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Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro
Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro
Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro
Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro
Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro
Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro
Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro
Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro
Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro
Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro
Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro
Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro
Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro
Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro
Dessert at Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro
Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro
Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro
Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro
Foods from Sweetgrass Aboriginal Bistro

2009 Sep 21
Went here for lunch on Friday. Everything was amazing - the atmosphere, service, and food.

We started with a plate of the fry bread with honey, which was delicious - I've never had flat bread like it.

I then had the "Super Sandwich" of the day, which on that day was a bowl of black bean & chipotle soup (amazing - very flavourful with just the right amount of spice), a bruschetta with multi-coloured (heirloom?) tomatoes, and a simple green salad. The bruschetta blew me away - it's so rare to find it done so well, with the bread still warm and crispy and the tomatoes still cold.

My friend had the seafood cakes, which were also extremely well done. Such a fantastic blend of flavours.

I will be back - I really want to try dinner & the dessert menu!

2009 Sep 17
Tried out this local gem last night with a fellow foodie. Interesting.

I started with the Smoked Wild Sockeye Salmon Salad - wonderful flavour, not too smokey. Came with some cucumber slices lightly coated with a vinaigrette, which sat on top of a slice of in-house dried tomato - the tomato was phenomenal...all sorts of other applications sprung to mind.

My friend had the Elk Carpaccio. It was very tender, sliced razor thin and topped with arugula, some shaved parm and mushroom oil. My friend thought there was perhaps a touch too much black pepper which had been on the outside, which overwhelmed the delicate taste of the elk a little, but overall very good. There were also some bannock croutons. In the end, delicious.

We then shared the Wild Grill Sample plate - elk sausage (fantastic), buffalo ribs (a little too tough in my opinion, I prefer my ribs a little more fall off the bone). I think they also could have enhanced the flavour a little more...just my taste though. The quail tenders were a little tough. The wild boar belly was delicious as were the accompanying sauces - chimichuri and a piri-piri. There was a small salad in the middle with some pickled summer squash, pickled okra and some micro greens. Overall very satisfying.

Mains - I had the vegetarian option - roasted carrots stuffed with lentils and rice, and a warm salad of wilted spinach, wild mushrooms, quinoa and garlic scapes. There was a dizzying drizzle of reduced balsamic which set it off perfectly.

My friend had the Tatonka steak (buffalo) grilled medium rare - with fingerling potatoes and wilted spinach. This was served with a homemade steak sauce that was out of this world. She asked for a second helping (she was told there was a $2 surcharge) and it arrived in a mini jug, steaming hot - just hot enough to make the remainder of the steak palatable.

We didn't order wine, just had a couple of Pelegrino's. Bill came to around $120.

While the food was not always stellar, the service went above and beyond for sure.

Would definetely recommend to other foodies wanting to try some local/truly Canadian treats.

The menu changes seasonally, so we will be back for each season, as a comparison of course :-)


2009 Aug 4
Sometimes excellent meals with beautiful ingredients and preparation. Other times, merely average. I think who's cooking determines this to a degree. Ironically the fall/winter menus seem to offer more interesting and succulent dishes, especially the meats. The native/Jamaican flare works well and can be very layered while not too weird for conservative types. Things like quail and bison are always prepared in a very accessible way.

One of Ottawa's best restaurants. A solid 7/10 rising to 9/10 on the best nights. Atmosphere and service is very good too. Higher priced but good value.

2009 Jul 21
Excellent first visit to this restaurant. It has come highly recommended so naturally my expectations were also very high. I'm happy to say it did not disappoint.

The service was outstanding (we had a male server - didn't catch his name)

I had the braised wild boar belly to start and the roasted quail. Both were truly good. Cooked perfectly, seasoned perfectly, and presented well.

The atmosphere is decidedly warm and charming. (staff's kids were meandering around the dining room throughout the meal). The atmosphere was relaxed enough to keep snobs away but definitely formal enough to enjoy a special evening.

I will be back to this place!


2009 Jul 10
This has to be my favorite restaurant in Ottawa. Stopped in tonight for dinner. The menu changes with the seasons. We started with the meat sampler, wild boar sausage,buffalo ribs,lamb, with a chimichuri and another spicy sauce which slips my mind. Awsome starter. For the main I had a rabbit fricassee on a bed of fresh pasta with a basil sauce. My wife had the walleye dinner special with vegies and rice. The meal was so tasty I'll probably sitll be thinking about it tomorrow.

2009 Mar 11
Had a wonderful and very filling dining experience at Sweetgrass last night. It was our first time and everyone was keen to try. The resto is where the former Oh So Good used to be on Murray St. The house is quaint. Beautiful aboriginal art. Dim lights.

Dining with this group of friends is a treat since we share plates. What better way to experience the culinary collections of a restaurant than to be able to sample its various offerings in one sitting.

As stated in previous postings, the experience starts off with yummy salted popcorn! They also provide these fresh buns (Navajo bread I believe) with herbed butter. Mmmmm

For apps we tried the Soup of the Day (wild boar and white beans - melt in your mouth delicious with a lovely smokey flavour) and the Fried Queso Fresco salad (very tasty, vinaigrette was lovely but stung my lips so that I had to wipe them each time I took a bite - very citrus-y).

For our mains we ordered Wild Boar and Beans (tasty), Rabbit Roulade (rabbit wrapped in ham - divine!), From the Elk Ranch (boneless elk rib - melt in your mouth yummyness!); Grilled Tatonka (buffalo - very delicious) and the "Namesh Special" (salmon with risotto - tasty). All the dishes were delicious and came with their own sides -- from coconut rice to garlic mashed potatoes to wild greens to wild rice and orzo.

For dessert, we shared the rosemary crème brulee (creamy and distinct in flavour given the rosemary), Mom's Indian Buudin (traditional Cree dessert - steamed pudding fruit cake - good) and Warren's Jamaican Rum Bread Pudding (also good with strong rum flavour).

Only one person had wine, the rest of us stuck to water -- which was plentiful; the server kept coming by with her pitcher. It was a wonderful dining experience and I will definitely go back!

2009 Mar 7
Last night I had one of the best meals i've had in Ottawa. My husband worked late and by the time I finished walking the dog, going out to eat seemed like the best option. Since i've been doing my blog, I find we try to hit restaurants we've never been to before. It's hard to do when you've got a few favourites. I had been here once before, a couple of years ago for lunch. I remembered they had a lot of unique dishes, and since I haven't reviewed them yet we decided to eat here. I'm so glad we did. The decor is very warm and inviting with aboriginal art on the walls. This is Ottawa's first aboriginal style bistro and I have to say, the food is absolutely amazing. As soon as we sat down they served us a bowl of popcorn, very fun. And you know most people are hungry before they arrive at a restaurant, so a little snack upon arrival is always nice. They also brought some Banik, an aboriginal bread normally rolled out flat but they make it more into the shape of a roll and serve it with a delicious herb butter. We ordered a glass of the Malbec from Argentina, very nice wine. And then here's where I go nuts – my app and main. I started off with the Butternut Squash Ravioli with Christophes mushrooms “bolognaise” and sage cream, absolutely divine. Then I decided to order the Potlatch as my main, which was a tasting of “In-Betweens”. This plate offered the queso fresco, which is a fried in-house made lemon and thyme cheese with Bryson farm roasted beets; rabbit dumplings – crisp rabbit filled dumplings with avocado salad and honey mustard aioli on top (I actually omitted the avocado because of my stupid allergy); a country paté made of pheasant, duck and wild boar served with a late harvest cabernet grape relish; in-house smoked trout – this was one of my favourite items, so smokey and so fabulous; and last but not least, the absolute best thing on my plate, a venison terrine on garlic toast that melted in your mouth in seconds. This item wasn't even on the menu for that dish so it was a thrilling surprise. The flavours pouring out of the food was sensational, I got happier and happier with every bite. I seriously did not want it to end. My husband was also very happy with his meal, slow cooked elk ribs from the Elk Ranch, served with celery root and potato puree and wild greens. I also tried it, of course. The potatoes were incredible and the elk was very moist and succulent. A convivial atmosphere, delightful service and conservative prices make this place the best of it's kind. I would highly recommend this spot! Starters range from $8 to $10, in-betweens from $10 to $22 and the mains $18-$36. Portions are also very generous.

2009 Jan 17
What a great restaurant. I had the GRILLED TATONKA (BUFFALO) $36 Yukon Gold roasted Potatoes with Jambican Garden vegetables and Sweetgrass’ steak sauce it was fantastic but a tad small. My wife had the caribou special with mashed potatoes and it was also very good. For desert we both had Moms boudiin a tradition Cree desert and it was tasty not too sweet but heavy.

2008 Sep 26
My sister and I went to lunch this past week as a treat armed with our entertainment coupon. We started our meal with a ginger-pumpkin soup (her) and a gathering nations salad for me. The soup was very good, I was hesitant to order it since I dislike strong pumpkin flavours. My salad was also good, although - found it to be a bit peppery for my personal tastes. That being said, when - go for lunch again, I am never ordering a starter and a main! I had the fish and chips, and my sister had the hunters sandwich (pictured - hopefully). We were so stuffed by the end we could hardly move. Everything was fantastic and with the coupon the bill with tax and tip was $30! Well worth it.

2008 Sep 19
Husband and I just went for out first visit to Sweetgrass for lunch. It was our entertainment book coupon that sent us there... but the good food will send us back!

I had the soup of the day - carrot soup with garam masala. My husband had the corn and wild rice chowder. It was amazing (and you can find the recipe in the fall issue of Food Mode Magazine!)

For mains, I had the Southwest Guinea Fowl Burger. It was delicious and juicy, topped with fried onions on a homemade bun. Even the fries were good - with a spicy mayo for dipping or spreading on your burger.

I was full, but we ordered dessert anyway since there were so many tempting choices. We shared an Indian Buudin' - which was reminiscent of an English steamed pudding. Delicious.

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2006 Dec 17
I'll end it with a dessert since I'm not sure if I'm spamming. :)

Cloudberry Pudding



2009 Nov 23
The Creme Brulee at Sweetgrass has Rosemary in it which provides a unique twist to the usual delightful flavour. Astounding.