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.
Au Café Show supports and celebrates the Ottawan region by promoting local artists and sourcing most of its products from nearby suppliers. The café's founders, Frédéric Jobin and Geneviève Shaw, studied theatre at the University of Ottawa, putting them on common ground with many of the artists they promote. Their coffee and espresso beans are roasted by Tierra Coop, and patrons can enjoy them with locally baked breads and pastries as they browse the web using free WiFi. Their staff assembles sandwiches and wraps stacked with gourmet ingredients, such as smoked chicken with fresh strawberries and candied walnuts. Other sandwiches feature calabrese salami with green olives and cheddar, or feta, kalamata olives, and cucumbers. Throughout each month, movie screenings and art shows populate the events calendar.
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.
A meal at L'Echelle de Jacob ferries diners through an oasis of French flavours guided by a menu abundant in traditional, elegant dishes refined over the last 35 years. Let throats swim in the deep end of the soup du jour before selecting one of six thoughtfully prepared entrees—such as the brandied duck and chicken-liver pate or the terrine of venison—to later inherit all your fortunes. Eight mains range in scope from game birds to resplendent cuts of meat, and include the filet of salmon with mango salsa and the hearty rack of lamb perched on a stage of poached apples, pears, and cranberries. Complete the four-course fete by cracking into the crème brûlée or scooping through the terrain of a snowflake lemon mousse, sealing the comforting memory away for recollection when it doing real shovelling this winter.