Benny's Bistro
Weekend Brunch at Benny's Bistro
Benny's Bistro
Benny's Bistro
Benny's Bistro
Benny's Bistro
Benny's Bistro
Benny's Bistro
Benny's Bistro
Benny's Bistro
Benny's Bistro
Weekend Brunch at Benny's Bistro
Weekend Brunch at Benny's Bistro
Foods from Benny's Bistro

2013 Nov 29
This place is so yummy! I like how it's almost like its in a hidden place but it's just behind the famous French baker. I ordered the beef tartare and my mom had the salmon gravlax. The beef tartare was a special for the week and it was just so good. Portion was generous, and presentation was beautiful.
The atmosphere of the place got me feeling like I was in a restaurant in France. Would definitely come back to try other items on the menu.

2012 Sep 29
Plus: They made a custom order of scrambled eggs for my son, complete with a "log cabin" of sliced bread and apple sticks. All for just $5.

Minus: They charged $8 for the chocolate eclair he had for dessert.

I told my wife to imagine $8 for the breakfast and $5 for the dessert. That helped a little.

The sliced bread on the table is cut in advance and is somewhat dried out when you get to it. Come on.. you're a *bakery*. Have some pride, please.

The brewed coffee is good and refills are offered.

2012 Apr 13
I'm a huge fan of Benny's but had the first disappointing experience I'd ever had there last weekend. Not sure if this had to do in part with the notice on their door that they're hiring a full-time cook for Monday to Friday, as this was on a Saturday. After a long wait, we had to ask for menus, our coffee orders were mixed up (asked for decaf and got regular), our food took a very long time and then arrived barely warm and the plating was uninspired. I really hope this was a hiccup and not the beginning of a decline, as it's one of my fave places in town for brunch. I did note that my usual servers (incidentally, women) were not there, but a new crew (incidentally, men).

As an aside, I had always understood that Benny's rotated its menu seasonally but it has been the same (or almost nearly so) for a very, very long time now. I could be wrong, but I'm tempted to say for at least a couple of years. I'm a creature of habit, so this doesn't rankle me too much, but it would be nice to have a bit more variety on occasion.

2012 Feb 21
Wow, we ultimately visited this restaurant because we received a gift certificate from family who knew how much we loved food. We had not really heard of Bennys, except for the local rumour about them having the best croissants in the city.

When we first arrived, we were early and it was quiet (say 11:40), and we had our choice of seats. The server was quick, not overly friendly, but this is a bistro in the flavour of Europe, and I would say the service was similar to what you would get in France or Switzerland.

The menu was short, but VERY tempting, and covered vegetarian, fish and meats, with a variety of tempting sauces and flavour offerings. Also a few decent wines, and beers including Quebec micro brewery beer. I had the pork shoulder with puree of parsnip and apple with brussel sprout crisps. My wife opted for the fish on a bean fritter with greens and beets. The food was immaculately presented, and it was extraordinary! I can't believe brussel sprouts could taste so good, and the food pairings went together magically. If you are a power eating just looking for sheer volume, this is not for you, but the portions were perfect for lunch, and we both left very satisfied.

By 12:00 the restaurant was packed and the one waiter running in very efficient circles. Bill was $64 for 2, which included wine and a variety of their baked breads with butter. This did not include tip.

We will definitely return, and look forward to future menu offerings.

2011 Nov 3
Benny's Bistro every day menu is the ultimate seasonal brunch menu! For over a decade now, it has not seen any other restaurant in Ottawa match its style or genre.

The restaurant serves from 10:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m., so, breakfast, lunch, brunch. It is located in the back of The French Baker bakery, which also means no windows. Because the food is so exquisite, the only other downside is the short service hours.

Pictured here is their famous goat cheese Frittata with spinach and chipotle sour cream, with a small side of arugula and orange salad with some ginger rhubarb jam and slices of their famous French baguette. With a nice bowl of hot cafe au lait with foam.

After your first visit, you will be back and soon become familiar with the friendly faces (they have a semi-open concept kitchen) of the wonderful people who will ensure you have a beautiful food experience, as I always do.

2011 Jun 14
On Sunday morning, I took my family to Benny's bistro for a celebration brunch. I am so stoked about this place, it is amazing! This adds to my mantra - “most of the best restaurants in Ottawa are on Murray St.” It is not super cheep but I found the prices were reasonable for the high quality, brilliant plating, and most of all amazing flavour and texture combinations. Chef Scott Adams knows what he is doing.

We started with a French baker croissant – which is very good – but not the best croissant in the city (however this is the topic for another post). Next we ordered coffee and tea. Beware – tea was 3.75 and coffee was 3.50 and this doesn't include coffee refills. My girlfriend's Dad ordered an orange juice which was something like 4.50. This is where they get you. Don't order drinks, or be prepared to pay ridiculously inflated prices for them. That being said, the Earl Grey that I had was very nice, and the coffee is 'Illy' brand coffee. So it is good stuff. Even better though, was my 11am St. Ambroise black stout that I enjoyed with my breakfast. Nothing beats beer with breakfast :) At least the beer was worth 6.50.

We were worried about my girlfriend's mum who is a really picky eater. Even she loved this place! She ordered a french toast dish with fruits and marscapone cheese. She was speechless! I can attest, it was really yummy.

2011 Jun 14
Amanda and her Dad ordered the Yukon Gold potato & pumpkin gratin, maple cured pork loin, soft poached egg and hollandaise sauce. I need not describe how amazing this was. Not a single complaint can be made. Yum yum yum. The egg was perfectly poached, the pork was phenomenal and the potato pancake thing was filled with buttery goodness. I'm salivating just thinking about it.

2011 Jun 14
And now for the holy grail of brunch meals...seared rare tuna, poached egg, arugula (and other miscellaneous shaved plants), heirloom tomato sauce, some kind of seasoned mayo and panko encrusted, fried chorizo sausage. OH MAN. This is one of the most memorable meals I have ever eaten. I can honestly say I have never tasted anything like that before. The egg was poached perfectly, the tuna was not over cooked, the tomato sauce was exploding with amazing flavour, the sausage balls were out of this world and the spicy arugula/vegetable mix complemented everything else perfectly. This dish is the epitome of balance – in taste, texture, presentation, and portion size. Flat out amazing.

I was buzzing for the rest of the day after that amazing meal. All I know is that Benny's is a formidable competition for Murray St. Kitchen. Although I wouldn't be able to tell you which is better, right now all I can think about is the amazing tuna dish I had at Benny's.

Highly, Highly, Highly recommended!

2011 Apr 30
Hello all! Visiting Ottawa from Toronto SO and I went for breakfast at Benny's on Thursday morning. Our first taste of the Byward Market was very promising. I personally loved the French cafe feel to the room and Yvon (?)was a very gracious host. I ordered a delicious croissant from The French Baker next door which was fresh and flaky, even though it came cold;warmed up would have been appreciated and even tastier. Two coffees followed which were topped off regularly throughout the meal. Not usually a coffee drinker but Ottawa seems to have great coffee everywhere. It was Illy filtered coffee.

On to breakfast : SO had the mushroom and cheese omelette and enjoyed it a lot. Lots of big pieces of king oyster mushroom from what I could see and sneak a bite of. I had two eggs any style (I ordered overeasy and they were perfect) which came with saute fingerling potatoes and lardons. Both came with French style multigrain toast and a really tasty arugula and julienned beet salad. Would it be overdramatic to gush over this side dish? I hope not since it was a perfect balance to the savory lardons.

The room was quiet at 8:30 in the a.m. and remained fairly private until almost lunch time. I really enjoyed the leisurely morning while we planned our day. Awesome atmosphere and light jazz playing over the radio made it feel like a corner of France.

2010 Apr 29
Why oh why must this restaurant be so far away from my work? In a way I guess it's good, it saves me from eating lunch out every single day. And when I do finally make my way over there, it's so worth it. I make it sound like they're off the beaten path. But it's actually me who is. Right down in the heart of the Byward Market, this gem is a must for lunch.

I had been raving continuously about the food to one of my coworkers until he finally said, what are we waiting for? Let's go! So we did. And now here I am, drooling over my keyboard as I type.

Luckily the menu isn't huge, or I'd have a helluva time deciding. I still did anyway. Torn between the sweet soy braised pork belly sandwich with pickled vegetables and curry aioli, the pan roasted Lake Erie pickerel and the seared scallops. My coworker Scott helped in my decision making by ordering the pickerel. Then at least, I'd get to try two of the three. I finally decided on the scallops.

I was in awe when my meal arrived. A row of firm, fleshy seared scallops lined the plate. Parallel to these golden beauties was a thick slice of double smoked bacon that acted as a slide from the tower of salt cod gnocchi, grilled King Eryngii mushroom and fava bean salad to the roasted chipolinni onion at the other end. The rich moistness of the salt cod gnocchi made each morsel fuse together, almost like a fish cake. I swear it was my favourite thing on the plate. Curly slivers of pickled beets and deep green leaves added a rich punch of colour to the overall ocre hue of the dish.

Before my first bite, I had food envy looking at Scott's golden crumbed Lake Erie Pickerel filet. Perched on a soba noodle salad with sweet soy braised Shitaki mushroom and pickled daikon radish, this fish was cooked to a fork flaking tenderness. A pool of mild dashi stock was the ideal sauce for each ingredient.

Upon presentation of a visually striking pear tart, we couldn't help but secure the order. The sweetness of the velvety filling in this generous dessert was underpinned by hints of tartness from the slivers of pear. A gelatinous shellac gave it a glamorous sheen. What a way to end a marvelous lunch.




2012 Sep 29
Portion sizes have shrunk since we visited 4 years ago. Pictured here is Savoury buckwheat pancake, double smoked pork shoulder, shaved Gruyere, sunnyside egg, apple & Savoy cabbage remoulade ($15)

I was a little surprised to find thin slices of deli-style ham in here. I mean, sure, ham *is* smoked pork shoulder, but based on the menu description I sort of expected chunks of pork inside the buckwheat pancake. What I got was more of an anglo-style "cordon blue" treatment than an impressive French product.

The apple/cabbage remoulade was really very nice. Still, for the price, a superior brunch is available across the river. (ref: Odile , Edgar).

2009 Feb 28
Love, love, love Benny's for brunch! Went there today with friends, and the French toast with aged cheddar, oat crumble with brown butter and salted caramel was amazing. The portion was just perfect, I was completely full after I was done. Complete with that came a frothy cappuccino with Illy coffee. I also tasted their orange juice and it was very fresh (I'm pretty sure if was freshly pressed). My partner asked that the egg be removed from his plate, since he doesn't eat them. The cook compensated by adding a lot of salmon. Service was very nice, everyone was smiling, it was awesome. Would definitely, definitely go back!

2008 Mar 31
My Pan-seared gnocchi, crispy lardons, spinach, poached eggs and chipotle mayo were just amazing. Again, the photo makes it look like a puny portion but it was right for me (and I eat well).

The poached eggs were top-notch aside from a slight tang of vinegar noticeable when eating just the white (I know you need some vinegar in poaching water to keep things together but I think they use a lot). Perfectly cooked, though. The crispy lardons were delectable and married perfectly with the pile of spinach buried underneath. The gnocchi were pleasantly chewy and very nice to eat. All in all a delicious feast!

2008 Mar 31
Wifey's Croque Madame with green salad was phenomenal (she let me try some)! Everyone should try this. Our dishes, and also those we saw delivered to other tables, were delightfully presented and extremely tantalizing.

This photo doesn't do justice to the generous size of this plate!