Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fraser Café


Ok, so that was my reaction on the first bite. Why did it take me so long to come here?!

My friend Teresa has been for lunch quite often and raves about every single visit. It's also been on my wish list. So bringing our friend Gina for her birthday was a no-brainer.

We ordered a bottle of the Peter Zemmer “La Lot” Pinot Grigio 2008 to sip on while we tried to decide what to order. I kept bouncing back and forth between the Beetroot Salad with cottage cheese, pecans, wild rice, bacon, and the House Made Pork Rillette. And that was just for my app! The mains threw an even larger wrench in the decision-making, with tempting plates like Sea Scallops with balsamic beets, fennel and truffle oil or the Roasted Duck with pearl barley mushroom risotto and goat cheese.

And then our server Joel described the Kitchen's Choice app and main. Basically it's like playing roulette except you're sure to win every time. The kitchen makes a random dish of their choice. If a few of you order this at your table, everyone could end up with a completely different dish. I dove right in. So much easier than having to decide!

The results did not disappoint. My appetizer was a savoury house pie of oxtail and duck confit. The flavours were to-die-for. A light pie crust, not too filling but having soaked up the jus it sat in just made it that much more decadent. And the thin layer of melted cheese that occasionally ribboned out onto my fork was the perfect topper. I can't properly describe my affection for this dish but I'm sure the shiny white plate I sent back explained it all.

Teresa and Gina both ordered the Miso Baked BC Salmon with noodles and tempura vegetables. They loved every bite. And I had major food envy for the few seconds before my plate arrived.

My next surprise was a BBQ cornish game hen, cooked juicy and to perfection. Poultry is not something I normally order when I'm out but this golden beauty was amazing. And just when I thought my dish couldn't get any better, I bit into the deep fried cornbread topped with house slaw – a heavenly concoction that made me tremble with excitement – I just wished there had been more. And finally the potato gratin, still on the same plate, reminded me of being a kid and when my mom used to make it. Except this one was the more mature variation, the one I would eat today.

This is definitely a spot I could see being a regular. The food is delicious and the service magnificent – not once did we have to fill our glass. And the atmosphere is one that makes you want to stick around and linger with a glass of wine, soft lighting and just casual and comfortable. Apps range from $9 to $13 and mains from $24 to $26.

Fraser Cafe on Urbanspoon


One of Ottawa's Real Foodies said...

Gah! Major 'Fraser Cafe' envy! I had a salmon dish when I was there a month ago and I still reminisce about it. It sounded different than the one at your table. I remember wild rice and bok choy. It is so tempting to start printing money in the basement so I can eat out every night. Ottawa is LOADED with great restaurants.

Rachelle said...

oh my god, tell me about it!!