Chefs Dominic and Mohamed draw their culinary inspiration from the Old World, crafting a menu of predominantly French cuisine with occasional Italian influences. Garlic-cream sauce lends a flavourful richness to orders of escargot, and tender filet mignon emerges from the kitchen decorated with sauce aux poivres and a latticework of freshly tattooed grill marks. The chefs embrace Mediterranean flavours by baking rustic pizzas and glazing penne and linguini pasta with bolognese or carbonara sauces. On Friday and Saturday evening, the dining room echoes with the live piano performances of Yvon Farmer, who effortlessly transitions between iconic standards and contemporary compositions.
Morello Ristorante's cuisine can't be confined to one region of the map. Instead, its chefs wholeheartedly embrace the spirit of refined Mediterranean cooking, accented with continental flavours and a touch of New-World flair. Escargot and gorgonzola in puff pastry and mussels in a fragrant broth nod to France, while entrees such as linguini carbonara and veal marsala represent its deep Italian roots. However, filet mignon, New York strip, and flank steaks—all of which are cut and aged in-house—display a classically North American sensibility.
The understated elegance of the dishes is echoed in the restaurant's decor. Earth tones and decorative masks warm the walls, and pendant lamps illuminate tables draped in crisp white linens like especially elegant ghosts. Tall windows at the front of the space offer views of the neighbourhood and ample chances to toast passersby.
Natural light floods Iron Empire Gym’s workout space, which is populated with a weight room stacked with dumbbells, barbells, and machines to work out every muscle in the human body. Treadmills, stair climbers, and ellipticals also fill the space to accommodate cardiovascular requirements.
Michael Farber, the owner and head chef at Farbs Kitchen & Wine Bar, finds many of the ingredients for his dishes within 100 miles of the New Edinburgh restaurant. He gets seasonal produce from growers such as Diotte Farm and buys responsibly harvested seafood from The Whalesbone Sustainable Oyster & Fish Supply. Batches of wild mushrooms come from Le Coprin, where foragers hand-pick them from the woodlands of the Boreal Forest. Even his wine list celebrates local offerings with bottles from Niagara and Prince Edward County.
These local ingredients become even more appealing when you see how Farber and his team finesse them. They roast wild mushrooms to add woodsy flavor to poutine, and soak heirloom cucumbers in brine to make the gourmet pickles that garnish plates of steak tartare. Fresh herbs and greens dress up seasonal risotto, and a creative lemon-truffle emulsion brings out the flavors of black cod. When the end of the meal rolls around, don't miss out on a sweet finale of house-made sorbet or ice cream.
Lounge decor, light music, and keyboard taps powered by free WiFi set the stage for the light and creamy swirls of yogurt that stream forth from Spoon Frozen Yogurt Lounge?s do-it-yourself pumps. Guests begin by filling their cups or complimentary homemade waffle cones with one of 12 yogurt flavours, choosing from classics such as chocolate and vanilla or branching out into the luxury flavors?such as red velvet or cookies and cream?that helped earn the family-owned shop Faces Magazine's designation as best frozen yogurt shop in Ottawa. After filling up, guests can finish off their creations with some of the bar?s more than 50 cold or crunchy toppings, dotting their yogurt with fresh fruit, cheesecake, candies, or bits of brownie. In addition to tasting great, the yogurt treats won't toy with your diet; each kosher, gluten-free swirl is packed with probiotics, and many flavors come in fat-free, sugar-free, and non-dairy varieties.
In the romantic, low lighting of Aura Resto Lounge, guests sit at the long, glossy bar as colourful lights splash across an exposed-stone wall and expert bartenders shake or stir six types of martinis. During the early hours of the evening, guests pass around tapas, nibbling on assortments of Quebecois cheeses or goat-cheese-stuffed dates. Next, diners graduate to large plates that pair seasonal veggies with filet mignon, lamb shank, or grilled sockeye salmon. Later in the evening, the cozy restaurant transforms into a club scene as DJ Luc Soulière spins beats and guests sip on imported beers. On Wednesdays, the lounge hosts Ladies' Night, where gals mingle and receive discounts on martinis.