Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dinner out at Fraser Cafe

We had dinner last night at Fraser Café, a fantastic restaurant in New Endingburgh. I know the owner-chefs from back when they were working at another of Ottawa’s great slow-food restaurants, Domus, and I was bartending there. Around here, we’re big fans of their cooking.

They opened a new restaurant not too long ago, a bigger space than their old place. It has a nice layout in that the space is semi-divided into parallel rooms, and an open kitchen toward the back. A nice buzz, warm atmosphere, funky lighting. All-in-all a great vibe.

The menu changes frequently but always includes a ‘kitchen’s choice’ which is a blind option. One of our friends couldn’t resist leaving his whole meal to the chef’s whim. He described his appetizer – pan-seared tuna with fried risotto and smoked tomato with truffle oil sauce, and some wild mushrooms – as “extraordinary” and “out of this world” (once again I’m shamelessly using my friends to help blog). His main – pork done two ways – was also deemed good, although admitted to be over-shadowed by the appetizer.

“I started the evening with a fantastic martini, that definitely helped things out,” said his wife. She was wowed by the ambiance and the service, adding that the food was fantastic all night. She had the kitchen’s choice Cesar salad with pork-belly bacon and shrimp. For her main she had a duck which was “done to perfection” – although she regretted not discovering the cranberry sauce till half-way through, which apparently just added to the fantastic combination of flavours on her plate.

“Really didn’t need to follow it up with rice pudding,” she noted, “which was just another layer of richness.”

V and I also had fantastic meals. His app was a thick fish cake with smoked trout crème-fraiche and a kitchen’s choice main – lamb with a curry cream sauce. I had a tomato, cucumber, olive and goat’s cheese, a main of salmon in a miso sauce with bok choy and wild mushrooms. Delicious. And mine was the kind of meal that was filling without being too much – like my perfectly balanced dessert – a nutty chocolate brownie that was satisfyingly rich, but not too sweet.

Compliments to the chef!

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