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  #801  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2019, 12:21 AM
Jayday23 Jayday23 is offline
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Toronto pizza chain pi.co coming to the retail bay at 180 Metcalfe.
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  #802  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2019, 12:50 AM
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Toronto pizza chain pi.co coming to the retail bay at 180 Metcalfe.
And at 236 Richmond in Westboro.
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  #803  
Old Posted Oct 17, 2019, 2:12 AM
SkeggsEggs SkeggsEggs is offline
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I have eaten at the Kitchener location and Sherway Gardens location, not bad, pretty similar to fiazza.
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  #804  
Old Posted Dec 4, 2019, 1:39 AM
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There's a new Middle Eastern restaurant called "Bibi's" getting ready to open in the old Fraser Cafe location at the corner of Beechwood and Putman. I guess this means that the ugly building proposed for that block is not happening.
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  #805  
Old Posted Dec 4, 2019, 5:52 PM
Uhuniau Uhuniau is offline
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There's a new Middle Eastern restaurant called "Bibi's" getting ready to open in the old Fraser Cafe location at the corner of Beechwood and Putman. I guess this means that the ugly building proposed for that block is not happening.
I thought that looked like renos the other week, too.

Jacobsens is moving, though.
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  #806  
Old Posted Dec 4, 2019, 11:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Uhuniau View Post
I thought that looked like renos the other week, too.

Jacobsens is moving, though.
Yes, the new space at Beechwood and Champlain is being fitted up now. Should be open soon.
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  #807  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2020, 3:33 AM
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A sign has gone up for Idriss "Mediterranean Food" at the former Cat's Fish & Chips on St Laurent at Hemlock. Cat's closed a few months ago.
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  #808  
Old Posted Jan 20, 2020, 4:38 PM
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A sign has gone up for Idriss "Mediterranean Food" at the former Cat's Fish & Chips on St Laurent at Hemlock. Cat's closed a few months ago.
Wait, what?? Please tell me it's opening in a new location? That place had the best fish and chips in town.
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  #809  
Old Posted Jan 23, 2020, 4:22 PM
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Art-Is-In Bakery now open in the Byward Market.

Dal Moro's Fresh Pasta To-Go will be opening tomorrow (Fri Jan 24, 2020) in the Byward Market as well.
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  #810  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2020, 12:05 AM
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Wait, what?? Please tell me it's opening in a new location? That place had the best fish and chips in town.
Nope, it's gone, afaik. Meanwhile the new operation - Idriss Mediterranean is now open, offering "traditional Algerian" cuisine.
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  #811  
Old Posted Feb 22, 2020, 4:48 PM
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Rise of Ottawa's modern franchise: What's behind Ottawa's changing food scene

Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen
Updated: February 22, 2020


At the beginning of this year, quietly but clearly, franchise fever climbed up a notch in Ottawa.

In Westboro, workers at the brand new Pi Co. stretched dough balls to make Neapolitan pizzas, then slid pies with their customer-chosen toppings into a sleek white ceramic pizza oven for a 90-second spin in 715 F heat.

“I decided to venture into something new. I wanted to make people happy on the spot,” says Pi Co.’s owner-operator Chris McCrudden, explaining his switch from working in retail to opening a restaurant.

The 37-year-old already plans to open a second location downtown, at Metcalfe and Nepean streets, this spring, and has larger dreams of expanding into the suburbs. “The plan is to scale across the city,” McCrudden says.

He adds: “Everyone likes pizza and nobody’s doing this. You can’t find pizza like this anywhere.” That is, except in Toronto, where Pi Co. has opened 16 locations since 2016.

Meanwhile, in the ByWard Market, staff at the just-opened Dal Moro’s Fresh Pasta To Go were doling out spanking fresh, made-in-house rigatoni, spaghetti, fusilli and linguine swaddled in pools of sauce in their take-out cartons, following the processes and recipes chef Gabriele Dal Moro instituted at his tiny store in Venice.

“You wouldn’t find something like that in North America,” says Santhosh Reddy, the Toronto-based master franchisor for Dal Moro’s.

Reddy asserts that while you can get fresh pasta at some restaurants and quick-service pasta at many others, Dal Moro’s is the only business that unites fresh pasta and quick service. “It’s a unique model. There’s nobody who’s doing it right now,” he says.

Reddy visited Venice in late 2016 to celebrate his wedding anniversary and liked chef Dal Moro’s business and food there so much that he resolved to bring the concept to Canada. By the spring of 2018, Reddy had opened the first of his four Dal Moro’s in Toronto. He says he envisions opening two more Ottawa locations in the next two years.

Ottawa has no shortage of pizza and pasta eateries, either independently operated or run as a corporate chain location or franchise. But Pi Co. and Dal Moro’s, which are the inaugural Ottawa locations of relatively new Toronto-based companies, are part of a larger wave of recently arrived franchises of companies that are headquartered elsewhere in Canada.

In the last four or five years, restaurant industry watchers say, franchise restaurants, both next-generation and old-guard, have expanded their presence in Canada, especially in urban centres, in sync with changing demographics and dining-out preferences.

Millennials with specific preferences when they go out to eat — think predilections for convenience, speedy service, vegan and vegetarian options, organic ingredients, sustainable eating — are creating demand for new kinds of franchises that feel very 2020. (Among the earliest franchise locations to open in Canada were A&W in 1956, McDonald’s in 1967 and the Canadian company Pizza Pizza in the late 1960s.)

Demand, too, is fuelled by the cultural diversification of urban centres. The multicultural breadth of restaurants may be most striking in Vancouver or Toronto, but Ottawa’s dining-out scene is arguably responding to a change in the population makeup. Why else, for example, would the Taiwanese bubble tea franchises Presotea, Chatime and CoCo come to town in recent years, or, for that matter, the Montreal-based globally minded sandwich franchise Centrale Bergham?

Here’s another sign of the shift in restaurant franchises: It would have been laughable, years ago, for this newspaper’s restaurant critic to review an East Side Mario’s, or for that matter, a Milestones. But in the last few years, I’ve reviewed franchises including Sansotei, the Centretown ramen mainstay, and Yunshang Rice Noodle, a few blocks south on Bank Street, where Chinese “Crossing the Bridge” noodles are the delicious specialty. I’d be missing out if I didn’t pay attention to these franchises, as their respective soups are arguably the best of their kind in town.

“There is a huge paradigm shift in the food service industry,” says Altaf Sovani, academic chair of Algonquin College’s school of hospitality and tourism. “You have brand new, creative innovative chains coming, quick-service franchises or fast casual, they are going all over Canada now.”

Asad Amin, vice-president of Ipsos Food and Beverage group, says that as recently as four years ago, independent restaurants were outpacing chain restaurants nationally. But since then, Amin says he’s seen stronger growth among chains outpacing independents.

“Independents are growing still nationally, but chains and franchises are overtaking them,” Amin says. In particular, premium casual and upscale fast-casual restaurants are on the rise nationally, he says.

Dal Moro’s Reddy, who was a business analyst before he jumped into the restaurant business, says Ottawa is ripe for not just his business but other new franchises as well. “There’s more demand for new types of food. We wanted to be part of the changing scene.”

That scene will include several Toronto-based franchises not far from Reddy’s pasta business. Gyubee, an all-you-can-eat Japanese barbecue restaurant, opened early February at York and Dalhousie streets. Further south on Dalhousie, a franchise of the Taiwanese business Hot-Star, which specializes in crispy and massive chicken cutlets, is to open, continuing its expansion beyond Asia in North America.

Further afield, by this summer, the hip Toronto-based chain The Burger’s Priest, which has more than 20 locations in the Greater Toronto Area, expects to have two locations open in Ottawa, one on Baseline Road near Clyde Avenue and then another on Bank Street near Heron Road. Elgin Street awaits a franchise of the international sandwich maker German Döner Kebab, a few doors down from locations of the Japanese cheesecake chain Uncle Tetsu and The Fry, a franchise that sells Korean fried chicken.

The newcomers will join recent arrivals to Ottawa’s franchise landscape such as the Chocolats Favoris shops in Kanata, Barrhaven, Orléans and Gatineau, the over-the-top burger place La Belle et La Boeuf in Gatineau, rotisserie chicken place Benny & Co. in Orléans and the Centrale Bergham sandwich shops. All of these businesses expanded from Quebec into the Ottawa-Gatineau area.

Alex Rechichi, CEO of the Crave It Restaurant Group in Oakville, calls The Burger’s Priest, a chain in his group’s portfolio, “the anti-corporate corporate brand,” because its practices, such as using “ultra, ultra fresh” meat ground from whole muscle rather than lesser cuts, are rooted in the award-winning and tiny original Burger’s Priest that opened in Toronto in 2010.

“We do things like an independent would,” Rechichi says, adding that it was “a natural progression” for The Burger’s Priest to come to Ottawa given the past successes that some of Rechichi’s previous ventures, including Mucho Burrito and Extreme Pita, enjoyed here.

However, for all of their attributes, franchises still have their skeptics and detractors.

Not surprisingly, Stephen Beckta, one of Ottawa’s leadings restaurateurs whose businesses include Beckta Dining & Wine, Play Food & Wine and Gezellig, prefers to support independent restaurants. “On the whole, there is usually much more soul to them than chains that are designed and run from afar,” Beckta says.

Beckta says he doesn’t avoid chain restaurants outright, and he even lauds The Works, which got its start in Ottawa before expanding widely across Ontario, because his son is a big fan of its burgers.

But he continues: “There are some things they (chains and franchises) do very well, and we independents can always learn from (them),” Beckta continues. “But my default is always to support, and enjoy, the small chef- and owner-operated spots in Ottawa.”

Similarly, Chris Knight, CEO of the Ottawa-based food-show production company Gusto Worldwide Media, places much higher value on independent restaurants over franchises and chains.

For starters, Knight points out that last month at the Canadian Culinary Championships in Ottawa, where a dozen Canadian chefs representing their respective regions vied for the champion’s prize, none of the chef-testants came from franchise or chain operations.

“The innovation and creativity still remains in the smaller restaurant, typically ones where the chef still works the line and smells like onions and garlic,” says Knight.

And while franchise operators are proud to consistently serve the same food from location to location, building up the trust of customers who want a familiar, reliable experience, Knight decries the homogeneity of dining scenes that can arise.

“Small companies are the ones that innovate,” Knight contends. “Large companies are the ones that have plastic-coated menus where the food is the same everywhere.”

In Knight’s view, Lansdowne Park’s franchise-heavy array of restaurants — from Jack Astor’s Bar and Grill to Milestones to the pizza place Industria Pizzeria to Joey Lansdowne — is a collection of formulaic, too-similar businesses that eat into the revenues of independent restaurants not just in the neighbouring Glebe but the city at large.

“It’s sad indeed with smaller restaurants fighting to survive,” Knight says.

That feeling of déjà vu (or deja mangé) can rear its head when you realize that when it comes to many chains and franchises, especially in shopping mall food courts, big-box mall parking lots and highway-side rest stops, they are properties of a handful of massive restaurant companies that aggregate a multitude of brands in their portfolios.

For example, Toronto-based Recipe Unlimited Co. (formerly Cara Operations Ltd.) tallied 208 corporate chain locations and more than 1,100 franchise locations in its Sept. 29, 2019 management’s discussion and analyst statement, including locations of Swiss Chalet, Harvey’s, Montana’s, East Side Mario’s, Milestones and The Keg.

Montreal-based Foodtastic has such brands as La Belle et La Boeuf, the pizzeria Monza, the sushi eatery Blossom and Big Rig Kitchen and Brewery. Last summer, Foodtastic bought a majority stake in that Ottawa-based business, launched in 2012 by former Ottawa Senators defenceman Chris “Big Rig” Phillips.

Among Canadian franchise aggregators, the Montreal-based MTY Food Group may have the largest number of brands under its banner — almost 80 of them, ranging from Thai Express and Extreme Pita to The Works to Mucho Burrito to the steak-centric restaurants Houston and Madisons.

In Ottawa, the concentration of franchises is most clearly seen in its suburbs.

Of Barrhaven’s 90 restaurants, about half of them are franchises, a third of them are owner-operated, and the rest are chains, says Andrea Steenbakkers, executive director of the Barrhaven BIA.

She explains that Barrhaven, located beyond the Greenbelt and bounded by Highway 416 and the Rideau River, is its “own little entity,” a community of 100,000 that is less “destination-oriented” than downtown Ottawa.

“Not a lot of people are coming to Barrhaven for restaurants,” she says. Restaurant-goers are largely residents of the suburb, and indeed, so too are most of the franchise owners, says Steenbakkers.

“These (franchise) restaurants are really firmly rooted in our community,” she says, adding that the profits of these businesses ultimately circulate within the suburb’s economy.

She sees the appeal of franchises for their operators. “It’s a simple way for people to go into business,” she says, with a business model, training and other aspects already well-developed.

That said, Steenbakkers says she would like to see more owner-operated restaurants in Barrhaven, and she names the veteran pasta place La Porto A Casa, the Chinese eatery Golden Restaurant and newcomer Italian restaurant Juluca’s as notable independent successes.

The Kanata North BIA, which covers March Road and the western stretch of Carling Avenue, counted 17 franchises among its list of 37 restaurants, including a Big Rig, two Subways and three Tim Hortons locations.

The Kanata Central BIA, which includes the Kanata Centrum and Signature Centre shopping centres, says that 16 of its 30 member restaurants are franchises.

However, at Kanata Centrum, there are signs of franchise renewal. While familiar high-volume restaurants Milestones, Jack Astor’s, Baton Rouge and Boston Pizza take up the largest lots, tucked away is the wee franchise Bangkok Buri, which exemplifies some smaller-scale but contemporary thinking.

There are just two Bangkok Buris — one at Union Station in Toronto and the Kanata location, which opened in September 2018. (The franchise’s website says a Barrhaven location is in the offing.)

In Kanata, its operator is Mikhael Absi, a veteran of Ottawa’s franchise scene who in the last 27 years has been involved in a Quiznos, an East Side Mario’s and a Baton Rouge, to give a partial list. Absi also opened five Mucho Burritos in Ottawa.

Absi is Lebanese, not Thai, and he first cooked Thai food in 2018. But he says Bangkok Buri’s food has its own virtues, including ingredients cut freshly every day — “nothing is pre-made,” he says — and many vegan and gluten-free options. “That’s a biggie,” he says.

Bangkok Buri’s fast-casual fare also has some foodie cred because the dishes that Absi executes were developed in collaboration with Toronto restaurateur Monte Wan, who owns the well-regarded Thai restaurants Khao San Road and Nana.

Absi’s a staunch advocate for franchises because if they’re good, they engender trust among their customers. “It’s a matter of knowing who to go back to,” he says.

Ipsos vice-president Amin says the increasing culinary diversity of franchises and chains such as Bangkok Buri speaks to the cross-acculturation of the dining public, which would include both expats from countries whose food is being served and “young local Canadians, well travelled and with diverse palates” seeking dishes they have eaten abroad or are curious to try.

Amin adds that when he looks at the uptake of dishes from other cultures, for example from Asian countries, consumption by Asian expatriates is actually declining, while demand is growing among other Canadians. The bottom line is that the changing tastes of the larger public is fuelling the success of these “multicultural” restaurants, Amin says.

About 100 metres away from Bangkok Buri is the first of Ottawa’s Mary Brown’s Chicken & Taters franchises.

Rooted in the original Mary Brown’s fried chicken eatery that opened in St. John’s, Newfoundland five decades ago, the Kanata Mary Brown’s opened in early 2019. Some fried chicken lovers would say its arrival is long overdue — it is one of more than 150 Mary Brown’s locations across Canada. Mary Brown’s locations have since opened on Carling Avenue in the Cineplex Ottawa parking lot and in Barrhaven, at the Chapman Mills Marketplace retail district.

Like many of the recently arrived franchises, Mary Brown’s stresses freshness and on-site preparation. Sahal Sidana, its manager, adds that the chicken he serves is also halal — butchered in keeping with Islamic strictures so that Muslim customers can partake.

Sidana, a 24-year-old who came to Canada from India, studied culinary management at Algonquin College before he joined the Mary Brown’s team.

He said he had thought of opening a restaurant of his own, but then thought better of it, when he pondered the investment required and the recipes that would have to be developed, among other things.

“You’re not sure that people even like it,” he added. Whereas when Mary Brown’s came to Kanata, there was instant buzz, Sidana says, because its crispy, golden-battered reputation preceded it.

“Opening a franchise is much better than opening your own restaurant,” he says. “You don’t need to do a lot of hard work (that) you can easily get through the company. There are a lot of people to help you.”

A manager now, Sidana says his goal is to own a Mary Brown’s or another brand of franchise one day.

phum@postmedia.com


Franchises and chains bound for Ottawa

The Burger’s Priest
What: Toronto-based burger chain
Where: Baseline Road near Clyde Avenue, Bank Street near Heron Road
Online: theburgerspriest.com

Hot-Star Chicken
What: Taiwanese massive, flattened, crispy chicken cutlets
Where: 412 Dalhousie St.
Online: hot-star.ca

German Döner Kebab
What: international kebab sandwiches franchise
Where: 272 Elgin St.
Online: germandonerkebab.com


Recently arrived franchises and chains

Gyubee
What: all-you-can-eat Japanese grill
Where: 95 York St.
Online: gyubeejapanesegrill.com

Pi Co.
What: customized Neapolitan pizzas
Where: 236 Richmond Rd., 170 Metcalfe St. (to come)
Online: pi-co.ca

Dal Moro’s Fresh Pasta To Go
What: fast-casual pasta, originated in Venice, jumped to Toronto and now Ottawa
Where: 8 ByWard Market Sq.
Online: toronto.dalmorosfreshpastatogo.com

Chocolats Favoris
What: Quebec-based chocolate shops
Where: 449 Hazeldean Rd. Unit E-1 (Kanata), 1055 Greenbank Rd. Unit 7 (Barrhaven), 180 Vanguard Rd. (Orléans), 455 Boul. de la Gappe (Gatineau), 181 Rue Principale (Gatineau, Alymer sector)
Online: chocolatsfavoris.com

Mary Brown’s Chicken & Taters
What: Maritimes-based fried chicken
Where: 80 Marketplace Ave. (Barrhaven), Unit 6B Cineplex Coliseum, 400 Earl Grey Dr., Unit B-7
Online: marybrowns.com

Bangkok Buri
What: Thai noodle dishes and curries
Where: 300 Earl Grey Dr., another location coming to Barrhaven
Online: bangkokburi.com

La Belle & La Boeuf
What: Quebec-based burger joint
Where: 1100 Boul. Maloney O., Unit 401
Online: belleetboeuf.com


https://ottawacitizen.com/life/food/...ing-food-scene
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  #812  
Old Posted Feb 24, 2020, 2:48 PM
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This Montreal-area Italian restaurant chain will be opening up very close to La Belle et la Boeuf at Les Promenades Gatineau within a week or two:

https://restaurantmonza.com/

They'll be occupying the spot left vacant by L'Académie (with a front patio on the Maloney side) after that restaurant had a fight with the owners over rent.

L'Académie (French-Italian bring your own wine) eventually reopened in a strip mall not too far away on Chemin de la Savane. In a spot vacated by Steak Frites St-Paul, which closed after the chain ran into some trouble and trimmed down its locations.
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  #813  
Old Posted Mar 3, 2020, 3:41 PM
LeadingEdgeBoomer LeadingEdgeBoomer is offline
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I only learned today that Le Cordon Bleu and uOttawa jointly offer a 3 year Bachelor Degree in Integrated Food Sciences.

The stated goals:

Quote:
During this 3-year Bachelor programme, students will develop critical thinking abilities around issues related to food and nutrition sciences, food safety, customer/client relationships and food management services. All inter-disciplinary courses will be taught by University of Ottawa professors and industry experts, and the culinary component of the programme will be delivered by the world renowned Le Cordon Bleu. Culinary techniques, menu planning, gastronomy, food services will complement the food science and management courses of the programme. In the final semester, the programme concludes with a practicum placement in Integrated Food Sciences which will give students an opportunity to explore and develop experience in a professional environment. Students will analyze and evaluate material acquired, engage with industry professionals outside the University and Le Cordon Bleu and develop a professional network to help launch their career.
The catch is that it costs $40,000 per year--Yikes!!!

I wonder if any Ottawa -Gatineau eateries are run by graduates of this program.
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  #814  
Old Posted Apr 28, 2020, 11:44 PM
khabibulin khabibulin is offline
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Originally Posted by kwoldtimer View Post
There's a new Middle Eastern restaurant called "Bibi's" getting ready to open in the old Fraser Cafe location at the corner of Beechwood and Putman. I guess this means that the ugly building proposed for that block is not happening.
Before that was Fraser's Café it was the location of the original The Works restaurant in Ottawa. And then it housed ZAZAZA Pizza.
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Old Posted Jun 17, 2020, 6:05 PM
Truenorth00 Truenorth00 is online now
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https://ottawa.ctvnews.ca/mobile/the...rket-1.4987602

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The Fish Market Restaurant has announced its group of restaurants at York Street and William Street is closing. The restaurants include Coasters Seafood Grill and Vineyards Wine Bar Bistro.

Sad news to lose such landmarks.
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Old Posted Jun 20, 2020, 2:31 AM
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Four Ottawa-area restaurants crack the Canada's 100 Best Restaurants 2020 list

Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen
Publishing date: 4 hours ago • 2 minute read


Four Ottawa-area restaurants are included in the prestigious Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants 2020 list released Thursday.

The local laureates include Riviera on Sparks Street (which ranked 26th), Atelier on Rochester Street (which came in 31st), Les Fougères in Chelsea (ranked 61st) and Alice on Adeline Street (ranked 94th).

The list’s synopsis of Riviera describes it as “arguably the most stylish of Ottawa’s restaurants … offering magnificent updates on classic steakhouse fare” under chef Jordan Holley. Steps away from Parliament Hill, Riviera is a haunt for Ottawa’s political class.

Atelier is the cutting-edge 22-seat restaurant that chef-owner Marc Lepine, the two-time winner of the Canadian Culinary Championships, opened in 2008 to serve elaborate and innovative tasting menus. Opened in 1993, Les Fougères is the sophisticated yet rustic restaurant whose chef, Yannick LaSalle, won the Canadian Culinary Championships last year. Alice, which chef-owner Briana Kim opened in June 2019, offers a vegetable-focused tasting menu and spotlights house-made fermented ingredients.

Since COVID-19 forced the shutdown of restaurant dining rooms, the four lauded restaurants have pivoted their businesses in different ways.

Riviera and Les Fougères offer food for pickup, and the Chelsea restaurant has a store selling prepared foods that is open.

Atelier on Saturdays and Sundays offers a shortened tasting menu with non-alcoholic drink pairings, but as a “drive-thru” restaurant, with customers picking up courses in front of the restaurant, eating in their cars in the nearby parking lot, and then circling the block to pick up the next course. Alice sells different fermented products and plans to reopen in some fashion in the future.

In the 2019 edition of the list, the Ottawa restaurants cited were Atelier (24th), Riviera (51st), Stofa (98th) and Fauna (100th). In 2018, the list chose Lepine as Canada’s most innovative chef.

Topping the 2020 list, which was compiled from the polls submitted by 103 judges across the country, was the Toronto restaurant Alo, which also came in first in 2019, 2018 and 2017.

A companion list of Canada’s top 50 bars was also released this week, but no Ottawa-area bars were named on it.

phum@postmedia.com

https://ottawacitizen.com/news/four-...-2e9e7b35bca4/
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