality of the dishes. The place is stylish, comfortable and well worth investigating.. I give it a 5 out of 5.

Full pictorial review at:

2012 Aug 10
We’ve been to Fresco on several occasions, here are my opinions on several things I’ve tried:

- Lamb shank: Very well done, not quite as tender as I’d like, but still very good
- Risotto: A lot of places screw this up, theirs is great. Best dish I’ve had there. Shrimp, pancetta, spinach...YUM!!
- Tiramisu: Best tiramisu other than my Nonna’s. It is a bit lighter than a traditional tiramisu but I really like the mousse-like texture.
- Calamari: Super crispy and good sauce
- Gnocchi: Chicken, mushrooms, and a cream sauce. Liked the gnocchi and liked the topping/sauce but not so much together.
- Antipasto: Has a few elements that are not traditional, which I like, but still had all the regular items that should be on an Italian antipasto plate

Service is good, food is good, decor and atmosphere are good. We'll definitely be back.

2010 May 3
My companion's breakfast, the eggs natasha (I think) -- special egg yolk action shot!

2010 May 3
We had brunch here a few weeks ago after discovering the Manx & Pump were both full. We definitely weren't disappointed - I love that they have salad as a side for brunch! I am just not a potato person. Pictured is my breakfast sandwich (egg, tomato, bacon, lettuce, avocado) which was absolutely fabulous.

2010 May 1
OK, I dont want to do this but I have been thinking about this experience for 3 weeks now, so I guess this needs to be said LOL.

2 couples and our infant went in for sunday brunch. It wasnt full but was starting to get busy. Basically I think all the rejects from Luietenants pump were coming over. Anyways, we got a table no problem and looked over th emenus. There were about 5-6 items available to order for brunch- nice and simple.
2 of us ordered one dish (eggs benedict) and 2 of us ordered another (2 eggs with sides). Well, it took about 55 mins for our orders to arrive and here's how it went down:
-i was missing my bacon and my side greens were warm
-friend #1 was missing ALL his sides (bacon, sausage, salad)
-friend #2 was missing her side of greens
-husband had all his items but it was when we looked at his plate we noticed the SMALL serving portions. The potatoes were more like 3 pieces of potatoes.
I think they werent prepared for the rush that eventually hit or something!!! It was embarassing for the owners who I am sure were not around. After we told to server about this he wasnt phased and the proceeded to bring us what were missing 10 mins later. We pad full but I will not be returning.

I hope they fix their brunch issues because I have had dinner there i the past and thought it was fairly good.

2009 Dec 22
I went there for brunch with a friend a few weeks ago and had the Eggs Natahsa (an eggs Benedict variant).

It was good, their coffee was quite nice as well. I'd certainly go back again given the opportunity.

2009 Aug 20
Was here for lunch with a friend and it was pretty good. I had the Gnocchi with chicken, pancetta, mushrooms and cream sauce. The cream sauce had a delectable 'smokey' quality to it.. Yum. My friend had the veal meatball Hummdinger sandwich, and said was also quite good. The service was prompt, and courteous. I was however disappointed with weird language on the menu indicating it was $5 extra for chicken, and $2 extra for gluten free pasta, even though it was quite clear this didn't apply to most of the menu items. Further, at this price point, I was disappointed to see paper napkins on the table. They had also covered the tablecloth with brown paper, presumably to keep the linens white/clean until dinner, but this also bothered me. I felt a little like I was getting the Fresco-light experience, instead of a lunchtime version of Fresco. I will go back, to try again, but it will not stay on my rotation list if they cannot improve the little things. I will also give kudos for the excellent online reservation system, which worked quite nicely, including a reminder email.

2009 Aug 17
Had dinner at Fresco's Friday night - my first time.

Rundown of the dining experience:
- nice looking bistro
- delicious virgin caesars (well seasoned, quite spicy and came with yummy pickled haricot vert)
- service was good - our server tried her best to make up for my less-than-great meal so I give her props for that
- my main was a disappointment

I ordered the salmon which came with vegetables and a parmesan white wine risotto (the online menu says parmesan and mushrooms but that is definitely not what I got). The salmon and vegetables were fine, but nothing spectacular. The risotto was a huge disappointment, particularly since I ordered the dish specifically for this side. It was tasteless and had the consistency and look of paste. I am a huge fan of risotto and it was by far the worst I have eaten. The server asked specifically what was wrong with it so I told her. She said it was good to get the feedback which she was going to pass onto the chef since s/he was new. The server asked if I wanted another meal but I said it was not necessary.

My friend had the salad special: papaya and crab. She said it wasn't what she had expected. The crab looked like it came out of a can and was served with a too-generous portion of mayonnaise. For her main, she ordered the beef carpacio which was generous (in a good way) in portion and she said it was tasty.

My friend had been here on multiple occasions and had raved about the food. She commented that our Friday night meal was certainly not on par with her previous experiences. It appears that the new chef is still finding his/her groove.

Our server offered to give me a complementary dessert (very sweet of her) but we declined. Instead she removed our coffee and tea from the bill.

Based on this experience, I don't think I would return, but am not discounting it completely.




2007 Aug 3
I find we have this problem with a curry dish at the place I work at too. Some people don't realize when they order it that it will not be as spicy as at thier favourite thai restaurants. Of course when I make our sauce I try to make it flavourful and tasty, but I am limited in that I have to stop short so that it is appealing enough for "the masses", and not just for spicy food or hard-core curry lovers.

2007 Aug 3
I chose the curry cream sauce instead of the curry tomato sauce on spinach fettucine. It comes with broccoli, bell peppers, shrimp and scallops. When it arrived, we all commented on how good it smelled....but, after the first bite, I knew I wasn't going to be satisfied. The curry was sooo was like the chef just sprinkled curry powder in the cream and heated it up. It was strange because the smell suggested it to be full of flavour, but it just wasn't. Maybe that's what I get for ordering a curry dish in an Italian restaurant??


2007 Aug 3
I'm pretty sure the full name of this appetizer is Antipasto Di Mare. It was a sharing appetizer for about 2 people....came with smelts, mussels, shrimp, calimari (not the deep fried kind), smoked salmon and capers, hot peppers, and olives. Everything was great except for the wee wee wee size of the mussels. I've never seen them so small before! My friend had mussels in his pasta dish for his main and they were way bigger?! The smelts seemed a little dry to me but I don't think I've actually had them before so I have nothing to compare them to. The smoked salmon was almost 'melt in your mouth' good.

2007 Aug 3
This is what my friend ordered which was one of the specials that evening. He got it medium well and he said it was delicious. Some mashed potatoes and steamed veg to round it out. I thought the presentation was pretty.