Saturday, January 10, 2009

$15 Out – Benitz Bistro

I've eaten here once before, closer to when they first opened. Although I wasn't in awe by the food, it was still very good and the service was amazing. I thought that now, having been open for a while the food would be outstanding. So when I received a gift certificate from a friend at Christmas time, I was excited to try it again. All the hype the chef gets and delicious sounding meals on the menu, I expected to be wowed by the flavour of the food. Unfortunately I was not. I found a lot of what I ate to be more bland than I had anticipated. I started off with the Hot Soup, a white asparagus and potato bisque. It was ok. For my main I ordered the Seasonal Taster from the dinner specials. Foie gras terrine with apricot coulis, lamb flank topped with olive and tomato ragout, cajun prawn over a pear and cucumber salsa and beer battered cod with sweet potato chips. Sounds absolutely fabulous doesn't it? The only thing that thrilled my taste buds on the plate was the foie gras. Despite the fact the olive and tomato ragout was tasty, the lamb flank was a little on the tough side. The cajun prawns were ok, nothing to celebrate, and the beer battered cod was pretty greasy. My husband ordered the Beet Salad – cast iron roasted and sliced local beets, candied pecans, green onion, honey mustard vinaigrette and crispy panko crusted Ferme Floralpe goat cheese croquettes, and the Beef Tenderloin with garlic mash, swiss chard, foie gras butter and caramelized onion jam for his main. Overall, everything was good, not great. Not for the price you're paying. Apps range between $7 and $14 and mains between $21 and $28. What was exceptional however, was the service. The first time I went I found it so refreshing to have such wonderful service in Ottawa. And that did not change. The wait staff is extremely professional and do everything they're supposed to without you even realizing it. The service is what brought my rating to 2 stars over 1. It's also what made me give out my first tip jar reward – which was very exciting for me. I had $15 accumulated so I added this to our server's regular tip. Despite the food not meeting my expectations, we had a fabulous evening, but will likely spend our money elsewhere at our next restaurant outing.

Benitz Bistro on Urbanspoon

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