Saturday, December 20, 2008
b/Side Wine & Small Plates
I've been wanting to try this place since before they opened. As soon as they put the sign out saying a small plates restaurant was coming I couldn't wait. I love the idea of small plates – you get to try all kinds of wonderful stuff and it's a more fun and casual way to eat. So to finally shut me up about wanting to eat there, my husband took my mother-in-law and I out tonight. I'd been next door to Benitz once before (it's the same owner and chef). The food was great and the service, well, let's just say it was the best i've ever had in Ottawa. b/Side's was the same, only a bit less fancy and very reasonably priced. I was a bit surprised at the menu. I expected there to be more rare and unique dishes. Why I expected that i'm not sure, but the dishes that they did have were delicious nonetheless. They also have a pretty extensive wine list and offer a lot by the glass. We ordered 6 plates total but 5 would have been more than enough. We started off with tamari and honey roasted quail with wild mushroom fricassee, the arancini which is a duo of stewed red deer filled saffron risotto balls, goat cheese fondue and porcini dust (these two were my absolute favourite dishes), and some calamari with a yummy cucumber dip. Then came the bbq basted baby back ribs, merguez sausage which is a Portuguese spicy lamb sausage and celeriac purée, and finally, a scrumptious linguini vongole with baby clams, sweet peppers and white wine and cream. Everything was delectable. So much so that I overate – big surprise! The price for the small plates range between $5 and $18 and offer quite a bit for a small plate. Definitely a great spot to check out.