Fine dining in a pub atmosphere.

Swan at Carp
Swan at Carp
Foods from Swan at Carp

2011 Aug 9
Here is a hidden country gem! If the weather permits The Swan has a lovely porch to enjoy the menu.
We had an excellent lunch. Destination-one of us wanted the French Onion Soup and it was delicious as ever-rich, flavourful broth obviously from home stock with additions (I taste lots of carmelized onions, sherry, French bread croutons and melted cheese). This is traditional French onion soup served in a crock and is truly delicious at $6.95 a very large bowl. Good cheese melted on top.
Lunch partner had the special of the day. It was a “Prime Rib Beef Dip au jus” sandwich with fries and salad for $13.95. Unbelievable deliciousness and value! He said it was the best Beef Dip he has ever had! Thinly sliced prime rib beef layered with delicately fried mushrooms and onions atop a large marbled rye bread-all so delicious and very large serving(s). And to dip, a rich beef, mushroom, onion gravy served in a separate bowl-so obviously homemade and absolutely delicious. Crisp fries were fantastic. A chef salad was included. Excellent value, excellent friendly service.
The desserts are handmade on premise, we have enjoyed previously but we had no room-half the sandwich went home.
They have a huge selection of beer (local & international) on tap and by the bottle, a great spot in the west end of Ottawa.

2011 Apr 10
Wife and I went to the swan the other night for a rare night out. The food was way beyond expectations. If you are looking for cheap fried pub grub - you've hit the wrong spot. Excellent food, lots of it based on game (rabbit, ostrich, venison) on the menu, along with prime rib, lamb etc. To start, we split a salad with goat cheese, artichoke, beets, lettuce, cucumber and tomato. It was a beautiful salad, and a very generous portion. Dressing came on the side. For mains, I had the half rack of lamb (four chops) with a demi-glaze, garlic roast potato and veg. My wife had the "black forest" venison osso-bucco - which was served with a cherry sauce, roast potato and veg. Both were excellent, comparable to dishes I've had at Benitz or Black Cat. Prices were very reasonable. The beer selection was very good - I had a St. Ambroise oatmeal stout from the tap. Wife had a nice glass of Pinot Noir.

Note that they've also got an interesting assortment of savory and sweet crepes on the menu, that looked interesting. Also the desserts looked and sounded very good - but we had a torte we made waiting at home.

2010 May 13
I think there must have been at least 50 different import beers here.

Food and service is absolutely fantastic. Reccommend reserving a table because it fills up fast.

My new favourite place to eat.

2009 Mar 23
We recently decided to drop in for a pint and a little bite to eat. The atmosphere is very laid back and friendly. The waitress was very friendly and helped in deciding on which beers to settle on. We ordered the cheese fondue and then followed that up with a pate dish. The food was absolutely fabulous. We were pleasantly surprised. We were also intrigued by the various dishes going by our table to other clients. Leading us to a future visit... I also have to mention that the prices were very reasonable. This is definitely a hidden gem!

2008 Jun 15
I took my mother to lunch at The Swan in Carp last week on a Tuesday. I mention the day because they are closed on Mondays—more on that later. We both decided on salads—I chose the Asian Beef Noodle Salad and she opted for a green salad with roasted beets and goat cheese ( a couple of other things too, but complete description I can’t recall). A few minutes later the server returned to tell us they were out of goat cheese and were offering feta if we wished. By this time the table next to ours had received their order and it looked delicious. Two of a party of 4 had ordered the beef rib special of the day and we decided we’d stick with my salad and the special which was Tandoori rubbed baby back ribs with waffle fries and salad. Both were excellent choices. The beef noodle salad had a bit of spicy kick but not too much—pasta was cooked just right, beef was tender and flavourful and the greens and cucumbers were fresh and crisp. The sesame dressing coated everything lightly—and the salad was huge! It was also delicious the next day for lunch with some added greens and grape tomatoes! The dry rubbed ribs were absolutely decadent—moist, flavourful and pretty much falling off the bone. The freshcut, lightly seasoned waffle fries were great. There was barely a hint of deep fried aftermath. The salad was pretty good for a side—light dressing and carrot and beet curls. We had decided to share a dessert but they only had a couple of choices—we decided since they are closed Mondays, they haven’t had time by Tuesday lunch to restock. Good for the waistline but next time I’ll try later in the week—they really do have nice desserts (and priced at just $5-$6). I love the fact that they change the menu seasonally, always have a good special and soup of the day. And for those interested—it is a pub after all—they have Beau’s Lugtread on tap. With 2 iced teas, $29 + tip.

2008 May 8
It all started with a nice drive to a quiet town called Carp. During one of my stops, a restaurant whose chef (Joseph Thompson I believe) had come up in conversation while talking about cooking whole animals. He was seen cooking a deer’s foot, perhaps for some sort of program. Naturally, I had to taste which animal parts this man would offer me.

As a starter I began with an international cheese platter which consisted of 4 cheese blocks big enough for multiple people to sample and enjoy. One cheese worth noting was the Stilton. It had a creamy yet dry texture that was remarkable. The smell and flavour were great as well. It was very impressive with just the right potency to appeal to the timid, yet satisfy the true cheese connoisseur. For $13.00 I may just shop for my cheese there from now on.

The Cold smoked ostrich and apple carpaccio was another selection on our table which was interesting, and tasty however, it was not what I was expecting as it resembled more of a jerky than a carpaccio. It had a taste of black pepper and hickory smoke I would guess. The smoked ostrich in combination with the cheese made a wonderful topic of conversation.

Osso bucco of wild boar, wild berry reduction, baby vegetables and herb infused cheese tuite was my main. Osso bucco is an Italian dish of brazed shank on the bone. Presentation was just the way I like it. Natural, rustic, simple and I always love when I can identify what I’m eating. The meet was tender and the chef had taken his time when making this dish by bringing out its natural flavours. It was also perfectly pared with the wild berry reduction. Time and care went into this dish and it was noticeable. The roasted vegetables were slightly over done but were a good accompaniment.

To finish we had a Crème brûlée, whose custard was perfect, yet the hard caramel top I found a bit thick.

Over all my experience at Swan was very good and I will be going again. I would also recommend The Swan to anyone who wants a quiet romantic night out, or just to spend an afternoon to try the vast selection of imported beers. I will be including a separate review on the service and decor of Swan at a later date.
To the owners, thank you again for a wonderful night and you really do have a very beautiful baby.

2007 Aug 13
I have yet to stumble on a bad dish here. And it's such a sweet little spot, too...

Pictured: mushroom bruschetta. The cheese comes out a tad too chewy, but overall it's a nice dish. They have more mushroom on the menu than the average restaurant and a number of substantial vegetarian side (and a main or two) dishes; eating veg here isn't a pile of fried zucchini and icebergy 'chef salad.'


2008 Aug 28
Dropped in here "for a cold one" on a very hot Saturday in August after a visit to the Carp Farmers Market. It was great to find some shade and a nice breeze blowing on the veranda / deck.

The Swan has a nice collection of Beers on Tap, and many others from around the world are available by the Can / Bottle.

Two fairly new additions to the line-up: they now have our favourite local brew in stock. Beau's Lug Tread Beer ( Beau's ) is available both on Tap by the Pint or by the 750 ml Bottle. (First time I've seen the beer being sold by the bottle in either a Pub or Restaurant).

Oh ya, yours truly had a glass of Italian Pinot Grigio (sorry don't recall the name).