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Inspirations Articles

Inspirational Eats: Appetite for Ottawa

Various bagels from Kettlemans.
Various bagels from Kettlemans.
Tuesday, May 31, 2022

by Mike Cohen

Moe’s Bar & Grill | West Island

A smoked meat plate at Moe’s.
A smoked meat plate at Moe’s.

When in Pointe Claire, stop by Moe’s Bar & Grill owned by Johnny Cripotos. The menu features many classic favourites such as their trademark smoked meat, a braised beef to die for, pizzas, burgers, Triple-A steak, paninis, salads and great desserts. They are open for lunch and dinner every day. Breakfast service will resume soon. The bar has a relaxed, fun atmosphere, with plenty of sporting events being played on multiple flat-screen televisions. A seasonal outdoor patio remains popular. Oh yes, there is a kid’s menu. Last summer Cripotos organized an outdoor concert in the parking lot to bring some life to the area during the pandemic.

Moe’s Bar & Grill West Island is located at 940 St. Jean Blvd. The place opens for lunch at 11:30 am each day. You can call for reservations or take-out. Home delivery is available via standard apps. There is easy access for those in wheelchairs. If you have mobility issues, curbside pickup is available in the large parking lot.

Milestones

The grilled sirloin at Milestones.
The grilled sirloin at Milestones.

For family reasons, I am visiting Ottawa often these days, and they have a thriving dining scene. Let’s start off with the Milestones Grill + Bar restaurant chain, purchased last summer by Montreal-based Foodtastic. Plans call for them to debut franchises in Laval and on the West Island in the fall. Foodtastic, a highly successful multi-brand restaurant company, is owned by brothers Lawrence and Peter Mammas. Milestones has been a leader in the casual fine-dining space in Canada for over 30 years by doing things a bit differently. Its menu includes various burgers, steaks and pasta dishes, assorted happy-hour fare and a kid’s selection. I got a sneak peek on what to expect by experiencing the fine Milestones cuisine at the Ottawa Pinecrest location, complete with curbside pickup and located right off Highway 417 in a mall anchored by IKEA. The entry is wheelchair accessible, and there are accessible parking spots in the parking lot. A seasonal terrace is well arranged for wheelchair access. Home delivery is also available via the standard apps.

Kettlemans Bagel

Various bagels from Kettlemans.
Various bagels from Kettlemans.

Does Montreal really have the world’s best bagels? I always thought so until I experienced Kettlemans Bagel in Ottawa. Kettlemans hand-rolled Montreal-style bagels, unique spreads, fresh salads and sandwiches make the perfect breakfast-to-go, lunch or late-night indulgence. Founder and Montreal native Craig Buckley opened the first store in August of 1993. Kettlemans has become a food institution – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year – for 28 years. There are now four Kettlemans locations in Ottawa and two in Toronto. And guess what? They are finally expanding to Montreal in 2022 at l’avenue des Canadiens-de-Montréal, across the street from the Bell Centre. The three Ottawa locations I visited were all accessible, but the ones at the Trainyards and in Kanata have the best parking setups -including accessible access. A new pick-up window has proven to be popular in Kanata. This allows guests to pre-order their favourite menu items via the Kettlemans mobile device and the geo-fencing technology will send the order to be fulfilled once the guest has crossed that threshold.

The Works

High on my list in Ottawa is The Works Craft Burgers & Beer. Open since 2001, this wildly popular and award-winning full-service neighbourhood bistro is known for its more than 30 different, hand-prepared gourmet burgers, fresh hand-cut fries, cool classic shakes and ice-cold beer, which are all 100 percent Canadian. The Works offers guests eight different patty options as well as gluten-free and vegetarian combinations. There are 28 locations in Ontario and as of December 2, one in Cairo, Egypt. While the Works locations are all dine-in, they pivoted nicely to take-out and delivery. At the Glebe location on Bank St. in Ottawa, there is a public parking lot right next door. The entrance and tables are all wheelchair accessible, and the restaurant does offer curbside pickup. Home delivery is also available via the standard apps.

Red Lobster

Ask me which restaurant brand I miss most in Montreal, and I will always name Red Lobster, which mysteriously disappeared from Quebec back in 1997. Red Lobster still operates in four Canadian provinces: Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. There are two locations in Ottawa. The one at 1499 St. Laurent Blvd., just as you enter the city, has always been our “go to” spot. Not only are there several accessible parking spots in the lot, but three more for curbside pickup. The entrance is fully wheelchair accessible. I love their piping hot clam chowder and lobster bisque, the mouthwatering signature biscuits and of course the fresh lobster served in a wide variety of ways. There are delicious desserts to choose from as well. Home delivery is also available via the standard apps.

Shinka 

A beautiful presentation from Shinka.
A beautiful presentation from Shinka.

Are you in the mood for terrific sushi? Shinka Sushi Bar (previously known as New Generation Sushi) is located on Laurier Ave. W. near Elgin in Ottawa. It has been around since 2004. As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it pivoted exclusively to take-out and delivery. Its clientele responded in strong numbers, so they have stuck to this format. Two new locations will open soon. For those with mobility issues, you need only pull your vehicle in front, and someone will bring the meal to you. At Shinka, consider ordering omakase style, which means the chef will select seasonal specialties.