Progressive Portuguese Cuisine and Tapas | Fresh Seafood | Portuguese Wine List | Acclaimed Restaurateur
Dessert: chocolate mousse with espresso crème anglaise and raspberries
What to Drink: Chiado boasts an extensive wine that spotlights vintages from Portugal. The sommelier also curates a concise list of his favourite suggestions, making it easier for diners to discover the perfect pairing for their meal.
The Vibe: In the dining room, dark oak wainscoting offsets pale-yellow walls. Paintings of wild Spanish street scenes punctuate the space, including one large piece with vibrantly rendered street performers, jugglers, and onlookers that lends an unexpected dose of whimsy to the otherwise sophisticated ambience.
Fun Fact: In 2003, the President of Portugal knighted Chiado’s owner, Albino Silva, with the Commander Order of Merit for promoting Portuguese gastronomy and culture in Canada.
While You're in the Neighbourhood: Dance the night away with a beer in hand at The Dakota Tavern (249 Ossington Avenue), a divey music joint with regular live acts.
If You Can’t Make It, Try This: Check out Adega Restaurante (33 Elm Street), restaurateur Albino Silva’s foray into Spanish-Portuguese fusion cuisine.
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.
Each year, more than 180,000 diners fill their plates from Tandoori Flame, which chefs refill constantly with up to 150 different buffet items prepared in a wide variety of spice to suite any palate. Soups and naan greet diners at the start of the line before they move to batter-fried vegetable and fish pakoras, as well as less traditional offerings including onion rings. Then, they traverse to the tawa and tandoor section for smoked veggies, samosas, and potato tikkis (or patties). Main courses wait down the line?including goat curry, butter chicken, and palak paneer?before diners finish their culinary voyages the same way Marco Polo ended his: with fresh fruit, pastries, and Indian desserts. Diners can linger traditional drinks such as yogourt lassis, sip on Indian-inspired cocktails or select a bottle of wine or drink from their fully stocked bar.
The restaurant?s high ceilings, cloth-draped tables, and modern decor are a fitting backdrop for the abundant feast and bold flavours. Already with seating capacities up to 500 in Brampton and over 360 in the new location in the commercial hub of Mississauga, Tandoori Flame has plans to expand further into British Columbia.
Born in Guatemala, Luis Carpio earned his stripes as a short-order cook in San Francisco, then journeyed north to Canada in 1999 to open Maya Restaurant—a move that, ironically, signaled a return to his Central American roots. "I try to cook similar to back home, try to use our own spices and try to be simple," he told the Toronto Star, which praised the "perfectly cooked chicken," "flavourful refried black beans," and "nicely browned and caramelized" plantain he dishes up.
The concise menu mixes traditional dishes from across Central America, from seafood platters, soups, and ceviche to pork and chicken cooked with herbs not often seen this far north. On weekends, the breakfast menu piles plates with hearty Latin breakfasts, all accompanied by steaming cups of coffee to awaken taste buds and steam-press rumpled tongues.
Blue Nile’s vibrant orange dining room hums with energy as the aromas of meat and spices waft in from the kitchen. Patterned tablecloths, flowers, and colourful art decorate the walls, just as colourful spreads of lentils, split peas, and collard greens decorate plates. Using a pancake-like bread called injera, guests scoop up earthy bites of Ethiopia’s national dish—a type of stewed chicken called doro wat—or other flavourful foods. They can can pair the hearty food with sips of a traditional pot of coffee known as jebena buna or with fruit juices such as mango or guava.
A mere sandwich throw from Niagara Falls, East Side Mario's is found within the Four Points by Sheraton Niagara Fallsview Hotel, directly across the street from Fallsview Casino. Below elegant chandeliers, Mario's red and white checked tablecloths support grilled salmon, juicy steak, and Italian-imported pastas slathered in spicy arrabbiata or pesto alfredo. The doors of the kitchen part as servers emerge bearing Sicilian-style pizzas fresh from the sweltering interior of a stone oven.
Through the steam rising from Mario's all-you-can-eat garlic homeloaf, diners can peer at the framed mirrors hanging on gold walls. After enjoying wine or cocktails at Mario's polished wooden bar, guests can question servers about Four Points hotel accommodations or the strength needed to hurl a pizza across Niagara Falls and into the mouth of a waiting American.