Sunday Brunch Buffet at Le Café
Sunday Brunch Buffet at Le Café
Le Café
Foods from Le Café

2016 Feb 7
The press release said "The NAC’s Executive Sous Chef, Martin Levesque, will oversee the day-to-day culinary operation until a new Executive chef is appointed."

2016 Feb 5
Did they say who will be taking over?

2016 Feb 5
They announced today that their Chef (Morris) is leaving to work at the CN Tower.

2015 Mar 15
Had a date for dinner with my wife Friday night at Le Café before our show in the theater. Service was good throughout, and both of us enjoyed our meals. I had the winter greens salad which was very tasty with a good mix of flavours and textures with the baby greens, pickled veg. ribbons, roasted beets, sherry and apple dressing and some lovely Ontario honey roasted walnuts that were delicious. My main was the Alberta beef short rib which was fork tender and flavourful, sitting in a pool of Glengarry cheese polenta that was creamy deliciousness, and maybe the best collard greens I’ve eaten to date as well as some roasted grape tomatoes for flavour and colour, and to balance the richness of the plate. My wife said “you must have liked it” as I practically licked the plate clean. Indeed I did. The only criticism I have was that there was a skin on the polenta but it disappeared into the polenta when stirred in. My wife went with the Maritime coast dish for her main and thoroughly enjoyed her excellent Digby scallops and prawns, mussels, roasted fingerling potatoes and leeks and a small amount of roasted garlic cream (enough for her liking). She had dessert (ok so I had a couple bites too), a chocolate cheesecake with a strawberry core, which was a beautiful plate that featured a half sphere mound of dark chocolate with some berries and some strawberry gel smears. Inside the dome was an almost tasteless white cheesecake with, not a strawberry, but something close to the gel in taste and texture. So, beautiful, would have made a great picture, but like too many desserts in that it was lacking in flavour. She said she wished I would make my gianduia cheesecake and freeze individual slices so she could have a really good piece of cheesecake that was both beautiful and full of flavour.
So, very good mains and salad, a dessert that was somewhat disappointing. As for the show: awesome performance by The Once, a musical trio from Newfoundland and Labrador, thoroughly enjoyed by the crowd, by us, and especially my dw (who sings, plays instruments, taught music, played in a band). I have previously referenced them in a post (with a link), long before I finally saw them: Forum - If you're ever in Newfoundland check out this bar...

2014 Jan 13
I called today after having issues booking a reservation and was advised that Le Cafe will no longer be serving Sunday Brunch except on special occasions like Easter and Mothers' Day.

2013 Jun 7
Had lunch at Le Cafe last week.

The service was great.

The complimentary bread was delicious.

The plates we ordered were a disappointment.

Two of us ordered the Chef's chana salad (masala spiced chickpeas, edamame, toasted pinenuts, grilled lamb merguez sausages, heirloom tomatoes, watercress, beetroot stained pickled quail eggs, dollop of minted cucumber yoghurt). Although the dish comprised many delicious-sounding components, there was something lacking. Maybe it was more taste and certainly MORE quantity. We were both still very hungry after eating it. I even gorged on more bread. At $16 and listed as a main course, it was pricey given that neither of us were satiated.

Our other friend ordered the Canadese” salad (Leamington tomatoes, Quebec buffalo mozzarella
Highwood Crossing organic cold pressed canola, ripped basil). The plate was beautiful when it came but it was very sparse. Needless to say, she was still starving afterward and very unimpressed with what she received for her $13.

We were in a time crunch so didn't have the luxury to sit around, eat more food, and enjoy the amazing weather and scenery. Even if we had, I'm not sure we would have stayed to shell out more money given how we felt.

Anyhow, I don't want to poo poo the entire experience. We made the choice to eat there, knowing not to expect low prices. But had the food been better (in taste and portion), we would definitely have felt more satisfied.

2012 Mar 30
I went to Le Cafe today for a group lunch.

The service was superb.

From the lunch menu, I started with the duck confit and black bean soup. It was seasoned perfectly, and the portion was quite generous.

For my main, I had the General Blackie's chicken, which was their version of General Tao's chicken. The chicken was very crispy and the sauce was perfect. Overall, the dish was just ok. The serving was simply chicken served over plain rice. It would have been nice to have a couple of steamed or roasted vegetables on the side. Also, the fryer oil tasted like it was due for changing.

Generally speaking, the food is very good quality. Everyone seemed happy with their food.

Again, the service was fantastic.

I would have to go their for dinner to gain a complete appreciation of the restaurant.

I would rate the experience 8/10.

2012 Jan 23
All the recent talk on this forum is about Le Cafe's brunch (which I really enjoy, without the coupon deal), but I am still feeling warm and fuzzy about dinner Saturday night before a concert. The service was prompt, courteous and attentive, which is saying a lot because the room was full of diners rushing to see the shows. My husband's beer did come late in his meal, along with an apology and an offer to take it back.

I'm all for the water filtration system they have in place and I like that I can order sparkling water without paying $8 for a bottle of Perrier or San Pellegrino. Appetizers were generous, with two of us opting for the hickory smoked salmon, creme fraiche, goat cheese and a cranberry scone. My only complaint here is that the fennel pear slaw listed on the menu never materialized, replaced instead by standard greens and thread sized slivers of dried ancho chilies. Third in our party went for the beef tartare and my taste confirmed this to be quite good, but not as good as what I enjoy at The Wellington Gastropub (IMO the best beef tartare I've had in Ottawa, but I have yet to try out Signatures' version, the best in town according to Anne Desbrisay.)

Mains came after a suitable pause: sumptuous half pound of aged AAA ribeye, garnished with king eryngi mushrooms and goat cheese laced mash potatoes and a surprise side of a sticky braised beef short rib; crispy chicken which was both flavourful yet tame enough for the more conservative eater in our group; and my halibut filet, seasoned beautifully and resting atop a creamy melee of white beans, corn, shards of ham hock and samphire (listed in the menu as sea asparagus). Delectable. Warming. Comforting. I've been daydreaming about the flavour combination for the past day.

It was the birthday of an older family member visiting from out of town, and dinner here made for a memorable evening and excellent prequel to a great concert. Sitting in the dining room, listening to Frank Sinatra and soaking up the atmosphere, the blue backlighting of the bar, it occurred to me that I long for more of this old school, supper club dining, with white linen, comfortable, padded chairs, and severs that exude just the right combination of formality and warmth. In short, I guess I miss the kind of night out that seems to have been subsumed by trendy bistros, kitchens and wine bars serving small plates at big prices.

By contrast Le Cafe's dinner menu is as long on value as it is on flavour: $39 for two generous courses, along with a couple of drinks brought the bill to $170 with tip for 3 people, and the food, service and ambiance was worth every penny.

I've been comparing this to my last night out at Whalesbone which came to $150 for two, complete with a very casual, roadside diner atmosphere, and the servers and kitchen staff doing tequila shots in full view. Great food, and a fun and convivial atmosphere to be sure, but at these kind of prices I'm looking for something a little more grown up, a lot less college.

2011 Nov 20
Finally was able to use my Living Social brunch voucher. We had a 10:30 reservation, so we had a window table. The service was kind of spotty, had to wait a while for our plates to be cleared, coffee refills, etc. The cold buffet area was my favourite with the smoked salmon and the beef. Many of the hot dishes (mashed potatoes, cannelloni, singapore noodles) were way too salty. I could only take a few bites of each.

The desserts were hit and miss, and it would be very helpful if they had some proper cheese knives/slicers. I felt a little awkward trying to get a piece of cheese without butchering the block with a steak knife!

All said, while we enjoyed our experience, I don't know that I'd return for full price.

2011 Nov 14
I finally used my brunch voucher here the other day. There were both hits and misses. I found General Blackie's chicken to be quite good, crisp and a little sweet with a good savoury flavour not common to chicken. Coconut/shrimp soup was good with just enough heat and the beef with garlic and eggplant was well prepared. French toast was pretty good but nothing special and the creme brulee, profiteroles, and mousse were nice, well-sized desserts.

Not so great: the pork shoulder was too sweet and the cornbread was subpar. Cannelloni was really salty, shanghai noodles were poorly cooked, bok choy was bland. Sushi was not particularly well executed, nor did the potstickers make any sort of lasting impression despite their good looks. Nanaimo bars were nothing special despite the hype from the dessert lady.

Standard brunch fare like eggs benedict and sausage and bacon was nothing out of the ordinary.

Overall, I ate quite a bit and enjoyed myself but it's pricy if you're just looking for a more traditional sort of brunch. If you're getting brunch, it looks like it's only $3 more to add a cocktail... so maybe good value for some. Would maybe go back if there was an updated menu; overall, I thought the quality was pretty inconsistent. Service was quite good.



2007 Feb 19
Then came the main course, Le Café’s Rendition of the Classic “Cassoulet”, a confit of duck (from Quebec), grilled saucisse de Toulouse and roast pork breast (from Ontario) and Sauvignon Blanc braised white beans with fresh tomatoes and herbs. Delicious! The confit was moist without being too greasy, the pork breast was perfectly cooked and the sausage was grilled, but not dry. The beans were delicious, full of tomato flavour and hint of basil maybe? I thoroughly enjoyed the meal with a Mission Hill Merlot.



2012 Feb 16
Aside from the coffee, I found the macarons at the dessert table to be the most welcome surprise. All-you-can-eat *macarons*!!

The quality of all the desserts was a notch above what you would normally see at a buffet.

2012 Feb 16
As far as buffets go this is a pretty decent one. Selection is somewhat limited but the quality is relatively high, like a good cafeteria. You won't find some of the "traditional" things you might expect, like pancakes or a carvery station with roast beef and ham. But you will find some innovative combinations and Asian-influenced dishes.

And the coffee was absolutely spectacular!

2011 Feb 18
Brunch deal today

2010 Jun 15
Was here on Sunday for the brunch buffet and could not have been more impressed. It helped that it was a beautifully sunny day and we were able to sit right beside the canal.

The food was excellent, I can't think of one dish that I was disappointed in; the list of items from the web site is exactly what was served at the brunch. Particular standouts for me included the lamb and the homemade perogies. Service was great and they were very attentive to our two-year old daughter and our calls for copious amounts of coffee refills.

For the two of us (under five are free), our total with tip and tax was $73. If I remember correctly, this works out to about $10/person cheaper than the Laurier and I would say they are very comparable, with the advantage going to Le Cafe on a bright sunny day.

We will definitely be back to enjoy again.

2009 Jul 27
Le Café now serves Sunday Brunch! (Starting July 26th) Their sample menu can be found here:


2011 Apr 18
New User 3740, I feel the need to say something because some of your comments leave me confused.

* Bacon being undercooked is a matter of taste unless it's raw. I like extra crispy but I rarely find that at buffets.
* Asian food looking scary does not sound like the problem is with the food.
* Desserts often have a glaze to preserve their freshness. This is normal and considered desirable. I bet they would have tasted nice.
* Roast beef *is* grey. Meat turns grey when cooked in the absence of nitrites.
* Sushi may be dry, but to describe it as "disgusting" doesn't really mean anything without more information.
* Are you honestly saying that the only vegetables in the salads were radishes and onions, or is that hyperbole?
* A plate of cheese to share with everyone else sounds quite normal for a buffet. There's usually a platter near the desserts with several cheeses and a garnish of real or fake grapes. You are expected to carve off little chunks of the cheeses and take them to your table on your own plate.
* You can't say "Bread? Barely." and expect that to mean something! :-)
* I'm sorry to hear that you vomited later that evening. You should call Le Café and let them know that this happened. There's no reason to think it was caused by the brunch food unless it happened to multiple customers.

2011 Apr 17
This is my first food review ever, normally I wouldn't bother but for what you are paying, people should be warned.

Went for brunch in April 2011 and had been looking forward to is based on the price. What a joke. The place is not well designed, the food tables are small, and the service was what you could call 'absent'. For the price $28+ you would expect to have tasty, well cooked food or a variety. Not so. The warm food was cold and the cold food was lukewarm and nasty looking. Trust me, I love to eat but was hard pressed to find something to eat after trying out the 'warm' breakfast items. The bacon was undercooked and greasy, the asian food looked scary, and the desserts all had a slimey/sticky glazed over cover.

The line ups are long because people are waiting for the trays to be filled up again. The roast beef was grey and the sushi was dry and disgusting. The smoked salmon was too fishy and not enough smokey. The salads lacked vegetables. Come on, put something out other than seeds, radishes, and onions. You had to hunt down servers to get coffee refills and the overall lack of anything other to drink at your disposal other than tap water was unfortunate. Cheese? Forget about it. There is a plate of it to share with everyone else. Bread? Barely. The fruit salad was lame and soggy. They looked like frozen fruit (mostly melon variety) that had been sitting out over night.

Short and sweet of it your money and eat elsewhere. The atmosphere is lacking plus there was dropped food all over the floor and the price is overpriced for underwhelming food. $30 and time I wish I could have back! And, I eventually puked what I could find to eat up by the end of the was making me sick.