Where To Eat When In Ottawa – Murray Street, Side Door & The Shore Club

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The first 3 of 6 recommendations on where to eat in Ottawa.

When asked to describe Ottawa most people would probably default to saying it is a political town. In fact that is how I would have described it prior to my 30 Days In Ottawa adventures. Now If asked, I would describe Ottawa as a town that is embracing the Farm to Table movement with a vibrant and growing culinary scene. I’m enjoying so many great meals while I’m here that I just have to share some of the highlights with you.

Murray Street Restaurant

Murray Street sign

First up is Murray Street, Kitchen – Wine – Charcuterie, Located within the ByWard Market on Murray St. Murray Street embodies the nose to tail philosophy, that means every part of the animal is useful and used. The atmosphere is casual, lively and the menu is very inventive. Check out just some of the items the group I was with sampled. Everything from a baked clam starter, duck confit poutine to a beet salad and charcuterie plates.

to start off the meal a baked clam

Duck confit Poutine

Beet salad

Charcuterie plate #1

Charcuterie plate #2

Steak

A lovely meal and well worth you checking out. The cocktails were also delicious. I had a Dark & Stormy that was probably one of the best cocktails I’d had in ages. Alas I was so thirsty I forgot to take a picture Smile

If you are looking to enjoy a meal at a place that is a bit quieter then you want to visit The Shore Club located in the newly renovated Westin Ottawa.

The Shore Club

In total 7 of us went for dinner at The Shore Club and we truly went to town. I think we sampled almost everything on the menu. It’s an old world steak house which means that you each order your own protein and then you can share the side dishes as they are served family style. We started the meal off with Oysters quickly followed by southern friend chicken, beef short ribs and a side of sautéed mushrooms, but this was just to start.

Oyster platter

Southern fried chicken

braised been short ribs

sauteed mushrooms

For the main course I ordered the Chef’s special which was North African Spice Robbed Striploin. It was so tasty and ranks as one of the top 5 steaks I’ve ever eaten in a restaurant.

North African Spice rubbed striploin steak

enjoying dinner with friends

Believe it or not we still had room for one more course, dessert. Coconut Cream Pie, Creme Brule, Key Lime Pie, and an Apple Crumble were all consumed!

Cocumnut Cream Pie

Creme Brule

The Shore Club had one more treat in store for us. The Chef came out to say hello and even gave us a tour of the kitchen. I’m not not everyone gets to enjoy this treat but you can always ask Smile the worst they could say is no.

Chef gives us a tour

If you are a fan of Top Chef Canada then you have visit Side Door Contemporary Kitchen and Bar. Side Door is located in the ByWard Market across from Planet Coffee. Chef Jonathan Korecki is the Executive Chef & a Top Chef Season 2 Alum and he doesn’t disappoint. the one thing to note about Side Door though is that you don’t go for a quiet dinner for two, this restaurant is hopping and very high energy.

Side Door Kitchen

contemporary design at Side Door

private room at Side Door

I went to Side Door on my own after a great day exploring Ottawa and it was the perfect end to a great day. I sat at the bar and people watched all through the night. Fun! What was better than the people watching though was definitely the food. To start with I enjoyed the best squid dish I have ever eaten, Salt and Pepper Calamari. OMG the squid was so tender.

Salt and Pepper Calamari

Next up was the Thai Beef Carpaccio. It wasn’t exactly what I was expecting but the flavours were amazing.

Thai Beef Carpaccio

I followed up the carpaccio with one of Jonathan’s signature dishes, the handmade Tacos. I ordered the Duck Confit and the Pulled Pork. You won’t be disappointed if you do the same, trust me.

Tacos

Taco

Believe it or not I still have a little bit of room left. What to do? hmmmm DONUTS! I couldn’t resist I ordered the donut sampler for two. I know I know, think about my diet but seriously they are mini donuts. All kidding aside these little pillowy creations melt in your mouth and when they arrive hot stop talking and just eat.

Donuts at Side Door

Marc and Chef Jonathan Korecki

So there you have it. Three places I think you should eat at when you visit Ottawa. I’ve got more of course and they will be revealed tomorrow.

I’m always excited to hear your thoughts though so please let me know what you think of the Ottawa food scene. Have you eaten at any of those restaurants? Do you agree with me?

Well tomorrow you will find out about three more of my must visit recommendations. Until then Bon Appetite!

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About Author

Marc Smith is a single, 45-year-old, gay urbanite, living in high-rise heaven in Vancouver’s chic Yaletown neighbourhood. After a ten-year career as one of Vancouver’s pre-eminent event planners, he decided it was time for a change and posted on his Facebook page “I am ready for a change. What shall I do with my life?” 30 Day Adventures was born from that status update.

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