Ottawa's culinary scene is sensational.
Note from Vanessa: We're thrilled to showcase this guest post on Ottawa's foodie scene from Shannon of Shan's View from Here. I've seen Shannon's culinary chops first hand when traveled together to explore Ontario's Prince Edward County and can't imagine anyone better to report on Ottawa's best food experiences first hand.
Culinary tourism is defined as the pursuit of a unique and memorable eating and drinking experience. Whether you live in Ottawa or are visiting to celebrate Canada's 150, you will find a vast amount of culinary experiences. Some experiences will have you strapped into a race car seat and hoisted in the air, while other experiences will immerse you in an Ottawa neighborhood and its flavours. Ottawa is growing into a culinary destination in its own right and offers memorable once in a lifetime foodie adventures.
Imagine fine dining while suspended 150 feet in the air! That is the Sky Lounge experience. The Sky Lounge experience starts in a chic outdoor lounge where apéritifs and appetizers were served. When your seating time comes you are escorted to the platform/restaurant and securely harnessed in a Formula 1-style swiveling chair. The team from Andaz Feast+Revel introduce themselves with a warm welcome. Together we all count down and are swiftly lifted by the crane operator to 150 feet where we enjoy Chef Stephen La Salle and team’s appetizing creations.
During my visit, the entrée was a melt in your mouth Labrador Tea Cured Arctic Char with cedar-crème fraiche, pickled pearl onions, fennel flowers, Montreal bagel chips, and sorrel. The main was an Elevated Braised Beef Poutine but this was no ordinary poutine. The melt in your mouth braised Alberta beef sat atop a duck fat fondant medallion potato. The "gravy" was a Canadian merlot and birch jus and the poutine was topped with a whipped cheese curd foam and chives. A side of apple cider glazed Ottawa Valley carrots completed the meal. For dessert, we were served a maple scented butter tart topped with spiced Canadian whiskey soaked sultana raisins. Top Shelf distilleries, from nearby Perth, Ontario, and Beau's Brewery from Vankleek Hill, Ontario were on hand to serve us some digestifs once we were back on the ground.
Sky Lounge was a memorable experience. At first, I was afraid I would be too nervous to enjoy the food, thankfully the staff quickly make the guests feel at ease. Once you acclimate yourself to being in the air, it is easy to relax and enjoy your meal.
Picnic on the Bridge
The Alexandria Bridge, also known to locals as the Interprovincial bridge, spans the Ottawa River and links up Gatineau, Québec, and Ottawa, Ontario. The bridge is a hub of traffic all day and night. Pedestrians and bicyclists use the deck and it is also part of the Trans Canada Trail. The deck also offers up fabulous views of the Ottawa-Gatineau skyline, the Ottawa River, and Parliament Buildings making it the perfect spot to host a picnic.
As a part of the celebrations for Canadas 150th birthday, the team behind Ottawa 2017 hosted the picnic on July 2nd, 2017. Let's hope thy bring it back in the future!
The Ottawa 2017 team calls the sold out Canada's Table event "an unprecedented culinary experience where Canada’s world-class food, wine, and hospitality will be showcased at a single, 1000-person, open-air table on Wellington Street.". Wellington Street, the street where Parliament Hill is located, will be closed to traffic to host the event. Canada's Table will bring together both local and visiting top chefs to create dinner celebrating all of Canada. Guests will be surprised with what chefs and region of Canada their meal will be influenced by.
Savour Ottawa Summer Table
Taking place at The Log Farm, 670 Cedarview Road, in Nepean, on August 12, 2017, the Savour Ottawa Summer Table celebrates locally harvested ingredients and talent. The dinner with optional wine pairing will serve 150 guests, so a sell-out is fully expected! Guests will enjoy their meal immersed in the original farmstead. The Orr family will share how they are revitalizing the old farmstead into a modern-day working family farm. Guest will also be treated to a First Nations live performance! This will surely be a night to remember.
C'est Bon Gourmet Food Tours
C'est Bon Gourmet Food Tours has provided Ottawa food tours and cooking classes since 2009. C'est Bon offers believes the best way to learn about a city is to explore the "neighbourhood food markets, discover local produce and dishes, and meet area chefs and food artisans.". The guided tours offer everything from a chocolate lover's tour, taste of Chinatown tour, and taste of the Glebe tour that will delight residents and visitors alike. C'est Bon invites you to taste Ottawa with them!
The culinary tourism experience is alive and growing in the Ottawa and these fun food experiences is just a taste of what the region has to offer.
Shannon was a guest of Ottawa Tourism to experience Sky Lounge. All opinions are her own.
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