Tag Archives: French food

L’Orée du Bois

My parents were in Ottawa this weekend to celebrate their 48th wedding anniversary with us. Looking for something special and to honour my Father’s French heritage I chose L’Orée du Bois.

About 15 minutes from Ottawa at the edge of Gatineau Park in old Chelsea, sits a farmhouse converted to restaurant this is L’Orée du Bois. A beauty hidden in mature trees this lovely place offers French and regional cuisine.

Once settled in we decided on the table d’hôte which offered six entrees with soup, appetizer and dessert. We started with a simple, authentic pea soup, a deliciously rich crab flan and mushrooms in puff pastry. The mushrooms need a special mention, they were unbelievable, the rich creamy sauce was heaven on the palate, everything beautifully presented.

For entrees my Father and I chose salmon, Mom mixed pastas and my good man chose red deer medallions.

My generous portion of salmon, cooked to perfection in a light herb sauce was really fabulous. The pasta dish was an interesting mix with both lamb and shrimp in an earthy sauce, I found the lamb took control of the dish just on the edge of completely taking over. The deer cooked in a red wine sauce (again a generous portion) was quite tender and a new adventure for Adrian who was pleased with his choice.

The wine was a perfect pairing with our food, Bourgogne, La Soeur Cadette, Valentin Montanet, France.

Dessert was thoughtfully presented and a delightful end to a lovely evening. Seasonal fruit served in a phyllo tulip on a custard bed with a scoop of sorbet, a piece of Bavarian Chocolate and Mango Cake which was surprisingly light and a plate of assorted sorbet (made in-house).

Even with a full house the staff at the restaurant made having dinner out as it should be, an easy, comfortable and delicious experience, thank you Josée. I can’t wait to go back.

Dinner for four with wine and tip $280.00.

A walk through the L’Orée du Bois garden…..

Benny’s Bistro

Invited out for lunch by my lovely daughter Friday we decided to head to Benny’s Bistro after it was suggested by a friend earlier in the week.
Lunch was divine.

I like the location, away from the busy centre of the Byward Market. I had shopped at the French Baker many times, but never ventured farther than the bakery in front. In the back we were first greeted by the wonderful smells coming from the open kitchen and then a seated by a very pleasant staff member.

The restaurant is bright, which makes up for a lack of windows, and not at all what I was expecting. It was also hot (not sure if it is air-conditioned). Suffering the heat however was certainly worth the delight of the lunch that awaited us.

They brought us fresh bread, butter and water. I ordered pan-seared scallops, with a panko encrusted cod cake, served with pork belly and a fava/ramp salad. The scallops were perfectly cooked, buttery and rich. The cod cake crust was crispy and golden and to my delight inside meaty chunks of delicate white fish. I tried to make this last as long as I could….

Cait ordered the salmon gravlax with fingerling potatoes, a sunny-side up egg and olive tapenade. She too was pleased with her choice. Of course we had to share, the lovely layers of her lunch reminded me of some of the best Sunday brunch I have had.

We couldn’t leave of course without dessert and a cafe au lait. We decided to share an almond tart (not the chocolate one, much to Cait’s dismay) not overly sweet, I found that it was a nice end to this lovely meal (the candied fruit inside was a pleasant surprise).

It’s also convenient to pick up fresh bread on the way out for the weekend. I will definitely go back, thinking it would be a good choice when the parents visit….

Not Just Another Pretty Jar

Bonne Maman

I have been meaning to try Bonne Maman Jam from France for a while now and finally picked some up in Quebec this past weekend. I can certainly get it here but when I saw that the price was $2.00 less than buying it here I couldn’t pass it up.

I have to admit, part of the appeal for me has been the pretty jar with its red and white gingham lid and the great label but I was pleased to discover that the jam is delicious (I purchased mandarin, for very selfish reasons, I knew no one else would use it). It truly does taste homemade, with thick pieces of mandarin the citrus/sweet balance is perfect.

We used it over brie served with some lovely crackers and the next day spread over multi-grain toast. I still have lots left and save it for the weekends with my Globe. I can’t wait to try the strawberry, and I am certainly willing to pay the extra to purchase it here! I fear I am addicted.

I know it can be purchased at local grocery stores and in the Byward Market-if anyone finds fig please let me know….