Dessert at Beckta
Dessert at Beckta
Foods from Beckta

2010 Oct 25
Hubby and I celebrated our 1st anniversary at Beckta a few weeks ago. We were debating between a few restaurants and decided on Beckta since we had a wonderful experience there last time and it's close to home.

I think the night we went they were overrun with walk-ins. We were able to change our reservation in the days prior and there were lots of times available on both the Friday and Saturday night. When we arrived, the restaurant was packed and I even saw them turn people away at the door.

We ordered the tasting menu with wine pairing. None of the dishes really wowed me, but I did appreciate the seasonal feel to it. I was so blown away by a dish on our last visit that I still dream about it! Hubby really enjoyed the soup (which included goose meat and pistachios) and loved the duck bacon on the main protein dish. Dessert was a saskatoon berry tart which was a nice, light dessert.

At the end of the day, the food was good, but not to the point where I felt like I *have* to go back. Last time I left Beckta, that's how I felt because the food and experience was so good. What I found the dinner really lacked was the service I'd come to expect from Beckta (and Play for that matter). It was very rushed and our server seemed run off her feet. It was likely due to the unexpected volume of diners that night and it might just be a one-time issue.

2010 Oct 25
Came here for our anniversary dinner this past Saturday. I left a little disappointed.'s the breakdown:


Husband had the prawns. Raved about them and esp. about the sauces.

I had the Lemon ricotta gnudi which I loved. No complaints here whatsoever. Note that other than the salad, this is the only veg. app.

Main course

Husband had the scallops. Loved it except thought there was too much of the crème fraiche.

I had the gnocchi since it was the only veg option. I was excited about it because of the mushroom trio. I hate hate HATE mushrooms generally but I love ordering dishes with mushrooms when we go out to 'fancy' restaurants because I always freak out over how good they are. I did not freak. This meal was larger than I expected, but I found I could have probably made it equally good or better at home, which is not what I'm looking for in an anniversary dinner. The sauce was something more suited to a springtime meal. I was longing for something earthier and richer in flavour. I also found this dish too similar (yet sadly inferior to) the app I had.


Husband had the squash pie. Loved it. I tasted it, very good.

I had the butterscotch and chocolate tart and it was bordering on fantastic.

So all in all not bad, I think they need to pay a little more attention to their veg mains to bump them up to being as excellent as the meat mains seem to be.

2010 Sep 30
We finally made it out to Beckta last night for dinner (one more crossed off the list!). I don't know if I can add much to what's already been said - excellent food, everyone loved their dishes but meals are DEFINITELY pricier than I would have liked. We opted for a bottle of wine too, since the place is owned by a sommelier - I'm not sure if it was Stephen Beckta himself or someone else who was attending to us, but we were able to ask lots of questions about the wines, specify a price range and let him know what we all liked and didn't like in a wine, and he was patient and attentive while we tried a few different wines until we found one we liked. That was a treat - service overall was A+, all the waiters were incredibly polite and attentive. The atmosphere was also pretty hard to beat - it's in an old renovated house, and there's not a bad seat in the house as far as privacy goes. The decor was simple, lighting low but not so low you can't see the menu (my only gripe about the Wellington Gastropub!), comfortable booths and the walls and booths are set up such that sound is attenuated nicely so you don't have to yell to be heard (I find a too-loud restaurant can be a real drain on the experience). This is a fantastic place to bring someone you want to impress (a date, a business client, future inlaws) s'long as you're the one paying ;)

2010 Sep 23
I went to Beckta ALL BY MYSELF one night in August. Sat at the bar, had a few glasses of wine and a quiet meal, and wrote a long letter to my grandmother. It was pure bliss.

Beckta, of course, was perfect - the staff was charming, personable, and chatted amicably when I had a question. I really appreciate that they are happy to let you try small amounts of wine until you find one you like.

Pictured is my main course - trout with apricots(?) and rapini, and potatoes (hidden under the trout). I discovered I don't like rapini. Everything else was amazing though - in particular, the trout was to DIE for.

There are a few very special restaurants in Ottawa that you just can't go wrong with no matter the occasion (even if you just want a quiet dinner on your own!), and Beckta is definitely one of them.

2010 Sep 23
I can't remember what the fish was called, but this was a delightful sashimi appetizer. Some sort of Japanese fish. It was sort of like tuna, but milder. Drizzled with olive oil (?) and then sprinkled with salt and pepper. Sweet-salty pretzel thingys on the sides. AMAZING.

2010 Aug 17
We went out to one of the most amazing restaurants last night in Ottawa: Beckta! Now this place really isn't for everyone, and be ready to fork over a chunck of change. But I must say, every penny and every hour is worth the experience!

Prawn cocktail seviche, vanilla bean custard and powdered shrimp sauce.

Halibut cake served on a herb polenta topped with goat cheese and relish.

House made fetuccini drizzled in truffle oil, served with crispy arrugula and marel mushrooms and topped with 5yr old provolone.

Raspberry and rhubarb shorbet serves with elderberry sparkling water.

Duck breast with mushrroms, tart grape jel and asperagus puré.

Strawberry and lemon mousse cake with lemon sorbet served over vanilla bean and strawberry sauce with strawberry crisps.

Strawberry glaze on a white cake and apple puffs.

I hope I have just made you hungry!

There is an option to do a wine pairing with this menu, it's well worth the extra price. Your palent gets sent on a tastebud adventure. It's amazing to feel the changes of flavour when you pair the right wine with the right ingredients. The staff are very knowledgeable with the food and the wine, and will take the time to explain something if you have questions. I appreciated that very much.

See more pictures at

2010 Jul 3
My husband and I celebrated our anniversary at Beckta last week, and had a lovely time. I started with the Rabbit Charcuterie platter - three different rabbit preparations served with a tangy mustard and gherkins. My favourite was the Pistachio and Bacon terrine. My husband started with the grilled prawns. Large, plum shrimp cooked just enough - delicious.

On to the husband had the duck breast with creamy grits. I'm always a little cautious about duck as it is often very fatty. This was not fatty at all, and the flavours on the plate were wonderful compliments to the duck. I had the veal "ossobuco", and if I had read the description more closely, I would have realized that this is not a traditional rich, hearty ossobuco. The description in the menu mentions veal consomme, but I didn't notice that and was expecting the robust flavours of ossobuco. What arrived was delicious, tender veal and navy beans with other tasty touches (truffles, etc) served with a clear broth. Tasty, delicate flavours, but not what I was expecting. I would recommend this dish, but caution that it is "not your mother's ossobuco".

We had a cheese course, and I can't remember what specific cheeses were on the platter. I do recall that they were delicious, and if I had any sort of memory, I could tell you where they were made, what they were made of, what specific techniques were unique to each, etc. as all of this information was presented to us along with the cheese.

We skipped dessert as we normally do, but were presented with a plate of mini bites, decorated with "happy anniversary", which I thought was a nice touch.

We enjoyed two quite special bottles of wine, which were served very professionally. In fact, the service was wonderful throughout the evening...attentive but not oppressive, friendly, but not overly so.

Our wine choices raised the total bill quite substantially - we were celebrating, after all! Without the wine, my impression is that Beckta would land somewhere in the upper half of Ottawa restaurants, but is certainly not the most expensive. Appetizers at $12-$16 and mains at $27-$39 seem quite fair given the quality of the food and the overall experience.

This is a more formal dining experience than we choose for regular everyday outings - I'm a big fan of Play, for example, the more casual sister restaurant to Beckta. Same quality of food, but you feel comfortable in jeans. Beckta is a lovely spot for those occasions when you feel like getting a little dressed up and treating yourself to a special evening.

2010 Apr 30
We visited Beckta a little while ago and we were very pleased with both the food and service. We were catching a show at the NAC after and we informed them on the phone when we made our reservations. They remembered this detail and were promt and courteous. We started the meal with a cool soup that was unexpected and brought to the table- delicious. Both my husbands and my meal were superb. Of course we paid for it, but not complaining when you have sucj=h a good experience.
And our show was good too:)

2010 Apr 29
Happy Birthday me, indeed! What a treat from kir royale to chocolate caramel tart. Winter mushroom risotto and sea bass in between. I appreciated the friendly and attentive service that made me feel special - and never small - because I asked questions about just about everything and because I didn't know how to pronounce a few things (oh what was that edible tuber?) It was wonderful!

2010 Jan 18
Finally went to Beckta! The person I went with said it was the best meal they'd have in their life! (although close race with the boar at Allium). We didn't order an appetizer, although we'd love to try the grilled octopus. Mains were the duck, it was (Magret Duck Breast Savoy Cabbage Choucroute, Grilled Figs, Duck Confit “Beignet” and Spiked Cider Sauce), he doesn't usually like cabbage but loved the way this one was cooked. The beignet was also very delicious. I had the (Honey Glazed Chicken Chestnut Gnocchi, Oyster Mushrooms, Brussels Sprouts, Sweet & Sour Shallots and Cognac Crème Fraîche Pan Jus)... I thought the brussel sprouts were so good, I could have eaten a whole plate of them, and the Chicken was amazing. I just didn't like the Gnocchi, I've never had it before so don't have anything to compare it against I just found it a little gummy.

The dessert was Chocolate Explosion.(Chocolate Pot de Crème, Chocolate Espresso Fudge, Chocolate Malted Gelato and Molded Chocolates). The pot de creme was soooo good, I could eat a huge bowl of it, more of a milk chocolate flavour. The only downfall of this dessert was the fudge, it was two triangles approx 3.5", and it was so tough, you couldn't even get a piece off with your fork, you literally had to pick up the entire piece and take a bite off of it, I don't think it came out properly.

Friends of ours thought it was humorous we were eating there because the pictures on their website (perhaps just appetizers? not sure) make it look like you won't be getting a lot of food on your plates, but I found the portions to be quite acceptable. Yes, as per previous reviewers (on this site or another) they refold your napkin when you leave the table and they clean off your table crumbs with a little metal squeegee thing! The washrooms are upstairs. The private room upstairs looks great for private functions. There were all sorts of people in there, from jeans, to suits, to dress shirts, so I'm sure everyone would fit in. The table was a little close to the next which was a little uncomfortable at first.

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2006 Dec 31
The fatty, salty foie gras on top of the buttery, sweet banana bread french toast was such a perfect pairing, and then the fresh, tart and clean taste of the grapefruit salsa and greens was a welcome foil. I couldn't finish the appetizer. It was just too decadent. It would have been like eating an entire box of Godiva truffles, or having an hour-long orgasm. Just too much.





2009 Oct 25
I almost always start with a beer when I visit Beckta's because they always have something interesting to serve. On tap, too.

2007 Apr 10
This is in response to Zymurgist's comment re: desired wider beer selection at Beckta.

This restaurant is owned by a sommelier and it is even titled "Restaurant and Wine Bar". The emphasis is intentionally on wine. The main reason to go there is to experience Stephen Beckta's amazing wine pairing with Chef Michael Moffat's scrumptious dishes.

If you are are not a lover of wine, you may not want to eat here. The food is delicious on it's own but the menu is designed around the wine.

The place is very popular and I can't see the format being changed any time soon. Although, even with the short list of available beer, you might go anyway and query Beckta on his knowledge and beer & menu pairings. Given his genius on wine, I bet he knows a lot about all types of alcohol!

2007 Mar 17
Website lists Steamwhistle, Amstel Light, Upper Canada .9, Blanche du Chambly, Stella Artois, Trois Pistoles, St. Ambroise Oatmeal Stout. Small, but well-rounded selection. Though sounds like the sort of place that really could benefit from expanding their selection a bit and learning more about how to serve/recommend it like wine.

Based on some of the reviews especially from "Fat Cat" I really want to check this place out sometime. Fine dining and "non-pretentious" normally don't go together :-)







2010 Aug 17
I love petits fours! mmmm
This is what you get while you pay your bill. What a way to sweeten you up!

2010 Aug 17
Dessert was great if you like mousse and strawberries