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Ottawa Dining Experience

Clock tower Brewpub (Byward Market)
We came here for dinner after carefully researching pubs in the area.
Decent atmosphere but the food was below average at best.
To start, we had the nachos with grilled chicken. The chicken was diced very small and, overcooked and tasteless, it resembled tiny bits of charred gristle. The chips were the best ingredient. Not greasy or overly salty but – to be honest --tasted old. There were hardly any other toppings, an occasional jalapeño slice (which was shocking zestless) and a sparse cheese dropping here and there. We ordered a chicken salad and the half-roasted chicken for our mains. While the salad was fresh enough, the chicken was very salty, rubbery and dry (not too mention bitter, as we were after this meal). The menu stated it would be kettle chip coated. Translation: crumbled chips sprinkled on top of a dwarfish, overcooked chicken breast. The roast chicken smelled and tasted rotten; it looked wrinkled up and withered. Its decrepit appearance was confirmed by its dry, stringy meat. Almost like an overdue day old super store rotisserie that had been frozen and microwaved for us. Gnarly! I told my DH to stop eating it after I had a bite. It literally reeked of rotten food. The mashed potatoes were cold and glueish in texture and taste. The boiled broccoli was the highlight of this dish, actually, of the whole meal. So if you enjoy dropping $60 on a crappy meal that leaves you hungry and with a bad taste in your mouth than you may enjoy wasting your time dining at the Clock tower.

Mezzanote Italian Bistro
Again, after hours of researching restaurant reviews., this place looked like a winner. Truth is, we are losers after we spend $135 there. It wasn’t worth half the amount.

Before we rate the food (which is why people like us even read these reviews) we really need to comment on the décor and overall atmosphere. Think funeral parlour with white chairs and dental chair music. We started off with the Caesar salad and the Italian sausage; they were both mediocre. Our mains included the pollo mezzanote and a pasta with grilled chicken, portabella mushrooms and a sun dried tomato pesto sauce (BTW the tapenade they serve with the bread was excellent). The chicken and the pasta were both overcooked. The garlic was too heavy and tasted not so fresh. The chicken mazzanote was not as advertised. This dish was a disaster to the palate. It was at once, bitter, saccharine and dry. The sauce was gooey and contained no Marsala as advertised.

The server was officious and pretentious. Even spinning the pepper mill like a police baton. And I’m a Chicago cop so I know all about spinning batons and eating GOOD (and may I add – cheap and honest!) Italian food. Unfortunately for Mezzanote, it’s a big joke, the food the service the place itself. Imagine how sad we were after trying to find a decent place to eat in such a city as Ottawa. And yes, folks, we have been to Little Italy.

p.s. one of us is Canadian

Mar 21, 2011
Mij in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Kitchener/Waterloo

Have been to the Bauer several times -- for dinner -- since in opened last December. What I like most about the place is the atmosphere. At long last KW has a funky mod but casual and comfortable restaurant with a fabulous wine list, great bar and fun music.
Overall, the food is quite good, but like most restaurants in KW it is very bland. For example, the chorizo sausage is lacking chorizo (and spice!) and the leek sauce (Chicken Supreme) is lacking leek. They do bake their own bread which is very tasty. The pastas are mediocre, again, in need of additional ingredients or more of what is offered. Just a sprinkle of ingredients on a bed of pasta just doesn't seem right for almost $20. Pizzas are very good. THe service is above average but they never seem to remember us even though we are there on average every 3 weeks and often have the same server. We will continue to go here hoping for more specials and change of menu.

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The Bauer Kitchen
187 King St., Waterloo, ON N2J 1R0, CA

Oct 17, 2010
Mij in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Fine Dining for BDay in KW area

In a nutshell: Janet Lynn's menu has remained unchanged since 1952 (if you do go try the chicken boiled in a bag)
Bhima's Warung: You will go wrong at $150 for two and leave hungry
Versus is quite good especially if you jump for Kangaroo (no kidding!)
Peter King's is possibly the worst meal we had in 40 years of dining out
Ali Baba/Encore is consistently horrifying (boiled sole comes to mind and hollowed out pork with candy carmel inside)
Charbries is in dier need of fumigation as it hasn't been aired out since 1971 -- the food tastes just as old and stale
Sole -- not bad if you like 15+ ingredients in your main dish

If you want a decent meal in KW try: Classico's for fresh seafood/fish or Wildcraft for Bistro style food. No matter what anyone else says on this post, you will not find a fine dining meal in KW unless you enjoy Kangaroo (I can't comment on Langdon Hall or other venues outside of KW at this point)
Good Luck and please post your review

Oct 27, 2009
Mij in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Chicken (Italian) Dinners in Toronto -- HELP!

I am trying to find an Italian restaurant with classics such as Chicken Piccata, Chicken Cacciatore, Chicken Marsala or Chicken Parmigian. I have looked at many many menus online and find lots of meat and fish/seafood options but cannot seem to find any of these -- am I missing something or do Italian restuarants in Toronto not offer mains like these?

Oct 27, 2009
Mij in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Quick Boris Bistro (Old Montreal) Review

Just returned from a terrific trip to Montreal with my mother and sister. We had a great meal at Boris Bistro; mom had the pork chop, sis had the spinach ravioli and I had the salmon. We had the goat cheease-veggie terrine and a salad as starters and the tart tatin for dessert. The patio/garden is quite lovely and relaxing and the service was very good. Thanks for the suggestion!

Sep 05, 2006
Mij in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Saint-Laurent Boulevard Bar/Lounge

Looking for a nice, quiet spot to have a glass of wine on a Sunday night on Saint-Laurent Boulevard (near Marie Anne E) in the Plateau Mont-Royal area.

Aug 28, 2006
Mij in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Olive et Gourmando

Hey Jennina - thanks for your prompt reply.
Can you recommend a casual restaurant in the area for dinner? Open to anything but Indian food.

Aug 23, 2006
Mij in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Olive et Gourmando

Just discovered it on this site... went to their site to learn more and still have questions: Is this a place for lunch only or can you have dinner here as well? Do they serve wine? I cannot seem to scroll up and down on their site... what am I doing wrong?

Aug 23, 2006
Mij in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Old Montreal Restaurant Question

THanks so much for the thoughtful replies... Especially for the comment about Restaurant Le Vieux Port as I was considering this. Actually I was planning to show my husband their website as I am fairly certain we dined their six or so years ago and it was not very good. L'Express is indeed terrific; we dined their last Fall and it is on my list. We are staying 4 nights: 2 in Old M and 2 downtown. Casa de Mateo is on my list for Old M -- we both enjoy Mexican and I have heard great things about their food. Are either of you familiar with: http://auberge1754.com?

Aug 17, 2006
Mij in Quebec (inc. Montreal)

Old Montreal Restaurant Question

I am taking my mother to Montreal next month and she only eats chicken. She has never been to Montreal and is looking forward to the French cuisine. Hence, I am trying to find a French restaurant in Viex-Montreal with roast chicken, chicken breast, etc. option for dinner. I have looked at numerous menus and am not having any luck. Any suggestions?

Aug 16, 2006
Mij in Quebec (inc. Montreal)