I've walked by El Meson on Beechwood a number of times in the evening and always been impressed with how busy it is during the week. We decided to try it out with friends this weekend. We were generally very happy with the meal, although we waited an awfully long time (read half an hour) between finishing our coffee and getting the bill. Which was surprising, as earlier in the evening the service was warm and very attentive. Many of the diners around us seemed to be regulars and there were a number of animated conversations between waitors and guests.
I tried the table d'hote with the soup of the day, which was a delicious cabbage concotion with tiny shards of chorizo. It sounds odd but was really quite yummy. For a main course I had baked haddock with a pumpkin/cilantro sauce. The fish was fresh, but the sauce could have been a tad more potent. It was sort of teasing you with the possibility of richer, fuller flavour. My dessert was somewhat standard, but several others had a Portguese dessert with meringue that they raved about. A nice meal in comfortable surroundings.
I'm not sure if there are any other Spanish/Portguese restaurants in Ottawa. Does anyone else have a recommendation?