Union Local 613 brings Southern-inspired cuisine to Ottawa
Union Local 613- The Venue
Union Local 613 is part of a lively restaurant scene renovation in the heart of Ottawa’s Centretown that I've been wanting to check out for quite some time. It seems everyone is talking about this place! Its upbeat atmosphere has a fun feel and the combination of booths, tables, and a bit of communal seating has a laid back, relaxing vibe.
I started with something I had never tried before – deep fried pickles! I’m not a pickle person, but these looked so good that I was tempted – and not disappointed.
They were fresh, firm, and not too “pickle-y”. I think this is the kind of snack that, when it’s done right, it is so, so, so good. I’m afraid to try them anywhere else!
My salad of crispy collard greens, radish, beets, and goat cheese was fresh, creative, and generously proportioned.
I had never tried collard greens before and, unfortunately, I didn’t really like them much in the context of the salad. I’d give this dish a pass next time, just based on personal taste, but I would still recommend it to those who like collard greens.
For mains, we both ordered the house specialty of southern-style fried chicken. Ryan added a side of gorgeous, buttery, freshly baked skillet cornbread on the side. I passed on having a side thanks to my appetizers, but I was disappointed I didn’t when I saw his cornbread! Delicious! (At least that was my verdict from the one measly bite I was offered!)
We had mixed reviews of the fried chicken. Ryan loved his chicken, as well as their homemade hot sauce. I was more tempered in my review. I didn’t dislike it, but I didn’t love it – I felt it could have used a bit more spice or flavor. There was nothing wrong with it, but I felt a bit underwhelmed.
Give me Dessert!
Dessert was a gem! I usually go for traditional desserts like chocolate or cheesecake, but I tried something new and was not disappointed.
I had a pineapple and lime jello – yes, jello! served on a bed of rum Anglais with crumbled macaroons and decorated with pineapple flowers. It was absolutely delicious – light, refreshing, unique, and vibrantly flavored. It would be worth returning for this dessert alone!
Care for a Drink?
Cocktails at Union Local 613 were absolutely amazing – I wish I could have stayed to sample more!
The mixers are homemade and it’s not unusual to have hand pureed strawberry or ginger in your drink. They really did have one of the finest selection of cocktails I’ve ever sampled, and it would be worth stopping in for drinks and desserts if you can’t make it for dinner.
Overall, I would give the experience 4 stars out of 5. The service was friendly, warm, and consistently attentive. The atmosphere was fun and inviting. The food was fresh, innovative, and impeccably presented. The main drawback for me was that the fried chicken seemed bland to me, and I was expecting something that would really wow me.
One word to the wise: on the menu, each item is reasonably priced, but the final, collective bill can take your breath away. It’s easy for all those delicious courses to really add up! If I were to visit again, I would be more inclined to share appetizers, sides, and dessert, as portions are generous. I’d also, albeit painfully, cut back on cocktails - delicious, but very expensive.
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