First of all, thanks to all those who responded a couple weeks ago. I am going to summarize my Ottawa restaurant experience here...
Pub at Queen and Lyon - We arrived at around 6:30 pm so we only went to a pub across the street from the hotel, right at the corner of Queen and Lyon. Can't recall the name. Between everyone, we had steak, sandwiches and stir-fry. The salad bar had a very small selection. Otherwise entree was ok. However, one person in our group got sick after dinner (we had a group of 7 people). Would only go back for convenience.
Gabriel Pizza - We got take-out for 8 people for lunch. We had Deluxe pizza, wings, salad, garlic bread, and lasagna. Everything was pretty good except for the lasagna, which was very dry and only lukewarm in the middle. The lasagna also had green pepper and pepperoni on top which seemed very unusual.
Royal Thai (Byward Market) - Group of 4 for dinner. Had Green Papaya Salad, Green Curry with Tiger Shrimp, Red Curry with Chicken, Pineapple Fried Rice, and Pad Thai. They were all quite good. We ordered loads of plain rice just to finish the curry sauce. The red curry sauce was excellent. No alcohol and $85 total. I would definitely go back.
Meditheo Mediterranean (Byward Market) - 2 people for dinner. Had appetizer platter with hummus chicken, shrimp in a curry sauce, calamari in a tomato sauce. I did not understand why there was chicken on top of the hummus, seems to take away from the hummus. Hummus is rather blend. The sauces for the shrimp and calamari were good. The calamari was not chewy at all. For entree I had a seafood pasta dish and friend had a fish dish (salmon and ?). The entrees were ok, nothing spectacular. No alcohol and $70 total. I don't think I will go back.
Side note: Service was excelllent. My friend and I spent lots of time talking over the appetizer and our server never interrupted anything.
Pour House (Byward Market - George and William) - Hope I got the name right. Group of 9, we had variety of dishes. General comments were good. I had the fish and chips, the fish was good but the chips were only ok.
Black Tomato (Byward Market) - This restaurant was recommended by several Ottawa Hounds. Went there alone. The menu looked quite interesting in terms of variety. Had the curry chicken phyllo (with mango chutney) and the entree special which is a new york steak (with wild mushroom, veggies, and potatoes). The curry chicken phyllo was ok. When I order a phyllo dish, I generally would expect something light. But this phyllo is packed very dense with the chicken filling. The flavor was overpowered by the hot sauce that garnishes the plate. The mango chutney was ok. The steak was terrible. I had a craving for steak that day. The steak was cooked right but the quality of the meat was very poor. It was very chewy. The mushroom and the vegetables were good though. Had a drink and it came to $50. I would only go back if I get specific recommendations on what dishes to avoid.
Ichibei (Bank Street Promenade) - This restaurant was also recommended by several Ottawa Hounds. Went on a Tuesday night and the place was empty. I had a beef sashimi and a sushi entree. The food was good. I was really surprised to see the extent of the a la carte items. There is a very good selection of dishes. I am always looking for restaurants that offer something beside sushi, sashimi, tempura and teriyaki. Service was very tentative. Only complain is that almost all the sushi in my entree fell apart. By that I mean the fish and the rice separated. The sushi chef looked very young and perhaps just needs a bit more training. I would definitely go back just to have the a la carte items.
Yesterdays (Sparks Street Mall) - Went there looking for a quick bite before heading to the airport. Didn't like it. It is not a chowhound place.
Pure Gelato - Tried a coffee flavour last year. This time I had Guava and Kiwi. Very very good. The Guava gelato had a stronger fruit taste than Piccolo Grande.
Piccolo Grande - I had Guava and Lychee. Very very good as well.
That's about it. Too bad I didn't have time to go back to Friday's for roast beef or go somewhere on Elgin. Maybe next time.