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Restaurants & Bars 6

Ottawa's Beckta

errant | Sep 11, 2004 11:33 AM

Okay, I've heard a ton of buzz about Beckta and from my experience last night, it is totally warranted. It is, by far, THE best restaurant in the city.

The only hiccup came early in the evening when we sat in a swirl of wait staff, all of them ignoring us. However, as soon as we were noticed, the service was impeccable. Kudos to our server who was Queen of pacing.

We started with a cocktail -- martinis made to perfection. I know my martinis and these were wonderful. The server brought us an amuse-bouche of tuna carpaccio on spoons.

I usually dislike foie gras -- I find it too rich and too fatty. Taking a leap of faith, I started with the pan-seared foie gras and boy, am I ever glad I did. It was phenomenal. I believe it had a maple syrup glaze and was garnished with pecans. Yum. My husband started with the steak tartare. It too was yummy though not as fabulous as the foie gras. But then again I don't think anything could compete with it.

For the entree, I had lamb sirloin, very thinly sliced and cooked to medium rare perfection. It was accompanied by risotto studded with asparagus and some scary looking orange mushrooms. My husband had the Muscovy duck and he really enjoyed it (I don't like to eat duck coz they're my favourite bird). We asked our waitress to choose a wine -- a very nice Pinot Noir. My only quibble is that we had sticker shock when we saw the bill -- the wine was $82 -- but then again we never asked. We were stuffed so we didn't order dessert, just espresso. Another tiny quibble -- they served it with those tacky bags of sugar -- okay at a cafe but not a nice restaurant. The server brought over some warm morsels of chocolate brownies with walnuts that were divine. The bill was hefty -- close to $300 with a generous tip -- but we left feeling cosseted and well-fed. A wonderful dining experience.

Oh, Bob Mac, we asked about sitting at the bar. There's no problem having your dinner there and it's the full service menu. Go for it!

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