The Branch Restaurant nourishes responsibly by brandishing a menu of delectable organic fare conceived by a published cookbook author. Within The Branch's art-ensconced confines, sate the most gargantuan of lunch appetites with the restaurant's signature rubber boots buffet, which includes a spread of homemade bread, two soups, salads, a hot entree, and a hot date ($9.99; Sundays $12.99 with extra options). Or, reserve digestive energy for the third-pound Branchburger ($13.99) made with 100% local, naturally raised beef. Dinnertime beckons worldly fare to congregate on the menu with an array of hunger-hobblers such as stir-fry ($15.99), which adorns tofu with seasonal veggies and a sweet-spicy sauce, or cheese fondue ($9.99), coating veggies with a more delicious veneer than their natural briefcases. Hunger cowers before the eatery's Austin City Limits platter of Texas-style barbecue, the fruits of which run a gut-sating gamut of house-smoked beef brisket, spicy house-smoked beef and pork sausage, barbecue sauce, beans, and jalapeno-cheddar cornbread ($22.99). House-made desserts ($5.99–$6.99) and kiddie offerings such as grilled cheese and a chicken wrap ($5.99–$9.98) complement the menu's conscientious cornucopia.
Mustache Joe's, named for the man?and the mustache?who founded the restaurant, is a casual and comfortable spot for a business lunch or special evening meal. From the menu, chefs plate familiar classics, starting off with colorful and fresh caprese salads before transitioning to larger, heartier plates of their signature seafood linguine, tossed with shrimp, scallops, and lobster meat. During lunch, guests can head up to the counter for a quick, easy meal of pasta, panini, or a small personal pizza.
You can almost hear the soulful gospel songs and echoes of a bygone preacher's sermon when you walk into Knox Fine Dining, housed in a renovated historical church. Sunlight streams in through colourful stain-glass windows, bathing the handsome original hardwood flooring in light. Diners lean across the table on wooden pews, clinking glasses of international wine and marveling at the vibrant paintings that adorn the walls. Making use of the acoustics, the elegant cavern plays host to live jazz every Saturday as well as occasional organ performances from owner and host Paul Mayer's wife.
While Paul tends to guests in the dining room, chef Gabriel Asselin captains the bustling kitchen. Pulling from his classical French training, he designs a seasonal menu of imaginative gourmet dishes that have been lauded by reporters from CTV News. The chef favours locally sourced ingredients and rare meats, such as wild boar, kangaroo, and unicorn. His ever-changing repertoire of dishes has included half-quail confit, grilled-bison strip loin, and the calamari that earned the attention of the Cornwall Free News who called the dish "tender and flavourful.”
At Kirkland's King Eagle Diner in Carthage, N.Y., recipes have been passed down for generations. Driven by the Kirkland family's playful personalities, their self-owned and operated diner specializes in new interpretations of classic American comfort food?from stacks of pancakes and ham-stuffed omelets at breakfast to hearty soups, sandwiches, and signature Screaming Eagle Burgers at lunch. Glass cases display home-baked desserts, all of which are freshly baked onsite.
Inside Sant? Restaurant, the piquant scents of globally inspired cuisine mingle amidst the work of local artists, whose pieces fill the dining room's walls. This eatery and gallery is the brainchild of owner Donna Holtom, who believes that "beautiful art serves to heighten the dining experience," as she told Ottawa at Home magazine in 2009. Diners also get a better sense of this while dining among majestic and historic views of Ottawa and the four diamond vistas at the corner of Sussex Drive and Rideau Street.
Inside the kitchen, Chef David De Bernardi demonstrates his own artistic skills. David?s unique style of presenting food has earned him much acclaim as he perfected his craft in some of the finest kitchens, including CAA Five Diamond Langdon Hall, Stagiare/Montelimar, France, Reds of Toronto, and Toca at the Ritz Carlton. His seamless integration of European and Asian ingredients has effectively elevated Sante?s traditional signature cuisine alongside David?s visionary dishes to appeal to all palates. Using a palette of free-range chicken, organic salmon, and locally sourced produce, Chef David paints plates with aromatic curries and ginger-spiked stir-fries. To accompany these fragrantly seasoned dishes, Sant? Restaurant stocks its subterranean vault with a selection of Canadian and international wines. The elegant, intimate space and inventive cuisine earned the eatery Diners' Choice awards from OpenTable for Best Ambiance, Romantic, and Fit for Foodie.
Going to 222 Lyon Tapas Bar for the first time feels more like going to an old friend's house than visiting an unfamiliar eatery. The restaurant inhabits a 19th-century home, where small tables pepper a 30-person dining room that bears a carved-wood fireplace. A larger booth rests in a nook framed by stained-glass windows, which filter ample sunlight onto a tabletop strewn with Spanish-tinged plates of pork tarragon and smoked salmon. Daily offerings and shape-shifting fonts enliven the regular menu, whose smaller portions encourage ordering several plates to share with dining companions. Fresh fruit, chocolate, and real cream build a succinct selection of desserts, and a litany of wines balance out overseas spices via 6- or 9-ounce glasses or bottles.
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