Dessert at Beckta
Dessert at Beckta
Foods from Beckta

2009 Jun 4
i love this place. my husband and i went in for dinner and we were dressed very casually and the servers treated us not differently that then couples who where in suits. the food was so exquisite, such a treat. it was a true experience that i will not soon forget.

2009 Feb 9
Mr. Nanookie and I dined at Beckta on Saturday night. We had talked about going to Beckta for over a year and just hadn't managed to get there. We used the online reservation system without a problem.

When we arrived the restaurant was full and bustling with activity, yet we were seated promptly. I ordered a Beckta Kir (sparkling wine with passionfruit purée) as an aperitif, while Mr. Nanookie had a glass of the Cava. We opted for the 5 course tasting menu (different from the 3 course Taste of Winterlude menu), as we wanted to be a little more adventurous with our meal. I was excited to try new dishes and foods that I might normally avoid. We also opted for the wine pairing, as Beckta’s wine list is so impressive that it seemed shameful not to opt for the wine pairing!

Prior to the first course, the maitre d’ and our server followed up with us regarding my ‘food’ allergy (penicillin aka most blue-veined cheeses). I was very impressed by this, as most restaurants have no clue as to what I’m talking about when I mention it and I really have no desire to end up with hives after dinner. At Beckta, they could recite which strains of penicillin were used in each cheese.

The first course featured the Ahi tuna and proscuitto, paired with a glass of Muller Thurgau. The saltiness of the cured proscuitto accented the flavour of the tuna. The second course was Beckta’s take on French onion soup: carmelized fennel with lobster consommé, with a square of pork belly confit. We were instructed to put the confit into the soup, which was very decadent. This course was paired with a Vouvray, which was a very nice match.

The third course was my favourite. Handmade pasta stuffed with mascarpone cheese, topped with puréed pine nuts, shortbread infused with blood orange. Shaved fois gras was added at the table. This was paired with Flat Rock Cellars’ 2007 Pinot Noir, which on its own is a fabulous pinot. The richness of the food matched the pinot perfectly… I am still dreaming about this course, two days later!

The main course was seared ostrich, with baked beans prepared with sambal oelek and topped with a dollop of puréed cilantro. This was paired with a South African Shiraz. We really enjoyed the variety of flavours in the course, from the flavour of the meat to the spiciness of the beans. The spice of the beans really complemented the spice in the Shiraz.

We also opted for one serving of the cheese course prior to dessert. It was nice to see local cheese reflected, as well as some other cheeses that we normally would try. We didn’t do a wine pairing on this course, though I found that the final cheese was so intense that it really needed a wine to accent its flavours.

Dessert featured a coconut panacotta with a slice of caramelized pineapple, a pineapple pot de crème, and a square of sticky pineapple cake, paired with a Cotes de Layon dessert wine. This was probably the weakest wine pairing of the night, as the acidity of the wine really overwhelmed the dessert. On its own the wine was fabulous!

Overall, we were very impressed by the quality of the food, the inventiveness of the dishes, the wine pairings and the attention to detail at Beckta. While dining at Beckta isn’t cheap, it is definitely worth spoiling yourself with a dinner there whenever you can.

2008 Oct 22
Overall kind of a disappointment after all the hype here. I was expecting to be wowed like never before but the food was somewhat of a flop. I had the magret du canard which was passable (however the corn risotto was amazing) and the bison appetizer. Both were impressive but not in keeping with french food which is what I was expecting. Perhaps my expectations were too high, but everyone raves about Beckta and it didn't deliver. That being said, if you happen upon it while walking along the street it would be a pleasant surprise.

2008 Aug 18
I dined at Beckta for the first time last week. The online reservation system was very easy and efficient.

My friends and I had heard all the hype, read the OF postings, as well as other articles and were eager to try the restaurant.

The dining atmosphere was simple and clean. The service was exceptional from start to finish. There multiple servers waiting on you.

We started with the complimentary amuse-bouche. Unfortunately I don't remember all the components but it did comprise a small portion of foie gras. It was my first fg experience and yes, it did melt in my mouth!

I began with the Fingerling Potato Gnocchi. It was different and quite delicious. Small gnocchi accompanied with melt-in-mouth cubes of salmon -- rare and still cooking from the heat of the salad. It was what I would describe as a warm salad. It had swiss chard and other leafy yumminess as well as little delicate chanterelles. It was a lovely starter and a nice portion. Another friend ordered the Composed Green Bean Salad and said it was quite delicious. The beans came wrapped in salty proscuitto.

For an entrée, I ordered the Wild Nunavut Arctic Char. It was my first time having char and I have to admit, I'm not sure what the difference is compared to salmon. The portion was well cooked and the skin was fabulous -- crisp and savoury from the sea salt. The char sat abed baby bok choy and baby corn. The bok choy was perfectly cooked and went very well with the soy-black bean sauce. Unfortunately the baby corn were on the raw side. The dish also came with three mini shrimp potstickers. This specific item had drawn my attention to the dish. Unfortunately they weren't anything special. If anything, I would suggest Beckta replace them with another side. The potstickers were so tiny. The filling was small and 'tough' -- it did not melt in my mouth (I was looking for more of a shrimp siu mai-type of texture). My friend and I both ordered the char and enjoyed our meal except she was not as fond of the crispy skin. Another friend ordered the Beef Tenderloin. I recall her liking the dish but not being overly excited about it.

For dessert, the three of us ordered different ones and did the sharing thing -- brilliant! We ordered the Strawberry "Shortcake" (strawberry mascarpone custard, cake-like pasty), the Pistachio-Orange Millefeuille (pistachios, round cookie-like pastry, scoop of coffee gelato, and the Salted Caramel and Chocolate Tart. The tart was the winner particularly since it was more a trio of chocolate desserts: a salted caramel and chocolate tart, a dark chocolate truffle-like flat pyramid and another chocolate item. The sea salt left the most peculiar yet brilliant aftertaste.

After our desserts, we were pleasantly presented with the complimentary dessert. Unfortunately I am drawing a blank but it was a type of mint-fruit gelato. Delish and very refreshing!

We all enjoyed our Beckta experience. We also agreed that it was not a place we would often frequent but that it was a good option to have for those times you want to treat yourself and experience something other than the norm.

2008 Aug 8
I went for my birthday too!
The atmosphere in the restaurant is very nice and the service was excellent.

We had aperitif to start and the kir was very good, however, watch out as the Kir Royal is NOT made with real Champagne, it's from Australia!!

To start I had the pan seared foie gras - it was ok - certainly not the best I've had.
My husband had Fish and chips, tuna with small chips which he said was very good.

Mains:I had Digby Scallops which were cooked perfectly and my husband had beef which he said was also excellent.

The wine list is really excellent and the food overall was very good, however I didn't find it more outstanding than 'The Courtyard' for example.

2008 Aug 1
Went to Beckta a week ago for my birthday dinner; I chose it because I had heard really good things, including from many people that it was the best restaurant in the city, and really wanted to try it.

Both my girlfriend and I had the Inspirational Tasting Menu with the suggested wine pairings. That proves to be quite expensive, but it seems I was worth it :)

Before the first course is brought out, we are offered a choice of three excellent types of bread (rosemary, whole grain, and regular white baquette) with both white and caramelized butter; the bread server was back at the beginning of every course, just in case. Everyone was also served a complimentary "shot" of a creamy soup (it was probably about 2 ounces) but it was very good; I can't remember exactly what it was but I know it had tuna in it, possible anise as well? A little too much lemon, but nice.

The appetizer was sockeye salmon served in a sashimi style wrapped around grilled asparagus along with some goat cheese and a lemon & cucumber sorbet. This was accompanied by the 2006 Cattail Creek "Off Dry" Riesling (their quotations, not mine). This was the most disappointing course of the meal; although we received a large portion of tender salmon, the dish itself wasn't very exciting, no realy stan-out flavours other than the sorbet. The worst part, in my opinion, was the wine pairing. The off-dry riesling did not complement the salmon at all; the salmon was too strong and rich for the wine, and the wine accentuated the "fishy" taste of the salmon. We either drank the wine with the cheese or saved it until we finished the food.

Things were up from there, especially the excellent pork belly confit with wilted greens and organic mushrooms and peas in a sweet sherry reduction, served with a 2006 13th Street Gamay Noir. I really can't say anything more, this was awesome, making my mouth water right now. Actually may have been my favourite part of the meal.

This was followed by scallops served with an onion and bacon puree, snow peas and an almond milk and brown butter sauce, accompanied by the excellent Clos Jordanne 2005 "Village Reserve" Pinot Noir. The dish was very good, probably the most perfectly cooked scallops I've ever had, seared perfectly, stil juicy. Also in my opinion the best wine of the night, went with the food exceptionally well, the bright fruit and acidity in the wine handling the richness of the scallops and the puree.

The main course was seared beef tenderloin, which I was very happy about. This was served with the Lyeth Sonoma County 2006 Cab Sauv. The wine was disappointing, not big enough to stick with the beef (having just returned from Sonoma and Napa, Sonoma should really stick to their Pinots and leave the Cab Sauvs to Napa). However, the beef was wonderful, cooked perfectly to our tastes (on the rare side of medium-rare). It was seasoned beautifully and I didn't detect any of the burnt charcoal flavour you sometimes get when searing beef tenderloin like this. The flavours of the dish all mingled well with one another.

The meal was finished off with a roasted cherry cake-type thing which was very nice and finished things off well. This was accompanied by the Buller "Fine Old Tokay", a sweet wine with a sweet sherry-type appearance but a richer, fruitier flavour. It was very nice and went well with the dessert, which was not too heavy but still satisfying.

Overall, I'm happy to have tried it. Was it worth the price? (>$315 with everything) Probably not, considering the number of excellent new restaurants in the city. Maybe you're paying for the excellent service and ambitious flavours. I would still recommend it to anyone to try.

2008 May 4
Ron Eade writes that Beckta is planning to open a second restaurant this year, with more of a "small plates" tasting menu approach. Target location is centretown and Michael Moffatt will continue to be executive chef for both restaurants. Details here:

2008 May 3
Beckta uses an electronic RSVP system - book ahead and you'll get your 7:00 dinner.

You can RSVP on their website, it shows all the available times, by day, by # of diners.

2007 Jun 8
LiveToEat: Vardy actually has since moved on from Par-Fyum to Whalesbone (The Whalesbone Bank).

2007 Jun 8
Vardy has moved to Par-fuym in Hull. Anyone been there?

Agree that Beckta is still the best 'french bistro' restaurant in Ottawa, but the best overall? Dunno about that. It's pricey too for what you get.

Makes a statement about the level of dining in Ottawa, doesn't it.

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Wine 4





Dessert 3



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



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.

Oysters 1







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 :-)