City Bites

IN DIGESTION: Best bites from Ottawa’s 17th annual Bon Appetit

As a first-time attendee of Bon Appetit, I appreciated the relaxed and hospitable ambiance of the food and wine show that took place on Tuesday evening. It was a stark contrast to the intensity of other endless-grazing events like Gold Medal Plates in which the chefs are competing to create the best dishes of the night.

The ox tongue pastrami was brined for 2 weeks, smoked for 16 hours and steamed for 3 hours; topped with Juniper Farms sauerkraut, Gruyere sauce, Russian dressing on Rideau Bakery ry
Not just a welcome relief from bun-centric slider overload, this dish hit all the right notes: fresh, crunchy, spicy and light. I didn't want it to end.

Still, I couldn’t help but to rank some of my favourites bites of the night:

GOLD: It’s a tie between…

Les Fougeres‘ tandoori-spiced grain-fed mini chicken burger served on spring salad with fresh herbs and peanuts (left)

…and Social’s ox tongue Reuben on rye (right).

 

 

 

SILVER: Coconut Curry Shrimp on tropical slaw prepared by Chef Carlton of Island Spiced.

Chef Carlton's shrimp featured his Island Spiced Citrus Rub and his Coconut Curry Sauce, sold in gourmet and natural food stores across the city.

BRONZE: It’s a Matter of Cake “Xposed” Peanut Butter Crunch cake. Matthew Somer might be Ottawa’s next great cake baker.

 

Peanut Butter Crunch: oatmeal cake, peanut oil soak, peanut butter crunch, peanut butter cookie crumb, and peanut butter icing. Otherwise known as: my next birthday cake.

 

Lunch's owner, Tim Van Dyke stands in front of his freshly-painted food truck which made its impressive debut at the 17th annual Bon Appetit

Honourable mention goes to:

  • The Smoque Shack for the delicious finger-licking good ribs and creating such an amusing display of people in cocktail attire wrestling with bones and faces full of sticky barbecue sauce.
  • Brut Cantina Sociale for the guinea fowl pot pie that tasted like grandma made it. It was nice to put a face to Chef Jonathan Harris, who recently took the reins from Danny Mongeon.
  • The handsome new Lunch truck! I enjoyed the open-faced porchetta sandwich featuring Bootleg porchetta, but it was the eye-catching new food truck (at left) — which owner Tim Van Dyke had to drive out to Ernst & Young Centre in first gear — that had everyone talking. That gorgeous hand-painted retro lettering looks good enough to eat.