A marriage between two cuisines is preferable to a marriage between two clones of Sylvester Stallone, a process that eventually results in a baby reared on raw eggs and meat punching bags. Savour a simpler fusion with today's Groupon: for $20, you get $40 worth of Mexican-fusion fare at Southern Cross Grill in the Parliament Hill Radisson Hotel.
The flavour technicians at Southern Cross Grill rouse palates with hearty portions of grilled meat and seafood in modern dishes inspired by Mexico and the Southwest. Guests can jumpstart taste buds with an antojitos ($11.99), a baked tortilla rented out to grilled chicken, bacon, and cream cheese or with the lemon and pepper spiced ahi tuna crisps ($11.99). Under southwestern inspired tapestries and a canopy of multicolour string lights, grilled pork tenderloin ($19.99) floats, like a benevolent poltergeist, to dining tables, where it enlists a savoury port-rosemary reduction to enchant customers into involuntary chewing. Southern Cross Grill embraces its roots with a chimichanga entree ($14.99) that sequesters Mexican stewed chicken and ranch-style beans to a fried tortilla cove, and the stuffed sweet peppers ($13.99) house heaping portions of vegetables and rice drizzled with a lemon-poppy seed yogourt.
Southern Cross Grill on Queen
At Southern Cross Grill on Queen, Chef Ashley Johnson draws from all over the world to create her menu. She layers corn tortillas with grilled chicken, chickpeas, cheese, and roasted-red-pepper cream sauce, calling the invention Mexican Lasagna. She glazes North Atlantic salmon with maple syrup and roasts it atop a cedar plank to soak up the woody flavors. She slow-smokes pork belly right out on the restaurant's patio, pulling the meat, dressing it with barbecue sauce and dijon aioli, and piling it high onto buns.
Although international influences abound on the menu, the decor celebrates all things local. The walls boast an array of black-and-white pictures—which are available for purchase—snapped by two Ottawa photographers. The images show off the city's landscape, reinterpreting it through the use of interesting angles, high-contrast elements, and extreme close-ups of otherwise mundane things such as brickwork or passing UFOs.
Byward Market - Parliament Hill
404 Queen St.
Ottawa, Ontario K1R 5A7