DesBrisay Dines

DESBRISAY DINES: Lunch at Beechwood Gastropub

Anne DesBrisay is the restaurant critic for Ottawa Magazine. She has been writing about food and restaurants in Ottawa-Gatineau for 25 years and is the author of three bestselling books on dining out. She is head judge for Gold Medal Plates and a member of the judging panel at the Canadian Culinary Championships.


Photo by Anne DesBrisay
Gnocchi with kale and parmesan. Photo by Anne DesBrisay

Two forks up for two lunch dishes at the new Beechwood Gastropub. I plan to do a proper review of the place in due course, but this first sortie was encouraging. It was a Friday, which might explain the crowd, but the place was packed and the feeling merry.

The look hasn’t changed much since it was Farb’s Kitchen, other than a wall that’s been boarded up with ye-ole barn beams, and a brush that’s coated another wall with teal.

Two dishes to praise: a comfort sandwich, well executed, and a yummy bowl of gnocchi. The Cubana — a classic sandwich, reworked — was a ciabatta loaf sliced and stuffed with fine ham and a slice of melty Jacobsons cheddar, but also with thin slices of the house porchetta, the right amount of fat drooping out, and a smear of a crunchy pickle-mustard that delivered excellent smack. It came with fine fries, an aioli for dunking,  and a little salad dressed with a (too-sweet … for me) tarragon vinaigrette. 

Photo by Anne DesBrisay
The Cubana sandwich. Photo by Anne DesBrisay

The poached-then-fried gnocchi were crusty without and softly-perfect within. You had to pass through a  pile of wilted kale and shaved parmesan to find them, but well worth the effort. Bathed in a luscious lemon emulsion, with roasted cauliflower adding sweet-earthy flavour and with the warm, softened kale tasting happily of butter and onions, this was a treat of a dish.

Donuts to end. Cause it’s Christmas, and a girl can only have so much shortbread.

18 Beechwood Avenue, 613-744-6509