La Roma
La Roma
Pasta at La Roma
Lasagna at La Roma
Pasta at La Roma
Pasta at La Roma
Pasta at La Roma
Appetizers at La Roma
Salad at La Roma
Foods from La Roma

2012 Jan 26
I went to La Roma last night with a whiskey tasting group, which included a simple three-course meal.

I'm only going to comment on the food, since it was a catered menu type of affair.

The first course was a leek soup. It was alright but nothing special. It was a good way to start a meal, however.

The main course was prime rib, which was quite disappointing. At my table, no two servings were alike; some cuts were a 1/4 inch thick while others 3/8 inches. The finishes of the cuts varied as well, from well done to juicy medium rare. My particular cut was on the very thin side, was well done and about thirty percent fat. The accompanying vegetables were kale, roasted carrots and parsnips. The kale was delicious and done perfectly with some garlic and seasoning. The root vegetables, however, were dry, overcooked and hard.

The dessert was a delicious whiskey cake.

While I understand it's not easy to serve a catered meal and have all the components coming out the same, I would expect some quality control over the meat portion, especially something like prime rib.

I have never eaten there before so I really can't comment on the menu and regular table service. Based on my experience last night, I wouldn't recommend this venue for group functions. I paid $65 for the basic meal I received, which didn't include booze.

2011 Aug 29
I posted the below at another site in Jan 2009... 2011 update at the bottom...

"I have been going to La Roma for years and am way overdue to show it some love here in the 'Thing. Have been here at least 3-4 times a year for maybe 5 years now, most recently December 2008.

Let's get the obvious out of the way first - there are, literally, dozens of great italian restaurants in Ottawa, and probably a dozen just on Preston St. Everyone has their favourites and aren't likely to change their minds. Everyone also has their own impression of what italian food should be and, similarly, aren't likely to change their mind. Consequently, little things like the kind of tomatoes used in a sauce, whether the veal parmagiana is one massive cutlet or three little ones, whether the brodo is clear or cloudy, tend to make a real difference.
Atmosphere too - some like their italian restos loud and bustling (say, Giovanni's), some like them quiet and reserved (Mama Teresa style), some like small and cute (Picollino). All of which is to say, here's why La Roma always hits the right notes with me and you can judge for yourself whether it's what you like.

I like the look of the place - clean white tablecloths, calm pale walls with a bit of decoration and seasonal additions that keep shanging. A roaring fireplace in the cold months. The staff are dressed up tux style, the bar is front and centre with dark wood and comfortable stools if you're waiting. It's elegant without being pretentious.

I have, without fail, had solid, usually excellent service here. Some staff have been new and had to check with the kitchen regarding a change of sauce or side and perhaps forgot a glass of wine or coffee, but overall, i have found the servers to be friendly, professional, happy to offer suggestions of wine and food and amazingly calm and present even when the place is packed on a busy Saturday night. Speaking of changes, i have dined here with the fussy, the picky and the overly high-maintenance and the kitchen has never refused to make a change or improvise something that turned out exactly as desired.

Now the food: I have a soft spot for veal parmagiana and La Roma nails this dish for me every time. The veal is tender but thin, the breading tasty, the sauce great (they do one massive cutlet sometimes and 2-3 smaller ones other times, in case you're wondering). Other dishes i have tried, the lasagna - a solid mass of tasty meat and cheese, the canneloni - more meat, less cheese, still tasty, and various pastas (especially the arabiatta), have all been solidly delicious and generous in portion. And the osso bucco... i have had this dish in italian restaurants in Italy and it wasn't as good as this. And the breaded zuchini stick and just wrong (i mean that in the best way possible).

Desserts run from the awesome (the tiramisu) to just sugary good (whatever cheesecake is on offer) but the coffee is without fail excellent, even decaf.

Nice selection of wines by the glass and a good house wine if you prefer.

Price is the higher end - with wine expect $60pp. Fully worth it in my opinion. You can get cheaper italian food in Ottawa, you can get different italian food in Ottawa, but as far as i'm concerned, you will not get better italian food in a nicer setting in Ottawa.

So LA ROMA works for me, and i know fans of other italian restos in Ottawa aren't likely to shift their views, but I will continue to go and continue to send others."

...and was just back there on a Sunday nite, mid August 2011 and everything i posted above still holds true. The server was great, the food was as good as ever if not better, and the new section upstairs is very classy.

And the zuchini sticks and veal parm' are still the best in the city as far as my taste buds are concerned.

2009 Oct 1
linguini alla pescatore @ la roma. pej daddy flavor taskforce on recon patrol for seafood linguini through the preston street construction disaster that looks more like a warzone. soldier blue encounters: baby shrimp, fresh scallops, crab meat & mussels sauteed in garlic with a cream sauce. there are also options for tomato and black olive/olive oil sauce. very strong flavors here and very well done and recommended with the cream or black olive sauce. i don't mix tomatoes with seafood. wouldn't hesitate a re-order on the next visit.

2009 Oct 1
capelli d'angelo @ la roma. pej daddy flavor taskforce on the hunt: angel hair pasta served in a light sauce of fresh basil, garlic and tomatoes. simple looking but explosively flavorful. wonder what it's like to be a basement dweller with the all-powerful mamma mia motherlove making dishes like this... wouldn't you leave home?

2007 May 24
Hubby and I went to La Roma on Sunday evening. Being relatively new to the Ottawa area, we've been really surprised at how busy restaurants are on nights we'd considered to be "off".

We were seated quickly. After ordering drinks, we perused the menu and decided to each get an appetizer and a pasta dish.

I ordered the calamari, which turned out to be a huge disappointment. It was probably the chewiest I had ever had and really inedible. When the server came over, I told her that it was very chewy, and she took it away and got me another order. The second batch came right out of the fryer, so it was hot and fresh and a bit better, but as it cooled down, they got chewier. It was obvious that the squid had been frozen. Anyone who had eaten calamari from fresh squid would be able to tell the difference.

Hubby had the artichokes with garlic and 2 cheeses and it was very good. The artichokes were tender and hot and the garlic and cheeses were a nice complement.

My pasta dish was Fettuccini ai Spinaci Monte Verde (spinach fettuccini, tomato sauce, cream, mushrooms, ham and artichokes hearts). It was very flavourful and good. It made up for the appetizer! Hubby had the Fettuccini ai Spinaci al Salmone (fettuccini with mushrooms, garlic & smoked salmon in a cream sauce) and it was excellent. We were both pleased with our pastas.

We had tons of dessert at home, so we skipped dessert and coffee there.

We'll probably go back again sometime. Overall it was a pleasant experience, service was efficient and friendly and seemed to appreciate my comments about the calamari.

2007 Jan 2
Being New Year's Eve, La Roma had two seating times...6:00 and 8:30 ish. Because of this I was expecting to feel rushed for some reason but we for sure weren't. Service was timed just right and not overly polite or anything negative. Reasonably priced, especially for the quality food they served. They took our jackets before we were seated and when we were done, they brought them back and the gentleman put them on for us ladies which I thought was a nice touch, in this day and age! Seating was a little tight with the back of my chair being super close to the table behind me. That wouldn't deter me at all from going back again and again! Or recommend it to anyone who asks for good, homestyle, high quality Italian food!


2007 Jan 2
Last but not least, our meat/seafood east coaster friend got the Linguini alla Pescatore
Tomato or cream sauce with shrimps, scallops, baby clams and mussels. He said it was really, really good but thought they sort of short changed him on the pasta portion, maybe because it was full of seafood? He definitely could have ate more....but still didn't order dessert so he must have been satisfied!

2007 Jan 2
Another main...Manicotti della Casa
Stuffed with ricotta cheese & spinach covered in a tomato & bechamel sauce. I don't think the picture does this one justice....he finished the plate!

2007 Jan 2
My sister had the Fettuccini ai Spinaci al Salmone...Spinach fettuccini with mushrooms, garlic & smoked salmon in a cream sauce. This was going to be my first choice, but I thought I should try something that I don't "normally" get. I HAD to try it and wow, even though mine was really good, I wish I would have ordered this one. The smoked salmon was just nice and tender and the cream sauce was surprisingly light, not too heavy, yet still full of flavor.

2007 Jan 2
Here is my delicious main..Fettuccini ai Spinaci Monte Verde....Spinach fettuccini, tomato sauce, cream, mushrooms, ham and artichokes hearts. But since I'm a vegetarian, I ordered it without ham. Yummmy! They served just the right portions that made you full but not enough that you feel the need to open your top button!


2007 Jan 2
Of course, being in an Italian resto, someone always orders the Baked Lasagna! She said it was really yummy....sorta looks the same as the Manicotti, but of course wasn't...traditional style with meat sauce.


2007 Jan 2
Ok...I finally figured out how to get my pics of our New Year's Eve dinner from La Roma off the new camera and onto the computer!
This is my starter salad which was the Insalata La Roma...romaine, onions, green peppers, artichokes, tomatoes and fried scallops with a really nice light vinagrette. I've never had scallops fried like that before so I was expecting them to be chewy but they definitely weren't!


2007 Jan 2
This was my partners appetizer which was called Carciofini al Formaggio...artichokes baked with white wine, garlic, and parmesan cheese. Being a lover of artichokes as he is, he LOVED this one!