The aroma of baked bread greets visitors to Maison Baguettes, where chef Amos Mbenoun bakes his signature baguettes and serves sandwiches, soups, and baked goods in the bakery's café. Classic french, whole-wheat, and rye baguettes lounge in cloth-lined baskets; boules of sourdough sit on covered shelves, and a glass case houses an array of muffins, cakes, and other sweets. Diners chat over fair-trade coffee and blueberry-cream-cheese french toast in the cozy front café, which embraces its rustic yet polished feel with a decorative coal stove, exposed brick, and white grecian columns singing campfire songs. The bakery's rear dining area tempts patrons to linger with four cushy chairs arranged around a fireplace mantel next to tables where lunchers savour pulled-pork sandwiches, chili, and bread pudding.
Molto Ristorante blends classic Italian cuisine with Québécois influences to populate its lunch and dinner menus. Chefs lob handmade meatballs into a net of ragu-swaddled spaghetti ($17) and use tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella to cross-stitch their pets' initials on to the doughy canvas of a margarita pizza ($13). Diners can choose between cream and tomato sauces to drizzle over an order of mussels ($17), and the lasagna carne ($18) supplies mouths with a luscious layering of ground pork and beef. Selections from Molto's wine bar pair splendidly with the daily chef's creation, and fork twirlers can substitute multigrain penne or gluten-free corn pasta into any dish ($2 fee). Exposed brick walls serve as a rustic backdrop to live jazz performances on Thursday and Saturday evenings.
The owners of Fleur Tea House sought to offer respite from modern stresses with more than 100 world tea varieties, an array of food options, and a relaxing tea room where people are encouraged to take a break. The café's pastel-hued tea pots and framed artwork are illuminated from large picture windows, modern hanging lights, and the shiny teeth of staffers, all of whom brush frequently. Behind a glass case filled with sweet pastries, bagels, and cakes, baristas steam espresso drinks and search leaf-filled metal urns for teas such as herbal, green, and oolong. After finishing off a jam-slathered bagel, clients can take second lunch with a panini on the brown leather sofa, or question the barista about open-mic events and movie nights.
The sandwichsmiths at Lazy Pickle give a nod to their community by showcasing local ingredients in each of their healthy menu selections. From hearty meats to crisp veggies, every sandwich is packed with items carefully cultivated by local farmers and distributors. With a special focus on gluten-free items such as sandwiches and cakes and through their Gluten Free Me Kids Club, the owners also help to combat celiac disease, a gluten intolerance that can cause migraines, joint pain, and anemia. They also cater regular and gluten-free items.
Every morning, Kettleman's traditionally trained bakers fire up a wood-burning oven to craft batches of Montreal-style bagels, which earned the eatery a Best Bagel accolade from Ottawa (X)press in 2006. The kitchen’s open design spotlights a marriage of Old and New World technology and allows the staff to hand-roll dough, boil it in honey water, and bake it over hardwood in front of a hungry audience. Kettleman's culinary crew works with fresh ingredients and the happiest of thought bubbles while creating each of its baked goods—whether intended for individual enjoyment or as the foundation for deli sandwiches.