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Going gourmet in Ottawa

Clarah Germain, social media manager at Group Germain Hotels, and notorious gourmet, shares a few tasty tips from her weekend in Ottawa.

Recently, with an iPhone in my pocket, a trusty backpack (kind of) over my shoulder and a loved one by my side, I hopped on the train for a quick ride toward my destination of discovery.

I’ll admit, I had my prejudices. Being a passionate bon vivant, with a love of daring and delicious food (and perhaps a sampling of good wine too), I was nervous about what I’d find on my plate. Would we eat well? Would we be forced to settle for chain restaurants? And most important of all, would we make any exciting discoveries? But in the end, it only took a few minutes in Fauna, the very first restaurant we visited, to understand we were in for a treat. Over the course of two days, we revealed a city brimming with charming and refreshing gastronomic experiences. Here are my personal highlights:



At Alt Hotels, we often say that it’s the people who define the soul and charm of a place. This adage comes to life when meeting Alex McMahon, the manager and sommelier at Fauna. Not only was Alex a gracious host, but he presented a wine list unrivalled anywhere else in the city. We were able to sample some true liquid gems. When it came to the food, we particularly loved the delectable and inviting quail.


Several friends told me not to miss an evening at North & Navy, a charming restaurant specializing in Northern Italian food, and installed in a converted home. How right they were! When leaving this little corner of paradise I realized that it was quite possibly perfect on every level: from the food preparation to the wine, right down to the service. A rarity in my books. My suggestion: reserve a spot in the kitchen and let chef Adam order for you. You won’t be disappointed.


A restaurant, bar and take-out window all in one, El Camino’s warmth and energy made an immediate impression. The ambience is upbeat, with lively diners chatting loudly over cocktails and succulent tacos. We ate with our hands, chatted up the friendly staff and left hoping we’d soon be back.



Brunch at Art-Is-In is the hottest thing in town, and for good reason: it is absolutely delicious. They don’t take reservations, so if the line seems long, know that it’s worth the wait. Get there early!



You must, without fail, stop in at Union Local 613, on Somerset Street. A little tip: ask the host or hostess if there’s room downstairs. They’ll escort you to a speakeasy hidden behind a bookcase. Next step: get your hands on their impressive scotch list.


Whether it's to enjoy amazing cocktails, its cozy ambiance or its Spanish-influenced sharing plates, Laurel Bar is a place where you would like to just stop time and stay for a while.

Enjoy your discoveries!

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Clarah GermainMarch 28th, 2017
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