296 Elgin St, Ottawa
Visited: August 15th, 2012
Final vote: Definitely coming back!
Review: We went to town for my birthday! It’s taken me awhile to write up this review, and I’m sorry it’s taken so long. But let us see if my memory stretches that far back!
We had reservations, which for this place is important. It’s a small place, cute and really hipster. It rings very Toronto, to me. The menu is written on a blackboard against one wall. The tables had hooks underneath to hang bags, which made it way more spacious in a tiny venue. I’m not sure if there’s normally air conditioning, but there wasn’t the night we were there, and it was warm, despite the window being open onto Elgin Street.
There was a rose on the wine menu, which is lovely, and what MC and I both ordered. The drinks took a little while to get there, and that would be my overall note; everything took a little longer than it should have, including plates being cleared.
The waiters were knowledgeable and able to answer any questions we had about the food. Speaking of the food-
We ordered the artisan cheese plate which was more than enough for four to share (though we did ask for more crostini!) and was delicious. It was a selection of local cheeses, ranging from the soft and mild up to an incredibly strong goat cheese. It also came with a fruit mostarda (like a chutney) and honey, both of which were really good. The full selection is on the website, and I suggest you order the full range of them, as long as you don’t mind strong flavour.
We ordered the ricotta stuffed meatballs, which were simple and delicious. They came in a creuset type dish, with a really rich tomato sauce and a creamy polenta underneath. Nothing particularly imaginative, but a well executed dish, and perfectly matching Town’s idea of modern, unpretentious Italian food.
We also ordered the pecorino potatoes, which were essentially roasted fingerling potatoes with pecorino cheese sprinkled on top. They were amazing, melt in your mouth, and the pecorino was just the right salty addition to the potato.
We were too full for dessert at that point, but the menu looked appealing for sure, and we’ll go back to try more.
There were some more experimental things on the menu; a rabbit milanese and a wild boar bolognese are just two. We definitely played it a little more on the safe side this time, and I’m anxious to go try some more.
The atmosphere was good, intimate without seeming overcrowded, and the restaurant was well lit, with clean lines and simple, classy decor.
The service was less than exceptional, but not bad. Just a little slow, and our waiter did forget one of our tables drink orders, and had to be reminded (and even then it took time to get it). But it wasn’t enough to deter me from a return visit, since the food was so good!