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long Ottawa report -- Light of India, Black Cat Cafe, National Gallery Cafe


Restaurants & Bars 6

long Ottawa report -- Light of India, Black Cat Cafe, National Gallery Cafe

Jane | Aug 21, 2005 07:57 PM

I just got back from Ottawa and want to thank all 'Hounds who directed me to Light of India in the Glebe. I had the prawn puri (which I've never seen on a Toronto menu) and it was outstanding: itty bitty shrimp in a savoury sauce of tomatoes, onions, garlic, spices and fresh methi (fenugreek) and coriander leaves, served on a puffy, deep-fried puri. It was great -- not especially healthy but very tasty. :) My main was saag paneer and naan. The paneer was sliced into matchsticks, again different from Toronto, where it's usually cubed. It was quite delicious but the service totally made the evening. The two guys serving me were fabulous and when I mentioned I'd come all the way from TO, they comp'ed my second beer, which totally endeared them to me. :) Total, including a fat tip, was $26.

Dinner number two was a very casual, spontaneous affair at the Auld Dubliner where a friend and I shared pints of Bass and tasty quesadillas. Total: unknown, as I didn't have to pay. :)

Dinner number three was at the Black Cat Cafe on Murray. The seared scallop appetizer was a little bizarre but flavourful. The scallops (only two of 'em) were served on a cocoa/mascarpone "gnocchi", which was remarkably decadent (and, thankfully, not sweet). The gnocchi sat on an apricot reduction which was OK, though not especially memorable. After that I had the lobster/mascarpone "grilled cheese" (tiny chunks of lobster mixed with mascarpone and served on a toasted baguette), which was served with frites and a cup of lobster bisque made exceptionally decadent with coconut milk and red curry paste. Total, including another fat tip, was $96. The service was erratic at best: the somnelier (and part-time waiter) Remy Urquhart was attentive, knowledgeable and sweet. The two female servers, on the other hand, were bitchy and cold. I wouldn't hurry back, esp. as the richness of the main course left me feeling bloated and uncomfortable (though it tasted good at the time.)

Unfortunately most of the rest of my time was spent in training, eating at a cafeteria deep in the far distant reaches of Gatineau. My final meal (lunch) was at the National Gallery Cafe, where I had a surprisingly good sandwich: grilled salmon with a lime dill mayonnaise, lettuce and tomatoes on a baguette($5.50) and a Diet 7-Up.

Can't wait to come back in a month or two!!

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